Just before Christmas, 1944, Hitler mounted his last major offensive in a final effort to break out of the encircling Allied forces. His army pushed westward, deep into Allied territory, hence the name Battle of the Bulge. In their advance, German troops encircled and swept past a small Belgian town named Bastogne held by the American soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division.
The besieged troops of the 101st were commanded by Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe, a stocky American of Irish descent. When contacted by the German commander von Rundstedt with an ultimatum to surrender his hopeless position in Bastogne, McAuliffe sent back a one-word response: "Nuts!"
Patton’s Third Army troops were so inspired when they heard about this show of courage that they battled through bad weather and stiff resistance to rescue McAuliffe and his men.
Check out this YouTube video on how choosing the right words can make a difference.