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My trip in the Huertgen Forest and the Ardennes


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American tank driver and officer.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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American position and mortar.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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A variety of German soldiers.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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A MP directs traffic in the St. Vith area.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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The museum itself was not limited only to exhibitions inside. The garden of the owner was full of military vehicles.

 

Here we have a German halftrack.

Actually this vehicle is a Czech OT-810, regermanized.

The owner of the museum offers rides in this vehicle through the battlefield.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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Czech artillery used by the Germans.

It's a a Czech 105mm Howitzer, that had the German designation "10,5cm le.Fh 14/19.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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This is the turret of a destroyed M4 Sherman tank.

 

I don't want to be the one who sat in there during the fighting.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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Since Poteau was a battlefield itself , u are able to find traces still today.

 

During the battles for Poteau, American Soldiers dug in along a railway embankment to to have some cover.

 

Here is a picture from 1944.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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The foxholes on the dam today.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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This M4 Sherman stands in Vielslam as a memorial for the 7th Armored Division.

The 7th was headquartered in this village during the defense of St.Vith.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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Close up of the brass plate.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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On the next day we visited the nice town La Roche en Ardenne.

This town was seized by the 116th Panzer Division on December 21st 1944.

The town fell victim to numerous artillery attacks and bombardments from the allied air force.On January 11th, the first elements of the 4th Cavalry Group make their way down from the Hez de Harzé to La Roche that they find abandoned by the Germans. In the same time they see the Highlanders arriving from the other side of the Ourthe. La Roche is liberated but the battle continued.

 

La Roche in 2004.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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British and American soldiers meet in La Roche January 11th, 1945.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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The main street during my trip.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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The main street in the winter of 1944/45.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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High above the Ourthe river stands a Tank Destroyer “Achilles” Mk 10, inaugurated on 11 January 2000. Dedicated to the 1st Northamptonshire Yeomanry Regiment, which took part in the liberation of La Roche on 11 January 1945. Modified version of the US Tank Destroyer M10 having replaced the canon by a British 17 pounder canon.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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The plaque.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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There is also a M-26 Pershing on display in La Roche.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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La Roche has also one of the best and biggest museums about the Battle of the Bulge. "The La Roche Museum of the Battle of the Ardennes"

It's definitly worth a visit.

 

I would like to show you a couple of pictures from the museums collection.

 

It starts with a M-29 Weasel.

 

The Weasel was originally conceived as a snow vehicle and when Studebaker received the contract in May of 1942 they immediately went to work. Utilizing a Champion 6 cylinder engine and other automotive components, the first version carried the Army designation M28. The initial reactions to the Weasel were luke warm as it had questionable handling characteristics in snow and frequently threw it’s tracks. When it was discovered however, the little vehicle could go almost anywhere, Army officials were encouraged. Studebaker set about redesigning it moving the engine from back to front and improving other design flaws. The new version, designated the M29 worked beautifully on all terrains. Used in Europe and the Pacific, the military relied heavily on the Weasel and contiued their use after the war. The last version, the M29C, was amphibious and found extensive use in the Pacific. By VJ day, over 15,000 Weasels had been built.

 

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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This is the famous multiple .50-Caliber Machine Gun (“Quad Fifty”) .

These guns were capable of pouring a deadly hail of lead at low-flying aircraft. They were also devastating against ground targets, although as an automatic weapon over 11mm in caliber, by the international conventions then in force, this weapon was only to be so employed “in self defense.”

 

 

93jz1.jpg

"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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A BOFORS 40mm AA gun

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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A original issue of "The Stars and Stripes" covering the Axis offensive through the Ardennes.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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A MP and his motorcycle.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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This Diorama is inspired by a well known photograph depicting a patrol from the 17th Airborne Division, after a 20 mile march, meets men of the VII Corps, 24th Cavalry, near La Roche -one of the first link-ups between the US First and Third Armies- on 14th January.

 

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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This is the original picture.

 

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"Did Americans want heroes ? Well, we were willing at that point to be satisfied with survival."

Looking for 45th, 86th Infantry Division and 106th Cav items.

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