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银装素裹的Luzulo-Fagetum山毛榉林,比利时阿登 Luzulo-Fagetum beech forest covered with frost and snow, Ardennes, Belgium (© Philippe Moes/Alamy)

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银装素裹的Luzulo-Fagetum山毛榉林,比利时阿登 Luzulo-Fagetum beech forest covered with frost and snow, Ardennes, Belgium (© Philippe Moes/Alamy)

The Battle of the Bulge 75 years later

Seventy-five years ago this week, the Battle of the Bulge began in the forests of the Ardennes in Belgium. On the morning of December 16, 1944, the beleaguered German army threw its best remaining troops and armor against a lightly defended section of the American and Allied line. Bad weather neutralized Allied air superiority and over the first few days, the Nazi offensive produced a 'bulge' in its offensive west into Belgium. Desperate to hold the line, US General Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to hold the strategically important crossroads in Bastogne. The town was surrounded for nearly 10 days by German forces, but the Airborne held out. In fact, a German demand for Allied surrender was rejected with a single word: “NUTS” (a bit of 1940s American slang that needed to be explained to the Nazi officers). This weekend, the town of Bastogne has been celebrating NUTS Weekend, an annual tribute to the soldiers who defended the town in 1944.

Festivities include a military parade, a walk around the perimeter, and even the 'Jet de Noix' (throwing of the nuts).