The Battle of the Bulge Tour
On the 16th of December 1944, Adolf Hitler launched his last (major) offensive, to try and win the war in the West – codenamed “Wacht am Rhein” (Watch on the Rhine). This later became widely known as “The Battle of the Bulge”
Therefore -yet another German lightning strike, through the rugged and seemingly impenetrable, heavily forested Belgian Ardennes, during the coldest winter since records began, against ill-prepared, battle weary, resting American troops, who held a very thin defensive line, on the Belgian/German border…
After a massive artillery barrage at 5.30 a.m, the huge German armored columns, with supporting Grenadiers (Infantry), pressed forward and attacked, therefore rapidly overwhelming the shocked, exhausted and unprepared American 99th Infantry soldiers, in their freezing cold foxholes, on the Belgian/German border
Later, this became widely and famously known as “The Battle of the Bulge”, because of the “bulge” it caused on the allied situation maps
I will show you where these huge shells landed, amongst the American front line positions, on the edge of the forest
FOR THE ULTIMATE WW2 GUIDED BATTLEFIELD TOUR EXPERIENCE !
The “Battle of the Bulge” was not just about Bastogne !
Many many more, Belgian & Luxembourg towns and villages, were fought over and devastated and were just as important !
MINIMUM TOUR DURATION: 2 DAYS (3 & 4 day tours also available)
MINIMUM NUMBER OF PERSONS: 2
THE NORTHERN SHOULDER TOUR
I specialize in particular, in the Northern Shoulder of the “Bulge”. This is the area on the German/Belgian border, near the villages of Krinkelt, Rocherath, Hellanthal & Hollerath, where it all began, on the 16th of December 1944.
It’s where the U.S 99th Infantry Division earned their Baptism of Fire
I find this area the most fascinating, because it’s hardly changed at all, since those terrible days, in Winter 1944 & 45. I know this area intimately, having hiked many miles, over many years, in all weathers, to further my research.
It’s a beautiful, very peaceful area with thick pine forests, deep ridges and fast flowing streams. The nature is wonderful & we will be alone during your tour. Far away from the traffic and commercial chaos of Bastogne, where all the coaches go.
This area still has so much of the original battlefield evidence. It does require some hiking along forest trails, but the effort is very rewarding. There are many blown German bunkers deep in the forest, masses of foxholes, gun pits, M.G nests, clearly defined trench systems, artillery crators, aid stations, command posts, American field graves, memorials, rebuilt churches, “Dragon’s Teeth” of the Westwall, & even shrapnel & barbed wire still on the forest floor !
This Battlefield Tour could also be combined with my “Hell of The Hurtgen Forest Tour”, as the “Northern Shoulder” is only 25 minutes drive from the edge of The Hurtgenwald
Below Photo: U.S marked mortar tube lids, used by the 99th Infantry Division, (Battle Babies), on the very first day of the “Bulge”. I found many of these, just lying on the forest floor, in September 2019
STOUMONT – Below- family of a veteran: David Fleming & his sister Sherry, standing outside the St Edouard Sanitorium, Stoumont, in May 2018.
Their uncle – Staff Sergeant Alton “Buster” Fleming, was one of just 4 American Sherman tanks from the 740th Tank Battalion, that assaulted the German S.S held building, in Stoumont-
-during fierce battles in late December 1944, whilst hundreds of Belgian civilians, sheltered terrified in the building’s basement
SPECIALIZING IN GUIDED, BATTLE OF THE BULGE TOURS, FOR VETERAN’S FAMILIES (& GENERAL PUBLIC), IN THE ARDENNES
JOACHIM PEIPER – We can follow some of the original, narrow route, through the Ardennes, taken by fanatical S.S Colonel Joachim Peiper’s massive 25km long armoured column, (Kampfgruppe Peiper), at the beginning of the “Battle of the Bulge”.
NORTHERN SHOULDER – All the way from the “Northern shoulder”of the “Bulge”, near Losheim in Germany, to the quaint Ardennes villages, of Cheneux, Stoumont and La Gleize, in Belgium, where the German advance was dramatically halted by U.S forces.
