Siege of bastogne: "Isle la Hesse" hamlet road sign, the HQ of 101st airborne Division. Belgian, 1944.

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Lot 1224
Siege of bastogne: "Isle la Hesse" hamlet road sign, the HQ of 101st airborne Division.
Belgian, 1944.

US$ 20,000 - 30,000
£ 16,000 - 24,000
Siege of bastogne: "Isle la Hesse" hamlet road sign, the HQ of 101st airborne Division.
Belgian, 1944. An enameled road sign lettered in black "ISLE LA HESSE", on yellow background bordered in red, ten holes used to secure the sign, and ten areas where bullets or shrapnel have hit or penetrated the sign. Edges and pock marks showing loss of enamel and subsequent rust, verso rusted, front of sign with traces of dust and dirt. 360 x 1,000 mm.

The Chateau Isle la Hesse is 2 km outside Bastogne to the west of modern day E25, and is still standing and used as a hotel. In December 1944, it was taken over as the HQ for the 101st Airborne Division, being large enough to accommodate the various Commanders of the Battalions in action all around the perimeter. Communication lines radiated out of the Chateau to command posts all around the perimeter. Here Generals Taylor, McAuliffe, and Higgins coordinated the defense of Bastogne and directed the push back in January 1945. During the siege there were 12,000 of the 101st Airborne and 11,000 men in other units, fighting 7 German Divisions, with over 55,000 men, casualties were 3,000 for US forces. This sign was retrieved after the battle by a local farmer, who subsequently sold it to an English collector.
Contacts
Siege of bastogne: "Isle la Hesse" hamlet road sign, the HQ of 101st airborne Division. Belgian, 1944.
Siege of bastogne: "Isle la Hesse" hamlet road sign, the HQ of 101st airborne Division. Belgian, 1944.
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