Battle of the Bulge - places to visit/stay

I may get caught up in a 2-nighter in December.

Anyone got a suggested itinerary?. Good places to stay in the vicinity for 8-10 bods would be particularly useful.
Poppy Travel has recently toured the Battle of the Bulge area and takes tours there.

It’s a big battlefield and you will need to be selective to design a two day tour. What is your interest? This will determine where you might stay.

Some themes include....

The KG Pieper story - following the path of the leading battlegroup of 1 SS Division, most notorious for the massacre at the Bagneuz crossroads. You can start at Losshein in Germany and end up at La Gleize, where you will find the last of the KG's King Tigers. That is a day long tour. Two museums – one at Bagneuz and one at La Gleize. (one day)

Northern Shoulder – Fighting for Rochrath and Krinkelt and the defence of Elsenborn Ridge and Malmedy .Lots of opportunities to match the battlefield photography against the locations. (half day – day)

Battle for Bastogne - based around the town of that name. There are lots of memorials and relicts as well as the only substantial German Cemetery in the area. You can start with the German Our crossings and the defence of skyline drive If you know where to look you can find the slit trenches of the defences, including those f other “Band of Brothers” (half day to a day+ @ Bastogne and or half day Skyline Drive)

The fight for St Vith. Follow the story of the doomed 106th Infantry division on the Schnee Eiffel and the defence of St Vith. Lots of slit trenches from both sides can be found in the woods as well as bits of the Siegfried line. You can match some of the best known photographs from the battle to a fight on the Recht Poteau road and an n excellent museum at Poteau on the battlefield which supports half track rides around the ambush site. (full day)

Dash for the Meuse – the fighting from 20th Dec. The story of Parker’s crossroads - the battle for Manhay – Panther tank still marks the exent of 2nd SS attack. (half day)

The British battles in the Ardennes. 3RTYR v 2 panzer Division at Dinant and Celles. 6 AB Division on 3-5 Jan, including the fight for Bure, when 13 Para and 2 Ox and Bucks have a very tough fight. The attacks by the 53rd Welsh and 51 Highland Divisions towards la Roche en Ardennes. Quite a few memorials to the Brits in the Western Ardennes as well as a nice museum at la Roche and the CWC at Hotton. (half day – day)

The Southern flank – the fight for Echtenach and the fight by Patton’s army to relive Bastogne. Echtenach Wiltz Bastogne.

In two days pick a couple to do. You should include the Hotton CWC, even if you only stop by en route. Pick your hotel depending on where you want to end up. Bastogne is a good base if you covering central or southern area. If you want to start the day following the 6th Panzer Army and its opponents try St Vith or Malmedy.

If you need a guide - or are planning a staff ride or battlefield study - contact POPPY TRAVEL
Great advice from Poppy Travel.

My highlights of a recent trip were La Roche - an excellent museum , and a lovely little town. There is also a restored British Achilles 17 pounder tank destroyer up on the hill overlooking the town. Also, Google "Poteau 44", as there is a super little museum on the site of the infamous "ambush at Poteau". You can walk the ground and there are loads of relics in the museum. The curator is also happy to chat and show you round. You shouldn't miss La Gleize, with its King Tiger (awesome) and museum.

Yes, I am a tank geek, and yes, I am jealous. Have a great time but remember to check opening times of places you want to visit, as there are a few local peculiarities.
DavetheApe said:
Have a great time but remember to check opening times of places you want to visit, as there are a few local peculiarities.
Its worth phoning ahead, especially if you are visiting out of season. Some of the museums will open for a group.
Mr_Deputy said:
It was an old stone building with either a whole US tank (Sherman or Stuart) or a turret outside either way I believe it had shell holes in it. Inside there is a case containing a large number of damged/holed US and German helmets. There are photographs lining the stairs and mezanine floors. There is a room with snow and battle sound effects - ie to give idea of being on front line. It might even be a chilled room. Then a number of quite large rooms with many artefacts - weapons etc.
I suspect the town museum in Bastogne matches your description. It is on the junction of the N30 and N74 Rue Gustave Delperdange 24, 6600 Bastogne, Bastogne, Belgium‎ - 061 21 56 14‎

There are some good things about the museum you describe. In particular it does cover the story of the Belgians who lived in the area. One particularly thought provoking exhibit is a series of anonymous letters to the Gestapo denouncing neighbours as black marketeers etc.

The Bastogne historical centre near the Mardasson memorial is the best known - and has grabbed all the main links for "Bastogne" and "Military Museum". There are several private museums in and around Bastogne. A lot of the museums carry very similar material and it is easy to develop museum fatigue
If you are planning on stopping overnight in Bastogne there are some very good restaurants around the egde of the main square.

The beer is damn good as well - try the Geuze for a real treat.



Book Reviewer
I still have a map and notes from when we did Ex Pied Piper many years ago - led by our Regimental expert, Maj Gen Mike Reynolds. He was the author of "The Devil's Adjutant: Jochen Peiper, Panzer Leader", and had been a friend of Peiper for some years before the latter's murder by communist terrorists in 1976.

I can copy the notes if anyone wishes - in fact I'll try to get them scanned in to make a .pdf. The map is a bit trickier, as it is pretty big. Reference (in case some still exist in a shed somewhere in Moenchenscratchback) is:
BAOR Misc 739 Edition 1-GSGS

The tour itself was excellent, helped by Gen Mike knowing many of the locals pretty well. It's fair to say that in that particular corner of Belgium they were no at all anti-German, at least up until the 1980's :)

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