HOCKERLINIE – A fine example of “Dragon’s Teeth” (anti-tank defences), of the Westwall “Siegfried Line”, on the Belgian/German border, bomb crators from the initial German heavy artillery barrage, aid station, U.S & German command posts, blown bunkers, trenches and a large quantity of untouched foxholes
Northern Shoulder – 99th Infantry areas of combat – Below: Michael & Sandra Brown, from Arlington, Texas, on tour with me in December 2018. Here they are standing in an American G.I’s foxhole (99th Infantry Division). Sandra is a very successful author and Michael is a former T.V presenter
FOXHOLES & TRENCHES (NORTHERN SHOULDER)
LOSHEIMERGRABEN – The brave Battle for the strategic and vital Losheimergraben Crossroads, featuring an outline of the battle and a look at a temporary American command post, memorial to the 99th Infantry and American mortar positions in the forest
VITAL CROSSROADS – Plus the original customs houses, where 99th Infantry American soldiers, took up their positions and bravely held back the initial German advance
ROLLBAHN B – A look at a Corduroy Road (American constructed supply road from Murringen) & “Creepy Corner” -a section of the dense and dark forest, that claimed many lives, on the Belgian/German border and where missing in action’s – PVT Alphonse Sito’s body was discovered, decades later
10th ARMORED DIVISION – BASTOGNE – Photo below, shows me guiding the family of a 10th Armored veteran, (CCB tanker) around Bastogne and showing them U.S foxholes, in late early November 2018.
It was a very satisfying moment, when I found this fired M1 garand rifle bullet, on the edge of a G.I’s foxhole, near Marvie, as I was looking for a piece of shrapnel for them.
This bullet popped out of the ground 74 years after it was fired here. Therefore ,a great piece of history for the family, to take back to the United States!
LANZERATH – The peaceful little village of Lanzerath, on the Belgian/German border and the heroic story about the young American officer – Lt Lyle Bouck and how he and a handful of soldiers, from the “Schirmbusch” forest, halted Peiper’s advance, for almost 18 hours, before being finally overwhelmed and captured, after their positions were over-ran, by fanatical Falschirmjaeger (Luftwaffe) German infantry
BUCHOLZ – A very sudden, brave and bitter battle at the former Bucholz Bahnhof (Railway station), against PEIPER’S rapidly advancing German grenadiers, along the former railway line
HONSFELD – The capture and subsequent Waffen S.S execution of unarmed American G.I’s at Honsfeld and the memorial to the victims. Besides the random executions.
ATROCITIES – The S.S even stole the boots from the corpses. The German armor crushed the bodies, as they turned the corner and headed towards Bullingen. Civilians were also murdered here
HEAVY FIGHTING IN BULLINGEN -The location on the outskirts of Bullingen, where a handful of U.S soldiers fought heroically, to halt the lead vehicles of Peiper’s column. In Bullingen itself, German half-tracks were sprayed with bullets, from the American soldiers, occupying houses in the main street. Hand grenades were thrown from windows, into these open-topped vehicles
AMBLEVE – A town and bridge where some of Otto Skorzeny’s Commando’s were captured, posing as American’s in a captured Jeep (Operation Greif)
LA FOSSE – Crash site location of missing American B24 Liberator “KING SIZE” and a look at hundreds of the artefacts, that our team has very recently discovered, over a 4 year period and on the site in March 2018 (photos below) A brand new memorial is now at this location
BULLINGEN – Bullingen Church and the location in Bullingen of the former American fuel dump, captured by Peiper’s men, during his push through the Ardennes. Bullingen Church was heavily damaged during the battle by artillery and there was fierce combat, between the gravestones, hand to hand combat in the houses and running battles in and around the church
BAUGNEZ – the infamous “Malmedy Massacre” near the Baugnez Crossroads, by members of the Waffen SS -including the actual location of the field, great monument & excellent museum. I will tell you all about the terrible atrocity that occurred here on December the 17th, 1944, that resulted in the execution of 84 unarmed American soldiers
WERETH – The Wereth massacre Memorial (11 American coloured soldiers captured and murdered by the WAFFEN S.S here)
ORIGINAL TANKS & HALF-TRACKS !
LIGNEUVILLE – The Battle at Ligneuville and yet another S.S atrocity. The execution of 8 more unarmed captured American soldiers, behind the Hotel Du Moulin, by Peiper’s fanatical S.S soldiers
BEAUTIFUL STAVELOT & THE RIVER AMBLEVE – The heavy battles for the vital town of Stavelot and the Ambleve bridge.
