“Hell In My Hands”: Battle of Bastogne Pistol

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We are all at least passingly familiar with the Battle of the Bulge. A smaller part of that battle was the Siege of Bastogne which took place December 20th to December 27th, 1944. The ultimate goal of Nazi Germany in this particular battle was to reach a harbor in Antwerp, and the Germans hoped to fight through the Allied ranks before they could be reinforced. This was not a small battle by any means but included more than 54,000 Germans laying siege to the small village of Bastogne where approximately 22,800 Allied soldiers were attempting to stand their ground. (It is well worth noting that Bastogne was and is a small village; today their population lingers around 15,000 residents.)

During the battle more than 3,000 Allied soldiers were killed. Despite being horribly outnumbered the Allies got the job done, keeping control of the village until reinforcements arrived in the form of General Patton’s Third Army. More than a few historically significant moments took place during the battle, one of which cannot be ignored when mentioning Bastogne. On December 22, 1944 a German by the name of General von Luttwitz decided it was a good idea to demand a surrender, and directed the following message to the American in charge, Brigadier General Anthony  (spelling is von Luttwitz’s):

“To the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne.

The fortune of war is changing. This time the U.S.A. forces in and near Bastogne have been encircled by strong German armored units. More German armored units have crossed the river Our near Ortheuville, have taken Marche and reached St. Hubert by passing through Hompre-Sibret-Tillet. Libramont is in German hands.

There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honourable surrender of the encircled town. In order to think it over a term of two hours will be granted beginning with the presentation of this note.

If this proposal should be rejected one German Artillery Corps and six heavy A. A. Battalions are ready to annihilate the U.S.A. troops in and near Bastogne. The order for firing will be given immediately after this two hours term.

All the serious civilian losses caused by this artillery fire would not correspond with the well-known American humanity.

The German Commander.”

McAuliffe decided to keep his reply short and sweet:

“To the German Commander.

NUTS!

The American Commander”

I’ve always thought the story of Bastogne said a great deal about the fighting spirit of Americans – and the defiant side. Recently pictures began circulating of a Colt 1911 apparently recovered in the aftermath of Bastogne. It would be quite something to know the specific backstory of this gun but the pictures do speak for themselves.

During this holiday season we should all take a moment to be grateful for the sacrifices made by service members. Imagine where we would be today if not for the actions of men like the one who once held this 1911 in battle.

 

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BASTOGNE5

A word from the original poster of the pictures:

“Today I was able to hold and photograph something that absolutely stopped me in my tracks.

One person I shared this with said “you had hell in your hands”

He was right.

I hope the hero who died with this at his side went quickly.

This is so representative of what the heroes of WWII went through…. . Not only in the Pacific theatre, but the German front also.

This was Bastogne in 1944.

It’s in a friends private collection and it took some doing to be able to photograph it.

I was shaking when I handed it back.

“I took these photos today.. A gentleman I know was kind enough to allow me that privilege.

Often times we get so caught up in the gun we forget the sacrifices.

This one really brings it home.

It is believed that the this damage is from artillery fire.

This weapon was very likely holstered at the time, and the soldier was facing the explosion.

I can’t begin to tell you how powerful of a sentiment this raised in my heart to hold this”

I shared this in a few historical groups I belong to, so some of you have already seen this, but it’s just too powerful of an artifact not to share with the rest of you.

Today I held hell in my hands.”



katie.ainsworth

Katie is an avid shooter, hunter, military journalist, and Southern girl. Firearms are her passion whether at the range or on a spot-and-stalk after a big buck. She’s a staff writer at The Firearm Blog and writes about guns, hunting, and the military for various publications both online and in print such as Outdoor Life, Handguns, and Shooting Illustrated. Shoot her a message at ainsworth.kat@usa.com


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  • Phillip Cooper

    Powerful stuff. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

  • M.M.D.C.

    Amazing. Thanks.

  • kgallerno

    Kind of interesting that there is damage on both sides of the slide.

    • Sam Kim

      I believe the pictures are deceiving it doesn’t look like there are damages on both sides of the slide but rather damage on the top of the slide and the right as when the pistol is holstered on the right leg or hip.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Original owner….

    • Yimmy

      Really? A mockery of a man who died w this iconic firearm in his possession?

      • Oregon213

        It was a good reference.

