Landscapes of the Battle of the Bulge: WW2 Field Fortifications in the Ardennes Forests of Belgium
Source: Journal of Conflict Archaeology, Volume 4, Numbers 1-2, 2008 , pp. 87-107(21)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:This paper presents the results of a reconnaissance survey of battlefield archaeological features that are associated with the early stages of the German Ardennes offensive in December 1944, and which have been well-preserved in the post-war forests in the St. Vith–Schöenberg area of eastern Belgium. Field survey of the location, plan-form dimensions, (unexcavated) surface relief and orientation of forest-floor earthworks over a total area of ca. 1.4 km2 has recorded 116 discrete and well preserved features that have been provisionally assigned to a threefold typology encompassing large emplacements, rectilinear entrenchments and circular and sub-circular entrenchments/shell craters. The form and disposition of these remains are considered in the context of field fortification doctrine, documented accounts of combat in the area and the terrain and landscape setting. It is to be hoped that the work will stimulate a wider awareness of the value of recording and managing the region's WW2 battlefield heritage in the face of future development pressures, and especially the immediate threat posed by mechanised forestry operations.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK 2: School of Geography, Archaeology and Earth Resources, University of Exeter, Cornwall Campus, Penryn, Cornwall, UK;, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date: 2008