The 3 blown bridges at Trois Ponts, plus a look at The Petit Spai Bridge over the Ambleve River, which collapsed, as the first German armoured vehicle attempted to cross it
KAMPGRUPPE KNITTEL & STAVELOT CIVILIAN MASSACRES
KNITTEL – S.S commander Gustav Knittel’s temporary Command post, on the western edge of Stavelot. His S.S Kampfgruppe attacked the eastern side of Stavelot, to try and dislodge American troops in all the houses, cross the Ambleve and reach and re-inforce a stranded Kampfgruppe Peiper
Schnelle Gruppe Knittel – Gustav Knittel’s Kampfgruppe S.S, committed atrocious executions, of 138 innocent civilians, (men, women and children were randomly massacred by angry young S.S troopers) on this side of Stavelot (In Renardmont, Parfondruy and Ster) and in the town of Stavelot itself
LEGAYE HOUSE MASSACRE – The tragic civilian massacre at the Legaye House, by the S.S
END OF THE GERMAN ADVANCE – The Battles for Stoumont, Stoumont station, Rahier and Cheneux (82nd Airborne) & the vital halting, of a column of 3 of PEIPER’S Panther Tanks, near Stoumont Station, which ended the advance, including a look at Joachim Peiper’s command posts, along the route & where Peiper’s column were strafed near Cheneux
SANITORIUM – A visit to the huge St Edouard Sanitorium, where a hugely important and decisive battle occurred (740th Tank Batallion against Peiper’s S.S), as both sides fought desperately, to take control of this battle ravaged, strategic building, which commanded views over the battlefield
TROIS PONTS – The S.S massacre of Belgian civilians at Trois Ponts
DOLLINGER’S KING TIGER TANK – The huge, battle damaged, 68 ton King Tiger Tank, at La Gleize and the wonderful La Gleize museum, packed full of original artefacts, found on the surrounding Battlefield
CIVILIAN TRAGEDY – Below: The Legaye House, Stavelot – Tragic scene of just one of the many cruel, civilian massacres by the S.S in and around Stavelot
KRINKELT & ROCHERATH – The ferocious 3 day battle for the twin villages of Krinkelt and Rocherath. Lots of battle evidence here, including shell crators, German & American (99th Infantry) trenches, foxholes, command posts, aid-station.
FIELD GRAVES – Locations of field graves and memorials, where American & German soldiers have been found, decades after the war.
HASSELPATH Memorial, The Krinkelterwald & Rupenvenn areas. Command posts, foxholes, trenches, aid-station, artillery crators
CELLES – The damaged German Panther tank and the story of it’s demise at Celles, near Dinant- one of the last actions of The Battle of The Bulge (optional)
SIGHTSEEING IN BEAUTIFUL DINANT – We can go for lunch nearby, in the beautiful little town of Dinant on the river Meuse, with it’s ancient hilltop castle, beautiful river and stunning panoramic views (optional)
ARDENNES AMERICAN MILITARY CEMETERY , with it’s immaculately tended graves and memorials (optional)
LA ROCHE & THE BRITISH INVOLVEMENT
La Roche – The beautiful little town of La Roche, deep down in the valley and sitting astride the Ourthe River. La Roche saw heavy fighting and there are many foxholes, in the forests, surrounding this charming, scenic Belgian town. A Sherman Tank, museum & Memorials can be seen here, as well as an “ACHILLES” Tank.
In addition to this, La Roche has a beautiful ancient castle to explore
51st Highland Division – La Roche is where the British (51st Highland Division), were involved and fought incredibly hard, against the fanatical German attackers
HETZER -A superb & original very rare German Hetzer Tank is on display in the town of La Roche
BEFFE – The battle damaged Sherman Tank memorial at Beffe (Task force Hogan)
BASTOGNE & EASY COMPANY (506th P.I.R of 101st Airborne)
HEINTZ BARRACKS (Bastogne Barracks & Brigadier General Anthony McAuliffe’s Headquarters during the siege) & the excellent 101st Airborne Museum nearby
ENCIRCLEMENT – The German encirclement of Bastogne and the Sherman tank turret memorials, on all the major approach roads, marking the defensive positions
TASK FORCES – Locations of the 3 Task Forces defensive/blocking positions, of the 10th Armored Division. (Task Force Cherry, Task Force Desobry & Task Force O’Hara)
OTHER IMPORTANT VILLAGES – The villages of Bizory, Bourcy, Champs, Foy, Neffe, Noville, Longvilly, Longchamps, Mageret, Marvie, Mont, Wardin etc (These strategic villages all encountered heavy fighting & shelling)
SCREAMING EAGLES – Several superb monuments to the 101st Airborne – Bastogne
GENERAL McCAULIFFE -McCauliffe Square and the battle scarred Sherman Tank -Bastogne
HOTEL LEBRUN -Location of the former Hotel Lebrun (10th Armored)
10th ARMORED – Bastogne Church and the location of the former aid-station, for the 10th Armored (where Belgian nurse – Renee Lemaire was tragically killed by a direct hit on the building) & 101st Airborne Airborne’s aid station, in the Seminary
ASSENOIS – The battle scarred Belgian Pillbox on the Assenois road -Bastogne, where the encirclement was broken
C47’S – Parachute re-supply drop-zone location, outside Bastogne (C 47 drop zones)
RENEE LEMAIRE -Belgian Nurse -Renee Lemaire’s grave and the Bastogne Civillian Cemetery, where so many American soldiers were temporarily buried
RECOGNE – The Recogne German Military Cemetery & former site and memorial of the American Cemetery nearby
SCHLOSS ROLLEY -where LTC Steve Chappuis (silent Steve) was decorated with the D.F.C
BAND OF BROTHERS -at FOY – Easy Company’s (101st Airborne)- “Screaming Eagles” foxholes, in the Bois Jaques woods, near the village of Foy & the attack on Foy, by Richard Winters men, of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment
AIRBORNE MUSEUM – Bastogne – Excellent museum, dedicated to the 101st Airborne. So many original artefacts on display, here on 3 floors and a fantastic simulation, of the devastating Christmas Eve bombardment, by the Luftwaffe
SCHUMAN’S ECK – An Abundance of untouched foxholes, shell crators and trenches, outside Bastogne, where a fierce battle occurred at Schuman’s Eck.