      • ostiariusalpha

        Well, it would be a good idea to ascertain that this pistol’s historical provenance is less fictional than Cotton Hill before rushing to condemn IUD’s taste in humor.

        • Never forget

          You’re right, it’s much easier to make fun of implied dead American soldiers and just say its funny because it hasn’t been proven as fact. Your line of reasoning is simply fantastic and I’m sure Hillary Clinton could learn a this or two from your rhetoric.

          • ostiariusalpha

            You need to get a better grip on reality than the one you have constantly squeezing your nutsack, chum. There was absolutely nothing in IUD’s comment that in any way disparaged dead soldiers, that is a product purely of your perverse imagination. The only thing he made fun of is the moronic fetishization of a damaged pistol, which is only slightly less pathetic even if the damage occurred during a combat fatality. You are not paying any dead soldiers respect by getting huffed when anyone doesn’t beatify some random 1911. Both my grandfathers carried 1911s, and they weren’t shy about the fact that they thought the pistol was a heavy brick of marginal combat effectiveness. Either one would have been happier with an M1 Carbine.

      • COL Bull-sigh

        Oh, pay no attention to the drama queern, Little Bobsie-Wobsie, aka notorious iud. He desperately needs attention from his absent father. Apparently raised by a houseful of sisters and aunts.

  • lbeacham

    We could win a two front, multi-ocean war against two determined countries but now can’t flush out and annihilate (or change hearts) what amounts to be a large gang of thugs. Oh, we can but we don’t want too. Why?

    • ostiariusalpha

      Some media guys let slip some film of what the Marines were doing to Japanese soldiers in the Pacific front during WWII (spitting their severed heads and limbs on the front of the tanks, for instance), and there was such an outcry from the home front that the entire war was nearly abandoned. Honest media coverage is poison to civilian morale, because it can only really highlight what your side is doing wrong instead of what they getting right.

      • lbeacham

        Yea, and Japs would hide in holes, wait for a tank to pass over and blow it up and themselves. War is ugly but you do have to kill people and break things. The first to lose the will to win loses. Yes, collateral damage avoidance is why Obama doesn’t push our superior forces to eliminate ISIS. He’s waiting on Muslims to turn on them or convert America, which ever comes first is OK by him and his followers.

        • wzrd1

          Actually, Obama lacks sufficient testosterone to tolerate body bags coming back home.

      • Paul Rain

        What’s wrong with putting heads on sticks?

        • Don Ward

          Well sure. If you want the blowflies on the heads to then land on your chow. Commit your wartime atrocities at least 500 yards from the bivouac people!

          • Scott Goofus

            Well, Don, we sure know how you feel about the poor helpless WWII Japanese. They were such great guys, why oh why were we mean to them? Hey, just because they liked to toss babies to their pals, who would catch them with their bayonets, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have loved and hugged them. Just because they routinely executed men, women, children, POWs and whoever they felt like on any given day doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have treated them with the utmost respect and courtesy. Your pal Blowbama would be proud to read your posts. The rest of us are disgusted by them.
            Signed, a patriot in Georgia whose dad watched his shipmates burn to death as a result of a kamikaze attack.

          • wzrd1

            So, the good guys are allowed to commit atrocities, but the bad guys are not.
            We also had Marines wearing Japanese fingers on necklaces around their necks. Eventually, that was stopped, but if photos got around, it’d have encouraged the Japanese to keep fighting to the last man.

            As for your political nonsense, grow up. The entire world does not revolve around your politics.

      • codfilet

        Really? The entire war was nearly abandoned? I really don’t think so. Life magazine, among others, routinely published grisly photos of japanese incinerated in flamethrower attacks, piles of dead Japanese in failed suicide attacks, etc. There is even a notable Life photo of an American woman opening a box sent by her soldier boyfriend, containing a Japanese skull!

