What Ypres is to the First World War, Bastogne is to World War II. This small city in the Belgian Ardennes is one of the most important spots in Belgium for war tourism and to commemorate the Second World War.
And more specifically the Battle of the Bulge. This fierce battle, also known as the Ardennes Offensive, was one of Hitler’s last attempts to defeat the Allied Forces in Western Europe. The battle took place in December ’44 and January ’45 and resulted in one of the bloodiest chapters of the Second World War.
The Ardennes Offensive had been planned with extreme secrecy by the Nazis. Because of this – and also because of allied overconfidence and moments of neglect later in the war – the Nazis were able to surprise their adversaries. Bastogne was one of the key scenes for this epic battle.
A gigantic counteroffensive ensured the clash was settled in the advantage of the Allied Forces.
Tens of thousands of soldiers and citizens lost their lives between 16 December 1944 and 25 January 1945.
Lots of vehicles that were used during the Battle of the Bulge are put on display in the Bastogne Ardennes 44 Museum. Scenes from during the battle have been rebuilt
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