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The Road to Bastogne

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  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
The Road to Bastogne
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 4:31 AM

Please note that during the discussion that follows this original post it was discovered by Ixion and Stikpusher that my photograph was actually a location 14 km from Bastogne instead of near the town of St. Vith. Ixion has provided a link to the actual location which will allow you to look around the intersection at a mix of newer and original buildings that existed in December 1944.

 

I‘ve started assembly of three models I intend to use in a diorama called ‘Road to St. Vith’. The event in history occurred on or about 16 to 19 December 1944, see Warfare History link below: I’m looking for clarification on who is in the Jeeps.

https://warfarehistorynetwork.com/daily/wwii/the-battle-of-the-bulge-the-defense-of-st-vith/

Fact checking: It sounds like the men in Jeeps along the road to St. Vith were U.S. Army liaison officers rather than military police? My understanding is that during the Battle of the Bulge military police were normally directing traffic and provided some reconnaissance, so to have liaison officers on the road instead of enlisted personnel would be unusual.

A Sherman tank of the 9th Armored Division heads into action against the advancing Germans during the Battle of the Bulge.

“The 424th Infantry had its back to the Our River, and if the Germans seized the bridge at Steinebruck and spread along the far bank his regiment would be hard pressed to effectively withdraw. Communications with division headquarters in St. Vith were limited to liaison officers running along a road now being shelled by the Germans.”

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Friday, January 18, 2019 6:25 AM

Hello!

So what are those three models going to be? I sure would love to see some build photos here!

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 11:00 AM

Enlarging that photo shows that the road on which the M4 is advancing is to Bastogne, not St Vith. Also the sun is out in this photo, as evidenced by the pronounced shadows, which pretty much rules out the early phase of the battle. The lack of snow matches the early days of the fighting in most areas. Something of a contradiction between those two points. This photo sure presents some questions... is it what the captions say it is? Yes it is in the Ardennes area, as evidenced by the road sign. But as to where specifically, what units are there, and when it was taken...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 11:55 AM

I'm attempting to locate the area where the photo was taken. If you examine the road sign, you can barely make out what I believe is "Grande Rosiere" and "Nives". If you Google Maps; "Nives, Belgium", and zoom in closely, you will find a nearby town of "Rosiere la Grande", about 2 miles NW of Nives, which I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's the same town. I'm guessing this photo was taken near the town of Rosiere la Petite, which is in-between Rosiere la Grande and Nives, possibly on what is now "N85", about 6 miles SW of Bastogne. 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 12:02 PM

Ok, I did a little research based upon that road sign. The location is in the road between Neufchareau and Bastogne, near the village of Nives. The M4, probbably is from Combat Command A of 9th Armored Division, which was located southeast of Bastogne at the opening of the offensive. Combat Command B and Combat Command R were both to the northeast. CCB was sent as a blocking force in front St Vith, and CCR was sent as a blocking force in front of Bastogne (and pretty much destroyed in their delaying actions). CCA along with the 4th and 28th Infantry Divisions was on the southern shoulder of the bulge and was bumped west. The M4 has characteristics of the 9th armored division- camouflage painting, and sommerfield matting added for foliage attachment. But without seeing any bumper codes, it is not 100% definitely a 9th AD tank. But based off the known things in the photo, yes it is a Sherman, on the road to Bastogne from Neufchateau near Nives, and most likely from CCA, 9th armored division in the opening days of the Bulge. As to who is ithe jeeps? That will take more looking into...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 12:24 PM

This photo can be found on page 368 of Battle of the Bulge, Then and Now. It is identified as being from CCA of the 9th Armored, on N15, at Petite Rosiere, on or about Dec. 20-21. A present day photo of the location is also included. Looking at a higher resolution image confirms that the other, illegible road sign as being Neufchâteau. Not much else helpful in the accompanying text though...

Not a bad guess, Eh? Whistling Ok, so I got the wrong road....Black Eye

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 1:14 PM

Not a bad bit of photo interpreting and such from the signs.

