The 101st Airborne Division (“Screaming Eagles”) is an elite modular specialized light infantry division of the United States Army trained for air assault operations. It is the most potent and tactically mobile of the U.S. Army’s divisions, and has been referred to as “the tip of the spear.” The 101st Airborne at a moment’s notice is able to plan, coordinate, and execute brigade-size air assault operations capable of seizing key terrain in support of operational objectives, and is capable of working in austere environments with limited or degraded infrastructure. Its unique battlefield mobility and high level of training have kept the Division in the vanguard of America’s land combat forces in recent conflicts. More recently, the 101st Airborne has been performing foreign internal defense and counter-terrorism operations within Iraq and Afghanistan.
The 101st Airborne Division has a nearly century-long history. During World War II, it was renowned for its role in Operation Overlord (the D-Day landings and airborne landings on 6 June 1944, in Normandy, France), Operation Market Garden, the liberation of the Netherlands and, perhaps most famously, its action during the Battle of the Bulge around the city of Bastogne, Belgium. During the Vietnam War, the 101st Airborne Division fought in several major campaigns and battles including the Battle of Hamburger Hill in May 1969.
By 21 December, the German forces had surrounded Bastogne, which was defended by both the 101st Airborne and Combat Command B of the 10th Armored Division. Conditions inside the perimeter were tough—most of the medical supplies and medical personnel had been captured on 19 December. CCB of the 10th Armored Division, severely weakened by losses in delaying the German advance, formed a mobile “fire brigade” of 40 light and medium tanks (including survivors of CCR of the 9th Armored Division, which had been destroyed while delaying the Germans, and eight replacement tanks found unassigned in Bastogne). Three artillery battalions, including the all-black 969th Field Artillery Battalion, were commandeered by the 101st and formed a temporary artillery group. Each had 12 155 mm howitzers, providing the division with heavy firepower in all directions restricted only by its limited ammunition supply (By 22 December artillery ammunition was restricted to 10 rounds per gun per day.) The weather cleared the next day, however, and supplies (primarily ammunition) were dropped over four of the next five days.
Despite several determined German attacks, the perimeter held. The German commander, General lieutenant Heinrich Freiherr von Lüttwitz, requested Bastogne’s surrender. When General Anthony McAuliffe, now acting commander of the 101st, was told, and a frustrated McAuliffe responded, “Nuts!”
After turning to other pressing issues, his staff reminded him that they should reply to the German demand. One officer (Harry W. O. Kinnard, then a lieutenant colonel) recommended that McAuliffe’s initial reply should be “tough to beat”. Thus McAuliffe wrote on the paper delivered to the Germans: “NUTS!” That reply had to be explained, both to the Germans and to non-American Allies.
History records that the defenses of Bastogne held until General Patton’s tank division arrived. Expecting to be relieved, the 101st was commanded to go on the offensive. They fought valiantly against the best of the German divisions and retook all ground lost to the enemy. They were finally relieved approximately one month after heading for Bastogne.
I read this to you today because of its relevance to what I believe God is saying to you.
Just like the times faced by the men of the 101st, these are not ordinary times. The enemy is angry and is pushing forward to counter moves made by God. I’m sure the men of Bastogne were frightened when they saw the ferocity and determination of the enemy to force surrender or destroy their very presence.
When surrounded by the German divisions, the men of Bastogne sent a message to headquarters asking for help and direction. The answer came back:
Hold at all costs.
The people of God are seeing the enemy pulling out all the stops; employing tactics not seen in many years in our country or maybe ever. We can cry out to headquarters for rescue but the command is coming back to fight on.
Many soldiers are tired. Many are facing need. Many are wounded. God told me to give you this response from headquarters to your cry for rescue.
This is a directive to warriors and not wimps. It is a directive to those chosen by God for such a time as this. Just as the apostles and first century believers were chosen to begin the faith in the face of adversity, you have been chosen to close out the battle in the face of enemy aggression and madness.
This response from heaven tells us:
- You are not forgotten.
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! Isaiah 49:15
- Depend upon Me.
The word “wait” or “hope” means to: to bind together (perhaps by twisting). Twist yourself around the Lord so tightly that there is no way you and He can be separated. This is time to decide where you are going to make your stand!
- Supernatural power and renewal is coming!
Abundant increase is coming!! A change like not seen before is in store! For those who are willing to stand and fight, spiritual transformation which will bring fruit is being poured out!
- We are not “defending”, we are “offending”.
The enemy is not responding to our defeat but our victory!!! Do you understand? Our enemy is angry because of the Lord’s audacity! This is a time for offensive warfare!
I am proud to be a part of “The Tip of the Spear” – God’s army of this hour! You are a part of the greatest movement in human history: the ushering in of God’s end time kingdom! Trust God to take care of you. Surround yourself with like minded people. If you’re wounded, find one of “God’s medics” and get healed. It’s time to send back an answer to the enemies’ demand for your surrender. What will your answer be?
Let’s fight on for the glory of God!