What makes our Footsteps Battlefield Tours so unique is that we take you to places where most battlefield tour companies do not take you. In our team, all of our guides have their own area of expertise and research. Guiding people in the former battlefields teaches history while investigating the terrain and in-person stories. For me personally, researching stories is a long process that can take years and our in-depth knowledge is vast.
With our research partner, Footsteps Researchers, we have quick access to Morning Reports, After Action Reports, Unit Journals, etc. Combining our logistical and research knowledge, archival documents, and statements of veterans completes the whole story for our visitors.
One of my favorite stories is Trou du Loup (The Wolfgap) which I have been researching for ten years. In the early morning of December 25, 1944, several companies of the 289th Regiment/ 75th Infantry Division had dug in just outside of my hometown in Grandmenil, Belgium. At this place, the units met their enemy for the first time and had their baptism by fire.
Around 02.30 am, eight German Panther tanks of the 2nd SS “Das Reich” led by a Sherman tank as a decoy, broke through the thin American line. While entering a curve in the road called Trou du Loup, a firefight broke out with men of K Company. One man, Corporal Richard F. Wiegand, managed to get behind the leading Panther tank and took it out with his bazooka. The German tank blocked the whole road like a cork in a wine bottle. Endangered by the bazooka teams and iincoming artillery fire, the remaining Panther tanks had no choice but to return to Grandmenil. Corporal Wiegand was killed in action right after firing his bazooka.
The incident in Trou du Loup blocked the German division and ended their attacks in the mid-sector of the Ardennes. Without the support of heavy armor, the Germans could not proceed.
These small and unknown actions interest Bob Konings the most. They are stories and gems that must never be forgotten.
A visit to this area is included in our Battle of the Bulge tours.
You can find this complete story at: https://www.grandmenil.com/trou-du-loup-2/