Manhay ’44 2022 was once again a great success, thanks in particular to cold but dry weather.
There was less heavy armor compared to the 75th anniversary but more than 220 vehicles gathered again for the organized rides through forest and country lanes on which a column of more than 4 kilometers moved under escort law enforcement.
Many American vehicles, but also German and some English trucks, were present including the “Notek” column.
Meanwhile, German and US camps were set up in their respective sectors, including an American field hospital in the village church.
The battlefield had been prepared well in advance, a river had been dug in the middle of the meadow, and an authentic “Bailey” bridge had been laid by members of the 326th Engineer (101st Association) representing for the occasion the 300th Engineer Bn. who at the time had rebuilt this type of bridge a few kilometers from Manhay.
As soon as the troops were installed, the evacuation of civilians was done across the battlefield and the latter went to meet the Engineers to cross the bridge exclaiming: “The Germans are coming back! “.
To the great surprise of the public, an avalanche of explosions ensued and the battle to take Grandmenil took place.
Everything had been brought together to offer impressive and unforgettable shows thanks to many enthusiasts wearing the uniforms of both sides, not to mention the civilians.
It was enough to listen to the reaction of the public who came by the thousands to be convinced of the success of the show.
It was grandiose and a complete success for our association which offers these quality musical and re-enactment shows every year and it should be remembered that it is completely free of charge.
This year, three groups of musicians and singers animated the weekend.
The inescapable “Manhattan Dolls” from Tucson, Arizona, presented their admirable shows during the 3 days as they had already done in 2019.
On Friday evening, “The Tupelo Boys” activated their musical instruments to make the public dance until very late.
The next day, a group from Germany, “The Swing Field Unit”, hosted the evening in the second half of the Dolls.
As every year, militaria stock exchange and museum could be visited.
Various ceremonies were held with music played by a bagpipe that performed throughout the weekend.
For the past two editions, a religious and reconciliation ceremony has been organized in the church of Grandmenil with the parish choir, which performed magnificent hymns well in the spirit of the event before a vibrant Brabançonne on the organ closed the celebration.
The non-profit organization Ardennes History Remember thanks the local authorities, the DNF, the Police, the inhabitants of Grandmenil-Manhay but above all the very many volunteers for their precious help in making this event a success.
See you on December 8/9/10, 2023 for the 79th Anniversary of the Battle of the Ardennes!
Pictures by Time Travellers , Retro & Vintage Photography.