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February 19, 2017

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WWII document that spurred ‘Nuts!’ response displayed at Antique Arms Show

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The letter a German commander presented to the U.S. in Bastogne, Belgium, during World War II is on display this weekend at the Antique Arms Show in Las Vegas.

The German document that demanded the American surrender and provoked the famous response “Nuts!” from a U.S. general during World War II will be displayed at the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show at the Westgate this weekend.

On Dec. 22, 1944, during the key Battle of the Budge, a German commander wrote: “There is only one possibility to save the encircled U.S.A. troops from total annihilation: that is the honorable surrender ...” Brig. Gen. Anthony McAuliff’s typed one-word reply: “Nuts!”

Outnumbered by German troops and armaments at the time, McAuliffe’s determination at the battle of Bastogne, Belgium — a key city in the region — helped the Allies hold the Western front.

The document, estimated to be worth $10,000-$15,000, is part of 82 lots of antique arms and militaria being auctioned by Witherell’s online until Jan. 25.

The 22 lots from the McAuliffe estate also include an engraved, sterling silver pitcher with idyllic scenes of Bastogne valued at $1000-$2,000, photographs, press clippings and other personal itiems.

“Antiques Roadshow” appraiser Brian Witherell is also displaying a Secret Service copy of the Potsdam Proclamation draft, a World War II bomber jacket and an 18th century Persian axe blade to the show.

Hours for the Las Vegas Antique Arms Show are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The cost is $15 daily. The show registration desk is through the casino in the convention-area foyer.

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