On our 2023 Ardennes Tour get knee deep into history with us AND with special guest guide Roland J. Gaul, who will spend a day with us covering the 28th Infantry Division and the 4th Armored Division’s advance to Bastogne!
Hitler had decided to put all his eggs in one basket to defeat the Western Allies with one great push, the operation “Wacht am Rhein.” Starting on 16 December under terrible weather conditions the German Panzer Divisions broke through the thin American frontlines. Despite a strong resistance by several American units, the German Army made its way west. The famous “Kampfgruppe Peiper” advanced under circumstances that became tragic for all.
Soon the German units arrived at the main center of communication in that region, the town of Bastogne. The grim defense of Bastogne, mainly units from the 101st Airborne and 10th Armored Divisions, became famous and stands now for the strong will of the Allied Commanders and the simple GIs to finally defeat the Third Reich.
On Christmas Eve 1944 the reconnaissance battalion of 2nd Panzer reached the most western point of the Bulge, only a few kilometers away from the Meuse-River at Dinant.
Already from 22 December on, American counterattacks on the southern part of the Bulge had started to open the way to Bastogne. Finally, on 26 December the first Sherman tank made its way into the town. At latest from this day on, the German commanders realized that this offensive failed and that further fighting would be senseless. Nonetheless, the fights continued almost until the end of January 1945.
Day 1—Wednesday, 7 June—Pick up at BRU at 12:00pm. Evening briefing and introductory dinner.
Day 2—Thursday, 8 June—Initial advance in the northern sector, with a focus on the area around Elsenborn and the Siegfried Line (Westwall), Skyline Drive, 106th Inf. Div. and St. Vith.
Day 3—Friday, 9 June—Focus on the advance of Kampfgruppe Peiper: Büllingen, Baugnez, Stavelot, Malmedy, La Gleize and Neufmoulin.
Day 4—Saturday, 10 June—Focus on the defense of Bastogne, including visits to the Bastogne War Museum.
Day 5—Sunday, 11 June—Focus on the 28th Division and the advance of the 4th Armored Division into Bastogne. This day will be led by guest tour guide Roland Gaul.
Day 6—Monday, 12 June—Focus on the German advance of the 2nd and 116th Panzer Divisions of the Fifth Panzer Army toward the Meuse River.
Day 7—Tuesday, 13 June—Morning departure at 9:00am to BRU. We expect to arrive at the return point by 11:00am, but delays are always possible.
Schedule is subject to modification as outlined in the 2023 Tour Brochure and 2023 Terms and Conditions.
Who is Guest Guide Roland Gaul?
Roland is a well-known expert on the Battle of the Bulge. He was the initiator (1982) and long-term curator of the Diekirch National Museum of Military History in Diekirch, Luxembourg. He is also the author of four books on the Battle of the Bulge focusing on the Southern Flank of the offensive. Roland has appeared in numerous television documentaries. He has been a tour guide for several decades, and he has the advantage of having met scores of veterans during his years of collecting, researching and guiding.
Roland will be joining us for one day, as outlined in the schedule above.
Select Testimonials from 2022 Clients
Select Feedback from Knee Deep Into History, LLC’s 2022 Tour Season
“…This is my second visit with you and I am working on my third and fourth visits in the future. Most of all I want to thank you for helping not just one, but now two, of my sons to gain an incredible appreciation for WW1 and their great-grandfather. There is nothing like getting to walk in his footsteps…” Matt Treaster, Kansas.
“You have provided me one of the best experiences of my life in the historical arena. In many ways it is superior to the drama of the first “take” in filming the First Manassas battle scene in North—South Pt. II… While it was good, yours was better as it was on the real ground and intellectually stimulating. Your scholarship is awesome and MAKES your program—especially through your analysis of period photography. I hope to use your talents again for my wife, Viola, to gain some perspective on her father in WW1.” Matt Switlik, Michigan.
“It is always a boon when your expectations of a great learning experience turn into a grand WW1 adventure with two guides whom are first-class historians. The two tours I took cleared many uncertain opinions about the war… My interest in artillery and narrow-gauge railways was a cause that Markus and Randy accepted and lead me to many interesting sites…” Ken Baumann, Michigan.
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Still have questions or concerns? Email Randy Gaulke at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.