Initially, I must announce that I am Belgian. I was born in Ciney... a certain time ago (the year of the assassination of Kennedy).
A few years ago, I met the girl with which, today, I share my life.
His dad, born in 1914 was surrounded by four women. His wife and his three daughters. As he had lived the offensive of the Ardennes of very near, he had many things to tell, but until had never found there an attentive ear with his history. It is thus with a great relief that he thus could be released when I entered the life of his daughter.
My father-in-law always lived in Celles. he was thus to Christmas 1944 that the most important event of his life proceeded. The Germans are coming back.
Of course, I had already intended to speak about the Offensive, but never I would not have imagined that such an important thing had been held so close to at home, because it should well be admitted that rare are inhabitants people in our area who know the history, and importance of Celles, which, I point out it was the extreme point of the German Offensive.
I thus started to interest me more and more in this important episode of the second world war. I started accumulating more and more documentation At one moment, I was worried so much by that, that when in 1994 one spoke to give again (finally) a new painting to the Panther (or rather what it remains about it) of Celles, which I proposed to repaint it in ITS color of the time, and this... completely free. The responsible people declined my offer, preferring to leave the care of this task to the soldiers of Bundeswehr based in Baronville. Initially, the fasteners of shürtzen (plates on sides) which had resisted 50 years the attacks of the tourists were cut off. Then, the plates of driving covering (absent) were replaced by plates of steel and were welded. Then, the input of the turret« was stopped »with steel dishes. The trap doors of conducting and radio access were also stopped with plates, and guard muds which resemble as much the originals as of the Michelin tires on a barouche Louis XIV were added. To perfect the whole, one painted the tank in an horrible olive drab that even if the tank it had been able, it would have run as fast as it could and would have fled on the side of Grandmenil.*
Following my remarks, one judged good to add thereafter, of the tapes of clear green and yellow.
And statement that German veterans were on December 25, 1994 there. What they will have laughter by seeing that. But fortunately, the propriety wanted that they do not say what they thought.
To return from there to my passion, going regularly on the second world war forum (of which the link is indicated in the welcome page), it often was able to me to have to answer questions about the Offensive. I then realized that the sites devoted to this offensive were relatively rare in French, or well were incomplete. At this point in time I take the resolution to create a site, which I try to supplement of week in week. As some asking from England and USA, I decide to propose « Ardennes44 » traducted in « The Battle of the Bulge 44 ».
This is why, I invite you to come regularly to benefit from this further information. It is certain that this site could not never be complete for the subject is well too vast.
Last precision, even if I live in Celles since 1996, you will notice that I do not try absolutely to draw the hedging with me, and rather tries to remain neutral while bringing a maximum of equivalent information for all the places which were touched by this offensive... But it is nevertheless on our premises that it was further... :)
*Ah yes, since, I succeeded in buying a VW 181 (bof, it is not true Kübelwagen) at an accessible price. Of course, it is a 1974 one, but it has an unquestionable relationship nevertheless.
It was painted in olive drab, but I hastened to remake an owl painting to it, especially to please to me, but also to give regrets to those which did not want to trust me.
Unfortunately, I did not find of« brown-rust »which would have enabled me to make a camouflage of the ambush type, but I do not despair, because from here two or three years, it still will have a small cure of youth.
You want to see it? Then, click HERE