Belgium WW II sites

Jan 9th, 2008, 01:26 PM
  #1  
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Belgium WW II sites

DH and I will be traveling to Belgium to visit some WWII sites, but also want to see Bruges and other cities. We have reserved a guide for the battlefields, but also want to explore with a rental car. We're debating US-London-tube-car vs. US-Paris-tain-car. Probably base in Bruges for several days, then explore further, depending on suggetions here and more guidebook reading. Dates are last half of October 2008. Any suggestions for places to stay, must-sees in Belgium, tube experiences (we've not done the tube yet). We have been to Paris and toured Normandy and Brittany, so don't need to include that area in this trip. Thanks in advance.
Challiman is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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carolinetaylor
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Try this link, it will provide you with information on WW1 and WW2 museums and cemeteries within Belgium.

http://www.visitbelgium.com/worldwar.htm

Although related more to WW1, i assume you will be visiting Flanders fields as such i would recommend Ypres which is a charming town.

Brugge is beautiful and worth a couple of days.

I wouldn't worry so much about Brussels worth a day trip but not much ore in my opinion.

Depending on how long you are in Belgium consider venturing into the Netherlands and heading to Arnhem, although most of the town was completely destroyed and then onto Amsterdam for Anne Frank's House (a must for WW2 buffs when visiting Netherlands)

There is also this site http://www.ww2sites.com/ which lists many of the sites all over Europe so you can decide which ones you would want to visit

 
Jan 9th, 2008, 02:21 PM
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You may wish to consider going into Luxembourg, esp. to Ettelbruck. There is a Patton museum there, and they still hold "Patton Remembrance Day" in July. I'm sure you know the Battle of the Bulge occurred in this region when German forces poured over the Belgian-Lux border in Dec. 1944. Ettelbruck is about a 3-1/2 hour drive from Brugges, I would guess. Also near is the American cemetery at Hamm, maybe another 45 minutes drive. Patton is buried there, and there is a wonderful large wall area at the entrance to the quite moving cemetery, displaying on illustrated maps how the whole Battle of the Bulge unfolded through the Ardennes. We were always fascinated by the "tank traps" still standing in farm fields and along rural roadways throughout the area...
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Jan 9th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Agree that many of the sites and small museums in Luxembourg are even more interesting that those in Belgium. We did a road trip in easter Belgium, Luxembourg and very western Germany (Aachen, Tirer) and was amazed at some of the local museums we saw.

(Esp interesting since we had an uncle at the Battle of the Bulge and another who was a paratrooper who dropped into Holland.)
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Jan 9th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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You might also be interested in Eben-Email, in Belgium, but not fae from Maastricht.
www.fort-eben-emael.be/
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Jan 9th, 2008, 10:55 PM
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That should of course of been Eben-Emael!
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Jan 9th, 2008, 10:56 PM
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Oh and if you go there then the big US cemetary at Margraten is close by too.
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Jan 10th, 2008, 02:52 AM
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Perhaps I am being a bit thick, but what does "We're debating US-London-tube-car vs. US-Paris-tain-car" mean?

Going via London just to experience the tube seems a bit excessive. How are you proposing to get from London to Belgium, and have you thought about the expense and difficulty of taking a British right-hand drive hire car to Belgium?

Or could it be that you are confusing the tube with the Channel Tunnel, and hope to go by Eurostar?
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Jan 10th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Are you planning to visit the Ardennes, Bastogne, Malmedy and other sites associated with the WW2 Battle of the Bulge? we were there many years ago, but still remember the museum and monments we saw there. I was especially interested in one of the memorials as it had my Fathers division listed. He was wounded in the Battle of the Ardennes. It was a very moving experience even if you knew no one who had fought there.
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Jan 10th, 2008, 02:16 PM
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Bastogne - Battle of the Bulge
KL467 is offline  
Jan 12th, 2008, 05:18 AM
  #11  
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Chartley, no, you're not being thick, I was trying to be brief. We were considering flying into London, staying a few days, then taking Eurostar to a point in France or Belgium, then renting a car for that portion of the trip only. We have a guide for the battlefields for two days, but like to explore on our own as well. Perhaps I used the wrong terminology regarding getting from London to France or Belgium. That's what this site is for, educating travelers with corrections in their knowledge or providing new information. So, thank you for helping me out. I have since checked into Eurostar and the costs of that. It begins to look like it would be much easier to fly into France and skip London this time around. We have a little more time, will gather more info before making a final decision.
Thanks to all who are helping us with our plans.
Challiman is offline  
Jan 18th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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We recently spent 6 nights in Belgium, and it was wonderful. We started in the little but gorgeous town of Dinant, near Bastogne, and visited the WWII monuments there. We stayed at a rustic B&B, Le Moulin de Lisogne, no frills in the room but goodness what food! We drove, which was easy. Then 2 days in Brussels and 2 days in Bruges. Magnifique!
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Jan 18th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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We toured Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands 2 years ago. A WWII museum not to be missed is in Diekriek (sp) Luxemburg. We spent about 2 hrs in the museum, but my husband could have stayed another 2 hrs. We spent 2 nights in Houffelise (sp) and did 2 day trips from there. A good book to read before you go is "Seven Roads from Hell".
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 11:19 AM
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It's not a WWII battle site, but you may be interested in Breendonk, the Nazi concentration camp in Belgium. It is completely intact and believed to be the only to still be so.

I was visiting friends in Belgium this past summer and they suggested visiting it since I had told them I was interested in seeing Ieper (Ypres). I had never heard of it before; it wasn't mentioned in any of the tour books I read even when reading the WWII sections. It's obviously not something you do for the pleasure of it, but I found it to be a worthwhile visit. It took us half a day to view it.

http://www.breendonk.be/EN/index.html

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Jan 23rd, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Duncmom1 made an excellent suggestion about the museum at Diekirk, which is about 25 miles north of Luxembourg City. It is the best WWII museum we have seen (from Normandy to Germany). Great scenes and diaramas and all the equipment and gear of the Allies and Nazis.

Jinx Hoover
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 08:46 PM
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There are many excellent suggestions in this thread about places to visit in Belgium, particularly the Battle of the Bulge sites. I particularly recommend, as others have, the Luxembourg Army Museum in Diekirch, Luxembourg.

You indicate that you will be in Bruges for a few days. This beautiful city was liberated intact by the Second Canadian Division in September 1944, prior to the terrible battles of the Leopold Canal and the Scheldt in October of that year. Just outside Bruges is the Canadian Cemetery at Adagem and a privately operated Canada Museum. They are both worth a visit.

For more information on the Canada Museum, see this site:

http://canadamuseum.be/
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Jan 23rd, 2008, 11:02 PM
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Concur with an earlier post recommending a vist to the Market-Garden sites in Holland. That is a must for anyone with an interest in WWII. The American museum just outside of Nijmegen and the British museum in Arnhem are superb; the latter one of the best military museums I've ever visited. Plus the sites and memorials are a lot of fun. The Major and Mrs. Holt's Battlefield Guides series has an excellent Market-Garden volume, and the Battlefield Europe series by Pen & Sword Books has battlefield touring guides for each phase of the campaign.
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