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The German surprise attack on December 16, 1944, was directed to capturing the port of Antwerp (Belgium) within three days. General George S. PATTON Jr. ordered his 3rd Army, prepared to attack in the Saar region at that time, to turn 90┬░ north. Some 130.000 vehicles drove within 48 hours about 100 km to the north towards Luxembourg. Four of his key divisions attacked on December 22, 1944:
  • The 4th Armored Division smashed the ring around the encircled town of Bastogne (B) on December 26, 1944.
  • The 26th Infantry Division had Wiltz as an objective, which was liberated on January 21, 1945.
  • The 80th Infantry Division liberated Ettelbruck already on December 25, 1944.
  • The 5th Infantry Division operated in the area of Echternach and liberated the town on December 26, 1944.

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