Cheneux Bridge







Sites and places


Cheneux Bridge (Ambleve River)


On his drive Antwerp Peiper had to cross three rivers in the Ardennes before the central plains of Belgium would be in his sights. These were the river Ambleve , Ourthe and Meuse ("Maas"). He never got to the Meuse off course , but he did actually cross the first of the three rivers at one place after several attempts to exit the Ambleve valley elsewhere (for example at Habiemont where American engineers voided his attempt).


This small bridgehead was at the village of Cheneux with the bridge over the Ambleve right beside it. Peiper ordered it garrisoned by elements of Flak-Sturm Abteilung 84 and later elements of SS-PanzerGrenadier Regiment 2.


Simultaniously the American 82nd Airborne division send its 504th Infantry Regiment to plug a gap in th line and also take the bridge. Very heavy fighting soon raged over the village with vicious house-to-house fighting amidst the haevy fog. After losing 225 men the Paratroopers took the village, killing or capturing about an equal number of germans.





"I was awakend by the noise from a terrfic battle... We figured that 1st battalion must have run into something very rough. Tracers were flying all over the field across the road from the house where 2nd battalion was dug in. Heavy artillery was crunching in below us.... A few moments later Captain Duncan an old soldier who had seen a lot of fighting as a company commander and was not the one to be easily excited in the heat of battle, came in saying the 1st battalion was being cut to ribbons".


- Corporal Graves (close to Cheneux at the time of the first attack)





The bridge is still used today and at its base now exists a canoe rental shop. We were a bit pressed for time visiting the area, but I know of people who have played the "Cheneux bridge" ASL campaign and have later visited the real bridge to rent a canoe and paddle down the river and see the surrounding countryside with all its historic sites at leisure.



Cheneux bridge in 2004.




Cheneux bridge in 1944.




This is the "other" lesser known Cheneux (railway) bridge. It is really close to its hard fought over cousin (the picture is taken standing beside the other bridge. This railway bridge was used by the germans to retreat east when they had lost the battle for the village of Cheneux and the regular bridge.




This picture show the two Cheneux bridges (far left - the one near the bottom of the photo is the railway bridge) , Cheneux (the houses in the center surrounded by grain), Monceau (up hill between the bridges and Cheneux in the woods) and even Brutet's & Gaspard's houses (far right) in their relative positions to each other.


The picture is taken from the N33 not far from Stoumont and Chateaux Froidcour. Cheneux looks vulnerable from this angle but in reality the Ambleve river flows from the bridges through a ravine (hidden beneath the trees on the foreground) beside the village.




ASL Data


Kampfgruppe Peiper II









Stone Bridge





Victory points:




- KGP7 Bridge at Cheneux

- KGP9 Carnage in the night

- KGP-CG3 Bridge at Cheneux

- G6 Rocket's Red Glare

- G41 Jabo!




Pont du Cheneux



Cheneux, Belgium