Belgia / Trasa tematyczna

WWII in Leopoldsburg

8.1 km

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The starting point of this local route is museum Liberation Garden, the renovated officers' villa from 1850. Before World War II, Leopoldsburg was a garrison town. This beautiful walking route takes you past historical landmarks around Market Garden and a war cemetery.

During the occupation from 1940 to 1944, German troops used the large military camp in Leopoldsburg to train and send out tens of thousands of soldiers across Europe. They simultaneously used the camp as a prison and execution site for those who resisted the Nazi regime.

In September 1944, Leopoldsburg and the surrounding area found itself in the eye of the storm during fighting between German and Allied troops. After the fighting was over, some 20,000 vehicles and 130,000 Allied troops gathered in and around the town. This was in preparation for the ground offensive of Operation Market Garden.

After the failure of Operation Market Garden, the area around Leopoldsburg became a major logistics centre and home base for a large concentration of Spitfires that helped cross the Rhine and bring down the Hitler regime.

American troops played an important role in the area. They liberated parts of the province of Limburg, south and east of Leopoldsburg. During Operation Market Garden, paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division flew towards the Netherlands via an airlift over Leopoldsburg.

Kon. Louisa-Marialaan 2, 3970 Leopoldsburg

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