During the Battle of the Bulge, on the morning of 22 December 1944 the American 101st Airborne Division holding the town of Bastogne was encircled by the German army. Under orders to hold the town at all costs, Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe just laughed when a German party crossed the lines to demand the Americans' surrender.

His one-word written reply lives on as one of the great quotes of World War II. The return communique read, simply:


and was signed, The American Commander.

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