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What was unique about the Battle of the Bulge?

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Deborah Sheldon eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Battle of the Bulge in late 1944 was Hitler's last ditch effort to save Germany from defeat.  It is somewhat ironic that with all of Hitler's racist rhetoric, and his policy of genocide, that his Nazi forces would face off against African-American soldiers during the campaign.  The Battle of the Bulge represented the first time that the U.S. Army fought with integrated units during World War II.  The integration of the armed forces during this battle was not a moral crusade of any sort.  A necessity due to losses was the motivation for allowing over 2,500 black soldiers to participate alongside white troops in the Battle of the Bulge.  All-black units fought alongside white units in the defense of Bastogne.  In most cases, they worked behind the lines.  As casualties mounted on all sides, Generals Eisenhower and Lee asked for volunteers to fight alongside white soldiers in an effort to deliver defeat to the Nazis.  Several thousand black soldiers answered the call before the end of the war.  

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