Belgium / Landmark

The Sherman ‘Barracuda’ tank




At the Milliomont stream near Renuâmont, an American Sherman tank nicknamed ‘Barracuda’ by its crew, was hit by enemy fire and then was subsequently knocked out after it had become stuck in the boggy ground surrounding the village.

On 30 December 1944, American tanks of the U.S. 11th Armored Division were fighting in the vicinity of Hoûmont. A couple of Sherman tanks from the 41st Tank Battalion became separated and pushed into the enemy-held village of Renuâmont. In the ensuing chaos, ‘Barracuda’ was hit. It then became stuck and an easy target in the marshy meadows of the Denis farm, near the Milliomont stream.

Hit again by fire from German troops, the American crew bailed out and were taken prisoner. Some were wounded, including the tank commander Staff Sergeant Wallace Alexander. These injuries proved fatal, and Alexander died from his wounds a few days later.

Out-of-service and abandoned in a precarious position, the tank, like other abandoned wrecks, should have been cut up on the spot during post-war clearing operations. However, the farmer who owned the land was reluctant to cut up the tank, fearing it would pollute the nearby water source. This finally prompted the authorities to move the armoured vehicle in one piece in 1947.

Following some restoration work and a few new parts, it was placed on display to the public in Place Général McAuliffe, the central square in Bastogne. Between 2006 to 2007, the tank underwent further work and today displays its original markings, including its nickname, ‘Barracuda.’

Along the road between the two hamlets of Milliomont and Hubermont, visitors can see a sign stating, ‘La Route du Souvenir,’ which indicates the field where the tank was knocked-out during the Battle of the Bulge. 

6680, Saint-Ode, Belgium