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> OLLI Session 2 > Wednesday Session 2

"Root Hog or Die!:" Famous Last Stands in History   

Before the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, General George Patton told his Third Army troops, "Everyone in this army must understand that we are not fighting this battle in any half-cocked manner. It’s either root hog or die!" The phrase "root hog or die" is an idiomatic expression meaning self-reliance or simply, "We are on our own!" For Patton and the Allies at the time, the Bulge was a potential "last stand," and if not checked, might have resulted in a German victory that could have prolonged the war. History is replete with other "last stands." They conjure up romantic images of courage, desperation, and heroism. We will examine in this course five of these "last stands" and identify their historical contexts, differences and similarities, importance, and legacies.

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