Anyone done the March on Bastogne, Belgium?


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Glockster35
December 26, 2002, 09:21 PM
Last Saturday (21 December) I participated in the March on Bastogne Belgium, to commemorate the Battle of the Bulge. In terrible weather we marched for around 11 miles.

Was quite surprised to find Belgian and German males (from 18-60 or so) dressed in of the era American 101st Airborne military uniforms, carrying American 1911's, Garands, greese guns, and the like. Many American military vehicles from the 40's there also on display, and driving around.

An amazing tribute to the American fighting man, and more importantly those who died fighting the war, the Battle of the Bulge, and in the trenches, fields and streets of Bastogne. This march was specifically set up by the 101st Airborne (I am told).

I hear there is another one in January somewhere in northern Belgium for the 82nd Airborne, anyone got any information?

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444
December 26, 2002, 09:34 PM
Very interesting, keep us posted.

M1911
December 26, 2002, 10:04 PM
I am supremely envious of you. One of these years, I'm going to drag the missus for a tour of the WWII battle.... er... northern France and the low countries.

So many men made the ultimate sacrifice for us and our allies. The more I read of WWII (and I've read a fair bit), the more I am in awe of the allied soldiers and their incredible bravery.

4v50 Gary
December 27, 2002, 01:19 AM
Go to it if you're in Luxembourg. The Battle of the Bulge Museum is there. Nearby is the George Patton Museum which is also worth visiting.

Glockster35
December 27, 2002, 04:09 AM
I am very close to Luxembourg. I went looking for Pattons Grave once, but never found it, and was later told I drove by it over a dozen times. I guess I'll eventually get there.

Traveler
December 27, 2002, 04:14 AM
There is an 80 mile forced march route to Nijmegen. Is that the other one you're thinking of? Every NATO unit in Europe used to send teams to do that one yearly. I trained for it, but had a FIREX at the time.

Glockster35
December 27, 2002, 04:37 AM
No, that's not it, but I have heard of that one. I won't even attempt it.


What is it like 5 days of marching and 100 miles or something similar. I remember hearing about it when I first got over here, back in June...

Orion
December 27, 2002, 01:54 PM
I took a couple long weekends when I was there in the 80's and did the rounds of the battlefields and cemeteries.

Awe inspiring stuff.

Also went to Verdun! that place is still in shambles even from WWI.

The ground there is still uneven from all the shelling.

I plan to take the wifey there some day too.

St. Mere Egliese, Hells Corner etc. The BeNeLux and the rural French have not forgotten what happened to and for them.

Duke of Doubt
February 23, 2009, 10:07 PM
Orion: "Also went to Verdun! that place is still in shambles even from WWI.
The ground there is still uneven from all the shelling. I plan to take the wifey there some day too."

Well, have you taken her, yet?

Verdun is a magical place. Even spookier than Sharpsburg, MD.

Stuff everywhere, today and for centuries to come. Find anything interesting? Spot any Department de Deminage personnel on the job?

jbkebert
February 23, 2009, 10:44 PM
There is an 80 mile forced march route to Nijmegen. Is that the other one you're thinking of? Every NATO unit in Europe used to send teams to do that one yearly. I trained for it, but had a FIREX at the time
This was a absolute blast. I did it in 2002 while stationed in Wurzberg. I had never seen so many people doing a road march. We past out American flags and got were getting all of these tickets some in four languages from kids asking the 4 days marchers to write them. I was so darn sore by day 2. Day three your in just pain and day 4 your going off of adrenaline only. I'll find some picts to post later.

jbkebert
February 23, 2009, 11:29 PM
93342

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Here is a few pict's the card is issued to you when you sign in day one. There are check points along the way and at the end of each day it was scanned and if you completed all for days you would earn a medal. You were authorized to wear one foreign medal on you uniform. I always wore my shutzenschnur instead. The other is a pict of the bridge leading into the city.
I have a ton of pictures somewhere and also of Bastogne Belguim, the cemetaries outside of Metz, France and I forget the name of the city in Luxemburg. I guess I'll have to dig a little. Now I'm interested in looking at them again.

