- Val du Scheid, Luxembourg
The Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial, located in Hamm and established on 29 December 1944, contains the remains of 5,076 Americans. Most of them died during the so called Battle of the Bulge. Among these graves is the one of the famous hero of the Bulge, the American General George Patton.
When the German offensive in the Ardennes began on 19 December 1944, the U.S. General Georges Patton, who headed the 3rd U.S. Army, was still in action in the Alsace, in the east of France. Nevertheless he promised the U.S. General Eisenhower, commander of all the allied forces and installed in Reims, to arrive in Bastogne before Christmas 1944. A risky challenge, since the winter was very cold and the icy roads hindered the vehicles. Patton and his men had to travel a hundred miles with heavy tanks. Between 18 and 31 December 133,178 vehicles covered 2 million kilometers and carried 41,933 tons of materials; an unbelievable rush from the Alsace to Bastogne.
The U.S. 3rd Armored Division, a hard-fighting unit, reached the besieged American defenders of Bastogne on 26 December. It was lieutenant Boggess who broke, first, the encircling of the weary paratroopers of the American 101st Airborne Division. But the fights against some of the best German infantry and tank units continued for several days. General Patton wanted to extend the small corridor to Bastogne. As soon as he received enough fresh supplies, he launched a great attack in the direction of the north of Bastogne. On 15 January, the offensive was successful.
After the war General Georges Patton became a hero. The allied victory in the Ardennes had made an end to German hopes. But it also meant the death of a lot of American soldiers engaged in the fight. Patton died in a car accident in Germany in December 1945. He then joined his men on the cemetery of Hamm, Luxembourg.
Fred Glavan left high school in Minnesota to join the elite American airborne forces. It took a long year of rigorous training before he received the proud paratrooper’s wings. Early in 1945 Fred’s unit was thrown into the Battle of the Bulge. In less than a week he was dead.
United States General George Patton made his reputation in North Africa and Sicily. The Germans feared his skill and bravura. Therefore he was put in charge of the fictional 1st U.S. Army Group, a successful ruse to convince the Germans that the invasion of Europe would take place in Calais, and not in Normandy.
In December 1944, when the Allies had advanced unto the Belgian Ardennes, they were completely surprised by three German armies. This was the beginning of the Ardennes Offensive or ‘Battle of the Bulge’. It was a last desperate attempt of the German Wehrmacht to cut through the allied lines. The battle lasted more than six weeks and took many lives on both sides.
The National Resistance Museum of Luxembourg can be found in Esch-sur-Alzette, in the southeast of the country. The museum retraces the history of Luxembourg from 1940 to 1945 through photos, objects and artwork. It focuses, among other topics, on Nazi oppression and the liberation of the country in 1945. A section is devoted to the system of concentration camps and to the fate of Jews in Luxembourg.
The National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, Luxembourg was created in 1984 by collectors and volunteers. The museum traces the course of the Second World War with a particular focus on the Battle of the Bulge. Through its collections of weapons, vehicles and diverse equipment, the MNHM illustrates the technical and logistic evolutions within the armed forces of the belligerent parties.
During the Battle of the Bulge, Schumann’s Eck was a significant crossroad where many American and German soldiers lost their lives. The National Liberation Memorial Schumann’s Eck was erected there on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Luxembourg. The memorial contains several plaques of the American units involved in the battle.
The Museum of the Battle of the Bulge in Clervaux illustrates the course of the Battle of the Bulge through documents and diaromas, military uniforms and authentic weapons. Since 1994 it has included the UNESCO registered photographic exhibition ‘The Family of Man’, made of 503 photos by 273 artists, and devised as a portrait of human life, from love and joy, to war, illness or deprivation.
The General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck was inaugurated in 1995. The museum is dedicated to General George Patton, commander of the 3rd US Army, whose troops liberated the town in December 1944. More than 1,000 photographs and documents are displayed relating to the German invasion, as well as weapons and pieces of equipment discovered on the Ardennes battlefield.
The Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial can be found in Neupré, Wallonia. The Memorial is a stone structure bearing on its facade a massive American eagle and other sculptures. The cemetery contains the graves of 5,317 American soldiers, 65% of them being fallen airmen of the U.S. Air Force.