On the early morning of December 16th, 1944 in the treacherous Ardennes of Belgium and Luxembourg, more than 200,000 German soldiers made a surprise move, piercing the front lines of US troops.
Although outnumbered at first, the US was able to bring in reinforcements and after a month of fighting, move into Germany. 75 years later, this battle is known as the Battle of the Bulge.
“Their efforts not only defended America but also ensured that the peoples of Europe would be free again,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, one of the many figures in attendance at today’s ceremony at Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne, Belgium.
“On this day, we Germans would like to thank the United States of America. The American armed forces, together with their allies, liberated Europe and they also liberated Germany. We thank you. Those who died were victims of hatred, delusion, and a destructive fury that originated from my country,” stated German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier according to Fox News.
The Battle of the Bulge, which ended on Jan. 28, 1945, allowed the allied forces to invade Germany, eventually leading to the surrender of the Nazi’s and the end of the war in Europe.
“It was ultimately the intrepid, indomitable spirit of the American soldier that brought victory,” Esper said.