In mid-December 1944, Bastogne was merely a sleepy town at the intersection of seven secondary roads. But when Hitler struck in the Ardennes in a last desperate gamble to gain the upper hand on the Western Front, stubborn resistance in the Belgian town by some fifteen thousand American troops surrounded on all sides came to symbolize the courage and fighting spirit of the GI in World War II.
As American defiance in Bastogne derailed Hitler’s plans, the battle for the town took on epic proportions. In one of the war’s most awe-inspiring manoeuvers, Patton wheeled much of his Third Army around, unleashing his armor to help rescue the besieged troops. Hitler decided that Bastogne had to be taken at all costs, now also ordering Waffen SS troops to the town in blizzard conditions.
At the end of the month-long battle in the Ardennes, an astounding quarter million American and German soldiers had fought desperately in the hamlets, fields, and woods surrounding Bastogne.
As the author of Those Who Hold Bastogne (published by Yale) and an historical advisor for the Bastogne War Museum, I will take you on an exciting private highlight tour of one, two, or three days that immerses you in the battle like nothing else.
Retrace the steps of famous commanders under extreme pressure. Relive the sights, sounds, and smells of war as we visit the farms, forests, and dugouts where soldiers suffered unimaginably, fought ferociously, and earned the highest awards of bravery.
Each tour day will include all of the must-see sites, like the Band of Brothers foxholes, as well as many hidden places that I have discovered as a result of years of detective work.
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