Introduction scenes WW-II
The surroundings of (our holiday home in) Magoster end of 1944 were the scene of many heavy fights between the Allied Forces and Nazi Germany. We encourage descendents of those Allied soldiers to come and see the places where it all happened. Many witnesses still remain and many places are still as they were then.
Battle of the Bulge dec '44 - jan '45
December 16th 1944 the Ardennes offensive was started by Von Rundstedt. Target was to reach the Antwerp harbours in order to twart the supplies of the Allies in Holland. The German attacking forces approached as far as Dinant. The nothern border of the saliant went from Marche, Hotton, Soy, Grandmenil to
Stavelot and further east Malmedy. Magoster, 4 km south-east of Soy, came in the sector that was attacked and thereafter defended by the 2nd SS Panzer Division.
January 3th 1945 the 335th Infantry of the 2nd Armored Division started the counterattack at 8.30 hour. Trinal was taken at 9.30 hour. Magoster in the afternoon, in spite of heavy German resistance with bazooka's and anti-tankguns. The aim for that day was Devantave. But the in those days wooded hill between Magoster and Devantave -where our house is today- turned out to be a to great obstacle. Some 88-tanks on the hill eastern Devantave awaited them, and two attacks failed due to heavy tank-, rocket- and mortuarfire. The Shermantanks could not cope with the narrow and slippery roads, so the Infantry had to do the job alone. At the end of the day they withdrew and stayed the night east of Magoster.
Also Beffe was hard to crack. Not the enemy-occupation there, but because of a gun on the Consy-ridge. On january 4th Beffe was taken at 11.05 hour by Compagnie "Bravo" of the 335th Infantry after an intensive artillerybombardment. On january 6th Compagnie "India" and "Kilo" recaptured Devantave. Then the ridge between Beffe and Devantave was taken and the gun eliminated.
So far this short summary. In our house you can find prints of several stories of the fightings around Hotton, La Roche a.s.o. published on internet.
Some interesting web-links
- the Ardennes-Offensive resulting in liberation of also Hotton, Trinal, Beffe, Magoster and Devantave.
- the conquest of Hill 290 La Roumière at Trinal.
- the story of "Task Force Hogan" (see also the tank in Beffe).
- the museum la Bataille des Ardennes in La Roche-en-Ardenne. This little village has been destroyed almost completely in January 1945 by about 70.000 bombs.
- Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial.
- Hotton, Britsh War Cemetery.
- some War monuments in the neighborhood of our holiday home.