PAX: Boiler, bogey, Big Short, Ice Tea, Jenner, Rousey (GrandStrand – Myrtle Beach SC), Maguire, My Space, Passport, CableGuy, Crown vic, Legacy, Roadkill, Wedding Singer FNGs: None
At 05:30 on December 16, 1944, an 1.5-hour artillery barrage announced the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge. German forces swept through the Ardennes forest, attempting to split Allied forces in two and to retake the deep-water port of Amsterdam. They were met by unexpectedly strong American resistance from small units scattered across the sparsely defended region. The fighting took place in horrible conditions, marked by snow, mud, and misery.
At 05:30 on Dec. 07, 2022, 15 PAX gathered in the gloom to commemorate these events by performing the following exercises:
SSH; Cherry Pickers; LBAC (fore and aft); Michael Phelps; Downward dog; Cobra Kai; Child’s Pose; Moroccan Night Clubs.
(1) Siegfried Line – PAX scouted the Seigfried line, performing 20x Thrusters, Bent-Over Rows, and Atlas Shrugs.
(2) Kampfgroup Peiper – PAX Bear-crawled the path taken by Kampfgroup Peiper from the Loishem gap toward its objective on the Meuse River. PAX Bear-Crawled 60 yards, stopping at the following strategic points:
Loseheim – Because Germain Engineers did not repair bridge, Peiper had to turn South. 20x Bridge-Ups.
Lanzerath – A small group of Americans (18 members of reconnaissance platoon and 4 forward artillery observers, hold up Peiper’s advance for over 12 hours). 500 German paratroopers attempt to overrun the US position, but are held back. In their honor, PAX completed 22 Tempo Merkins.
Honsfeld – Piper’s column captures 50,000 gallons of US fuel, allowing the column to continue advancing. PAX performed 20x Gas Pumpers IC and 20x Plank Jacks.
Malady – Captured US soldiers are told to stand in a field beside a cross-road, then shot by Peiper’s SS troops. 84 US POWs die. Peiper’s 10-mile column of tanks continues to periodically fire into the field as it pass. Some US soldiers survive by hiding beneath the bodies on their comrades. Word of the massacre quickly spreads through US lines, strengthening American resolve.
In remembrance of the Malady Massacre, PAX perform 84 exercise counts: Body Weight Squats (20); Single-Count Lunge Steps (20); Squat Jumps (24); Easy-Way Bonnie Blairs (20).
Trois-Ponts / Stoumont – Piper’s column stalls, then is attacked by Allied planes. Because US engineers have blown all bridges between the Germans and the Muese, Piper’s task group cannot reach its objective. US warplanes destroy German armor and men as they retreat. PAX perform 20x Dive-Bomb Merkins, Bridge-Ups, and Merkins.
To celebrate Piper’s retreat, PAX Bear-Crawled all the way back to the Siegfried line (conveniently located in the end zone).
(3) Shoulders Hold Strong – To celebrate the strength of the defenders on the “shoulders” of the bulge–the remnants of the 99th Division defending Elsenborn Ridge in the north and the 28th Infantry division holding its flank in the South–the PAX performed Thrusters, Magellans, and Atlas Shrugs.
(4) St. Vith – To Commemorate the 7,000+ men lost (captured or killed) from the 106th Infantry Division, the defense of St. Vith, the strategic retreat from the town, and the Allied counter-attack, PAX perform 106 counts of exercises: 20x American hammers; 20x BWS; 20x Air Press; 20x Merkins; 20x Air Press; 6x Burpees. Running retreat between exercises.
(5) Shoulders Hold Strong – To further celebrate the strength of the defenders on the “shoulders” of the bulge the again PAX performed Thrusters, Magellans, and Atlas Shrugs.
(6) Bastogne – PAX formed a defensive perimeter around the critical intersection in Bastogne, forming an out-ward-facing ring in forward-leaning rest position. They collectively performed 101 Merkins IC, holding plank as the Merkins went around the circle.
U-S-A! U-S-A!; U-S-A!
CIRCLE OF TRUST/BOM:
The Battle of the Bulge always reminds us of the power of perseverance. When faced with unexpected challenges, ordinary soldiers soldiered on, focusing on doing their jobs. Doing the job before them allowed them to withstand, then turn, the German offensive. As we face December’s month of waiting for holidays and celebrations, it is important for us to do our jobs. Don’t let the promise of vacation distract you from your vocation. And don’t allow the holiday rush brush aside your call of kindness to all.