"THIS MAN IS THE GREATEST LIVING EXPERT ON THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE". GENERAL GRAHAM HOLLANDS.
"YOU MEET A DEDICATED HISTORIAN AND MAKE A TRUE FRIEND. HE REALLY IS THE BEST IN THE ARDENNES". DR. CARLTON JOYCE author 'Stand where they fought'.
"HE'S OUR EXPERT ON THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE".
STEPHEN AMBROSE Tours.
If like myself you're a fan of all things WWII I welcome you to this site. Please note that I'm not a tour operator or a travel agent and this is NOT a business. There is NOTHING for sale on this site. I've been visiting European battlefields for research purposes for about twenty years. I left my job as a lecturer in English literature and European history at the University of Antwerp some years back to focus on researching and writing about individuals and the battlefields on which they served. I've provided historical information for NATO, the USAF, The History Channel and Breakthrough Films Canada among others. During my military history studies I was particularly fascinated by the Ardennes and the infamous battle that occurred there all those years ago. It was the largest land battle in US military history and I was literally overawed by the remarkable feats of bravery that occurred during this engagement. I realized that the actions of certain individuals really could and did affect the course of history, and it's those men that I honor with this site. Moreover I want to introduce you to them because if only for the sake of posterity their deeds deserve to be kept in the public zeitgeist. The actions of individuals such as Bazooka man Pfc Mason Armstrong, Major Arthur C. Parker, Lt. Charles Boggess and many others demand our attention and lasting respect. These men and their comrades were bona fide American heroes, real heroes who fought with incredible bravery and tenacity in extremely adverse conditions. We owe it to them to remember their deeds with both pride and compassion. Imagine having to fight for your life in temperatures that were often 28c below zero when simply staying alive demanded every conceivable effort. Some of those men hadn't even seen snow before. I'm often asked to research individual histories of WWII service personnel by surviving relatives and occasionally just by interested parties. Researching the personal histories of veterans and their units is a purely voluntary activity. I thoroughly enjoy the process of pouring over military records in dusty archives, endless PDF enlistment files and databases because it's for a well-defined purpose. The gratitude that I receive for my work is more than sufficient compensation for these activities. I'm a Military Historian, a dedicated individual who revels in sharing information with like-minded enthusiasts and once every so often I voluntarily go out into the field with other devotees. I'm a British subject and highly qualified in my particular field and moreover if you make the effort to visit the Ardennes I guarantee that you'll find a friend you didn't know you had. One of the reasons that I'm so avid about what I do is because I've had the honor and pleasure of accompanying British, American and German WWII veterans, listening to their firsthand experiences of the actions and seeing the places where they fought. The overriding consideration for me personally when I conduct research is that I'm keeping someone's story alive. THEY ARE NOT FORGOTTEN and never will be as long as you and I and many others are prepared to go that extra mile and preserve those memories for generations to come. I take extreme pleasure in showing people around these hallowed fields. I think that the word 'expert' is overused when referring to historians and their ilk, I prefer to use 'well-informed'. Please don't hesitate to contact me personally if you require further information, until which time I remain at your disposal. I look forward to hearing from you.
Official member of the 10th Armored association Western Chapter
|The hundred days campaign.|
My son Ashley standing next to the cannonball-in-the-wall fired during the battle of Ligny that preceded Waterloo.
Waterloo was fought in a small area (some 10km by 4km) on the main road leading south from Brussels. The farms of Hougoumont and La Haye Saint can still be visited along with many other incredible sights on and around this famous battlefield.
|The 1917 Battle of Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres or simply Third Ypres, was one of the major battles of World War I, fought by British, ANZAC and Canadian soldiers against the German Army. The battle was fought for control of the village of Passendale, (Passchendaele on maps of that time), near the Belgian town of Ypres in West Flanders. There are still trenches in this area along with the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world|
The Hurtgen Forest
|This was taken during a visit to a ‘West Wall' bunker near Schmidt|
The Battle of Hurtgen Forest (German: Schlacht im Hürtgenwald) is the name given to the series of fierce battles fought between the American and German forces during World War II in the Hürtgen forest (or Huertgen forest). The battles took place between September 19, 1944, and February 10, 1945, in a strategically insignificant corridor of barely 50 square miles (129 km²), east of the Belgian-German border. The initial objectives were to take Schmidt, clear Monschau, advance to the Roer and Rhine rivers, and take control of the dams located there. As the battle progressed, the American commanders appeared to lose sight of these objectives. I always consult my notable colleague Mr. Ludwig Fischer when I visit this place. He lived in Schmidt during the battle and always gives that added extra bit of information. His friend discovered the body of a G.I. from the 28th Division in his back garden a couple of years ago.
