A reminder of the past ↑ all posts

A reminder of the past

Just outside of Bastogne lies a five pointed memorial to the nearly 80,000 US soldiers who were wounded or killed defending the area in December 1944. A surprise attack by the Germans was launched under cover of heavy fog, the goal was the port of Antwerp on the north coast. They hoped to quickly break through the weakly defended Ardennes, and the Allies barely held on as their lines were pushed backwards into Belgium (this expanding German territory gave the battle its name: the Battle of the Bulge).

Freezing temperatures, heavy snow, and the lack of supply drops due to the bad weather meant that thousands died from exposure in addition to the fighting. After a prolonged and bloody defence of Bastogne the weather began to clear and the tide began to turn. The huge monument at Mardasson is a dramatic and moving memorial to the thousands that died here.

I headed towards Arlon, with giant pillars of pink and gray thunderclouds boiling upwards in the east.