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The Ardennes Offensive at Bastogne War Museum

December 16, an important date for World War II. Just before and after Christmas, a fierce battle erupted between the Allies and German troops in the Ardennes: the Battle of the Bulge. The Germans had already suffered some setbacks. With this offensive, they wanted to reach the port of Antwerp and thus finally win the war. Bastogne played a decisive role in this. In the Bastogne War Museum you relive these crucial last months of the war through the experiences of four characters. They take you along to these bloody winter months and tell about the Ardennes Offensive from their experiences.

Bastogne war museum: audiotour

Four characters take you back to December 1944. They tell you how they experienced ‘the Battle of the Bulge’ during the audio tour through the museum. Emiel Mostade is a 13-year-old boy from one of the villages around Bastogne. He leaves with his bicycle and accordion to stay with his uncle in Bastogne. Mathilde Devillers is a teacher and resistance fighter. She helps the many homeless residents during the attacks on the city. Hans Wegmüller is a German lieutenant of the 26th Division of the Volksgrenadiere. His unit wants to recapture the city. Robert Keane is an American corporal of the 101st Airborne Division and defends the city. In this video, Émile briefly introduces himself to you.

the Mardasson memorial

You can climb the stairs and visit the Mardasson Monument next to the Bastogne War Museum. This monument was erected on the initiative of the Belgian-American Association in memory of the 76 890 American soldiers who were killed, wounded or who disappeared during the Battle of the Bulge. The five-pointed star shape of the monument is a Belgian tribute to the American army. You can enter the monument. On a sunny day, you’ll get an amazing view of Bastogne and its surroundings.

Bastogne War Museum with kids

We visited the museum with our two sons, ages 6 and 8. Thanks to the audio narration and interactive content, the visit was definitely enjoyable. The youngest one was a little impressed by some of the performances though. Like the battle of which we show a picture to the title. He needed some extra clarification during the visit. Prior to our visit, we showed the boys some educational films about the Ardennes Offensive and the war in general. This wat they could place it. They also knew they had to treat the place with the necessary respect. For our boys, the visit was just barely too long, but we did run into other kids who were starting to get bored along the way

Een tank in het Bastogne War Museum

Practical info

Bastogne War Museum

www.bastognewarmuseum.be
The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 6 pm. Due to current measures, seating is limited to 40 people per time slot. It’s advised to purchase your tickets online in advance.

Location

Colline du Mardasson 5, 6600 Bastogne

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