Belgium / Landmark
Wardin and Marvie were strategic positions in the defence of Bastogne. At the beginning of the battle, the villages were occupied by troops from the U.S. 101st Airborne Division and elements of the U.S. 10th Armored Division, which were to block the German Army’s approach to the important town.
On the evening of 18 December 1944, a combat command team led by Lieutenant-Colonel James O’Hara of the 10th Armored Division, was charged with trying to block the German Army’s advance along the road from Wiltz to Bastogne from the east.
The heights of the village of Marvie offered good visibility over the road and therefore also on the advance of German armoured columns. For this reason, combat Team O’Hara used this strategic position in the first days of the battle.
Marvie was at that time occupied by the 326th Airborne Engineer Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, working to install roadblocks at access points to the village. The American unit was joined by the 2nd Battalion of the 327th Glider Infantry Regiment.
The first attack on the village by the German forces came on 20 December. Elements of the Panzer Lehr Division attacked from the southeast. Several soldiers from both sides clashed in close combat in the centre of Marvie. But counterattacks by the Americans succeeded in repulsing the German troops and allowed most of the civilians to evacuate the village.
Another battle for Marvie took place on 23 December, but after hours of ferocious fighting it resulted in stalemate, with both sides holding parts of the village.
The vast forest area to the south-east of the village was occupied by German soldiers, who were later driven back from the surrounding areas during January 1945. American artillery had deployed considerable resources to play a significant role in this.