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

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com
Sun May 1 10:09:57 PDT 2016

Here is a slightly earlier citation that attributed the saying to an
anonymous "beaten up little GI Joe" during the Battle of Bastogne.

Date: February 10, 1945
Newspaper: The Boston Herald
Newspaper Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Article: Many Subjects Deserve Notice
Article Subtitle: Snow, Black Hat, Fund, USO, Luzon, Little Gl Joe and Tenor
Byline: Bill Cunningham
Quote Page 7, Column 1
Database: GenealogyBank

[Begin excerpt; check for OCR and other errors in cite and text]
Via Stuart Rand, I have seen a letter from Maj. Norman R. S. Thompson
of Newton Center, who was on duty with the famous American group that
stood its ground against Von Rundstedt at Bastogne. The Major
nominates for the list of historic US battle sayings the cry of "a
beaten up little GI Joe" in the midst of that bitter seal-off when
things looked toughest for the Yanks, "So they've got us surrounded!
The poor bastards!" . . .
[End excerpt]


On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 12:36 PM, ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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]
> 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
>> _______________________________________________
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