Belgium / Landmark
On 6 September 1944, British Guards units managed to establish a bridgehead on the other side of the Albert Canal in Beringen. In the following days, Leopoldsburg served as a staging post for the German troops of Kampfgruppe Chill and Fallschirmjäger, units led by Friedrich August Freiherr von der Heydte.
Leopoldsburg was relatively close to the British bridgehead at Beringen, therefore the German army command decided to provide an artillery position on the site of an old velodrome. Due to the large number of Belgian soldiers quartered there in the pre-war years, the two velodromes in Leopoldsburg were an important social and recreation spot. All major cyclists visited these velodromes.
On 6 September 1944, the site of the old velodrome on Het Geleeg was seen as an ideal firing position for the 88mm guns of the 17./18. SS Artillerie Ersatz und Ausbildungsregiment. This unit provided indirect fire support to the German troops counterattacking the British bridgehead. To coordinate this artillery fire, the forward fire observer had established himself on the Beringen mine ridge. From here, this observer had a good view of the bridgehead and British troop movements.
The Jagdpanther tank hunters of Panzerjäger-Abteilung 559 also used Leopoldsburg as a base of operations towards Hechtel and Beringen. Together with the already mentioned artillery unit, tank hunters from this unit would try to stop the British near Heppen on 8 September, without success.
Atheneumstraat 2, 3970 Leopoldsburg