Image Size: 19 x 25 3/4
1945 Limited Edition
40 Artist Proofs
In executing a plan code-named Watch on the Rhine and then renamed Autumn Fog, a quarter-million German Soldiers launched a surprise attack at 0530 A.M. on December 16, 1944 against 83,000 American troops along an 85 mile front of the Ardennes Forest in Belgium. The Americans bent but did not break; the German onslaught bowed back their line, giving the battle its name. In scope, intensity and duration, it was the single greatest battle the Army fought during World War II. It was also the last great German offensive.
The strategic crossroads for the entire area was a town named "Bastogne". On the morning of December 19th the American 101st Airborne Division arrived in Bastogne and immediately began defending the town.
Following five days of bitter, costly fighting, the 4th Armored Division broke the ring of German units encircling the 101st Airborne Division and lifted the siege of Bastogne. At 4:50 P.M. on December 26, 1944, three Sherman Tanks led by 1st Lt. Charles Boggess in the lead tank "Cobra King" spotted American troops in foxholes with German troops nearby. Leading the tanks out of a wooded area with all guns firing, Lt. Boggess's tanks dispersed the Germans and stopped the tanks close to the Americans. He then yelled from his open turret to the surprised Americans, "Come here! This is the 4th Armored!" 2nd Lt. Duane J. Webster of the 101st Airborne came forward and said: "Boy, are we glad to see you". Both the 4th Armored and the 101st Airborne Divisions were later awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation by President Franklin Roosevelt, the only two full divisions so honored in the World War II.