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Lest We Forget – Relive The Past

Visiting the Siegfried Line – 5 Locations You MUST See

August 20, 2017 joedemadio 1 Comment

The Siegfried Line near Wallendorf is probably the best spot to dive into the Battle of the Bulge in Luxembourg. The defensive structures around the village are part of a 630km defensive line full of pillboxes, tank traps and other stuff. I travelled to Wallendorf to see some of these defenses. Around the village you can find signs with information. These are part of a historical circuit made by the Luxembourg government.

A. The first location that I visited was the B-werk type bunker on top of the hill at Wallendorf. The category B stands for the thickness of the bunker. This bunker was fitted with concrete walls of at least 1.5m thick. Making it practicaly impossible for anything to go through. The people of Wallendorf even say that Hitler visited this spot in 1938. Strategicaly the bunker had a clear view of the the Sauer River valley. From there you could look straight into Luxembourg and have eyes on the lines where on Dec 16th 1944 the 28th Infantry Division was Dug in.

B. The next stop was downhill at the little German War Cemetery. Here you’ll find the graves of young german men that gave their lives while defending their fatherland between September 1944 and February 1945. The cemetery is on the way to the center of the village and is well worth taking a look at. I believe that seeing things from different perspectives help you understand the war just a ‘little’ more. There’s a total of 312 graves here from soldiers of various units such as the 212th, 276th and 352nd Volks Grenadier Division.

C. From the cemetery I continued towards the center of the village and from there in the direction of Gentingen. At a little crossroad, still in Wallendorf, there’s another bunker that’s disguised from the public. All you can see is the little gun port and the big sign in front of it. This C-Werk bunker was one of the first built here in the line of defenses. It was used as a listening post between the months of September 1944 and December 1945.

D. The next bunker is further down the road between Ammeldingen and Gentingen. On your way to Gentingen you’ll spot a bunker on the right watching over river banks of the Our river. This B-Werk bunker has a bigger gun port and officialy was equiped with a 37mm Anti-Tank gun. However, after the 1940s campaign most bunkers of the Siegfried line were stripped of their armament and used elsewhere. Fastforward four years the Germans had a hard time arming the bunkers. War material was scarce and lots of weapons had been upgraded and didn’t fit the pillboxes anymore. The Siegfried Line never proved to be a succesful defensive line. It was more of a psychological defense.

E. There’s one more spot back on the road to Ammeldingen. From the bunker you want to head back in that direction, but stop your car at the first road that leads into the forest. Upon entering the forest you’ll immediately find a German trench that was likely used here at the start of the Battle of the Bulge. Friedrich Schmäschke, a 17 year old private in the 916th Grenadier Regiment was in this area at the night before the Offensive. I can only imagine what it must’ve been like for him to be here at that time.

If you want more in-depth information on these battle sites, watch the video I created below!

I also made a map with the route lined out so that it’s easier for you to navigate to these locations. They are pointen out from A to E. I hope you’ll have an interesting time visiting the area. History may never be forgotten!

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Comments

  1. Michael gregoric
    August 23, 2017 - 3:22 pm

    Thank you for sharing this story and photographs of the Siegfried Line .
    This gives us a real visual view of the battlefield and the terrain . My dad used to mention the German “Pillboxes” often when he was describing the battles that he took part in , while serving in the 5th. Infantry Division in Europe.

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