    • Tassiebush

      I reckon it’s probably got a lot to do with not wanting to expend the blood and treasure involved only to be responsible for that space once seized. For much of the area involved, there probably isn’t a faction strong enough and US friendly enough to hand it over to. Then there is also the fact that the immediate neighbours of Syria who are western allies have been carefully avoiding their own moral responsibility for the region and probably waiting for the westerners to sort it out and also serve as a handy scapegoat. The most viable option seems to be to support Iraq to reclaim it’s territory using its own troops and to support a few friendlies like the Kurds etc.
      More aide to the refugee camps wouldn’t hurt either and Saudi Arabia actually taking refugees. Apparently a lot of camps only have about 30% of required resources so it’s hardly surprising so many have walked to Europe. The austerity measures by the west in aid has been penny wise, pound foolish.
      I’m pessimistic about the options available. I think the best hope is that opposition groups can do some kind of peace deal with Assad regime sooner rather than later and Islamic State can then get wiped out via Assad, Russia and Iran. I think some negotiated autonomous zones like the Kurdish no fly zone in Iraq is as good as it’ll get.

      • wzrd1

        I don’t know about Saudi Arabia taking refugees. Syria had a rather westernized culture.
        If I had a choice between going to Saudi Arabia and going to hell, I’d pick hell, nicer crowd there.

        • Tassiebush

          Hmm yeah true we could really call them ISIS light really.

        • Tassiebush

          I must admit they do seem like ISIS light, monarchy edition.

    • Don Ward

      It is probably because the threat of Nazi German and the Empire of Japan were on orders of magnitude thousands of times greater than a 50,000 guys in Toyota HiLux pickup trucks in Syria and Iraq.

    • iksnilol

      Simply because those thugs aren’t as centralized as an entire country is.

      They’re a harder target.

  • wetcorps

    “To the German Commander.

    NUTS!

    The American Commander”

    America, everyone 🙂

    • josephmn

      To the American Commander in Chief.

      Nuts

      One American Patriot

      • wzrd1

        You just had to go political, rather than let one and all remember that segment of the battle.

        • josephmn

          We will not surrender to the leftist tyrant who is at taking the sovereign right to bear arms from Americans as we speak. Compartmentalize as you must to be interested in this firearm which almost above all others that represents FREEDOM and be offended if someone speaks the obvious and needful warning to today’s tyrant seeking Americans surrender.

          • wzrd1

            Try finding a more appropriate venue for your political ranting, rather than a story about the men holding Bastogne against all odds, until Patton got his men, counting two of my uncles, in to relieve them.
            May I suggest the appropriate forum would be the closest military recruiters latrine?

          • josephmn

            Don’t care much for military recruiters either wizard? I’m not surprised. The only things a leftist hold dear are appeasement, socialism, and abortion. I think it’s you who is in the wrong place.

          • wzrd1

            Actually, I think quite highly of military recruiters, as I’m quite certain that they’d perform some percussive counseling on your can.
            BTW, I served for nearly 28 years before retiring when it started to hurt too much putting all of that crap on. If that is being a leftist to you, I suggest you look up what left and right is.
            Oh, I know! Anyone who respects fallen service members is a leftist in your book, right? Or is it only someone who tells you to can your BS only a leftist, as you have less than no clue what discipline, respect or even honor is.

  • Amazing! Since we do not know the specifics I’ll wager a guess. Based upon multiple deep wounds to the heavy steel of the barrel, I imagine this firearm was shredded by an air burst artillery shell – likely from one of the German heavy AA battalions (Flak 37 or 41 88mm guns).
    With the damage almost exclusively on the top of the barrel I would like to believe the soldier had the weapon up and pointed towards the enemy when fate made its call!

  • CoastieGM

    There is a perfect example of why the men who came out of that battle were called “The Battered Bastards of Bastogne.” Also and I could be wrong on this but a few of the accounts say that the “Nuts” quote was actually much saltier before the commanders aide towned it down.

    • claymore

      Balls he said BALLS

  • I’m sorry, but this looks like a fake. Yes, serial numbers match the time period, but the rest of it looks like someone created a historical fake to me. This went around FB a couple weeks ago, and I’m convinced this is a fabrication for the purpose of selling a piece of history. Unless there is paperwork showing that this pistol was issued to someone that fought in that battle – I do not believe it. The finish is too good. The grips, are not touched at all. The angles of incident are all different. This is what someone thinks that a battlefield pickup would look like.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      Im skeptical as well.
      Where is this gun? A museum? Private collection?
      The metal scarring is surprisingly free of rust or corrosion you would expect on a gun pulled out of the mud on a battlefield.

