The Bulge in a Day: Trip 1
Head toward Trier on Autobahn A62 from Ramstein.
Hinzert SS Concentration Camp site,  70 km north of Ramstein,
is visible from the autobahn. Check the link for more information
but save a visit for later.
Continue on A62 toward Trier, following signs 75 km toward Luxembourg City.
Exit at #7 "Cimetiere Militaires". Follow signs off the traffic circle to Luxembourg
American Cemetery.
Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial. General
Patton's grave looks out on 5,076 American military dead.
Included are one nurse, 101 unknowns, and 22 sets of brothers.
Read more about
US grave registration duties here.
Exit the cemetery and turn left at the first intersection (600 meters). In 200 meters,
take the first exit right off the roundabout. Sandweiler Cemetery is 600 meters on
the left. Read more about
German grave procedures here.
Sandweiler German Military Cemetery, or Soldatenfriedhof.
Scroll down on the link to read about this somber cemetery with
10913 graves, including 4829 in a one mass grave. Just after the
war, the same crew took care of both US and German graves.
Turn right out of the cemetery and continue to the 2nd roundabout, following
signs to the A1-E24 Autobahn. Enter the autobahn direction Trier and after ~ 4-5
km take exit 8 onto road 11, direction Junglister/Echternach. Continue 11 km past
and stop at the "Michelshof" corner ,with a sign left toward Consdorf.
The Hat Factory battle: site of the 5 day siege and surrender of
Co. E of the 12th Inf Reg. Patched shell holes and residual
damage are still clearly visible on the building. GIs held this 1/2
block, including the garage next door - check out the old
courtyard! A reconciliation of the German and US commanders
was held in 1985.
In the field to the left, CPT Surkamp of the 159th Combat
Engineers had to make a decision: were the 200 Germans
advancing across the snow with a white flag surrendering, or
was it a trap? His undermanned & combat-weary Company
couldn't take a chance. The story page is under construction.
Continue 5km into Echternach. In fall 1944, GIs held Hill 313 on the left side of
the highway, while bicycle-mounted Germans occupied the right side. As you
drive into town, note that
Germans held the high bluff on the horizon straight
ahead. Unobstructed fire rained down on this highway, dubbed "The Bowling
Alley"  during the Bulge. Co E was cut off with minimal ammo.
The 76th Inf Div. waged a frontal assault here into
Germany on 7 Feb 1945. The first waves were mostly
lost as the shallow boats capsized or hung up on mines
on the far shore, while Germans picked off the
survivors. The river was bridged on 11 Feb near the site
of the  memorial to the 76th Inf., with the loss of 800+
Continue about 500 meters through town until the street curves left along the river.
Turn right into the parking lot.
Head out of the parking lot toward Diekirch. The Grand Hotel on the left 400
meters from town housed the German command during the occupation years.
Continue 4 km to Weilerbach, Park in the pullout by American flag and walk over
the covered bridge to the bunker.
Emil Hansen has kindly shared his wartime
memories of Weilerbach.
This German bunker with a patch of original camo paint
has several rooms to explore.The nearby building was a
foundry in WWI where Russian women worked...and
entertained German sub crews on R&R. The walkway sits
on the pylons of a RR bridge destroyed in the war.