Uncorking a rebel yell

A popular former teacher’s wartime heroism

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The impenetrable Ardennes — an area bordering Belgium and Luxembourg the French high command believed in the 1930s would protect their county from a German invasion.

In fact, the forest, with its seemingly impassable, winding roads, would be the point of a military spearhead in 1940 that would allow German forces to overwhelm French defenses in a matter of weeks.

During the 1930s, France built a series of technologically advanced fortresses, known as the Maginot Line, along its frontier with Germany.  But, when an invasion came, German planners simply sent their armies around the line though the Ardennes forest, the least defended part of the French border.

Four years later, another German military action at the same point, intended to ward off total German defeat, would prove to be the beginning of end for the Axis power on the western front in what Allied forces would later call the Battle of the Bulge.

A young Tennessee native, who eventually would become a familiar face to many Clinton High School students, was serving as a Captain in the U.S. Army and, like thousands of his generation, would find himself in the middle of one of the bloodiest battles of the Second World War.

• Read  the complete story in the Friday, Feb. 16 print edition of the Clinton Journal or now in the Journal E-Edition by subscribing.