Randal Gaulke and German historian, Markus Klauer, are proud to announce the details of their Ardennes 1944: 75th Anniversary “Battle of the Bulge” Small Group Battlefield Tour, 2 – 6 October 2019.
The War seemed to be close to an end, but then Hitler’s last major offensive on the Western Front took the Allies by surprise …
Hitler had decided to put all his eggs in one basket to defeat the Allies with one great push, the operation “Wacht am Rhein”. Starting on December 16 under terrible weather conditions the German Panzer Divisions broke through the thin American frontlines. Despite a strong resistance by several American units, the German Army made its way west. The famous “Kampfgruppe Peiper” advanced under circumstances that became tragic for all.
Soon the German units arrived at the main center of communication in that region, the town of Bastogne. The grim defense of Bastogne, mainly units from the 101st Airborne Division, became famous and stands now for the strong will of the Allied Commanders and the simple GIs to finally defeat the Third Reich.
On Christmas Eve (24 December) the reconnaissance battalion of 2nd Panzer reached the most western point of the bulge, only some kilometers away from the Meuse River at Dinant.
Already from December 22 on, American counter-attacks on the southern part of the bulge had started to open the way to Bastogne. Finally on December 26 the first Sherman tank made its way into the town. At latest from this day on, the German commanders realized that this offensive failed and that further fighting would be senseless. Nonetheless, the fights continued nearly until the end of January 1945.
As always, Randal and Markus share a desire to get their clients out of museums and into the field. With their language and cultural skills, both understand the “other side” and both strive to present a balanced view of the combat. Those interested in this five-day small group tour can find more information in this flyer: Ardennes Tour Flyer Final
To view other 2019 tour offerings, please visit this page: https://meuse-argonne.com/?page_id=3380