28th Infantry Division "Keystone Division"
"KEYSTONE in the Way" Tour(s)
"they sacrificed themselves to buy time"
After the great success of the December 15, 2019 full day, multi-sites commemorative project entitled "Keystone in the way" within the context of the 75th anniversary of the "Battle of the Bulge" and where Gaul’s Legacy Tours was the initiator and one of the key co-organizers, we now offer standard and combination tours to understand the role of the 28th US Infantry Division (Keystone) from Pennsylvania to slow down the German advance on Bastogne and in the Ardennes after the enemy’s surprise attack.
On that occasion, where a number of memorials and charts were inaugurated, we had as special VIPs the Commanding General of the 28th Infantry Division/Pennsylvania National Guard and 3 of his immediate predecessors and Command Sergeant Majors, as well as their historian, who had accepted our invitation to attend the commemoration as our guests of honor and "Thanksgiving Day 1944/2019": a turkey dinner for the "Keystone" men. NB: On November 22 and 23, 2019, we had a first-class reenactment of the "Thanksgiving Day" event in the village of Munshausen, back then home of "B" company /110th Inf. Rgt. and the regimental cannon company in a unique reconstitution of a 28th US Infantry Division camp in a typical Luxembourg Ardennes Village with over 120 reenactors from the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, proudly flashing the red "Keystone".
Our tours are focused on the 28th US Infantry Division and their main sub-units who were initially deployed along the "Skyline drive" (main road in the Luxembourg-German borderlands connecting to Belgium) and who disrupted the enemy’s time table during the first days of the German surprise attack and often fought "isolated and cut off" against largely superior enemy forces. By sacrificing themselves the largely contributed to the saving of Bastogne during the initial enemy onslaught.
Our tours (1 to 3 days) provide a detailed insight of the various sectors to come to grasps with the facts and to find answers to the WHY and HOWs. A more condense 1-day version is possible as also the combination of various relevant sites with other "Bulge"-related areas and attractions.
By referring to the map, you can choose YOUR preferred sites or leave it up to us to recommend and design YOUR balanced informative and pleasant that will make you visit three countries: German border areas, the Luxembourg Ardennes and the Bastogne (Belgium) perimeter.
Learn more about the "Keystone Division’s" accomplishments during the "Bulge".
Here are our tour suggestions:
General insight of the 28th US Infantry Division’s deployment along the “Skyline Drive” after its arrival in Luxembourg (R&R: Rest and Recreation area) in late November 1944 after the costly "Battle of Huertgen Forest" south of Aachen/Germany. Visit the town of Wiltz, which was the site of the Divisional Headquarters (MG. Norman “"Dutch" COTA), as well as the towns of Ettelbruck (HQ 109th Inf. Rgt. (LtCol. James RUDDER); Clervaux (HQ 110th Inf. Rgt. (Col. Hurley FULLER) and Weiswampach/Ouren (HQ 112th Inf. Rgt. (Col. Gustin NELSON). See and walk a selection of defensive positions of the 3 regiments in their sectors (including a visit in the German borderlands of remains of pillboxes/bunkers on the "Our" river). This tour will also include 2 museums of your choice (Ettelbruck, Diekirch, Clervaux or Wiltz: each has memorabilia of the 28th Inf. Div.). The overall day tour consists of visits of important sites, memorials, monuments, a terrain walk and visit of museum(s).
The two-day tour is basically an extended one day-tour with additional locations and sites, the Luxembourg-American cemetery and a visit of the "Bastogne" perimeter, where "Task Force SNAFU" - remaining, decimated units of the 28th US Infantry Division, who had succeeded after three days of exhausting combat to "break out" and primarily under the brilliant leadership of LtCol. Daniel Strickler - had made it to Bastogne prior to the arrival of the 101st Airborne Division and helped organize the defense of Bastogne together with the units of CCB/10th US Armored Division. A visit of Sibret outside Bastogne – where the divisional HQs were installed after the retreat from Wiltz, is also part of this tour.
Visit – in addition to the previous sites the 2 days before – the Huertgen forest area between Aachen and Monschau, Germany, where in November 1944, the 28th Division suffered so many casualties (towns/villages like: Vossenack, Germeter, Schmidt, Kommerscheid, Kall valley … etc …). Visit the impressive German "dragons’ teeth" tank obstacles, remains of pillboxes, bunkers, the Kall trail, the Huertgenwald museum …, and You will come to grasps with this very difficult terrain and climatic conditions the Keystone men had to fight and suffer, before being relocated back to the "quiet sector" in Luxembourg.
Your PERSONAL combination tour: Of course, you can pick from our suggestions and have us design your personal tour. We can also design a "in the footsteps of …." (your personal tour retracing the route of your dear family member who fought in the Bulge as a member of a 28th US Infantry Division soldier). We can also take care of logistics and personal bookings to meet your needs.
Contact us for more information and have us design your personal tour, which you will remember!