Luxembourg's WWII experience
STANDARD ORIENTATION TOUR
This informative tour is meant to tell the story of Luxembourg during the war years 1940-1945 with close-up on the two liberations of the country by US forces in September 1944 and January 1945.
Luxembourg became the prelude of the “battle of Bastogne”. Known to every GI who found himself on duty in Luxembourg during the September 44 – February 45 period as the “Paradise for weary troops”, as Luxembourg – it was here that outnumbered American units, sometimes isolated in small villages, stubbornly resisted and slowed down the enemy’s advance in the Belgian Ardennes in direction of Bastogne. Thanks to their heroic action, the race for Bastogne was won by the Americans! Our 3-day tour (adjustable and extendable) will consist of the following key elements:
General overview of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg’s geography, history, people, local customs and institutions during of guided visit of the capital – Luxembourg City and its many historic sites, including General Patton’s former headquarters, especially the chapel, where he addressed the Lord for good weather! The route of the American liberation on September 9-14, 1944, with close up on the events around NINE-ELEVEN 1944 – a day of joy and hope for the liberated Luxembourg population. Visits of key sites and memorials related to September 1944.
Beginning of the “Bulge – December 16, 1944” – American resistance and reactions: Field tour on the “Hoesdorf Plateau”, where you still can see US foxholes on the mid-December 1944 defense line. Tour will also cross into the German border area to take a closer look at some pillboxes and bunkers. Visit of key towns of American resistance: Fouhren, Vianden (optional tour of the medieval castle), Beaufort, Diekirch, Wiltz (Schumann’s Eck crossroads and National Liberation Memorial) and Clervaux with its impressive GI Memorial and other sites along the former “skyline drive”. Detailed guided visits of the National Museum of Military History in Diekirch and the General Patton Memorial Museum in Ettelbruck (www.patton.lu).
The American counterattack by General Patton’s 3rd US Army: The January 1945 Sauer river crossing operations: Ingeldorf/Diekirch, Bettendorf, Moestroff, Dillingen, Echternach. Beginning of the Rhineland campaign – February 1945: Weilerbach, Echternach – Irrel/Germany (huge German bunker). Closing visit of the Luxembourg-American cemetery in Hamm/Luxembourg (where General Patton is buried), the resting place of 5076 brave US servicemen and the adjacent German cemetery at Sandweiler with over 11.300 graves.
Alternatively, a day trip to Bastogne, Belgium with the Mardasson Memorial, “Bois Jacques” – Easy Company/506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division dugouts, “Bastogne Barracks” (where General McAuliffe answered his famous “Nuts” to the German offer for surrender” and visit of Houffalize (German Panther tank) can be arranged instead.
Other combinations are also possible – we will be happy to put your “personal” tour together.