This massive monument is very impressive. Shaped as a five point star it lists all the divisions who fought in the battles around Bastogne. It details the battle and the outcome. From the observatory on top directions to the different battles are pointed out. The Battle of the Bulge has been described as many small battles fought by men who knew nothing about what was happening elsewhere. Fought in the depth of a bad winter the circumstances could not have been worse. There were forces surrounding Bastogne committed to keeping the Germans out. Despite all attacks they succeeded.
This is a must see!
This was a great museum, a little on the small side, but with lots going for it. We tried to pick and chose museums that would give us the most impact since we didn't have time for them all. This covered everything. They had real items on display, they had small and large dioramas, they had a nice layout that had a good historical progression, there were explanations which were informative, at the end there was a great movie about the Battle and of course the gift shop with books, battle insignia, figurines etc. Between the museum which we hit as soon as it was open and the Monument right beside it we spent a good morning. We were glad we came early cause buses were pulling in as we left disgourging tourists by the dozens.
This is where the German siege was broken 26 Dec 1944 by "an assault of six (possibly eight) U.S. tanks led by 33 year old Lieutenant Charles Boggess. "
"After intense hand to hand fighting - " a clubbing, beating melee," according to one account- Lieutenant Boggess led a small group of Sherman tanks through the rear of a weakened German position at the village of Assenois, just south of Bastogne. Hunkered in foxholes facing the Germans, American GI's rushed out to meet the tanks. The German line had been breached. For five days the Germans attacked in furious bursts, but the wall of Patton's narrow corridor held."
The story of how and why they were able to accomplish this can be fascinating to read. They just happened to be the division closest to the need, but still their ability to arrive quickly was due in large part to Patton's training and belief in his troops.
We visited a few other places: the Bois de Paix, which was a park with trees planted from different nations, of which the U.S. was not represented, and which was nice, but still needs more time and work.
We also went in search of the 506th foxholes. We didn't find them, but found a new monument recently erected honoring this "Band of Brothers" whose stories of the horrors of battle are the stuff of legend. Finding this place further away from Bastogne than I would have imagined help illuminate the individual battles that each division had to fight.
The center of town is the Place McAuliffe. It is surrounded by fun looking buildings, hotels, restaurants and shops. Parking fills the middle. Next to the street is the main tourist office and an American jeep. I seem to recall a sign on the jeep advertising tours. This is where you want to go to begin your tour of Bastogne and the surrounding areas.
The bust of General McAuliffe is on the corner. He was the one leading the poorly equipped and poorly supplied soldiers of the 101st who had rushed in to fight the Germans without supplies and without a plan. Regardless, they didn't give up and they didn't give in. Their story is so well told in "The Band of Brothers".
Here "Medal of Honor recipient James Hendrix alone attacked a german gun position, killing two and capturing the rest of its crew on Dec 26 1944. The area was the site of horrendous artillery bombardment, an estimated one shell per square meter falling here."
We visited on a quiet evening. The site is small and not much to mark the real battle. Mr Hendrix returned in 1999. That must have been an emotional visit all around.
Park your car at square general MCauliffe or in that area, and visit the probably most photographed tank, the Sherman tank.
Direction Neufchateau you find a small square behind some houses where you can park for free.
30 metres further you find a very small museum, filed with local stuff and in the basement you find material about the first and second world war.
It's possible to buy things like a helmet from WW2 but be aware of the huge prices.
Entrance is 3 euro, children till 12 year are free.
Just outside Bastogne is a very nice museum dedicated to the Battle of the Bulge and the defense of Bastogne. The museum is full of weapons, uniforms, and other equipment from the battle. The cost is 8,50 € unless you are a WW2 vet, then it's free. Adjacent to the museum parking lot is the Mardasson Memorial. Climb up the stairs and get a very nice view of the area.
General Anthony Clement McAuliffe (July 2, 1898 - August 11, 1975) was the United States Army general who commanded the defending 101st Airborne troops during the Battle of Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II. He was famous for his single-word reply to a German surrender ultimatum: "Nuts!"
Born in Washington, DC on July 2, 1898, McAuliffe was a student at West Virginia University from 1916-17, and graduated from West Point in November of 1918. He rose through the ranks from Second Lieutenant in 1918 to General in 1955.
According to various accounts from those present, when McAuliffe was told of the German demand for surrender he said "Aw, nuts". At a loss for an official reply, Lt. Col. Kinnard suggested that his first remark summed the situation up well, which was agreed to by the others. The official reply: "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" was typed and delivered by Colonel Harper and Major Jones to the German delegation. Harper had to explain the meaning of the word to the Germans.
Some sources have suggested that McAuliffe's initial remark was in rather stronger language. In an interview McAuliffe gave in his office in the spring of 1954 to a group of ALOs (Air Liaison Officers), McAuliffe was asked what he really said, and McAuliffe replied he said "***" in response to the German demand
The Mardasson Memorial was erected near Bastogne to honour the memory of the 76,890 American soldiers who were wounded or killed during the Battle of the Bulge. Besides the memorial is the Bastogne Historical Centre, which houses uniforms, vehicles, and other memorabilia. It also shows a 24-minute movie assembled from footage shot during the battle.
All the exhibited equipment and uniforms are authentic. Still nowadays, the exceptional collections of the museum keep growing richer notably thanks to donations made by collectors and veterans and thanks to constant research.
And this is how the general of armoured troops, the baron Hasso von Manteuffel gave the museum the leather coat he was wearing during the battle. And how the artillery captain Bernard Jacobson sent back the roadsign « Bastogne » well known thanks to the famous photo of the general McAuliffe with two officers showing this roadsign to the world.
These two objects still appear in good place in the museum’s glass cases.
A very rich collection of weapons, uniforms and objects necessary to life during the conflict is also presented through the whole museum.
The audioguides that the museum has recently acquired allow visitors to understand even better the Battle of the Bulge thanks to detailed comments.
And when you finish the tour, don't miss the commemorative temple right outside the museum.
A little but very nice museum not far from the main square.
Inside the museum you can find a little bit of everything about WW2. But as well few things about ancient local jobs.
At the entrance a small shop, where you can buy real souvenirs from WW2.
Patton was considered to be the liberator of Bastogne. He died from a car accident in Germany on Dec. 21st 1945. He wanted to be burried among his troops that died during the Battle of the Bulge, and his wish was honored.
The Mardasson Memorial (American Memorial) is a star shaped monument in tribute to the American soldiers that fought and died during the Battle of the Bulge. You can climb to the top of the Memorial for a view over some of the battlefields, key points of the Battle of the Bulge are marked. The memorial was inaugurated in 1950, it is inscribed with the names of all 50 states but I'm curious how Alaska and Hawaii (which are out of alphabetical order) got added since they were the last two states admitted in 1958 and 1959 after the Memorial was completed.
In the center of town is a square named after famous American General McAuliffe whose short and sweet response to the German demand to surrender was "Nuts!".
There's a visitors center here as well as a bust of McAuliffe and a tank. There are restaurants and hotels lining the square.