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Address for your GPS:
Kurfürstenstraße 21
76887 Bad Bergzabern

! Click here for Google Maps Link !

Opening days! We are open from from 1000 to 1600
Staff rides and groups are welcome around the year by appointment.
Please contact the curator for special arrangemants.
MartinRobertGalle@web.de

23.04.2017
01.05.2017, 14.05.2017, 25.05.2017, 28.05.2017
05.06.2017, 11.06.2017, 15.06.2017, 25.06.2017
09.07.2017, 23.07.2017
13.08.2017 ,27.08.2017
10.09.2017, 24.09.2017
03.10.2017, 08.10.2017, 22.10.2017, 31.10. (only in  2017)

The 36th Divison breaking through the Siegfried Line in March 1945 from Wissembourg and then taking Bad Bergzabern.


Explore two original WWII Siegfried Line bunkers. Built to prevent a French attack in 1939 it became useless after the occupation of France in 1940. With the arrival of the US seventh Army in the Alsace in late 1944 the Siegfried Line was reequipped and rearmed to stop American and French Divisions from entering Germany. Fierce battles in March 1945 finally allowed the 36th Texas Division to brake through it.







More here: http://texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org


Bunker 1 explains the histiory of the Siegfried Line and shows some interesting original artefacts of the long gone bunkers and the soldiers that lived inside them. 


The French Army tried to bust the bunkers with explosives after the war but didn't succeed.

A German WWI machine gun is the symbol for what was left when the Americans arrived in March 1945. The Germans "scraped the barrel" to reequipp the "Westwall" with guns and men. It was the young Hitleryouth and the so called Volkssturm a national militia with men not fit to serve in the regular Army for beeing disabled or too old.





Bunker 2 is fully equipped as it looked in WWII and houses an original 105mm field artillery piece.
Artillerybunker Nr. 2 is coverd under the little hill behind the steel turret on the left.









Original 105mm German howitzer

Where the soldiers lived


In the former ammunition storage room you will find an exhebition of communication equippment used by the German Army in WWI












Soldiers of the 36th Texas Division in front of the "German Wine Gate" ( Deutsches Weintor)
March/April 1945. From here they attacked the Siegfried Line southeast of Bad Bergzabern.
Back then our museum was the location of various artillery pieces that fired at the advancing American troops.















Copyright for this picture: http://texasmilitaryforcesmuseum.org

Picture:
US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
via http://www.digitalhistoryarchive.com



Use the Siegfried Line Museum at Bad Bergzabern to see "the other side of the fence", the famous Maginot Line. We recommend that you visit the Maginot Line Schoenenbourg Fort just about 30 min south of us.
A day trip like this gives you a good idea about how these two defensive constructions used to be in 1939/1940.



If you are interested in a guided tour in english please contact the
curator of the museum.

Martin Galle
Honorary Curator of the Westwall Museum Bad Bergzabern
Email:
MartinRobertGalle@web.de






A forgotten Hero

When planning your trip from our museum to the Maginot Line in France.
You might consider to to drive a few extra miles to find the location where
Charles L. Thomas fought.
He fought for the liberation of France and a way for the allied troops to liberate Germany.






Read his story.


http://tankdestroyer.net/people/honorees/81-honorees-alphabet/t/366-thomas-charles-l-614th-moh

https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=7932140


http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3016/thomas-charles-l.php


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_L._Thomas



































On December 14, 1944, Thomas led a task force storming Climbach, consisting of a platoon from the 756th Tank Battalion and a reinforced company of the 411th Infantry Regiment, 103rd Infantry Division, led by a platoon of his tank destroyers. Approaching Climbach, Thomas' armored scout car was knocked out by enemy fire and he was wounded.

The lieutenant helped his crew out of the vehicle, but as he left the car's protection, he was again wounded in the chest, legs and arms. Despite his wounds, Thomas directed the dispersal and emplacement of the anti-tank guns, which then returned fire and covered the attempt by the rest of the task force to outflank the defenders. He briefed one of his platoon leaders, a junior lieutenant, on the general situation, and only when he was sure the situation was under control did he allow himself to be evacuated. The platoon continued to fight for four hours, losing two of its four guns and half its men as casualties (3 dead, 17 wounded).

The strong performance of the platoon ensured the capture of the town and forced the defenders to withdraw to the Siegfried Line; the unit was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (the first black combat unit, and the first unit attached to the 103rd Division, to be so honored) and its men received four Silver Stars and nine Bronze Stars. Thomas himself was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the engagement, and returned home a hero, though he played down his role – "I know I was sent out to locate and draw the enemy fire, but I didn't mean to draw that much."

Thomas remained in the Army, and retired with the rank of Major. In the 1990s, following a study which indicated severe racial discrimination in the process of awarding medals during the war, it was recommended that seven Distinguished Service Crosses be upgraded to Medals of Honor, and Thomas was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously on January 13, 1997.


 
     
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