BATTLE OF THE BULGE
These notes are useful for visits to the Battle of the Bulge battlefields in the Belgian Ardennes, including parts of the area that cover Germany and Luxembourg. Any questions let me know.
Email: Paul Reed
From the Channel Ports and Tunnel at Calais take the A16 to Dunkirk, then A25 to Lille. From Lille take the A16 (E42) to Mons, then the A15 towards Namur. If you are going south towards Bastogne, at Namur take A4 (E411) to where it meets the A26 (E25), and then follow this direct to Bastogne. Otherwise enter the northern area via Liege, using the A26 going south from Liege to access the battlefield area.
Another route is to fly into Brussels, and take a hire care. From here you can take the A4 to where it meets the A26 and come into the battlefield area around Bastogne from this angle.
ARDENNES TOURIST OFFICE
This is the main one for this area of the Belgian Ardennes:
Ardenne et Meuse Tourisme
Rue de l'Eglise 15
6980 La Roche en Ardennes
Tel: (0032) (0)22.214.171.124.
Fax: (0032) (0)126.96.36.199.
BASTOGNE TOURIST OFFICE
In the centre of Bastogne is the following tourist office, whose staff speak most European languages. The address is:
Royal Syndicat d'Initiative et du
Phone: +32-(0)61/21 27 11
Fax: +32-(0)61/21 27 25
There are a large number of museums in the Ardennes, but some of the main ones are listed below. In July and August they are usually open every day, without a break for lunch.
Bastogne Historical Centre
Colline du Mardasson
- open February to November every year. A good place to start on any visit to the area.
Museum Decembre 1944
Rue de l'Eglise 7
4987 La Gleize
- open March to November. This tells the story of Kampfgruppe Pieper and the battle for La Gleize. Original King Tiger on display outside. Recommended.
Museum of the Battle of the Bulge
Rue Chamont 5
6980 La Riche en Ardenne
- Open all year round. Good displays of uniforms and vehicles.
PLACES TO STAY
There are a large number of small hotels and Bed & Breakfast guest houses in the area, as well as Gites (holiday homes) for hire. A good starting place is the Hotels in Belgium web site:
In Bastogne itself is the following hotel:
Hotel La Caprice****
Place Mc Auliffe 25
For B&Bs and Gites see the guidebook by Gites de Wallonie. They can can be contacted at:
Gites de Wallonie
Avenue Prince de Liege 1
Tel: (0032) (0)81 31 18 00.
Fax: (0032) (0)81 31 02 00.
A good general map is Michelin Sheet No 214, 1/200,000 scale. This covers the entire battlefield, plus the main access routes to the west.
More detailed maps are available from Institute Georaphique Nationale of Belgium (http://www.ngi.be). These can be ordered on-line, or via their postal address:
Abbaye de la Cambre 13
In 1/100,000 scale the following sheets cover most of the battlefield:
116: Esneux - St Vith
118: St Hubert - St Vith
In 1/25,000 scale there are a large number of sheets that cover the battlefield in some detail.
The various tourist offices (see above) also stock a useful map 'Battle of the Bulge & Liberation' which covers the entire battlefield and shows all the cemeteries, memorials and museums and has several suggested routes.
While there is a wealth of books about the Ardennes and the Battle of the Bulge, the following are useful for visiting the battlefields:
Arnold, J.R. - Ardennes 1944 (Osprey Campaign No 5)
Engels, E. - Ardennes 1944-1945: Guide du Champ de Bataille (Racine 1994)
Tolhurst, M. - St Vith (Pen & Sword Books Ltd 1999)
Tolhurst, M. - Bastogne (Pen & Sword Books Ltd 1999)
Vorwald, P.M. - Battle of the Bulge: Through The Lens (After The Battle 2000)