This stamp, which shows past and present side by side, depicts a watercolour montage by the Luxembourgish painter Carlo Losch.
On one side, two soldiers, protected by tanks, walk through the snow-covered forest of the Oesling. On the other, the “National Liberation Memorial”; built in 1994 at “Schumannseck”; (Nothum) in memory of the violent combat between the Germans and Americans in 1944-45.
On 16 December 1944, the German army launched a massive counter-offensive on a front which extended from Monschau to Echternach. Under the command of Generalfeldmarschall von Rundstedt, 250,000 men launched an assault on Allied positions. The Battle of the Ardennes had begun. The attack was a complete surprise and the Allied positions were progressively pushed back. In several areas of Luxembourg, including Marnach, Clervaux, and Hosingen, Allied soldiers put up a heroic defense while the civil population, seeking refuge in cellars, witnessed helplessly the return of the enemy.
On 19 December 1944, Allied command prepared its counter-offensive and General Patton took up a fool’s bet. The 130,000 vehicles of the Third Army changed directions by 90°and raced in 48 hours 100 km towards Luxembourg. A period of time that the Germany army, constantly harassed by Allied bombers, could not take advantage of to fulfil their strategic objectives. In several hours, the balance of troops in the area had reversed. Numerous areas in Luxembourg were retaken and Patton succeeded in breaking the circle around Bastogne. Supported by heavy fire, the Allies began to break the blockade of the Ettelbruck-Bastogne supply line. With a pincer movement executed by Patton’s army in the south and Montgomery’s in the north, the German advance was stopped for good.
At the end of January 1945, the enemy was pushed back to its starting point on the German border. The last of the occupied areas in Luxembourg were liberated in the month of February to much jubilation. 60 years after the end of hostilities in Luxembourg, the remembrance of combatants who gave their lives to liberate the homeland remains alive. This “Liberation”; postage stamp is issued in their memory.
|Price of the stamp:||0,70 €|
|Design:||C. Losch, Mamer|
|Printing:||High-resolution offset by Joh. Enschedé Stamps, Haarlem (NL)|
|Dimensions:||40.00 x 30.00 mm, 20 stamps per sheet|