January 11, 2017 09:00 AM PST Gallery
Ends January 25, 2017


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World War II Surrender Demand Letter

Original typed letter from "The German Commander" to "the U.S.A. Commander of the encircled town of Bastogne" requesting the "honorable surrender" of the American troops as, "There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation". The German Commander offers a two hour window - "The order for firing will be given immediately after". On December 22, 1944 at approximately 11:30 am a small group of German soldiers approached the American troops near Bastogne. The Americans were members of the F Company of the 137th Glider Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division under General Anthony McAuliffe. The Germans demanded to see the Commanding Officer. The Americans blindfolded the German soldiers and brought them to the F Company Command Post. The message was read to Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe in his sleeping quarters adjacent to the communications center. McAuliffe's reply was, "nuts". In fact, McAuliffe originally asked if the Germans were wanting to surrender. Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Ned Moore corrected him that the Germans were asking the Americans to surrender. McAuliffe's typed reply read, "To the German Commander, NUTS!  The American Commander." This encounter occurred during the Battle of the Bulge, December 16, 1944 - January 16, 1945, in which the German Army attacked Ardennes as well as Bastogne where McAuliffe was a Commander. Bastogne was the ultimate goal of the German offensive as it controlled many access and through roads. McAuliffe and the 101st Airborne Division was able to hold Bastogne and is considered one of the supreme accomplishments of the American Military. The surrender request was typewritten on two typewritten on two sets, one in English and one in German. This is the English version. Accompanied by an envelope, "United Sates Forces / Official Business / handwritten in pencil, Original of Bastogne surrender demand." Dimensions: 11.62" x 8.25". Provenance: Estate of General Anthony McAuliffe thence by family descent. Processing and shipping within the continental U.S. $25.00 plus 1.5% replacement cost insurance. Please note we do not accept credit cards. 

Condition:

Generalized toning with three horizontal folds. Small crease at upper right corner with very small (.12") tear upper edge and small (.25" x .1") loss upper left corner. Upper edge of envelope affixed to paper. Witherells strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherells. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions.

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$23,125
01/11/2017

 

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Witherell's strives to provide as much information and photographs as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Condition statements are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Witherells. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions.