Bastogne is located in the Belgian Ardennes, in the east of the province of Luxembourg,. The city is 12 km (7.5 mi) away from the Luxembourg border. It is the 9th largest municipality in Belgium and the third largest in the province. The Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front during World War II, and took place from December 16, 1944 to January 25, 1945. It was launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in eastern Belgium, northeast France, and Luxembourg, towards the end of the war in Europe. The Germans achieved a total surprise attack on the morning of December 16, 1944, due to a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with Allied offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance due to bad weather. Allied forces in Bastogne were surrounded by the Germans and on the brink of total destruction until on December 26 the lead element of Patton’s U.S. Third Army reached Bastogne from the south, ending the siege. The Bastogne Historical Center and War Museum gives an overview of the causes and consequences of World War II with emphasis on the Battle of the Bulge.