Musée De La Bataille Des Ardennes - La Roche-en-Ardenne - Belgium

Address: 5 Rue Chamont, 6980 La Roche (See map)
Telephone: +32 (0)84-411725 or +32 (0)84-411880

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: not available
Size of the museum/site: medium
Year of visit: 1997, revisited in 2002

Overall rating:

Description: As the eastern and western frontiers of Hitler's Third Reich crumbled in late 1944 and the Allies stood poised to strike into Germany itself, the Germans attempted one last major counter-offensive in the west, trying to push through the Ardennes and recapture the port of Antwerp in one daring move. They hoped this would smash the morale of the western forces and pave the way for negotiations allowing the Germans to shift their full attention to the east combating the 'eastern hordes' of Soviet Russia. Looking back, the whole offensive was doomed to fail from the beginning and it could be seen as the last twitches of a dead regime. At first the ferocious attack overran two American Infantry divisions immediately and rolled forward through the Ardennes but came to a staggering halt way before it reached Antwerp because of the lack of troops, material and above all fuel.

The Musée De La Bataille Des Ardennes, which is situated down the main street of the little town of La Roche, deals with this complex German counter-offensive. It offers several dioramas, a few vehicles and lots of weapons and uniforms used during the operation. The emphasis is on the allied camp, though a few interesting German items can be found at the upper level of the building. A minor disadvantage of the museum, is the fact that all dioramas are placed behind glass panels, which makes taking pictures very difficult. Don't be fooled by the small entrance at the shopping street: the museum is larger than you think!

The museum is certainly worth a visit if you happen to be in the area.

American soldier with mortar and various supplies and tools.

Mix of dioramas, displays of small items and historic documents.

British diorama.

American soldiers overlooking the ruines of the battered town of La Roche.

Mobile anti-aircraft gun used by the Americans.

Member of the armed Belgian resistance.

A few of the many cigarette brands, razors, chewing-gum packages and other small items the museum has to show.

The German defenders of La Roche behind their machine-gun, awaiting an American assault.

The mighty Panzerschreck, developed during the war based on the American bazooka.

Member of a German tankcrew having a chat with a member of the infamous Feldgendarmerie.