The town of La Roche during the Battle of the Bulge

La Roche-en-Ardenne

On 10 September ⤙44, the town celebrated its liberation by the American troops. But during their retreat, the Germans blew-up both the town bridgesacross the River Ourthe. One of the bridges being rebuilt by the American engineers, La Roche again became a strategic crossroad. Believing the Houffalize sector to be strongly defended, on 20 December 116. Panzer movedtowards La Roche. But considering the rebuilt bridge to be unreliable, the armoured column crossed the town, advanced towards the villages ofDochamps and Samrée, and drove towards Hotton to cross the River Ourthe there, while refuelling on the way in the depots abandoned by the Americans. In the face of the determination of the American units defending Hotton, the German tanks turned around, returned to La-Roche, and finally decided to cross the Ourthe on the Bailey bridge that theAmericans had not taken the time to destroy when withdrawing. They then headed towards Verdenne and Marche-en-Famenne. In their strategy of harassing the advance of German troops crossing the town, the Americanshammered them with heavy artillery fire, and on 26 and 27 December, taking advantage of improved weather conditions, the American High Commanddecided to bomb La Roche, destroying most of it. Some 114 civilian victims were found in the ruins. On 7 January ⤙45, early in the morning, in the freezing cold and over icy roads, the Scotsmen of the 51st Highland Division left their standby positions to the south of Liège and headed towards the front line Marche ⤓ Hotton. Their mission was to relieve the exhausted Welsh units and to advance towards La Roche-en-Ardenne. After having liberated the villages of Hodister, Warizy and Ronchampay, on 11 January the 1st Battalion Black Watch advanced along the River Ourthe towards La Roche. Shortly before midday, preceded by a mine disposal team and armoured reconnaissance vehicles of the 2nd Derbyshire Yeomanry Regiment, the Scots entered the town devastated by American bombing. They were followed by supporting armoured vehicles of the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry Regiment. When the town was liberated from its last German occupants and the main street was leared of debris, the other units of the Division moved off in turn,crossing La Roche and advancing towards the villages of Hives, Hubermont, Mierchamps, Erneuville and Ortho, which they liberated, and linked-up with the American troops. (text source by Guy Blockmans/OPT)

Restrictions :

Accessible to people of reduced mobility

Opening dates:

Open every weekend, during school holidays, and everyday from April till December from 10 AM till 6 PM (last admission at 5.15 PM), ecepted for monday and tuesday Closed in January, February and March during the week, and also on 1/1, December 25 and on Carnival sunday Other possibilities for grous and guided tour by booking (min. 20 Persons)

moteur de recherche Caravelis - informations touristiques SITA