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WW2 sites in Belgium and Lux

Planning a trip for June through eastern France, Lux and Belgium. I am interested in WW 2 sites, particularly related to the Battle of the Bulge. Any tips, ideas or special places will be appreciated. Probably will base in Ettlebruck and travel by car from there. thank you

Posted by
5607 posts

If your interest is Battle of the Bulge, then Bastogne is a must. In eastern France there are a number of Maginot line forts one can visit.

Posted by
2040 posts

There’s an amazing WWII museum in Diekirch, just a few minutes away from Ettelbruck. It’s filled with items left behind in the fields after the battle of the bulge, including a tank, trucks, lifesize dioramas using actual uniforms, even letters & photos from soldiers who fought there.

I think Ettelbruck is an ideal location. Are you aware that public transportation in Luxembourg is free (trains & buses) and Ettelbruck is a transportation hub for that part of Luxembourg?Also there’s a Patton museum in Ettelbruck.

Posted by
7564 posts

Don't miss the American Cemetery in Luxembourg. General Patton is buried there, but I found it was the rest of the cemetery that was particularly moving.

Posted by
37 posts

I really enjoyed visiting (by car) places in Belgium from the Battle of the Bulge that were featured in the "Band of Brothers" TV series. As you probably know, this is based on real people and actual events (Easy Company of 506th parachute, 101st Airborne). I don't remember the particular town names or how I found them, but there were plaques marking specific spots where they fought. I think I probably re-watched the relevant episodes, noted the town names, and googled.

Belgium and Luxembourg and tiny. We stayed in rented house (gite) in the Ardennes (in Belgium) and drove around. BTW, the castles in Luxembourg are amazing, but that's not WWII.

There are also many super interesting WWI sites in those regions, should you be interested in that war -- the big ones obviously being Flander's Field in Belgium and Verdun in France. I personally enjoyed those more than the WWII sites.

Posted by
16 posts

Thanks for the replies. I am very interested in the area around Wiltz and Ettlebruck. My father served there so I’d love to see any trails or “living history “ ideas nearby. I do plan a day trip to Bastogne as well.

Posted by
31082 posts

I am very interested in the area around Wiltz and Ettlebruck. My father served there

in that case, another huge plug for the exceptional museum at Diekirch. It shows in an excellent way how all sides, German, Luxembourgers, Americans, other allies, dealt with various phases of the war, especially when Luxembourg was under direct attack.

It is an excellent museum and fits exactly with goals.

Run by volunteers, check opening.

Posted by
3946 posts

Now sadly known as “the forgotten battle”, the liberation of the Scheldt was a key to the victory in northern Europe.

The Scheldt is a watery area between Belgium and the Netherlands. Dislodging the Germans allowed ships to move inland to Antwerp. The cold, deadly battle was led by Canadians with British troops and assorted air and naval support.

Many Canadians know nothing about the success. A feature movie was made in Dutch with English subtitles a few years ago and YouTube historians are busy.

I could find only one museum and haven't been there (until this spring....) It's top of the links.

Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland – Bevrijdingsmuseum Zeeland toont de bewogen geschiedenis van Zeeland tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Het museum besteedt daarbij in het bijzonder aan de Slag om de Schelde, (army propaganda newsreel)

Posted by
6704 posts

It's not a museum, but there are memorial thank-you plaques to the Canadian troops in the Brussels Cathedral and on the side of the (closed) Steen castle on the Antwerp riverfront.

Posted by
1875 posts

Southam, thank you for your post, I agree that the contribution to victory of the Canadian Army is still underexposed and deserves certainly more attention. I am longer familiar with the Battle of The Scheldt and the first youtube video too, seen it many times. Still amazed that it is actually swepped under the carpet and so never has become part of our collective memory, even in the Netherlands. The video is very informative , it can explain many aspects of this battle to my opinion very well and interesting for those who wants to know more about the period between Operation Market Garden and the Battle of The Bulge.

Antwerp, being the second largest port in Western-Europe played a vital role supplying the Allied Forces for entering Germany. Both, the Battle of the The Scheldt and the Battle of The Bulge had to do with the harbour of Antwerp. Supplies where vital for the Allied Forces moving further into Germany. One of the objectives of the Battle of The Bulge for the Germans was (the hope) getting Antwerp back after it was lost during the Battle of The Scheldt. Antwerp was attacked with more V2’s than London, proving how important this city was. Losing Antwerp was one of the main reasons the Germans lost the war.

In Zeeland where the Scheldt / Westerschelde estuary is located and in Antwerp too, you can find many little monuments remembering the fights.

Posted by
14030 posts

Totally agree with Wil and Southam, one of the decisive battles post- Normandie in the liberation of NW Europe. The role played by the 1st Canadian Army is completely overshadowed between the liberation of Paris and the Bulge (Ardennenoffensive) .

I heartily recommend "The Forgotten Battle" on the Scheldt operation, not an one dimensional film, issues of moral relativity are dealt with, portraying "raw realty" , a far superior film to "Band of Brothers"