Museum December 1944, La Gleize, Belgium

In the eigthies, I visited twice the Battle of the Bulge museum December 1944 in La Gleize, Belgium. The only eyecatcher then was of course the German Königstiger. But recently, the museum had a make-over and last summer I visited it again.
Here are some pictures of this formidable collection of German and American army. Strongly recommended!

Dugjans,

Excellent group of pictures, thank you for taking them posting them here on the forum.

Brian

Looks like a really neat museum.

Do they still have the two tanks, one at each end of town? I hope so.

Walked through there in 1967, & at the time was unaware of the museum and the importance of the battle.

I JUST LOVE MUSEUMS - THANKS FOR ALL THE GREAT PHOTOGRAPHS. JUST A LITTLE COMMENT, ORIGINALLY MADE BY A U.S. INFANTRYMAN WHO WAS THERE, THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO AN INFANTRYMEN WERE; LOTS AND LOTS OF AMMUNITIOIN, COFFEE (GOOD OR NOT), AND CHEWING GUM. PLEASES ME TO SEE THAT CHEWING GUM MADE THE MUSEUM’S CUT.

A. What hit, and apparently penetrated the King Tiger?
B. What happened to the Garand about halfway down?
C. Who used the Johnson LMG?

[quote=“jonnyc”]A. What hit, and apparently penetrated the King Tiger?
B. What happened to the Garand about halfway down?
C. Who used the Johnson LMG?[/quote]

The Kingtiger 213 belonged to Kampfgruppe Peiper. After the German SS-troops took La Gleize, they fell out of gas and the Americans started a counterattack in which the Königstiger became heavily damaged. Its barrel broke and the defenders left the village on foot, returning to their lines. The tank itself was completely disabled by its crew, I think they blew it up because there’s huge damage above the tracks on both sides of the body. After seizing La Gleize, some American tankers tried to penetrate the frontal armor of the tank but they didn’t succeed… In the summer of 1945, men of the engineercorps wanted to tow away the wreck but traded it for a bottle of cognac with mrs. Jenny Geenen-Dewez whose husband had a bar-café in La Gleize. The following years, the tank was externally restorated. Welders of the FN arms factory repared the barrel with a barrel of a Panther. I visited it for the first time in 1981. Nothing has changed on the tank since then, only some new paint.
About the Garand(s). It’s a so called bottom discovery. Still, there 's plenty of debris, litter, ammunition… in the underground of the battlefields because of the intense fighting of those days.
And the Johnson? Let me guess: the 101 airborne? As far as I know, it was not widely used. Strange enough, it was the twin of the German FG 42 as it operated in the same way.

[quote=“PetedeCoux”]Looks like a really neat museum.

Do they still have the two tanks, one at each end of town? I hope so.

Walked through there in 1967, & at the time was unaware of the museum and the importance of the battle.[/quote]

I don’t think so, Pete. My first visit dates back to 1981 and I 've never seen other tanks in the village. But there are plenty of tank- monuments around, almost always American Shermans. Too often, they were knocked out by the enemy and left behind. Yes, we owe America…

Too bad, that was really cool.

Jon - it looks to me, from the picture, that the M1 did not blow up from any malfundtion (I know you didn’t say it did - just an observation on my part), but rather was probably hit by two or three bullets, perhaps due to their close proximity to each other, and the fact that just one probably would have caused it to be dropped, from a high ROF machine gun. Most of the visible damage seems to be in the stock and (missing) top rear handguard. However, if a 7.9 bullet went through the stock up around the trigger section, there was undoubtedly damage internally. I see the bolt is locked, and probably jammed, to the rear. One can picture the hits occuring while the soldier was attempting to reload the weapon. Of course, all speculation on my part.

Interesting Museum - wish I knew about it when I was in Belgium years and years ago (1979 as I recall). Sad, though, when you look at the dug up weapons and artifacts, and ponder on why they were dropped.

Great pictures!

The Rubber late-production-model FG42 (G-type) muzzle cover is VERY rare, as are the pouches - someone really worked hard on that display.

Nice pictures. Would be interesting to see the manufacturer and serial numbers of the M-1’s. See a familiar item the BAR ammo belt. I strapped more than one of them on. Always carried a full magazine in the weapon with the bolt closed, that gave you 20 extra.
Gourd