The Battle of the Bulge - Departing from SHAPE/Chièvres

The Battle of the Bulge was fought from December 1944 to January 1945. This battle was the finale of the 1944 Western European campaign and the last major offensive of Nazi Germany. Because of its significance, the "Bulge" can be viewed as a vital signpost event in European and military history. You will learn about this significant episode using maps of strategic movements, Army organizational charts, and slides illustrating the equipment of the period. A course highlight is a day bus tour to the battlefield regions in Luxembourg and Belgium, as well as visits to several battlefield museums.  

Topics include: 

  • The role of Ardennes Campaign of 1944-1945 (commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge) for the outcome of World War II
  • The importance of terrain and weather on the battlefield
  • The role of specific weapons systems and equipment, along with strategic movement, organization, and leadership 
  • The role of war crimes, including crimes perpetrated against both prisoners of war and civilians 

“United in this determination and with unshakeable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will,
with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.”

-  General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Faculty member: John Nolan, e-mail

May apply toward the history major or minor, German associate degree or certificate, or electives

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View this course on the Schedule of Classes and enroll today.

Tentative Course Itinerary

Pre-Course & Week 1

You will gain access to the online LEO classroom on 31 August. The official course start date is 13 October. Once you gain access to the classroom, take a virtual walk-through of the course and begin reading assignments.

Day 1 – Saturday, 19 October

0900-1200Meet at SHAPE/Chièvres; attend lecture

Day 2 – Sunday, 20 October

0730Check in
0800Depart SHAPE/Chièvres Air Base
0900-1030Malmedy Massacre Site and Museum  
1030-1200North Flank Tour
1200-1300Depart for Bastogne
1300-1430Lunch and tour of Bastogne
1430-1530Bois Jacques Foxholes 101st East Company
1530-1630Mardasson Memorial
1730-1815ArdennesAmerican Cemetery and Memorial
app. 2000Return to SHAPE/Chièvres Air Base

Week 2

Access online LEO classroom; complete readings and all assignments

Accommodation and Transportation

UMGC will coordinate transportation from SHAPE/Chièvres for a flat fee of $150.00 for this field study course. This fee will be charged to your student account and covers the bus ride to and from SHAPE/Chièvres to the battlefields, as well as entry costs for sites and museums.

Textbooks and Course Materials

Course materials will be provided within the online (LEO) classroom. This course uses no-cost online resources.

Registration Details

You may register for the 1 credit field study course with your local program coordinator or online at MyUMGC. Tuition assistance or financial aid can be applied toward tuition costs. For more information, contact the UMGC Field Study Office at CIV +49-(0)631-534-800, or e-mail

Please verify with your local program coordinator or the Field Study Office at UMGC Europe Headquarters that the course will be held as scheduled. If you drop/withdraw from a field study course after the registration deadline, you will be charged a fee of $100.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How is a field study course different from a regular course?

A field study course packs all of the 16 contact-hours of other courses into adventure-filled days on location, so you can earn one credit in 2 weeks. In addition, rather than taking place only in a classroom, a field study course takes place in a historical European city where the subject being studied has its roots. You will visit historical sites and museums as well as participate in lectures that bring it all together for a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

The on-site portion of field study courses are also scheduled during registration weeks, so they shouldn't interfere with your other courses.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
**Please note that the Battle of the Bulge field study is a special, one contact-hour course, and that most field study courses are three contact-hours.

Helpful Hints

Before you leave:

  • Contact your travel agency concerning insurance coverage for cancellations.
  • Contact your health insurance company for information concerning coverage at your destination.
  • Familiarize yourself with local laws and customs of your destination country.
  • Check the weather forecast for your destination.
  • Obtain city maps for your destination.
  • Leave contact information with people at home who may need to reach you during the course.
  • Make sure your legal affairs are in order and leave a short-term power of attorney with someone you trust.
  • Make two photocopies of your passport and the contents of your wallet--leave one copy at home, and bring the other with you.

For more information, please visit the Field Study Resources page.