For someone who doesn’t know a lot about the Battle of the Bulge, going to Belgium or Luxembourg might be a total disaster for you. Where do you go to discover the history of the biggest counter attack ever faced by US troops in World War 2? Where are the battlefields? Which villages saw heavy fights during the winter if 1944-1945? This article will focus on the best museums that are out there with plenty of information and may help you out on your journey. The museums are widely spread across the Bulge area, which also results into that they all share their own unique history of the Battle of the Bulge.
First of all, I’d like to start with the Baugnez ’44 Museum. The Malmedy Massacre is widely known to people interested in the Battle of the Bulge. It refers to a massacre where 84 American Prisoners of War were murdered by their German captors at the Baugnez crossroads near Malmedy on December 17th 1944. The Baugnez ’44 museum is located near the massacre site at the crossroad and is a must see for everyone who wants to know more about the Battle of the Bulge. It gives you an amazing overview of the Northern part in the Bulge by displaying a various amount of items. It has a wonderful authentic German and American collection with information signs to help you out. The special focus of this museum goes, of course, to the Malmedy Massacre, which they display in a very interesting way. Together with the use of their collection and sound & light effects they really bring forward the story of the 84 American POWs who were murdered near the crossroads.
The Battle of the Ardennes Museum in La Roche, Belgium, is the second on our list. It tells the amazing story of the Battle of the Bulge in the area of La Roche! There are plenty amounts of maps which show you how the Germans started their promising offensive. There are multiple levels with a great amount of items from both Allied and German troops. There’s even a special weapon room so you can get used to all the different weapons that were used by both sides. Another wonderful piece of this museum is the Veterans’ Corner, which tells the story of different veterans from different divisions that fought in the Battle of the Bulge. When you’re looking for great museum and a nice day out, make sure to visit La Roche!
Next on the list is the Bastogne Ardennes 44 Museum on the road from Bastogne, Belgium, to Berlé, Luxembourg. The best thing about this museum is their basement which takes you back to the winter of 1944-1945 with their use of sound, artificial snow and perfect looking mannequins. I bet your jaws will drop wide open when you walk down there. It offer you a great amount of knowledge and information about the role of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. Two other great museums in this area you could visit are: the 101st Airborne Museum Le Mess in the centre of Bastogne and the Bastogne War Museum just outside Bastogne near the Mardasson Memorial.
We move further down south the city of Ettelbrück. Located here is the General Patton Memorial Museum. This museum offers a great amount of information about the role of Luxembourg in World War 2 from 1940 to 1945. The country was annexed and young men were forced to fight for the Germans. In the Battle of the Bulge, Ettelbrück also played a big role and was part of the frontline almost the whole time. The museum covers a lot about the area of Ettelbrück and the southern part of the Battle of the Bulge. It has a wonderful collection of World War 2 items and probably the biggest relic collection of any museum about the Battle of the Bulge. If you’re staying in Luxembourg, this is one of the museums you can’t miss out!
The last museum on our list is the Diekirch National Museum of Military History. This museum is one which you can come back to every year and still me amazed by their huge collection and the various amount of scenes they offer. Out of all the museums I just mentioned, this one has probably the biggest collection of World War 2 collectibles. From vehicles to personal gear to rations, this museum has it all. It is also unique in their focus on the role of the Diekirch and Echternach area during the battle of the bulge. The museum has a great collection of both the 5th and 28th infantry divisions who fought in that area during the battles. I suggest looking up some information about these divisions and their role in the Battle of the Bulge. It will add so much more to your experience when visiting the museum. The Diekirch Museum is a must see when visiting this area!
Baugnez ’44: http://www.baugnez44.be
Battle of the Ardennes La Roche: http://www.batarden.be/site/en.html
Bastogne Ardennes ’44: http://www.bastogneardennes44.com/
General Patton Memorial Museum: http://www.patton.lu/
Diekirch National Museum of Military History: www.mnhm.lu/
I hope this list will help you out on your next trip to Belgium or Luxembourg. Make sure to leave your experiences down here in the comment section below.