So that might be snow on the ground on the field in the background. But the sunshine was an oddity until the weather cleared and the sun came out around the 23rd. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 1:42 PM

Ok, I missed something here... I inferred the date from the text and the dates given for the actions here, but the photo caption states; "this Sherman of the 9th Armored Division's CCA (switched from the east on December 25th) has reached Petite-Rosiere." So this photo may actually have been taken at a later time than that of the initial advance on Bastogne. It's not really clear from the text, as it doesn't actually address this particular photo. Reviewing Google Maps, I don't find an N15 in or near Petite-Rosiere, only N85, perhaps a typo in BoB, Then and Now, or they changed the name. Huh?

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:20 PM

Clearly our history detectives have discovered a problem with the text and the photo as it was represented in the Warfare History article, plus I added words under the photo in my post that were not in the original text because I believed the photo was taken outside the town of St. Vith.

Now the question is do I go ahead with the diorama which would hopefully represent the photograph and change the title, or do I stay with the objective which was to represent the defense of St. Vith during the Battle of the Bulge and change the diorama? I need to think about this a little more.

I purchased an M4A3 Sherman and two Willys MB Jeeps. I have also purchased a radio set and stowage for the Jeeps and tank, but nothing is lost here because all these items can be used no matter what I do.

Thank you ‘history detectives’ for fast recon.

Harold

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:51 PM

Ixion and Stik, I like the photo and think I would rather change the title of my diorama. If I do change the title what would you recommend the title be based on your detective work?

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 2:57 PM

The view in the photo is looking SSW along N85, also called the "Grande Route", here is the ground view present day image, although the new buildings obscure the historic view;

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.9183869,5.5842839,3a,75y,179.75h,62.61t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s2MUC1nmB3-o9IZM1i1tB2w!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D2MUC1nmB3-o9IZM1i1tB2w%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D132.89268%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

It looks like there are still some historic building remaining despite the more recent development. The large white house just right and behind the barn with the tractor confirms with the photo taken in 1984 in BoB Then and Now, thus confirming the proper location.

Confused As for a name for your diorama, I'm not sure I'm of much help, maybe Stik can come up with one. I'll think about it, and if those synapses in my brain fire favorably, I'll circle back...

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 3:28 PM

Wow that link you provided Ixion is great! So the location of my chosen photograph is 2 km from Nives, 14 km from Bastogne, 14 km from Neufchateau and 1 km from Grande Rosiere. Since the major offensive took place in Bastogne it would have the most historical significance and the title of my diorama could correctly be called ‘Road to Bastogne’. Am I correct?

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 3:31 PM

Sounds good to me! Beer

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 3:33 PM

Well, the sign says Bastogne, and it is pointing that way... so yes, “The Road to Bastogne“ is a perfect title. Or some variation of that.

 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 3:44 PM

Just as a side note Sergeant, Vancouver was my hometown. Wink Hazel Dell to be exact.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 3:59 PM

I grew up in Hazel Dell in the 1940’s and early 50’s. My family had a small farm three driveways south of the original Hazel Dell Elementary School on the east side of what is now called Hazel Dell Avenue (Old Pacific Highway). There is a church and three or four newer homes on the property now, but when I lived there it was all orchards and farm land. The house we lived in is still there, but the barn and out buildings for farm animals are gone.

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 4:35 PM

I lived on a old farm too, (with an actual Hazelnut orchard), a bit further north, near Columbia River HS. My father grew up nearby in Felida. All gone now, I can hardly recognize the area anymore...

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 4:50 PM

This is really exciting Ixion, I was from the Class of 65, although I joined the Navy in 1963. Most of my classmates from Hazel Dell went to Columbia River High School the first year it was opened. I chose to attend the old Fort Vancouver High School because that is where my girl friend went to school. She is my wife now and we have known each other since we were 5-year old (we’re now in our early 70’s).

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:01 PM

I'm from the class of '77 of CRHS, my chemistry teacher, Larry Cloe, was of the first class, valedictorian in fact.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 5:06 PM

I will look in my Shumway Junior High year book for a picture of Larry. All the students who were Class of 65 at Columbia River and Fort Vancouver went to Shumway.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Friday, January 18, 2019 7:04 PM

stikpusher

Well, the sign says Bastogne, and it is pointing that way... so yes, “The Road to Bastogne“ is a perfect title. Or some variation of that.

