WW II history lesson: The Creator was unmistakably present at Bastogne

WW II history lesson: The Creator was unmistakably present at Bastogne

WW II history lesson: The Creator was unmistakably present at Bastogne

During a D-Day interview Thursday, an author shared how God's intervention in the Battle of the Bulge cleared the way for Americans in one of WW II's most significant events.

Yesterday, America and her allies remembered D-Day – the day in 1944 that thousands of young men took the courageous first steps in an invasion that would free France from German occupation … and would ultimately free the world.

The final steps into Berlin were long, hard days ahead. In between was perhaps World War II's most significant battle, in which America's 101st Airborne played the most significant role. The Allies won the Battle of the Bulge, but things could have turned differently if not for the grace of God Almighty.

Author Jerome Corsi, in an appearance on the Washington Watch program Thursday, laid out a compelling case for God's role in helping Gen. Tony McAuliffe and his troops hold out in defense of a major strategic point, the town of Bastogne in the Ardennes region of Belgium.

Right man, right time

McAulliffe would not have been in Bastogne had Gen. Maxwell Taylor, the commanding officer of the 101st, not been in Washington briefing the Pentagon. That left McAuliffe, the artillery commander, in charge to make quick decisions in defense of Bastogne.

"That was the first miracle," Corsi, who tells the story in his book "No Greater Valor" told show host Tony Perkins.

The second was that Gen. George Patton, known more for his brash, aggressive demeanor than a subjective faith in God, sought the Lord's blessing for his Third Army as it raced to Bastogne to relieve the 101st and thwart the German advance.

"The key to the entire story is prayer," Corsi added.

It's a key America today is missing, Rep. Keith Self (R-Texas) told Perkins.

Self joined the show from Normandy where he and other U.S. lawmakers were preparing to take part in a reenactment of the aerial invasion which included paratroopers from the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions landing in chutes and gliders in advance of the beach assaults.

Self, Rep. Keith (R-Texas) Self

"I believe that we, as leaders of the nation, the House members who are going to jump tomorrow, we need to do this to simply tell the American people that this is still important," Self said. "What weighs most on my mind is that our civilization has to be maintained. That's what we're losing today."

Self contends the political division in America is threatening to take away three things from the country's people: "Our nuclear family, our Judeo-Chrisian faith foundation, and our history. Those are the three things that we seem to be losing to the progressive Left. Those are the things that we need to be standing strong for."

According to the congressman, that's why a reenactment of the historic air invasion is more than symbolic. It's a history lesson that America must not only remember but understand and embrace, Self explained. And according to Corsi, it's a lesson in which the Creator was unmistakably present.

Germans attack lines of unexpecting Americans

After a long march from the coast, Americans were in a somewhat relaxed state of mind as they contemplated the next moves with Christmas approaching.

But Adolf Hitler was pushing ahead with his last great offensive of the war. If the Germans could take Bastogne, they would control a number of key roads. The plan was to occupy Bastogne then advance to Antwerp and cut off American supplies.

For the Americans, McAuliffe turned out to be the "exact right commander" because artillery – the big guns – was his thing.

But he had many challenges. When the order came, the 101st was in a temporary camp. They did not have winter clothes. McAuliffe's troops were grabbing weapons and clothes from the troops they were relieving that they met along the way.

Corsi, Jerome Corsi

"They were scavenging because they had nothing," Corsi explained.

Once in Bastogne, McAuliffe set up his defense like a castle. All the big guns were placed in the center to easily pivot and face the Germans, who had encircled the town. The outnumbered and poorly clothed Americans faced Germans from every direction in addition to cloudy skies, snow and bitter cold.

This was not lost on the Germans. After days of fighting, and with McAuliffe's ammunition dwindling as he awaited Patton's arrival, a German contingent holding white flags slow-walked toward McAuliffe's position. McAuliffe initially thought they were surrendering. Instead, they wanted McAuliffe to surrender.

The American general responded with one word, "Nuts," writing it all over the Germans' written instructions and sending it back.

"The Germans didn't know what it meant. It electrified U.S. troops around the world," Corsi said. "But the key to the entire story is prayer."

Gen. Patton and his men were racing to Bastogne through the French Alps. Patton called his chaplain over and asked him to write a prayer. The chaplain responded that he could not write a prayer asking God for victory in battle which would mean asking God to kill his children, the German soldiers.

But, as he told Patton, he could write a prayer for favorable conditions in battle. He did, and Patton copied and distributed the prayer among his troops, asking them to call upon the Lord.

That was the second miracle. God responded. The weather cleared. The Third Army brought supplies, joined the fight, and the Battle of the Bulge was won – and the path to Berlin was clear.

Corsi told Perkins that if a general today distributed a Christian prayer to his troops and encouraged them to pray, the general "would probably be court-martialed. You're not allowed to do that."

The diminished faith of Americans is one of the nation's great struggles, Corsi lamented.

"Once we abandon God, God abandons us; and one of the great troubles we have in this country is that we have sinned against God. We've taken God out of our schools since the 1940s. We've killed millions of babies since Roe v. Wade. Only God can give life. We can't take life away. It's a sin against God," he said.

Troops follow their general and seek the Lord

But the Third Army followed Patton's lead, joined by McAuliffe; and the 101st Airborne no doubt – and likely Americans at home and abroad – understood what was taking place.

"They trusted in God, and they prayed to God. McAuliffe, when it was over, said, 'God won this victory,'" Corsi shared.

"That's why I wrote the book. In my view, God did intervene. We were on the right side of God at that time. It's a lesson for us today that we cannot succeed without God's help," the author concluded. "God is fundamental. God rules."