On the 22nd of December, 1944, General Anthony McAuliffe and his staff were encircled by German forces in the town of Bastogne during the 'Battle of the Bulge'.

Having received a message from General von Lüttwitz asking them to surrender, McAuliffe's immediate reaction was to ball the message up and exclaim 'Nuts!'. After deliberating with his staff how to word their reply, they eventually decided that his original reaction was perfectly succinct, and sent just that on the return correspondence.

The confused Germans had to have the message clarified, being told that it roughly equated to 'Go to Hell!'