On August 4 1914, Germany invaded Belgium. The attack on its territorial integrity led Belgium into the war. England and France came to its aid. The Belgian army resisted from the three fortified cities of Liege, Namur, and Antwerp. At the beginning of October, the army withdrew to the Yser River, where it fought until the end of the war.
Meanwhile, further south, in the Belgian Ardennes and Lorraine, two French armies faced two German armies in 10 bloody battles. Fighting took place in the middle of summer, from the village of Maissin to Baranzy, on August 22, 1914. On August 24, a final skirmish occurred at Noirefontaine. Thus, this war of movement and its battles of encounters was called the Battle of the Borders.
The battle of Rossignol saw part of the French colonial troops put out of action. Three regiments were wiped out. The human losses were terrifying: on the French side, 11,900 soldiers were injured, including 2,800 killed. On the German side, 3,500 soldiers were out of action, including 1,400 who lost their lives.
The Battle of Rossignol was a terrible failure for the 3rd French Colonial Infantry Division, which completely ignored the German positions, despite the villagers’ warnings about the advance of their adversaries. Following the orders of their General Staff, the French regiments sank into the forest that would become their tomb.
Fighting continued in the village until the park of the Rossignol castle, where the new center welcomes you today. In the days following the battle, the drama continued on the civilian side. The Germans terrorized the population and set fire to the village. About a hundred inhabitants of Rossignol were taken to Arlon where they were shot. From August 21 to 26, more than 867 civilians were executed in Belgian Luxembourg.
This new memorial center tells you the whole story. You can then go to the numerous sites in the surroundings.