Joe Doherty's article was timely
Coming just before the Dec. 16 63rd anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, your "Thermopylae in the Ardennes" headline and story couldn't have been more timely.
Those of us who checked out "Thermopylae" on the Internet or in an encyclopedia treated ourselves to a history lesson that emphasizes how much more there was to the 99th epic battle on the North Shoulder than the ritual attention the media pay to Bastogne far to the south.
As paraphrased from the World Book's excellent version:
The mountain pass of Thermopylae on the east coast of Greece was the site of a famous battle in 480 B.C. between Greek and Persian armies.
Persian King Xerxes invaded Greece with a huge army and navy, planning to march through the pass into central Greece.
The much smaller Greek army of 10,000, under King Leonidas, hoped they could halt the Persians by defending the narrow mountain pass. They succeeded for two days before being surrounded. This delayed the Persian army long enough for Greece to prepare for battle on the island of Salamis where they then defeated the Persians.
(For "Persians," read "Germans," and for "Central Greece" read "Antwerp.")
Elliot Wager M/393
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