Battle of the Bulge re-enacted in Clervaux on 70th anniversary

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, more than 40 people from all over the world came together to re-enact part of the battle at Clervaux, North Luxembourg on Sunday.

More than 30 vintage military vehicles, as well as weapons, equipment and uniforms were gathered and brought to Clervaux to help bring the re-enactment to life. The scenes depicted were not only intended to show the fighting that took place, but also to show what everyday life was like for the soldiers during World War II.

Clervaux Castle, which overlooks the town, is host to the Battle of the Bulge Museum. It has a large collection of allied, German and Luxembourg artefacts from World War II. It also is home to a US Army Sherman tank and a German 88 anti-aircraft/tank artillery that were both used during the battle.

The day started with a ceremony at the monument of the US soldiers in the town. During the day, actors from local theatre club ‘Theater Club Cliärref’ prepared various scenes to show what life was like in Clervaux when the Germans had occupied the town. They acted out the scenes at various points during the day for visitors.

US photographer, Tony Vaccaro, brought along his collection of war photography to the museum and set up the exhibition called, ‘Shots of War’. The exhibition will remain at the castle until May 2015. Tony, now 92, is known for his photography taken in Europe during the last months of World War II and in Germany in the aftermath of the war, the Luxemburger Wort reports.

To end the day, a parade of historic military vehicles was driven through Clervaux, before a second memorial ceremony took place at the monument of the US soldier with around 30 US veterans.

The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest battle of World War II. It was Hitler and the Nazi’s last attempt at preventing the end of the war, as they pushed through allied troops heading for Germany in order to take Antwerp port in Belgium. In total, the Americans had around 90,000 casualties including 19,000 killed, 47,500 injured and 23,000 missing.

Luxembourg was occupied by Germany during the war, and was finally liberated by allied troops in late 1944. The country was hit during the battle in its north as the Germans used long range artillery that could land up to 25 miles away. Nevertheless, the Germans never got to take back Luxembourg.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE