- Anthony McAuliffe
Infobox Military Person
name=Anthony C. McAuliffe
born= birth date|1898|7|2
died= death date and age|1975|8|11|1898|7|2
caption=then-Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe during World War II
Arlington National Cemetery
allegiance= United States of America
United States Army
commands=U.S. Army Europe Seventh Army
World War II
Distinguished Service Cross
laterwork=General Anthony Clement McAuliffe (July 2, 1898 - August 11, 1975) was the
United States Armygeneral who commanded the defending 101st Airbornetroops during the Battle of Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulgein World War II. He is famous for his single-word reply to a German surrender ultimatum: "Nuts!"
Washington, D.C.on July 2, 1898, McAuliffe was a student at West Virginia Universityfrom 1916-17, and graduated from West Point in November 1918. He rose through the ranks from second lieutenant in 1918 to general in 1955.
World War II
McAuliffe was serving as Commander of Division
Artilleryof the 101st Airborne Divisionwhen he parachuted into Normandyon D-Dayand when he entered into Hollandduring Operation Market Gardenin a glider. In December 1944, when the German army launched their surprise offensive, General Maxwell D. Taylor, commander of the 101st Airborne Division, was away, attending a staff conference in the United States.
Battle of the Bulge
In Taylor's absence, acting command of the 101st and its attached troops fell to McAuliffe. At Bastogne, the 101st was besieged by a far-larger force of Germans under the command of General
Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, who soon demanded that the Americans surrender. McAuliffe sent back his now-famous reply: "NUTS!" The 101st was able to hold off the German assault until the 4th Armored Division arrived to provide reinforcement. For his actions at Bastogne, McAuliffe was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by General Patton on December 30, 1944, followed later by the Distinguished Service Medal.
After the Battle of the Bulge, McAuliffe was given command of his own division, the 103rd Infantry Division of the US 7th Army, which he led from January 15, 1945 to July, 1945.
Following the war, McAuliffe held many positions, including Chief Chemical Officer of the
Army Chemical Corps, and G-1, Head of Army Personnel. He returned to Europe as Commander of the Seventh Army in 1953, and Commander-in-Chief of the United States Army Europein 1955. He was promoted to general on March 1, 1955.
In 1956, he retired from the Army. He worked for
American CyanamidCorporation from 1956-63 as Vice President for Personnel. He began a program to teach employees to maintain contact with local politicians. The company now requires all branch managers to at least introduce themselves to local politicians. [ [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,873724,00.html?iid=chix-sphere Business in Politics - TIME ] ] McAuliffe also served as chairman of the New York StateCivil Defense Commission from 1960-1963.
He resided in
Chevy Chase, Marylanduntil his death on August 11, 1975, age 77, and is buried along with his wife, son, and daughter in Arlington National Cemetery.
On December 22, 1944, General
Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitzsent the following ultimatum to Gen. McAuliffe:
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 honorable 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.According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "Aw, nuts". At a loss for an official reply, Lt. Col. Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed the situation up well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Harper and Major Jones to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans.According to an article in the Daily Mail (a British Newspaper) the reply was not Nuts but a four letter expletive that was changed for propaganda purposes for domestic consumption.
Route 33 in eastern Pennsylvania is called the Gen. Anthony Clement McAuliffe 101st Airborne Memorial Highway.
* [http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/amcauli.htm Arlingtoncemetery.net entry]
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