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Alan Heath
166 followers -
History, travel, motorhomes, healthy lifestyle, blueberry juice production,
History, travel, motorhomes, healthy lifestyle, blueberry juice production,

166 followers
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Around 17:00 on a van journey and with only one hour of daylight left it is time to start looking for somewhere to stop for the night. As a night stop when there is still hope of finding somewhere to stay, this place is too noisy, however had night already started to fall then I would have taken it. Here I am just outside Zug and i recall being offered work there several years ago but I decided that the cost of living there would be too great.

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It was the Battle of the Bulge that brought me to La Roche-en-Ardenne but that is not the only reason to visit as it is a popular tourist destination in its own right. Located on the River Ourthe,in the Ardennes, its hstory goes back to the Neolithic era and a site under archaeological excavation dates to 850BCE and 520BCE. The Romans built a fort here around two thousand years ago. Construction of the castle that we can see today dates from the ninth century whilst the city walls were constructed from 1331.

The town played an important role in December 1944 and January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge when serious damage occured. It was initially liberated in September 1944 but was recaptured during the Ardennes Offensive. Today we can visit the museum which tells the story of the battle and offers interesting before and after photographs showing the massive scale of destruction that happened to the town, with major loss of life, as the USAAF pulverised the town which was an important communications centre with a bridge over the River Ourthe. We can today see an American Sherman M4A1 tank and a British Achilles self propelled 17pdr artillery displayed.

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As of December 26th, a French SAS squadron attached to the 6th Airborne took part in fighting to the east of the city of Saint Hubert in order to protect the flanks of the British paratroopers and those of the American 87th Infantry Division. Going ahead of the men of the 87th Infantry on 11 January from Grupont, a patrol of French SAS paratroopers entered the city, forcing the Germans to withdraw while taking about twenty prisoners. The paratroopers hoisted the French flag on the façade of the Town Hall and the municipal authorities handed them the keys of the city in gratitude. In this film you can see the plaque recalling that the French paratroopers first entered Saint-Hubert and installed their command post in the house whch is today Rue du Marché n ° 3.

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