Civilian side

10 May 1940: The German Army is crossing the frontier and enters Luxembourg. Early in the morning, the Wehrmacht troops are in the streets of the villages along the Our and Moselle River. They are riding bicycles, driving scout cars, self-propelled guns, tanks, horses tracking their equipment. They encounter little resistance. Luxembourg people never believed that Hitler would invade their country as he had made agreements with Great Britain and other countries.

The grand-ducal family and the government are driven off the country to France, a few days later they got to England. There, they supported the Luxembourg Resistance and established a valuable diplomatic headquarters to resist against the aggressors.

Bigonville, on the border to Belgium, is an anonymous stop on the road to Belgium and France. Around noon, German troops took quarters in Bigonville, confident to be in Paris very soon. They are dismounting and taking a rest. Bigonville people never saw such troops and they are on the streets to have a look at the soldiers and their equipment.

Later on, a Customs Office is set up in the former school building, at about 10 customs officers are located in Bigonville. A German Police Office is established in Perle, at about 3 miles from Bigonville. German Party organizations are installed: NSDAP, HJ and others.

An 'Amtsbürgermeister'-Office is opened at Redange/Attert. This office is the main executive force; all orders and advices come from here, political training, propaganda and repressions, even persecutions. Bigonville being in the Redange/Attert sector, this is where people have to go for all kind of official documents. Diekirch is the district capital. There are the centers of the Police Department (GESTAPO), political organizations and the district court.

In 1941, the Nazi Government with Gauleiter Gustav Simon is installed and in 1942, regulations to draft luxembourg citizens into the Wehrmacht "Bekanntmachung - Wehrdienst im Kreise Diekirch" are published. Families of draftees who did not follow the orders to enter the army were resettled into Germany.

Reichsarbeitsdienst RAD
Alphonse Deltgen
Robert Schumacher
Jos. Strotz
François Felten

Local civilians remember the Battle of the Bulge

Sophie Lion-Lutgen
Nic. Molitor
Paul Kettel
Jos. Thomas
Jos. Mantz

After the Bulge, 4 civilians having been killed, 43 houses were completely destroyed and 64 buildings damaged. The Grand-Duchess visits liberated Bigonville on 14 May 1945.

Between 1945 and 1947: German POW's were working on the farms in Bigonville. At Flatzbour(Hof), 2 destroyed self propelled guns left there after the battle, were taken away in 1945.

Image: map of northern part of Luxembourg used by 6th Armored Division in 1944
Sheet of map of northern part of Luxembourg used by 6th Armored Division in 1944

Military Reports

On 10 May 1940, German troops took quarters in the village. After a brief stop and fighting along the luxembourg-belgian border, the resisting belgian "Chasseurs Ardennais" were pushed back and German military outfits left Bigonville for Belgium and France. The only German presence in the village were the customs officers that took quarters to guard the border until early September 1944.

On 9 September 1944, the first U.S. troops crossed the border from France into southern Luxembourg and on Sunday, 10 September, U.S. 28th Infantry Division troops enter the sector along N4 to arrive in Martelange. The German troops were driven back behind the Westwall without much resistance. On December 13 1944, the first 250-300 American soldiers took quarters in the village but left after a few days. US Engineer units are working in the area (1128th Engineer Combat Group, 299th Engineer Combat Battalion, 1278th Engineer Combat Battalion).

21 December 1944, the German 5th Para Division enters Bigonville from the North. On 23 December, CCR, 4th Armored Division and supporting units [578th FA Bn., 188th Engr. C. Bn., 145th Engr. C. Bn., 249 Engr. Bn.] are engaging the German troops outside the village, to the South. Finally, on 24 December, CCR and supporting units are entering Bigonville and the village is liberated.

1128th Engineer Combat Group

299th Engineer Combat Battalion

James H. Burke

1278th Engineer Combat Battalion

5. Fallschirmjäger Division

Horst Lange

Josef Schröder

Karl Kran

4th Armored Division

37th Tank Battalion

John A. Whitehill

53rd Armored Infantry Battalion

94th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

578th Field Artillery Battalion

188th Engineer Combat Battalion

Bruce Burdett

249th Engineer Battalion

145th Engineer Combat Battalion

25 December 1944: The sector turns under control of the 26th Infantry Division. The sector is used as rear combat zone. Artillery batteries are set up and a Field Hospital is opened in Perlé. 2 January 1945: Crash of a P-47 D in Bigonville. In mid-1945, German POW's work on the farms in Bigonville. At Flatzbour(Hof), 2 destroyed self propelled guns left there after the battle, were taken away in 1945. 7 graves of German soldiers were situated in Bigonville. They were exhumed by government forces and were taken to the German military cemetery near Sandweiler.