The Führer stakes everything on Bastogne

14 December 2019 - 16 December 2019
Bastogne

This year will see the 75th anniversary of the famous Battle of the Bulge, one of the deadliest battles of the Second World War in Belgium.

In December 2019, a series of activities linked to this commemoration and to the Second World War will take place in Bastogne: book fair with history books and documents, re-enactments based around the Bastogne War Museum and meetings with veterans and those who witnessed the conflict. Further information: http://www.bastognewarmuseum.be/home.html.

On the evening of 15 December 1944, Hitler amassed 240,000 men and no fewer than 500 tanks, including the new Tiger II, ready to swoop down on the American divisions resting in Belgium and Luxembourg. The aim of operation Wacht am Rhein (the Watch on the Rhine) was to take the port of Antwerp whilst surrounding the thirty or so mainly British divisions. Wacht am Rhein was a particularly far-sighted plan. If Hitler succeeded, he would push the English/Canadians back into the sea and be in a position to conclude a separate peace agreement with the Americans; taking Antwerp would deprive the Allies of their main source of supplies.