BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.

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Lot 51
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE.
Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.

Sold for US$ 31,325 inc. premium

Conflicts of the 19th & 20th Centuries

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12 Dec 2019 ended at 17:00 EST

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BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE.
Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945. A set of two period double-sided road signs, blue and white enamel over metal, showing the distances in kilometers to Bastogne and Clervaux (Luxembourg ). Heavy bullet, shrapnel and battle damages to both signs. Each 1,250 x 290 mm.
Provenance: A Belgian World War II Collector near Bastogne.

It is rare to find a set of road signs that have paid silent witness to such an important moment in World War II history. Almost 75 years ago, on December 19th, 1944, it was facing these signs, which stood at the cross-roads of the village of Mageret (5 Km east of Bastogne ), on December 19, 1944, that the German commander General Fritz Bayerlein (former aide to Fieldmaschal Erwin Rommel), whose orders were to take Bastogne at all costs, took the fateful decision to suspend the advance of his entire division for a few hours, fearing that American forces (Team Cherry of the 10th Armored Division), then occupying the village of Longvilly, could hit his forces from behind. At the moment of his decision, the strategic cross-roads in the town of Bastogne was still completely undefended. This fateful decision, was key to the entire story of the Battle of Bastogne, in that it gave enough time for the 101st Airborne Division to occupy Bastogne, and organize the perimeter defense lines, and keep the town of Bastogne in American hands, despite a fearsome siege.

THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE WAS THE LARGEST LAND BATTLE EVER FOUGHT BY THE UNITED STATES ARMY THROUGHOUT ITS HISTORY, and the last offensive campaign of Germany in World War II. On 16th December, German forces broke through the Ardennes region, some 406,000 men, 1200 tanks and 4200 artillery pieces. It was winter and the Americans were caught off guard, pulling back against a savage assault, in bitter winter conditions. By December 21, German forces had surrounded the crossroads at the small town of Bastogne, a strategic point in the road network, where the 101st Airborne, the 10th Armored Division, the 969th African-American Artillery Bn. and a few other outfits had set up their perimeter defense and held it against superior German forces for 5 days. Food and ammunition ran out, and by the 22nd, each soldier had only 10 rounds to use each day. On this same day, the Germans asked the besieged troops to surrender, an ultimatum to which Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, deputy commander of the 101st Airborne replied with his world famous one word answer, "NUTS". Several aerial resupply missions including gliders were flown in to support the besieged troops, and Patton's 4th Armored Division, after a forced march, broke through the surrounding German lines on December 26, 1944. After the relief of Bastogne, the battle continued into January, when the Germans were forced to surrender as their supply lines were cut off, leaving their forces without gasoline and short of ammunition. Losses were considerable on both sides.
Contacts
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
BATTLE OF BASTOGNE: A UNIQUE PAIR OF ROAD SIGNS FROM A CRUCIAL CROSS-ROADS OUTSIDE BASTOGNE. Belgium made: Damaged in the Battle for Bastogne, December 1944 - January 1945.
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