CHRISTMAS IN THE BELGIAN ARDENNES - 1944
By Don R. Marsh

The men cursed, machines and weapons of war failed to function
The Lord is my shepherd,
properly, or not at all; as ice coated each of them. The cold penetrated layers
I shall not want.
of woolen clothing and the shivering flesh right down to the bone.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
Nothing escaped the cruel miserable winter weather in the Eiffel Mountains
He leads me beside the still waters.
of the Belgium Ardennes Forest in that never to be forgotten winter of 1944, better
He restores my soul; He leads me in the path of righteousness for His name's sake.
known to historians as the Battle of the Bulge. Those of us who lived through it will
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
recall the white hell and will never forget those days and nights of inhumanity.
I will fear no evil; for You are with me.
The German Juggernaut had overrun the green American GIs led by incompetent leaders.
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
They had smashed their way almost to the Namur River and the city of Dinant at the deepest penetration point of their attack led by the elite German 2nd Panzer Division
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
who had boasted that they had taken no prisoners and shot captured American wounded.
You anoint my head with oil;
But on this day, December 23, 1944, they would meet two of the elite American armored divisions - the 2nd (Hell On Wheels) and the 3rd (Spearhead), led by Generals Harmon and Rose.
My cup runs over.
It was payback time and time for the enemy to die for their sins in judgment against our fellow man, our brothers in arms who had fallen in battle and those Americans who were massacred at Malmedy, while Prisoners of War.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
We stopped them dead in their tracks. Slowly the tide of battle began to turn and their losses mounted by the hour. But we also paid a terrible price in the number of casualties of wounded and loss of life, as well as material. Their ruthless surprise attack had been brought to an abrupt halt.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23

I can still close my eyes and see the Sherman tank with the name "Cutbreak" painted on her side manned by the crew of Phil Reisler, Phil Geidel, Del Signore and Virgle (Bazooka) Appleton. The gang of us including Charlie Boss, Doug Donahue. Joe Elfer, Walter Hogan, Larry Hull, Earlie J. Jones, Don Marsh, Walter Moll, Fred Newland, Glenn Springer, Charlie Tichacek, Bill Veno and Clovis Waldroop are all there to greet them. Someday we will all meet once again in the ether land of hereafter and when we do, we'll claim that we have already spent our designated time in that white hell and want passes to go directly to Odin's Valhalla.

This article previously appeared in the 3AD Association Newsletter, December 2003 issue.

Publication or reproduction, in part or whole, is prohibited without written
permission from the author, Don R. Marsh.
All rights remain the sole property of The Marsh Family Trust.