[Ads-l] Battle of the Bulge Quote

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 2 00:57:26 UTC 2016

Interesting; thanks, GC. One of the citations I posted presented a
linkage to paratroopers.

The March 6, 1945 citation was based on testimony from a member of the
101st Airborne Division named Corp. Newman L. Tuttle who heard the
euphemistic phrase "They've got us surrounded, the poor so-and-sos."
The phrase was spoken by unnamed American paratrooper.


On Sun, May 1, 2016 at 10:43 PM, Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu> wrote:
> I forwarded one of Garson's messages to John McManus, Professor of History at my campus
> and a leading expert on World War II. Below my signoff is the reply he sent, which I now present with
> his permission.
> G. Cohen
> Missouri University of Science & Technology
> [from John McManus]:
> I think the quote is really more of an airborne affectation. Their ethos was centered around the idea of operating successfully behind enemy lines and among the enemy. Plus, they had an elite mentality that said they were better than anything or anyone the enemy could throw at them. So, during the siege at Bastogne that quote was popular among many of the paratroopers. It sort of caught on as a way to buck up morale. The 4th Armored was never surrounded at Bastogne so, if soldiers from that unit used the phrase later in the war, I suspect they must have heard it from the paratroopers and copied them.
> John
> ________________________________________
> From: American Dialect Society [ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole [adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM]
> Sent: Sunday, May 01, 2016 12:08 PM
> Subject: Re: Battle of the Bulge Quote
> 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]
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
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