Cannonball888
February 24, 2009, 12:08 AM
Duke of Doubt, do you really think Orion is still subscribed to a thread he posted on in December 26th, 2002?

Duke of Doubt
February 24, 2009, 12:13 AM
No idea. But he may well still follow these boards.

Duke of Doubt
February 24, 2009, 10:19 AM
jbkebert: "I have a ton of pictures somewhere and also of Bastogne Belguim, the cemetaries outside of Metz, France and I forget the name of the city in Luxemburg."

Did you see Trier, Germany? Beautiful little Roman town, and scene of some action.

jbkebert
February 24, 2009, 10:26 AM
Yes sir I did get to go to Trier. I visited the church that houses the Holy Tunic. We did not have a great deal of time there. Went to the Ampatheater and got a couple hours of time to walk around town. There was a bus tour that I went on from LRMC back in 2000. My reserve unit's mission was to backfill both the hospital at Wurtzburg and LRMC. So on our first AT rotation there the reserve liason organized the trip. I am glad he did. The bus also stopped in a town named Mastric in the Neatherlands that to was a beautiful city.

Schutzen
February 24, 2009, 11:10 AM
In 1976 I was a member of the 2 Battalion 327th AAslt Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. During WWII the 327th was a Glider Infantry Regiment and was one of the regiments that defended downtown Bastogne. We were in Europe on a NATO exercise and the Mayor of Bastogne requested our presence at their parade commemoration the defense of Bastogne. It was truly and awe inspiring experience. We were young men who were not even born when WWII was fought. If you had not known, you would have thought it was 1944 and we had just liberated the town. It was quite an experience for a young captain who 5 years earlier in his own country had been spit on for just being a soldier. It made me realize that in every culture there is a privileged element that has no clue of the sacrifices made by previous generations that enable them to lead the safe, comfortable lives they live. It also made me realize that in those same cultures there remains core element composed of individuals who will risk all and if need sacrifice all to insure that the ideals of freedom survive and flourish. Those individuals are called soldier, sailor, airmen, marines, and coast guardsmen. It also made me realize that regardless of the other things I accomplish in life, one of my most privileged times was the brief time a commanded a company of those honorable men.

jbkebert
February 24, 2009, 11:41 AM
To all that have served this nation thank you. Also to our members from other countries thank you for your service in your respective countries.

I know there are several people on this thread that have gotten the privlage to visit the American cemetaries in various countries. My question has anyone gone to any of the Nazi ones. We visited one such cemetary I can't remember the name of the town. My goodness talk about a diffrence. The American ones were so colorful with lush grass, flowers, statues everywhere. The nazi graveyard we visited was dark, cold and hidden. You parked and then walked down what seemed to be nothing more than a dirt bike path to a graveyard hidden behind a tall wall. Granted like anything else in Germany the grounds were well kept but it was interesting to see how hidden it was.

Duke of Doubt
February 24, 2009, 11:52 AM
jbkebert: "Granted like anything else in Germany the grounds were well kept but it was interesting to see how hidden it was."

That was based on negotiations with the "host countries." For a long time, the Germans were forbidden any memorials at all. Not too hard to understand, as many of the locals lost family, friends, property, limbs, teeth at the hands of the German occupiers. It took until the 1980s for the Germans to begin recovery and/or interment of remains around Stalingrad. Their remains have lain out there for decades. Most still do.

jbkebert
February 24, 2009, 12:01 PM
That was based on negotiations with the "host countries." For a long time, the Germans were forbidden any memorials at all.

I guess I did not realize this. Yes it does make sense. I wanted to go there because my family is of German heritage. My Great Grandfather and his to brothers came to the US in the early 30's. I wanted to explore my roots and see if I could come up with any names in such a place. I dearly hope not but who is to say. It was always funny to see the people that lived in Germany to see my last name and tell me that is a good strong german name but could tell me nothing more.

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