 

 

Stik, I wanted to thank you and Ixion again for your time and great detective work that helped me decide to change the title of my diorama. There have been many dioramas regarding Bastogne, but ’The Road to Bastogne’ is about getting to the fight and the sacrifice our troops made who stood in the way of an advancing enemy.

Harold

 

  • Member since
    July, 2004
  • From: Sunny So. Cal... The OC
Posted by stikpusher on Friday, January 18, 2019 7:36 PM

You're quite welcome sarge. When I was looking for the info this morning on which combat command of 9th Armored division was where whenthe Ardennes offensive began, I came across the tale of Combat Command Reserve. I had read of it before, but forgotten the details. It was broken up into task forces and placed into the path of 5th Panzer Army, to the easy of Bastogne. They were outnumbered and outequipped, had hold at all costs orders, and were eventually pretty much destroyed. Only a few lucky survivors were able to escape being killed or captured. Their sacrifices bought the time for the 101st to get to Bastogne and, along with the surviving elements of 28th Infantry Divison, 10th Armored Division, 705th Tank Destroyer Bn, and several other units, make their heroic stand. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, January 19, 2019 12:53 AM

Pawel

Hello!

So what are those three models going to be? I sure would love to see some build photos here!

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

Paweł

 

Pawel, here is my work-in-progress:

Jeep #2 is in primer (Tamiya Liquid Surface Primer thinned 50/50 with Lacquer Thinner) and ready for custom O.D. paint (Tamiya Olive Drab XF-62 mixed with Buff XF-57 60/20 and thinned 80/20 with Tamiya X-20A). I did not like the results on Jeep #1 below of painting over Tamiya Nato Black XF-69, so I used a nutural gray primer on Jeep #2.

This is Jeep #1 with custom O.D. paint, Legend resin BC1306 radio set and Blackdog resin wheels with snow chains.

This picture is the olive drab color I'm using as my paint sample. My hope is the nuteral gray primer will make the olive drab lighter and match more closely the color in this photograph.

I also decided to add a realistic antenna and base (mast) on Jeep #2.

This new antenna not only looks more realistic but can be bent over like the photograph 'The Road to Bastogne' that I'm building the diorama to represent.

I also orderd a Legend stowage set that will repesent what we see in the photograph below.

Sherman tank of the 9th Armored Division's CCA on the road to Bastogne.

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: North Pole, Alaska
Posted by richs26 on Saturday, January 19, 2019 3:56 PM

Sgt., are you trying to replicate the Sherman in the photo?  If you are, you have the wrong Sherman.  The one in the photo is a later A3 with the T-23 turret and 76mm with threaded barrel and thread protector.  You might have kitbash another Tamiya kit, but the Armor experts like Rob G. would know.  I'm an armor newbie.  On the Shaddock website is an actual verified 9 AD A3 knocked out sometime 17th December 1944.

WIP:  Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 73rd BS B-26, 40-1408, torpedo bomber attempt on Ryujo

Monogram 1/72 B-26 (Snaptite) as 22nd BG B-26, 7-Mile Drome, New Guinea

Minicraft 1/72 B-24D as LB-30, AL-613, "Tough Boy", 28th Composite Group

  • Member since
    June, 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Saturday, January 19, 2019 4:50 PM

You guys are amazing! Just amazing. Sarge, I can't wait to see the finished diorama. It's really going to be something. I remember seeing a program as a kid, The Twentieth Century maybe, narrated by Walter Cronkite, about the "Battered Bastards of Bastogne." In the film, the ice on the road was so thick that a Sherman tank was sliding sideways through an intersection. This thread is a build log, right?

OK. On the bench:

Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    May, 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Saturday, January 19, 2019 6:34 PM

Hello Sarge!

Thanks a lot for the info, now I know what you're up to!

And isn't the forum great? It seldom works as good as on this one, but when it does - then it's a really good thing to be on! I like this thread a lot, it's about accuracy now!

I would say the colour for the jeeps is too light. IMO it looks more like the modern forrest green than the correct old OD - but that's the talk about colours, so subjective. I'd say don't match the colour to what the restorers did - they might have slipped here... Maybe it would be better to find some old ammo can or something like this and match the colour to that? I have an OD ammo can from the sixties or seventies and the best match to it's colour is Humbrol 66 with some future on top of that.