    • Kirill

      Is it not simply possible that the weapon was picked up almost directly after the battle and the recovered, perhaps realizing what they were holding, returned it home and kept it stowed well and in good condotion?
      It’s not like there weren’t fresh men and equipment being used at Bastogne. As far as I can tell the SN puts manufacture at late 1943, and its not like the Pistols rolled off the lines and right into the hands of the GI.
      I’m not saying you’re wrong, but it seems possible, at least. I’ve seen guns damaged in a similar manner to this as a result of IEDs or artillery fragments. Not quite the same way, mind, but the damage is fairly similar. The lack of marring otherwise is odd, true, but it does depend on the kind of shell and distance from the blasts epicenter.

      I agree; more information is needed.

    • Martin M

      The first thing I notice about this is the moving story. All of which could be a total work of fiction. Dead soldier? Who died? Surely this sidearm was issued to someone. For all we know, if genuine, it got damaged while hanging on the mirror of a jeep that died a sudden death.
      Ultimately, without proper provenance, the only fact is that it is a 1944 Colt 45 that’s been damaged.

  • Paul Rain

    “Imagine where we would be today if not for the actions of men like the one who once held this 1911 in battle.”
    A terrifying thought.

    • I feel like I’ve seen this on an episode of Community, before…

    • UCSPanther

      Either the Swastika or the Hammer and Sickle.

      Neither is a pleasant thought…

  • adverse

    Not sure we are out of the woods yet.

  • Don Ward

    As always, what is the provenance of any piece of military hardware. Was this at a military instillation where the weapon has been preserved? Where is the accompanying photos or paperwork? Did somebody have this in their attic or gun collection for 70 yearrs? Or is this some fabrication?

    The lack of patina on damaged portions of the slide lead me to believe the latter at first blush. Unfortunately the blurry photo does nothing to help this. Nor does the lack of any link to the original source material. Although I did laugh a bit clicking on the 1911 link which took me to the Ted Nugent 1911 story.

  • Don Ward

    Also, not to belittle the guys in the 101st, but by the time the Germans turned their attention to reducing Bastogne on December 22, the Nazis had already lost the Battle of the Bulge which had begun on Dec.16.

    It’s men in the US 2nd and 99th Infantry Divisions which held the northern shoulder of the Bulge and men like the 291st Engineer Combat Battalion who demolished roads and bridges to hold up the German armored advance that need to take most of the credit for winning Ardennes.

    But the 101st gets all of the attention because of Hollywood and publicity. Which also leads me to believe that the gun in Katie’s article is a fake. It would be more believable if it were from one of the other unsung divisions in the battle.

  • Devil_Doc

    This just doesn’t look real. Why would shrapnel flying in a straight line leave ripples in metal? Look at the damage just in front of the ejection port. Why is it scalloped looking?

    • Don Ward

      What? You didn’t know that by 1944, Nazi scientists had invented artillery shells with cordless Dremels inside? They were the dreaded MP44DremelKannonScheisserWurfer88s.

      They were a vast improvement to the earlier Kraut shell designs with the Dremels that you had to plug in with a cord before they were fired…

      • Devil_Doc

        Dremelwerfer? Lol… Nice.

    • Don Ward

      Yeah. I was looking at these on one of the OTHER gun websites. *cough, cough* but didn’t want to link.

      As I mentioned, those Nazi scientists were really clever in how they loaded their artillery shells with cordless Dremels, grinders and power drills.

    • M.M.D.C.

      I wonder if that peening on the ejection port is from someone trying to get the thing back into service. I don’t see why it couldn’t be real.

      Or maybe it belongs to FPS Russia.

    • Aaron

      My observation is that all the marks seem to be rather indirect, or at least each one being from a separate angle. That alone is enough for Mr to determine it as a fake.

      • mxprivateer

        Damage could have been caused by multiple artillery rounds fired from different guns arriving at the same coordinate.

        • iksnilol

          Don’t forget richochets, shrapnel can and will jump around.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Shrapnel ricochets lose too much energy to pierce through particle board, much less gouge this steel slide that deeply. If this is genuine combat damage, the impact was from a direct strike. Claymore is correct that you can’t judge where the damage from shrapnel comes from just by looking at the angle of the gouges.

          • Vet son of vet of grandpa vet

            Shrapnel ricochets from 88’s easily went through jeeps from side to side, through buildings end to end, and through both sides of US Bunkers with enough energy remaining to go through my dads arm, removing 2″ of bone, then continuing.

          • ostiariusalpha

            Uh, pretty sure that’s not a ricochet. You do know what ricochet means, right?

