St. Vith, Belgium was the scene of bitter fighting during the opening days of the Battle of the Bulge.
Although the German assault was delayed by fierce resistance, American defenders were eventually forced to withdraw from the town on December 21, 1944. A month later, as the Allied counter-attack rolled back German gains, St. Vith was re-liberated on January 23, 1945.
Recently digitized by the National Archives Still Pictures Branch, these color photographs from the U.S. Army Signal Corps show St. Vith and its surroundings in the days following its liberation.
This dug-in mortar emplacement near St. Vith, Belgium is manned by, left to right, Pvt. R.W. Fierde, Wyahoga Falls, Ohio; S/Sgt. Adam J. Celinca, Windsor, Conn., and T/Sgt. W.O. Thomas, Chicago. 24 Jan. 1945.
NARA ID 16730734
American soldiers trudge through snow from Hunnange, Belgium to St. Vith. Soldiers are with Co. C., 23rd Armored Bn., of the 7th Armored Division.
NARA ID 16730736
Snowsuited soldiers walk through the snow-covered streets of St. Vith, Belgium. These men are with Co. C, 48th Bn., 7th Armored Div. 24 Jan. 1945
NARA ID 16730733
Lined up in a snow-covered field, near St. Vith, Belgium are these M-4 Sherman tanks of the 40th Tank Bn.
NARA ID 16730735
A portion of the wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium, after units of the 7th Armored Division, took the town.
NARA ID 16730732
On the Web: The Bloodiest Battle: The Battle of the Bulge Loomed Large 70 Winters Ago (PDF)
Next: for Warrior Wednesday, more photos (black and white) of the Battle of the Bulge at 70