Houffalize during the Battle of the Bulge


Nestling in the narrow valley of the River Ourthe, Houffalize is a strategic stopping-point on the major highway from Bastogne to Liège.In May ⤙40, before withdrawing, the Belgian Chasseurs Ardennais had blown-up the town bridge in the face of advancing German troops. On the night of 19 December ⤙44, the bridge, rebuilt in the meantime, enabled American paratroopers of the 82nd US Airborne Division, coming from Reims, to reach their assembly zone in Werbomont, followed, several hours later, by thevanguard of 116. Panzer, on its way towards the bridges over the River Meuse. Believing the sector to be strongly defended, the German commander decided to change his itinerary and to head towards La Roche. Several days later, in order to destroy the strategic crossroads that Houffalize represented, the American commander had the town bombed several times. The bodies of some 189 civilian victims were pulled from the ruins of Houffalize.(Text source by Guy Blockmans / OPT)

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