President commemorates Battle of the Bulge

Leszek Szymański/PAP

On the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, Polish President Andrzej Duda paid his respects on Monday to those who fought on the Western Front during World War II, during ceremonies in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The president described Poland's invitation to the ceremonies in Belgium and Luxembourg as a gesture that honoured Polish soldiers who fought in the battle. Accompanied by King Philippe of Belgium, Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, Duda took part in observances commemorating the Allied victory.

Speaking to journalists, the Polish president pointed out that the battle was the last offensive of Hitler's Nazi German army during the Second World War. "Some historians claim it was a completely crazy act and a mad idea, but the fact is that thousands of German soldiers were engaged in it, as well as an enormous amount of military equipment, above all, the most modern German tanks of the time," the president said.

Duda added that the meeting of western European leaders and the US defence chief, together with veterans, was aimed at honoring the memory "of those soldiers who fought here, then, for a free world, for a free Europe." He also pointed out that the battle was the biggest involving American forces on the Western front during WWII.