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Travel the World War II battle sites and cemetaries

I am interested in traveling to World War II battle sites in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany where my father was stationed. He was in the US Army. I know he was in the Rail Splitters Unit and have two or three books about their service and roster of men in the different service units of Rail Splitters. From what I can find online this group of service men, who got together for years after WW II, has been disband.

If you are interested in travel to the region. have already traveled to some of the sites, and/or know more about this group of US soldiers, I would like to hear from you.
Thank you,
Sandra Dvergsdal

Posted by
2081 posts


Ive only been to a handful of WWII places but i think you find them an interesting and reflective time while youre there. Im not sure how far and where the Rail Splitters were, but just being to some places were really interesting. I was at Bastogne last year and it was just awsome being in the town and being able to see where they stopped the German advancements out of town. Not alot of space between the town and the places either.

a recommendation for you is that if you can spend as much time as you can there. some of the places are being gobbled up by developers and its only time before there wont be any trace of the history other than plaques on the side of the road if any. Also, the WWII battle fields are spread out and one day isnt enough.

happy trails.

Posted by
14208 posts


I don't have much to tell you except a few suggestions: the name "Rail Splitters" was the name for a division, the 84th Inf Div. Since this division reached the Elbe, your father was part of the Ninth Army under Simpson. If you can get hold of the US Army official history of the 84th Div., you can find the path and sites of its advance until it was ordered to halt at the Elbe. Two American bridgeheads were thrown across that river, only one survived.

Were any of the books you looked through the division's history? Since the US Ninth Army in the last phrase of the war (March-April '45) was under British command, another source you could consult is the official history of the 21st Army Group, of which the Ninth was a part.

Posted by
306 posts

I can't go, and I can't comment on the Rail Splitters, but I did visit briefly the US military cemetery near Cambridge, England, last summer. I have a family friend in London who, when she found out I'd be in C, said her great uncle (he was a USAF pilot) had died near there in 1944 and was buried there. So I made a point to try to find his burial site. The cemetery volunteer on duty that morning gave me one of the most moving personal "ceremonies" I've ever received, even though I told him I was only a distant family friend, not a family member! He led me to the site, ceremoniously placed British and American flags on both sides of the marble cross, each a measured distance from the centerline of the cross, rubbed moist sand he said came from Omaha Beach into the engraved name and dates, brushed it all off with a brush he had brought along, so now the engravings were visible when I took photos, and then told me to take all the photos I wanted. When I was done, he ceremoniously rolled up the British and American flags together, all the while reciting the message essentially thanking the Americans for our sacrifices on behalf of his country, and then solemnly placed them in my outstretched hands. I admit I was close to tears, and this only for someone distantly related to a family friend! When I later recited as much of the ceremony to her, and placed the rolled-up flags in her hands as he had in mine, I was again close to tears. It was certainly one of them most moving moments I have ever experienced. I hope you have a chance on your trip to experience something close to it. If you do, you'll never forget it!