Bastogne
Battle of the Bulge
Consultancy – Services

Heintz Barracks

Heintz Barracks

Caserne Heintz

History

Chasseurs Ardennais

The Military Barracks in Bastogne are build in 1934 by the Belgian Army  to billet the 2nd Regiment de Chasseurs Ardennais, the 2nd Ardennes Hunters Regiment. During the German occupation until the liberation of Bastogne on 10 September 1944 the Barracks were used as a ‘Wehrertüchtigungslager’, a re-boot camp for the Hitler Youth. The remnants of painted German words are still visible on some of the buildings today. 

On 4 October 1944, less than a month after  the Liberation, VIII Corps, as part of the 9th US Army, arrived in the Ardennes to move east to join the rest of the allied forces along the border of Germany. The corps took over the front in the Ardennes along the Our River and the Schnee Eiffel. Because this area of the front was so quiet, the corps was used as an orientation and rest area for new U.S. divisions and divisions that had taken heavy casualties while fighting in the Hurtgen Forest. This mission continued until 16 December 1944, when the Germans attacked VIII Corps with over 20 divisions in what came to be known as the Ardennes Offensive. VIII Corps Commander Troy Middleton had set up his Head Quarters at the Heintz Barracks in Bastogne only to move the HQ to Neufchâteau on 20 December 1944.

Gen. Taylor - Brig.Gen.McAuliffe

General Maxwell Taylor, CO of the 101st Airborne Division was back in the US when the Von Runstedt Offensive started. Second in line , General Higgins was still in the UK so it was up to Brigadier General Anthony Clement McAuliffe, former artillery commander, to lead the Division in the Ardennes. Upon arrival in Bastogne Brig. Gen. McAuliffe decided to set up his Divisional HQ at the Barracks as well because all the facilities, like communication lines, were already installed.On 21 December 1944 German forces closed the gap south of Bastogne hereby isolating the U.S. troops. About an hour before the encirclement Brig.Gen. McAuliffe returned from a meeting with Troy Middleton in                                                                                                 Neufchâteau.

 

McAuliffe was given the overall command of all the U.S. troops that were defending the city.

 

On 22 December 1944, at the Barracks, Anthony McAuliffe replied NUTS! To the German demand to surrender.

On 26th December 1944 around 5 pm, the 4th Armored Division as part of General George Patton’s 3rd Army broke the German encirclement. One day later General Maxwell Taylor arrived in Bastogne and took over the command of his Division right away. Brig.Gen. McAuliffe was transferred to take over the command of the 103rd Infantry Division on 7 January 1945.

General Taylor decided to move the HQ from the Barracks to Isle La Hesse and part of his Intelligence to Isle Le Pré. Although the HQ had been moved from the Barracks many buildings were still in use as a hospital and many American wounded soldiers were treated here. One of the Belgian nurses that volunteered to help treating the US soldiers at the barracks was Augusta Chiwi

 

 

 

Christmas Dinner

Anthony McAuliffe - Harry Kinnard