The “Ardennes Breakthrough Association asbl” is a non-profit organisation founded on February 9, 2019 with its headquarters in Fauvillers, Belgium.

The initial members being Jeremie Chenot-Nosh (chairman), Ivan Steenkiste (vice-chairman), Cédric Touchèque (founding member) and Erwin Verholen (founding member). This team was joined by Jean François (member) at a later date.

The purpose of this group is to study, research, document the events happening in the general area of Arlon-Martelange-Warnach-Chaumont-Assenois during the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge). 

Further to participate in or plan commemorations and projects in relation to the Ardennes Offensive.

Our Passion

Our team is involved in studying the former battlefield either on the terrain itself as well as via several (virtual) sources. This includes after-action reports, personal testimonies and all sorts of other documents. This from the Allied side, as well as the German and civilian side.

Next to this, there is the (partial) planning or participation in projects regarding dedication, renewal of monuments and historical sites, usually in the form of providing historical information and advice. 

Part of our work is the so-called “then & now”; this is matching wartime (or early postwar) photos with current locations and gathering the correct information for them. Often photos are wrongfully captioned or the incorrect information has been added over the years.

Last but not least is the commemoration part. As the last Veterans leave us, it is necessary to keep their memory alive as to not forget what they went through in those dark winter days of 1944/1945.

Our Goal

As mentioned elsewhere here on this site, most people know about the Ardennes Offensive (ergo Battle of the Bulge). But very often this is limited to the stand of the 101st Airborne Division and attached units in Bastogne or the fate of the infamous Kampfgruppe (battlegroup) Peiper in the northern sector. The Ardennes Offensive and the following counteroffensive is far more than that.

In fact, the Ardennes Offensive is a big puzzle of actions of smaller and larger units all over the area. Going from a squad of GIs holding off a regiment for several crucial hours to head-on assaults of armored units. This in Belgium as well as in Luxembourg.

One of those puzzle pieces is the sector south of Bastogne, roughly between Arlon and the city of Bastogne itself. This area was where part of General Patton’s Third US Army launched its counteroffensive that lead to the relief of the besieged 101st Airborne Division and its attached units in Bastogne and pushing back the German forces towards the border. It is also the area where the 4th Armored Division was halted and only could regain its advance after some heavy combat at places like Warnach, Chaumont and Grandrue. And of course, it is the area where the German encirclement of Bastogne was breached (two times in fact, briefly on December 20, 1944 and finally on December 26, 1944). And in this area, a lot of follow-up units were thrown in to stem the tide as well; elements of the 9th Armored (after being hit hard in the initial assault in Luxembourg), the 11th Armored, and the 17th Airborne Division. Not forgetting units like the 26th, 35th and 80th Infantry Division who, on their turn, were heavily engaged in Luxembourg and Belgium at places like  Mon Schumann, Wiltz, Lutrebois, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, …

Our goal is to put this often overlooked sector more in the spotlight because, as with a lot of other units and sectors, all who fought and died there deserve far more credit than what they get now. 

As the saying goes; “it was their duty to serve, it is our duty to remember!“.