        • Realist

          Fuzes could’ve been set to detonate to cause an ”air-burst” effect thus the shrapnel’s angle of impact.

      • claymore

        Apparently you have no experience with exploding artillery shells.

      • old44

        Why don’t we get you to carry a 1911 in a holster then explode an 88mm shell 6 feet in front of you and slightly to the left and see iff your theory holds water.

    • Kirill

      I’d like to point out that the 3rd photo shows a dent that appears to have a well defined circular shape; this is congruent to a typical fragment from a Infantry shrapnel shell.

      It’s deffenatly a possibility.

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      I have no evidence its a fake but, honestly, this damage could have been caused by anything.

      • Fred Johnson

        I’m wondering where the signs of rust are. The green finish is near perfect, but the damage and holster wear look fairly fresh like the gun never had a chance to rust.

  • J Ballew

    Just a guess based on what I’ve seen from civvy arty shoots/boomfests, but that could be produced by fragments unrelated to the shell casing itself. Stuff like bits of brick, etc.

    However the lack of patina or corrosion is a bit odd. Other than some greenish fuzz, I’m not seeing the amount of corrosion I’m used to seeing with other battlefield pickups.

  • lbrty2112

    For shrapnel to have penetrated the slide, the round must have landed directly at the feet of the troop in possession of this piece.

  • codfilet

    Wow-tough crowd! If this pistol, barely a year old in 1944, was picked up within days of this damage and cleaned, why wouldn’t it look this good? If this is a fake, why would someone take an original-finish WW2 1911 and do this to it? Would it really sell for more than it would have if it were undamaged? Most gun collectors I know say “buy the gun, not the story”

    • I suspect PT Barnum would have something to say about that.

  • Captain Obvious

    IMO, the direct damage on the top and glancing blows to both sides of the slide is consistent with the gun being holstered at the time the person possessing it and facing forward was hit with shrapnel. Looks to be some slight glancing damage to the top of the right grip panel as well. It is possible that the pistol was new in a holster and never or little used before being damaged and then recovered off the battlefield. I would guess that there are other documented weapons from WWII that show similar damage. Since this pistol is in a private collection and not offered for sale I have no reason to believe that it is fake. Can’t prove it is real, but there is no motivation to fake it.

    • wzrd1

      I’ll simply offer one thing, imagine what the soldier who had the pistol looked like.
      Artillery does very, very nasty things to human bodies.

  • mxprivateer

    I have no opinion as to whether or not this has been faked, but for the people pointing out what appears to be varying angles of the damage, artillery fire often has multiple guns firing at the same coordinate at the same time which means that all the rounds would impact at the same location but arriving from different angles. Also, the damage to the rear sight appears to be a piece of shrapnel embedded in the slide. I wonder if the embedded piece is made of the same material as the warhead of German artillery or AA rounds.

  • Michael Rutherford

    I happen to have a 1911 Remington Rand from the same era, I’ve heard. I don’t know the history behind it, as in where it was in battle or who it was issued to. I’ve learned that it was made by the Singer Sewing Machine Co

  • George Plunkett III

    While it is an interesting artifact, where is the rust ? It was dead winter w/ lots of snow. The gun should have rust in the damaged areas….

  • iksnilol

    From what I know about artillery; the guy carrying it died painfully 🙁

    Close enough to catch the shrapnel, far enough to not be killed by the shockwave.

  • RPK

    The GREATEST generation…period!

  • Mark Bertolet

    I would hope that this pistol would be relegated to someplace, such as the WW II Museum in New Orleans, or some other similarly reverential entity, dedicated to preserving the memory of all those who struggled in it, and the sanctity of all those artifacts, which remain today, as an ongoing memorial, and testament, to all those who gave so much, for so little, for the benefit of so many.

    • Don Ward

      Why? It’s a forgery and a fake.

  • JJ

    I like to believe the story is true while keeping in mind there are those who do falsify items in order to profit from it. Regardless of the authenticity of the piece, it does demonstrate what our selfless soldiers faced at that battle, as well as others. I am humbled and ever so thankful for the sacrifices our men made in that battle and war to ensure the freedom that we enjoy today. If it is genune, then IMO, the author definitely “held hell” in her hands. Thank you to our greatest generation!

