This is another picture showing US Tripp’s as they engulf themselves in a thanksgiving meal on the Western Front during World War Two. If you notice, they are taking refuge inside a bombed out house.
While my last post went into detail about thanksgiving itself in 1944, this one will focus more on what was happening in the war in that year.
So thus far, the western allies had decisively defeated the allies in Normandy, liberated Paris, torn eastward, failed during Operation Market Garden which set in stone a longer war, liberated southern France, and were now piercing into Germany itself after acquiring victory at Aachen.
The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was raging by the time of thanksgiving, and the US were suffering large amount of casualties as a result.
In the East, the Soviets were forcing the Germans into hard retreats all across the entire front as they simply outnumbered the Germans on land and in the air by too much. In Italy, the Germans had been pushed back to the Gothic Line in the North and were holding there against the US, British, and other nations such as Free France. The Gothic Line would not fall until spring of 1945.
But, back to the western front where these men were. The Battle of Hürtgen Forest is often shadowed by what came after it: the Battle of the Bulge. Hürtgen was meant to be the staging point for the allies to flank the Germans and surround them in Aachen. That or to simply pin German troops down so that they couldn’t reinforce Aachen. The Germans, on the other hand, attempted to pin down the allies, and it worked, and they knew they needed to hold the enemy off until preparations were ready for their Ardennes Counter-Offensive (Operation Watch the Rhine) (the Battle of the Bulge).
So, to put it’s plainly, these troops were most likely not in a state of calm when they were jamming their teeth into this thanksgiving meal. They were probably thankful for the good meal, but their minds were no doubt preoccupied by the current battle.