70 years ago, Carl Wiggs from Montgomery, Alabama, was 19, a Private First Class, and stuck in a hole in the middle of Belgium’s Ardennes Forest fighting the deadliest battle of World War Two, the Battle of the Bulge.
At nearly 90 years of age, Carl remembers how he did what had to be done, and the fierce fighting that consisted of constant firing from both sides. To remember the 70th anniversary of the battle he will return to Belgium as part of a series of special memorial ceremonies where the Belgium people will thank Allied veterans for their part in helping to defend Belgium against the German forces.
The battlestarted with a surprise attack launched by the Germans who believed they could thwart Allied forces to take the key port city of Antwerp. The battle lasted around one month during December and January of 1944-5 in freezing, winter conditions. America lost around 19,000 men and around 90,000were wounded.
The Battle of the Bulge gets its name from the fact that while the Allied forces took a huge onslaught from the Germans, they bent slightly but they did not break, and managed to hold off the enemy at a vital turning point in the war. Around seven months later the Germans surrendered and World War Two was over, the WSFA.com reports.
During the commemorations in Belgium, the country’s King and Queen will be hosting part of the veterans’ visit and many, including Carl, will be able to visit the area in which they took part in the battle, and hopefully Carl will even be able to revisit the hole in which he fought from.
Carl suffered injuries to his feet from his time in the war, which he still feels the effects of to this today. Carl has been awarded with the Purple Heart for his service.