Members of the 101st Airborne Division as they Move Out of Bastogne, Belgium

December 26, 1944Photograph

Despite being greatly outnumbered and facing heavily armed German forces, the poorly equipped and lightly armed 101st Airborne Division held the city of Bastogne. The delay allowed General Patton’s 4th Armored Division and the 26th Infantry Division time to break the encirclement and clear a path to the American lines on December 26. The 101st Airborne Division walked out of Bastogne and immediately joined in the effort to drive the Germans out of Belgium, despite losing more than 2000 men during the siege.

Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration

The 101st Airborne Division moving out of Bastogne, Belgium