I believe you know that the antenna has to be tied down to not whip around and avoid hurting people on the way... Once I have made the tie-down out of a nylon thread taken from a stocking (that's always a fascinating story :-). Maybe you have some use for that trick, too.

Good luck with your dio and have a nice day!

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, January 19, 2019 6:53 PM

richs26

Sgt., are you trying to replicate the Sherman in the photo?  If you are, you have the wrong Sherman.  The one in the photo is a later A3 with the T-23 turret and 76mm with threaded barrel and thread protector.  You might have kitbash another Tamiya kit, but the Armor experts like Rob G. would know.  I'm an armor newbie.  On the Shaddock website is an actual verified 9 AD A3 knocked out sometime 17th December 1944.

 

richs26; yes, I am trying to replicate the Sherman in the photo. Thank you for pointing out the mistake. Not only do I have the wrong turret and barrel, but I may also have a problem with the hull. I believe the fender on the right side facing the tank in the photograph indicates the hull was an early production M4, but the fender on the left side and the front of the hull indicate the M4 was a later production. So, I need to resolve that difference and possibly look for a Tamiya #35190 model. I can easliy add a resin T-23 turret with round hatch and metal 76mm barrel, see photograph below.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, January 19, 2019 7:04 PM

fotofrank

You guys are amazing! Just amazing. Sarge, I can't wait to see the finished diorama. It's really going to be something. I remember seeing a program as a kid, The Twentieth Century maybe, narrated by Walter Cronkite, about the "Battered Bastards of Bastogne." In the film, the ice on the road was so thick that a Sherman tank was sliding sideways through an intersection. This thread is a build log, right?

 

fotofrank, part of the fun in scale modeling is the research and effort to accurately replicate an event from history. I have watched the video 'Battered Bastards of Bastogne' and it was very well done.

  • Member since
    September, 2018
  • From: Vancouver, Washington USA
Posted by Sergeant on Saturday, January 19, 2019 7:19 PM

Ixion

The view in the photo is looking SSW along N85, also called the "Grande Route", here is the ground view present day image, although the new buildings obscure the historic view;

https://www.google.com/maps/@49.9183869,5.5842839,3a,75y,179.75h,62.61t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s2MUC1nmB3-o9IZM1i1tB2w!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D2MUC1nmB3-o9IZM1i1tB2w%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D132.89268%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

It looks like there are still some historic building remaining despite the more recent development. The large white house just right and behind the barn with the tractor confirms with the photo taken in 1984 in BoB Then and Now, thus confirming the proper location.

Confused As for a name for your diorama, I'm not sure I'm of much help, maybe Stik can come up with one. I'll think about it, and if those synapses in my brain fire favorably, I'll circle back...

 

Ixion, I believe I found the original house visible in the background of  this 1944 photograph.

I used your link and went down N85 (Rosiere la Petite) in the direction of Neufchateau past the buildings along the road and turned the camera left and back across the field is the house above. It has a distinctive roof which we call 'saltbox style' in the U.S. where the front of the building is two story and the back is one story. The owner has added three roof dormer 'eyebrows' but that is easy to do when the roof is replaced.

  • Member since
    December, 2012
Posted by Ixion on Saturday, January 19, 2019 8:14 PM

Yeah, I didn't mention it yesterday, but I did some "driving around" and spotted the house too, hence my "historic view" comment. Pretty cool! I "drove" up and down the highway, imagining all the relics that must be buried in the farmer's fields or hiding in the woods, what sorts of hardships the men endured there. It's like revisiting the past without actually being there. If you take the road towards Nives and turn at the first right, you can go up the alley a ways and see the house. It's a great way to get a feel for the surroundings, the vegetation and buildings, before one starts building a diorama. I use Google Earth a lot, which is why I was able to find the location relatively easily. My other main hobby, apart from modeling, is rockhounding, and I use Google Earth, with geological map overlays, (plus a degree in geology) to recon my target areas before I venture out in the field. It greatly improves my likelyhood of finding what I'm looking for, while minimizing unnecessary bushwacking.

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