German halftrack Sd.Kfz. 251/D

Poteau was next to an important crossroads for supplying the American troops. The Germans were following this road for their breakthrough. At December 18,  1944 the Americans drove in the dark from Poteau to Recht to protect the flank of the 7th Armoured Division. The Americans had hardly left Poteau when they were already confronted by a German armoured division with Jagdpanzer IV tanks. The Germans immediately started to fire and the Americans had to leave their tanks and vehicles behind.
In the following week there was a lot of fighting to get this crossroads back, and loose it again a couple of times. This crossroads is called Dante’s Hell since this battle. The Americans got the order to pull back to Vielsalm.

June 2004

We visited the Poteau 44 museum at Poteau. The special thing here is the possibility to take a ride on a halftrack. But there had to be at least 4 people before the ride starts. Lucky for us there were 4 English people who wanted to take the ride too.
We drove with a German halftrack to a historical site at the museums ground. The museum owner explained what happened at this site. After that we drove back to the museum. It was just a small ride but it was worth the experience. When I sat next to the driver I had only a small window to look out. It must be difficult to drive safely.

The inside of the halftrack Take a ride on the halftrack German halftrack German halftrack
Monument The Americans came from this direction The tank which was shot ended on this side of the road The German tanks came from the forest
The Americans hide behind this bushes The head of a British Firefly Sherman with bulletholes Russian tank SU-100 Sherman tank M4(105)
German 10cm le.FH 14/19 (t) gun A roadsign A tent of the American army American Dodge WC51