  • Sam Kim

    This is a firearm of a private collector that is not for sale. It also appears the photographer had some difficulty trying to even get permission to photograph this piece. That being said the collector should have no intent to damage a perfectly conditioned 1911 from WW2.
    The damage appears to be on the top and right of the slide. There is minimal damage shown on the left of the slide. This damage would be consistent to a pistol that is holstered on the right hip/leg.
    There are higher resolution pictures on other sites and additional pictures of the hole on the slide. The shrapnel has gone through the slide top of the barrel. there is damage where the shrapnel would have stopped on the bottom of the barrel.
    The damage is consistent to high velocity fragmentation of a HE round. The round must have went off approximately 4-5 ft off the ground considering the damage on the handle and dovetail. Whether the round was airburst or hit a building would be speculation.
    The pitting behind the barrel hood is caused by a pointed fragment hitting then rolling towards the top of the slide. Other damages appear to be from flatter fragments hitting at high velocity.
    You can see light corrosion forming near the hole in the barrel.

    This is my speculation. This is a genuine 1911 damaged by fragmentation from a HE shell. The pistol was in service for approximately a year or less before being hit by fragmentation. The pistol was holstered on the right hip and saw low usage. The soldier would have rarely used the pistol as he would have a rifle or other primary firearm.

    The HE shell would have landed close enough for many fragmentation to hit him but not enough to kill him instantly. On top of that the HE shell would have landed in front and to the right of the soldier. Since the pistol saw light use it would have been cleaner and probably more oiled than a firearm that was used more often. Since it was in the holster the pistol would have been away from a lot of moisture. The soldier could have also been wearing a coat that covered the holster.

    Regarding the possible death of this soldier. The HE shell would have exploded approximately to his front and right. If the soldier perished wearing a coat and/or fell to his left side the pistol would be covered and/or kept away from water/snow/moisture.
    If the soldier survived long enough he would have gotten out of the open street and into/under shelter from artillery.
    Considering the amount of fragmentation I am assuming the soldier perished from the explosion. I am going to assume at some point after the soldier perished another soldier inspected the pistol to deem is serviceable or not. When the soldier found out it was unserviceable he would have either held onto it for it’s history or in attempt to get it to the family of the deceased. I don’t believe the family of the soldier ever received this pistol. It
    would have been considered an heirloom and would not leave the family. The pistol could have easily been cleaned and conditioned as best as possible then put into a footlocker back home. If the pistol did not see much moisture, which is plausible, the pistol would not have rusted much on the bare steel.

    I believe whoever took this out of the battlefield took it out of the holster, covered it in some type of cloth/rag/paper, then rubbed it down with a lightly oiled rag before throwing it into a footlocker to take home. It does not appear to have been cleaned thoroughly or oiled thoroughly as there is rust showing on the barrel

  • R.E. Naess

    There is no way the “impact” damage on that slide from schrapnel has been “applied”, and absolutely no way any Dremel stone or burr or drill could ever make those marks, simply because the Dremel is rotary and there is no evidence of rotary disturbance to the metal. Having reactivated a number of bullet and schrapnel damaged Japanese LMG receivers, the impact marks look exactly true to the forces applied.

    Bob Naess
    Black River Militaria CII

    • wzrd1

      If the pistol looks like that, we can guess what the man issued it looked like.
      Someone got the telegram no one ever wanted to receive.

  • Oldtrader3

    Dead American Veterans are not Funny! The German artillery were very skilled at air burst technology. Any of you little boys who had lived through Bastogne, would not think it the least bit funny. My dad served in that battle (Bulge) as a member of Patton’s Armored Division, they relieved Bastogne on Christmas Eve!

    • wzrd1

      I had two uncles meet up during the Bulge, then advance on Bastogne to relieve the 101st. Dad got caught lying about his age and bounced out of the Marine Corps. By the time he was of age and joined the Army, he finished his airborne training and ended up fighting the battle of Fort Dix.

      I’m a retired veteran myself and I agree, there’s nothing funny about what artillery does to a human body.

  • tjcrowley65@aol.com

    The problem I might have with this gun is how pristeen it appears. It must have been very very clean when picked up and kept in a time capsule every since. A gun in that environment will have some rust on it, if not kept in a greasy rag. The one other thing is how did they manage to even field strip this weapon. Shrapnel going through metal like that will, I believe, will fuse the two parts of the frame locking it up, IMHO.