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Battle Of The Bulge


December 1944: The Weather Prayer for the Battle of The Bulge. Stuck at Bastogne, weather so overcast that air cover could not protect his 3rd Army troops, Nazi Panzer tanks unstoppable without our planes bombing them, General Patton asked his Third Army's head chaplain, James Hugh O'Neill, an American Catholic priest for a weather Prayer. While Patton was heard saying, "Father O'Neill has an in with the Creator", click here to hear Fr. O'Neill's recollection of the event in his own words called "The True Story of the Patton Prayer" which he wrote to clear up the different versions of the event, including one by General Patton and another by the Baltimore Sun.

Despite the extreme cold and overcast

"I have never been so cold in my whole life!" Mina Harrison, 18 years old, recalling the wards in her field hospital in the Battle of the Bulge
"General Patton prayed for fair weather for Battle. He got it."Fr. O'Neill

of winter, the prayer worked. The Allies' bombers got in and Germany's last major counterattack of World War II was over.

Father O'Neill's work was not done, however. [See wedding pictures below] After WW II he also married Col.William H. Harrison, Patton's youngest General Staff officer to Mina Cohan, American Red Cross in Munich.

Harrison's prediction had come true.

  • Dec. 8th - Stalemated by winter and no possible air support, Patton orders the Weather Prayer.
  • Dec. 12-14 - 250,000 copies of the Prayer Card and Training Letter No. 5 reach the troops.
  • Dec. 16th - the Battle of the Bulge begins with Nazi Panzers and troops break thought the Allied lines.
  • Dec. 19th - Third Army diverts north from its eastern progress to try to reverse the break-through.
  • Dec. 20th - The Prayer is answered. Weather clears.
  • Dec. 21-26 - The Allies aerial bombardment begins and the tide of the war reverses.
  • May 8th, 1945 - Victory in Europe (VE-Day)

George Patton signed their menu

Married by Msgr. James H. O'Neill

Their wedding was held in one of the few Munich buildings not bombed out.