Honsfeld, Belgium


the reality of war

Elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper reached Honsfeld on 17th December 1944 and took the Americans by surprise. As can be seen here equipment such as boots quickly changed owners. This is one of the infamous pictures of The Battle of the Bulge and perhaps of WWII.

A keen eye can see a distant tree in all three pictures:

May 2007 (top)

June 1992 (middle)

December 1944 (lower)

Men from Company B of the 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion shot dead in the early hours of December 17th, 1944.

After the war 500 officers and soldiers from Kampfgruppe Peiper and 1st SS Panzer Division were gathered. Of these, seventy three were put on trial at Dachau in 1946. Among the witnesses that returned to testify were Staff Sgt. Billy Wilson and PFC Charles Morris of the 612th TD Battalion. The US military tribunal sentenced forty-three to death, including Jochen Peiper, twenty-two to life and eight to prison terms. All death sentences were eventually commuted. The last member of Kampfgruppe Peiper

to leave prison was Jochen Peiper in 1956.

Get the 65 MB PDF file of the Malmedy Hearings here: ”Malmedy Massacre Investigation” April-June 1949.

Wikipedia has got an article on the Malmedy Massacre.

Don Smart wrote a paper about what happened Company B of the 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Honsfeld. He has interviewed members of Company B and base his account on their stories.

Alternative link: PDF