Archeologists using a drone equipped with high-resolution LiDAR have revealed thousands of previously unknown details from the U.S.’ largest and bloodiest World War II battle.
From an article in PetaPixel bu Matt Growcoot.
The Battle of the Bulge raged from December 1944 to January 1945 and was Germany’s final major offensive of the War before retreating permanently. The U.S. suffered an estimated 81,000 casualties while the Germans under Adolf Hitler had more than 100,000 die.
Surprisingly little is known about the battlefield’s features because of the dense forest in the area that covers most traces.
Aerial photographs are no good because the forest canopy protects the battlefield while it is too large an area to survey on foot.
“Although this is a ‘high-profile’ battlefield, studied intensively by military historians and the subject of significant attention in museums and the popular media, little has been published on its material remains,” lead author of the research, Dr. Birger Stichelbaut from Ghent University tells Phys.org.
Dr. Stichelbaut employed a drone mounted with LiDAR to survey the battlefield and published the results in the Antiquity journal.
How Does LiDAR Work?
LiDAR uses a laser to build its images by measuring the time it takes for the reflected light to return to the receiver. In this particular case, the researchers used SLAM-LiDAR to create a high-resolution map of the Battle of Bulge area.
“This allowed for traces of the battle to be observed on a scale not known until now,” says Dr. Stichelbaut.
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