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Bastogne: where the Battle of the Bulge happened!

Posted by on September 29, 2018

One of the most famous battle sites of World War II was Bastogne, the crossroads there that had 7 main routes which included the road leading to the northwest to the port of Antwerp and another road going into Luxembourg. The United States had joined the fight over in Europe and were making great strides eastward towards Germany after jumping into France from the UK. While going eastward towards Belgium, the US forces were counterattacked by surprise to where the majority of the Allies forces was actually encircled and surrounded as Germany was focused on completely destroying the troops there in order to force a possible peace treaty so he could close one front (Western) by going through the diplomacy route and then put back all those Western resources on the Eastern front against the Russians. This was Hitler’s one big gamble that his men could outflank, surprise, counterattack, and completely destroy the Allies because otherwise the road to Berlin was going to be eventual one.

modern day bastogne battlefield belgium world war 2 ii field yard battleground

This is Bastogne today after years after the battle. It’s definitely not like what it looked like back then after all the years of healing.

museum world war ii french belgian country borders grounds

In commemoration of the battle, a museum has been built for the Battle of Bulge at Bastogne.

gun machine 50 caliber cal world war ii army soldiers war killing people

This is a 50 cal machine gun. Amazing, how someone must have found this and eventually got put into the Battle of the Bulge Museum.

ww2 machine gun mg42 german deutsch

This is a German machine gun also known as a MG42. A lot of US troops hated going against these things.

us world war 2 two ii guns small arms military soldiers doughboy

Common US small arms weaponry: M3 grease gun, M1 30 carbine, and the famous M1 Garand rifle.

rocket launcher bazooka ww2 military history belgian german wars europe

It’s a bazooka or rocket launcher. The US military used these to shoot the underbellies of German tanks to disable them.

Many of the US troops who died in the Battle of the Bulge were later buried at Luxembourg in a special cemetery there. Even General Patton, who didn’t die in the Battle of the Bulge, was leading General of the Third Army who went in racing to relieve the US and Allies there, making it in time to prevent the complete collapse. This was a big turning point as this was the last big battle that the US military faced and basically went into Germany facing smaller counterattacks until the end of the war and eventual occupation. This occupation also led to the Nuremberg trials which saw a big portion of the Nazi leadership get tried and executed (unless they committed suicide) due to crimes against humanity for allowing concentration camps such as Dachau or at Auschwitz.

sherman tank wwii ww2 ww 2 ii allies nazis luxembourg belgium war battlefield guerra mundial dos aleman estados unidos ejecrcitos

This “blockbuster” tank was one of the Sherman Tanks that was probably part of Patton’s Third Army that went into Bastogne.

tank buster destroyer bundeswehr germany army tanks panzers heavy armor

It’s an artillery tank or better known as a tank destroyer, German-made and used. It probably got destroyed during the Battle of the Bulge and later restored after rusting around before being put into a museum.

ww2 ii motorcyle bike vehicle transportation message carrier courier miitary

It ain’t a Harley but it sure looks fun to ride around in it.

Tip: The rest of Bastogne is not much to look at. Just note that even though Belgium is a dual-speaking country of both French and Dutch, in this part of the country, it’s primarily a French-speaking province. Even the people don’t speak much English. So if you want to eat a nearby restaurant, the menus might not be in English nor the staff able to speak English. So know some French!