On this day in 1945, the Battle of the Bulge ended. In the snows of the Ardennes, the American fighting man shattered the last Nazi offensive, opening the way to Germany and the destruction of a monstrous regime.
The Battle of the Bulge, a surprise attack, was not much photographed. I decided to celebrate this victory with images from D-Day, which was long planned and amply recorded for history; only the last photo is from January 1945.
The background scenery for D-Day was awesome, in a very different sense from the way my kids use this word. But look at the soldiers’ faces: so young. Six months later, in the Ardennes, they appear to have aged a lifetime.
Fast-forward 65 years to January 2010 and the horrific earthquake in Haiti. Once again, Americans, military and civilian, are on the move to provide assistance. The French, who never forgave our GIs for saving their country, lost no time condemning US relief efforts as an “occupation” of Haiti. Hugo Chavez, whose imagination outstrips even his rage, blamed the earthquake on a “tectonic weapon” wielded by the US military.
Strangely enough, nobody thought to ask the Haitians what they thought . . .