- Museum or Interpretation Centre
The Battle of the Ardennes Museum in La Roche-en-Ardenne is fully dedicated to the history of the Second World War. Its collection also aims to ensure that Britain’s participation in the battle never gets overlooked.
A real treasure
The privately-run Battle of the Ardennes Museum is the brainchild of Michel Bouillon and his son Gilles. What started off as a modest hobby collecting artefacts relating to the battle just grew and grew; in the end, the two men had accumulated so many objects that in 1993 they decided to open a museum. This too has grown dramatically so that it now covers 1,500 square meters spread over three floors.
The dioramas and showcases display more than 100 mannequins presenting soldiers with their equipment and weapons, as well as uniforms donated by veterans who fought in the battle. Visit the Weapons room where some 90 rifles, pistols and revolvers are displayed, as well as the famous 'Enigma' cypher machines of Polish origin...
British soldiers too
Although always principally associated with the Americans, British servicemen made a major contribution in liberating La Roche and other villages on the left bank of the Ourthe in early January 1945. Under the command of Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, 200 British troops were killed with another 1,400 wounded or missing.
Among the collection is the combat jacket of Lieutenant-Colonel Cathhaert, commander of the 7th Battalion Black Watch of the 51st Highland Division, who helped liberate La Roche on 11 January 1945.
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