Belgium / Monument

Bombardment of Chenogne




Located a short distance west from Bastogne, Chenogne was devastated by the ferocious fighting that took place there during the Battle of the Bulge in that bitter winter of 1944 to 1945. Of the 32 houses in the village, only one remained still standing following its liberation in January 1945.

On 21 December 1944, elements of the 26th Volksgrenadier Division captured the village of Chenogne from the Americans and occupied all its houses. Some inhabitants had tried to escape before the German Army arrived, but there were many who were unable, and were forced to endure the horrors and severe hardships of what followed.

During the final few days of December 1944, Chenogne was steadily reduced to a heap of rubble, as both the American artillery and airforce attacked the village on several occasions to try and drive the German troops out. Shells and bombs - including both Napalm and incendiary phosphorous - fell upon the village, forcing those inhabitants who had not fled, to take refuge in the cellars.

At the end of December, a ferocious battle raged for Chenogne as the Americans looked to recapture the village. Chenogne exchanged hands several times between the U.S. 11th Armored Division and the German troops, which included elements of the 3rd Panzergrenadier-Division and the Führer-Begleit-Brigade. But the Americans finally succeeded in capturing what remained of the village at the beginning of January 1945.

A number of the inhabitants of Chenogne were killed during the fighting for the village. Or, in some instances whilst trying to flee it. This included one day when several civilians were killed by a burst of gunfire nearby.

Today near the church, a monument commemorates the names of the 23 civilians from Chenogne who were killed during the battle for the village.

6640, Vaux-sur-Sûre, Belgium