Bastogne Remembers: 69th Anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge

A World War II re-enactor tells a story to other participants as they warm themselves beside a fire during the Bastogne Historic Walk Dec. 15, 2012. The trend has become increasingly more popular in recent years, and there are even re-enactment camps where participants can spend the weekend surrounded by other history enthusiasts.  U.S. Air Force
A World War II re-enactor tells a story to other participants as they warm themselves beside a fire during the Bastogne Historic Walk Dec. 15, 2012. The trend has become increasingly more popular in recent years, and there are even re-enactment camps where participants can spend the weekend surrounded by other history enthusiasts.
U.S. Air Force

Bastogne, a town in Belgium, holds a reenactment every year that simulates the Battle of the Bulge. This historic WWII battle was known as one of the costliest battles American forces faced during the war. Along with this reenactment, the town holds walks and other activities to honor the American soldiers who protected the town from the enemy German troops.

2013 marks 69 years since the German siege of Bastogne. The town was seen by the allied troops as being strategically important to the German plan to recapture Antwerp, the Belgian port city.

American troops defended the town as it was surrounded by German troops. The Germans outnumbered the Americans 5 to 1; however, the American’s refused to surrender. The town was under fire for seven days–from December 20 to December 27, 1944. It finally ended when the U.S. Third Army arrived to lend a hand.

To commemorate the battle, every year the town reverts to it’s 1944 self–even with vehicles, uniforms, and reenactments from that era. This year, the events include a parade, wreaths being laid and the 36th Annual Historic Bastogne Walk.

Participants of the walk can choose to go three distances– 7, 13, or 22 kilometers. Walkers are required to register and it can be done on site on Friday between 3 and 8 pm or on Saturday between 7 to 9:30 am. There is a registration fee of 6 euro per walker. Each participant will receive a souvenir patch, a certificate of participation, a map, historical booklet and a hot beverage stationed somewhere along the route.

The beginning location of the walk is right outside the town at the Centre Sportif Porte de Treves on Eue Gustave Delperdange in Bastogne. Visitors and participants can park along the street.

Stripes reports that if you would like to find out more information, visit www.bastogne.be and click on the picture of walnuts on the right side of the page.