Operation 'Market Garden'
|This veteran took part in both D-Day and Operation ‘Market Garden' and lived to tell the tale.|
The tactical objectives of operation Market Garden (September 17-September 25, 1944) were to secure a series of bridges over the main rivers of the German-occupied Netherlands by large-scale use of airborne forces together with a rapid advance by armoured units along the connecting roads, for the strategic purpose of allowing an Allied crossing of the Rhine river, the last major natural barrier to an advance into Germany. The operation was initially successful with the capture of the Waal bridge at Nijmegen on 20 September, but was a failure overall as the final Rhine bridge at Arnhem was never taken, and the British 1st Airborne Division was destroyed in the ensuing combat. The Rhine would remain a barrier to the Allied advance until the Allied Offensives in March 1945. The defeat of Allied forces at Arnhem is considered the last major German victory of the Western Campaign. From Hells Highway to Arnhem there are some great battlefield sights in this part of Holland.
The Eagles Nest Berchtesgaden
|Visit the breathtakingly beautiful area of Berchtesgaden and see some amazing WWII sites in the company of a renowned Flemish expert. He'll arrange accommodation in a classic Bavarian B&B and give you an in-depth historical tour of the whole region. You'll need three or four days for this one but it'll be worthwhile. Apart from the historical aspects you'll be able to marvel at the incredible scenery and enjoy the unspoiled surroundings.|
A real American hero
|James Hanney and friends digging in on the Prumerberg ridge. Within hours the snow would fall heavily and they'd be attacked by the well armed 18th German Volksgrenadier regiment. It was minus 28c on that ridge and 62 years later the foxhole that he dug is still there.|
The Bulge Today
|This magnificent King Tiger is outside the War Museum at La Glieze. The projectile embedded in King Tiger 213 is a partial solid shot from an American Tank Destroyer. Probably from 76mm gun of Task Force McGeorge's M4A1 Sherman tank. Apparently that didn't stop it...|
Today there are still many incredible sites worth visiting in the Ardennes. The actual foxholes dug by E company during the siege of Bastogne are still visible. There are the museums, battlefield relics, and of course spectacular scenery. I'd be honored to show you around. Photo taken by Michael W. Morris Jr. Click for zoom
|American War memorial in Bastogne|
|the last resting place of Gen. George S Patton at Hamm cemetery Luxembourg.|
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|A Panther Tank Ausf G in Grand Menhil nearby Manhay. This one is still in relatively good condition. Photo taken by Michael W. Morris Jr.|
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|All the unfortunate occupants of this M4 Sherman were killed outright. It stands on the corner of McAuliffe Square in Bastogne.|
|foxholes dug by the 168th Combat Eng. Bat and can still be seen on the Prumerberg Ridge east of St. Vith. Temperatures fell to below -28c while those men defended that ridge against repeated attacks from the 18 Volksgrenadier regt.|
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|Easy/506 occupied positions in Bois Jacques where these foxholes can be seen today .|
About a half a mile beyond those trees is the village of Foy. Click for zoom
|This 45ton Panther was dragged out of the river Ourthe in Houffalize.Photo taken by Michael W. Morris Jr.|
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Malmedy Massacre site Baugnez
|The site of the Malmedy Massacre. Well it's very close to the site. The memorial is in Baugnez about 3 miles down the road from Malmedy|
Man of steel
|This plaque is dedicated to Pfc Mason Armstrong. These men were a different breed.|
Photo taken by Michael W. Morris Jr. Click for zoom