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WW II Christmas 1944 Card from Gen. Patton to Third US Army

WW II Christmas 1944 Card from Gen. Patton to Third US Army

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The Christmas Card was created on 8 December 1944, written by Msgr. James H. O'Neill, Chief Chaplain of the Third Army. He wrote it at the request of Gen. Patton at Third Army Headquarters, then located in the Caserne Molifor in Nancy, France.

This is the text of Patton's Christmas Prayer, on the other side of the card. Rain had plagued Third Army throughout the Moselle and Saar Campaigns from September 1944 to 8 December, the motivation for the words:

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies, and establish Thy justice among men and nations. Amen.

About 250 thousand of these cards were printed and distributed. By Christmas Day 1944, Patton's troops were committed to the relief of Bastogne, Belgium, the key engagement of the Battle of Bulge. Just when needed, the skies cleared enabling crucial supplies to be airdropped to the defenders and allowing time for Third Army to arrive.

Today in WW II: 17 Aug 1940 Italian armed forces under Marshal d'Armata Rodolfo Graziani invaded and occupied British Somaliland, threatening American Red Sea merchant shipping and British access to India.  More 
17 Aug 1942 Raid on Makin Atoll in the Gilbert Islands, led by Lt. Colonel Evans F. Carlson, USMC.
17 Aug 1943 RAF attack (Operation Hydra) on German V-2 rocket facility at Peenemünde demolishes the factory. Over 500 Allied bombers dropped 1600 tons of explosives and 280 tons of incendiaries.
17 Aug 1943 First Quebec Conference [QUADRANT] held between British, Canadian and United States governments [August 17-24].
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Visit the World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.
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