Bogged down, short of fuel and slowly being encircled by the Allies, the Germans finally abandoned their Ardennes adventure at the village of La Gleize, west of Malmédy, two days before Christmas 1944.
Peiper ordered the remaining 135 tanks and armoured vehicles to be disabled, and with 800 men trekked through the night to arrive at their Divisional HQ on Christmas Eve.
Today, one of the abandoned German 69-tonne ‘King Tiger’ Panzer tanks has been restored and sits outside the December 44 Museum, the only war museum situated on a spot where fighting actually took place.
The King Tiger’s gun had a range of about two thousand metres, but it was unsuitable for the narrow roads and bridges of the Ardennes, and was prone to mechanical breakdowns.
December 44 museum