Ernest Harmon’s Battle of the Bulge

My author copies have arrived, so I know for sure that this exists: in the November 2012 issue of Armchair General, I’ve got an article on General Ernest Harmon, and his command of the 2nd Armored Division during the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944.

Harmon is someone whom I’ve come across a number of times since college. Olympian, World War I veteran, University President, and part of the invasion of Africa during the Second World War, he stands out for his gruff demenor and ability to overcome a number of challenges when faced with difficult situations. I pick up his story when the Allies faced a major counterattack by German forces. On December 16th, he and his command, the 2nd Armored Division (aptly nicknamed Hell on Wheels) were located in Germany. When the nature of the Bulge attack became apparent, he and his division drove to Marche, a 70 mile night journey over icy roads, where they were hit by the German forces, effectively stopping the attack.

You can read up on the actions here, from my paper on the Battle of the Bulge and Norwich University, which helped start up this article. I travelled out to Belgium last year, and was able to visit a couple of the battlefields at Ciney and Celles. Here’s what the terrain looks like:

Harmon was a really facinating guy to write about, simply because he was so out there, and willing to bend rules and orders when he recognized a gap between what his superiors saw and what he, on the ground, saw.

The November issue of Armchair General should be heading out to subscribers (you can subscribe here!) shortly, and will be on newsstands sometime later this fall.