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Battle of the Bulge -- self tour

I'm headed to Belgium (driving through Luxembourg) and I want to see the Battle of the Bulge "area".
I'm trying to find a self tour.

Is there an Address that I can put into my GPS to guide me to the "area".

I know this was not a specific spot where the battle happened, I just need to know where to "start".

Thanks

Posted by
25532 posts

maybe start with the museum in Diekirch, Luxembourg dedicated to the battle, with evenly balanced exhibits and dioramas showing the battle from the point of view of the local Luxembourgers, the Americans and the Germans...

I don't know how they are functioning post-covid though.

Maybe visit the military cemetery near the Luxembourg airport which includes General Patton's grave?

From there make your way to the town of Bastogne and go from there.

Posted by
436 posts

Try using a guide book like “Battle of the Bulge Battlefields” by Robert J. Mueller. Alex Kershaw’s “Longest Winter” is a good read. Keep in mind the “area” of the battle extends from below Bitburg (South) to Monschau (North) and west as far as La Gleize. It was a campaign and not a single set piece battle that you can dial into a GPS. Bastogne was a siege battle, La Gleize was the limit of westward German advance, St Vith was a major engagement that saw Americans hold against overwhelming German forces and out on the Schnee Eifel the near destruction of the 106th Division.

Do some serious homework and map out what you would like to see. Otherwise it’s the endless forests and rolling hills of the Ardennes in Belgium and Luxembourg with little obvious evidence of the battle. In the decade past 2000 I was in the Ardennes a number of times and only scratched the surface of the Battle of the Bulge. Good Luck!

Posted by
5883 posts

Malmedy? There was a well-documented massacre of US troops there.

Posted by
138 posts

Be sure to go to the Bastogne War Museum. One of the best and most intriguing museums in the area focusing on the Battle of Bastogne. You can choose to identify with one of 4 people who were in the battle, both German and American soldiers, a housewife, and a teen age boy and follow the exhibits from their perspective. There are several “tableaux” that cleverly re-create significant events in the battle. An outstanding museum! There is also a 101 Airborne museum nearby but we were unable to visit due to time constraints.

Posted by
436 posts

The Malmedy Massacre occurred at the crossroads at Baugnez. There’s a monument there commemorating the event.

Posted by
2268 posts

In September 2019, we hired Reg Jans and Frank Gubbels for two days' worth of tours.

We stayed at the Hotel Melba in Bastogne - around the corner from the 101st Airborne Museum, which is well worth a visit. In the basement, you can experience a simulated bombing from inside a shelter. The museum is a few steps away from the building where nurse Renee LeMaire was killed during the shelling - in 9/2019 it was a Chinese restaurant, but there is a plaque outside the building. And, a few steps from that building is the house where Hitler stayed when he visited Bastogne in 1941 (I think it was 1941).

The German cemetery, maintained by Volkswagen, is a poignant place to visit.

We were interested in the contributions of the 17th Airborne, so much of our second day was spent south of Bastogne. In Houmont there is a small church with a stained glass window dedicated to the 17th Airborne - unfortunately the church was closed when we were there. But there are some interesting markers and maps outside the church. In Flamierge, you can see the ridge known as Dead Man's Ridge. I am surprised by how many people, including current and retired military, have never heard of the 17th Airborne.

The "Nuts" bar in Bastogne is touristy, but worth the price of a drink to check out the pictures and memorabilia on the walls.

Please come back to this Forum and let us know how it went.

Posted by
269 posts

All very good suggestions cited above. EP, I too was in Bastogne in September of 2019. I also recommend staying in the Hotel Melba in Bastogne. Stepping out of the front door and turning right takes you to the 101st Airborne Museum. Stepping out and turning left takes you to the town center with restaurants and a visitors information center. The Bastogne Barracks are only open for tours on Wednesday(?). It is currently an active Belgian military installation. The Bastogne War Museum is worth a visit. When we were there last year (September 2019) the Mardasson Memorial was closed due to refurbishment work going on. As you go north from the War Museum on N30 towards Foy you will be in the area of the German cemetery. Just driving in the area you will come across military memorials. We happened to be driving down a back road and came upon a memorial that had been vandalized that was in a section of forest where a battle took place. I would not take the time to see the George S. Patton memorial nearby. Not worth it. I would definitely spend time in Luxembourg as suggested above.
BTW, you did not mention where you are coming from and where you are heading to to assist us in making further suggestions.