Once a fearsome weapon of war for the Nazi Reich, now a memorial to the fallen. Craig Moore traces the story of Houffalize’s memorial Panther tank from the Battle of the Bulge to the modern day

This is the Houffalize Panther before being removed for restoration covered in graffiti and displaying the wrong turret number

‘A decision was made to use this Panther tank as a memorial to all who had died in the town of Houffalize’

On December 16, 1944, the German Ardennes Offensive began. It had been given the deceptive code name Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine), and is now often referred to as the Battle of the Bulge. On December 18, 1944, during the early part of the attack, the Reconnaissance Battalion of the Windhund (Greyhound) 116 Panzer Division overpowered American resistance south of the village of Houffalize, near the Luxembourg border. They wanted to capture the strategically important bridges over the river Ourthe before they were blown up by the Allies. However, problems with the supply of fuel combined with immense traffic jams on the roads around Dasburg caused delays for the main advance.

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