[PW] Battle of the Bulge Quote (Quotation Query #741)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun May 1 09:36:15 PDT 2016

A war correspondent of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch attributed the
saying to anonymous members of the Fourth Armored Division on March 9,
1945 (published March 12) and suggested that an instance of the motto
had been used earlier during the Battle of Brittany by members of the
same military group.

Date: March 12, 1945 (Note: March 9 delayed, by wireless)
Newspaper: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Newspaper Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Section 2: Editorial
Article: 4th Armored Yanks Bluffed Way Through 6 Nazi Divisions in
Racing 65 Miles Into Reich in 58 Hours
Article Subtitle: Americans, Chuckling, Tell Virginia Irwin, 'They've
Got Us Surrounded Again' — Germans Quit by Thousands but Allies Are
Too Busy to Herd Them to Camps
Byline: Virginia Irwin (War Correspondent of Post-Dispatch)
Quote Page 11, Column 1
Database: Newspapers.com

[Begin excerpt; check for OCR and other errors in cite and text]
It is no longer a military secret that, at any time during this drive,
these tough terrain-greyhounds of the Fourth Armored might have been
cut off by the Germans. As a matter of fact, with the nearest infantry
support 35 miles behind us, the Fourth Armored men sat in a German
town night before last and said to me: "They have got us surrounded
again, poor bastards." The word "again" was the only thing they had
added to the phrase since they were surrounded and fought their way
out of Rennes in what now seems the forgotten battle of Brittany.
[End excerpt]


On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 10:04 AM, Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> Here's one for the military historians.  The Battle of the Bulge quote, "They've got us surrounded again, the poor bastards," is often attributed to Creighton Abrams.  Is it likely that Abrams did originate this, or was it an anonymous saying that later got attached to Abrams' name?  Is there any evidence of the quote's usage before 1961, which is the earliest I can readily find?
> Fred Shapiro
> _______________________________________________
> Project Wombat - Project-wombat
> list at project-wombat.org
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