MARDASSON MEMORIAL- The huge and impressive Mardasson Memorial, situated on the former Battlefield and museum (optional)
“HEARTBREAK CROSSROADS” & HASSELPATH
WAHLERSCHEID – The terrible Wahlerscheid Crossroads battle – “Heartbreak Crossroads” (99th Infantry and U.S 2nd Division). Lots of trenches, bunker ruins, M.G nests and battlefield evidence can be seen here
THE “BATTLE OF THE BULGE” IN LUXEMBOURG
WILTZ – The Luxembourg town of Wiltz and Sherman Tank Memorial. Plus a visit to the excellent museum
BETTENDORF – The Bettendorf River Crossing Location & memorial plaques
HOESDORF – 109th Infantry memorial & beech trees where G.I’s carved their names
HAMM – American Military Cemetery & a visit to General George S. Patton’s Grave
SANDWEILER– Large Germany Military Cemetery
REISDORF – 109th Infantry Regiment
DIEKIRCH – The fantastic WW2 Historical Museum inc Sherman
CLERVAUX – Sherman & U.S foxholes/German positions
ETTELBRUCK – Superb mounument to George S. Patton & 3rd Army, plus Sherman
HENRI-CHAPPELLE American Military Cemetery – with it’s immaculately tended graves of the fallen, including Medal of Honour recipients and the grave of Brigadier General Frederick W Castle. 7,992 American soldiers are buried here, who fell in Europe during WW2. The rows and rows of beautiful white headstones stretch out over 57 acres, in this beautiful and peaceful location.
LOMMEL German Military Cemetery, with over 38,000 graves – a silent sleeping army of young boys and men. Many who fell fighting on Christmas Day! Some infamous burials here also, including S.S, Kreigsmarine & Wehrmacht officer’s and soldiers (optional)
HOUFALLIZE – A Heavily bombed and destroyed Ardennes town, on route to Bastogne, which was vitally important for the German advance
CAULDRON OF LA GLEIZE – For the more adventurous, we can hike the first part, of S.S Colonel – Joachim Peiper and his 800 men’s arduous escape route, from the cauldron of the besieged village of La Gleize, during Christmas 1944. (3 hour duration approx.) A very tough hike, because of the steep terrain, but well worth the effort ! (OPTIONAL)
Rick & Rachel from near Perth, Australia – standing next to “Dragon’s Teeth” of “The Westwall”, on the Belgian/German border, during a recent July 2017 tour…..
GRANDMENIL & MANHAY
HOTTON – The Hotton British Military Cemetery – a very tranquil location
MANHAY & GRANDMENIL -The story of the fierce Battle for the little villages of Manhay & Grandmenil over the freezing Christmas of 1944 – a beautiful location, with it’s tranquil ambience – once devastated by war.
TROU de LOUP – A heroic and incredibly brave story of American Corporal Richard Wiegand and how he single handedly stopped a column of 9 Panther Tanks, on Christmas Eve 1944. Nice memorial here
PARKER’S CROSSROADS (Baraque de Fratuire)
BARAQUE de FRATUIRE – “Parker’s Crossroads” and the story of what happened here, against an overwhelming German attack, by Heinz Lammerdings S.S troops
PANTHER TANK – An original German Panther Tank, that fought in the battle of Manhay and Grandmenil (2nd S.S Das Reich),can be seen near here in Grandmenil. Great for photos !
GRANDMENIL ARDENNES MUSEUM -the New Museum here is superb !
MALEMPRE – Malempre – the S.S route of advance & occupation of this tiny Ardennes village