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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun May 1 16:02:18 PDT 2016

The April 28, 1945 issue of "The Saturday Evening Post" attributed
"They got us surrounded again, the poor devils." To Sgt. Constant
Klinga as indicated in the later issue of "London Stars and Stripes".

I have not located the supposed match in "LIFE" magazine, yet

Date: April 28, 1945
Periodical: The Saturday Evening Post
Article: Rat Chase to the Rhine.
Author: Collie Small
Volume 217, Issue 44,
Start Page 18, Quote Page 19, Column 1
Database: Ebsco Academic Search Premier

[Begin excerpt]
In a little more than seven weeks, the 4th Armored spearhead hurtled
from Normandy to the Moselle River, rolling up some 1500 speedometer
miles. They threw a pincers around beautiful Nancy and in a roaring
fifteen-day battle knocked out 281 German tanks. It was on the Moselle
that Sgt. Constant Klinga, of Brooklyn, made his classic observation,
"They got us surrounded again, the poor devils."
[End excerpt]


On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 3:12 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> More citations: The April 30 1945 issue of "London Stars and Stripes"
> attributed the remark to a member of the 4th Armored Division named
> "Sgt. Constant Klinga of Brooklyn" and referenced earlier articles in
> "The Saturday Evening Post" and "LIFE" (both magazine have been
> digitized and I will search for the articles shortly).
> In addition, an instance appeared in an Associated Press article
> published March 6, 1945 in the "The Amarillo Globe" of Amarillo, Texas
> which was trickier to locate because it employed the euphemism
> "so-and-sos" instead of "bastards". The remark was attributed to an
> unnamed soldier based on the testimony of Corp. Newman L. Tuttle of
> Albert Lea, Minn. of the 101st Airborne Division.
> Date: April 30, 1945
> Newspaper: London Stars and Stripes
> Newspaper Location: London, Middlesex
> Article: No Celebrations in U.S. As Yanks, Reds Link Up
> Quote Page 4, Column 2
> Database: NewspaperArchive
> [Begin excerpt]
> The 4th Armored Division has been getting a big play in newspapers as
> the spearhead of Gen. Patton's drives and now the magazines are
> getting around to writing about it. Last week's Life magazine carried
> a long story about Lt. Col. Creighton Abrams, one of the 4th's heroes.
> The Saturday Evening Post ran a detailed article about the 4th by
> Collie Small, which it calls 'the story of the immortal 4th Armored
> Division's stampede to glory." The article, entitled "Rat Chase to the
> Rhine," traces the Division's activities from Normandy across the
> Rhine.
> There's one discrepancy between the Life and SEP accounts, however.
> The Post attributes to Sgt. Constant Klinga, of Brooklyn, the
> Division's classic observation about Germans: "They've got us
> surrounded again, the poor devils." According to Life it was "the poor
> bastards."
> [Begin excerpt]
> Date: March 6, 1945
> Newspaper: The Amarillo Globe
> Newspaper Location:  Amarillo, Texas
> Page Number 4, Column 3
> Article: 'They've Got Us Surrounded, The Poor So-and-Sos!'
> News Service: Associated Press
> Database: Newspapers.com
> [Begin excerpt]
> SALT LAKE CITY, March 6 (AP) —"They've got us surrounded, the poor so-and-sos."
> An American paratrooper said that at the siege of Bastogne in the
> Belgian bulge in December and his remark was typical of the spirit of
> the U. S. soldiers caught in what the Germans must have thought was an
> inescapable trap.
> The unnamed soldier's remark was recalled here today by Corp. Newman
> L. Tuttle of Albert Lea, Minn., a member of the 101st Airborne
> Division cut off at Bastogne for a week without food or ammunition.
> [End excerpt]
> Postscript: A snippet visible in "Words on war: military quotations
> from ancient times to the present" suggests that Constant Klinga died
> in action later in the war.
> Garson
> 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
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