In 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, the area was the site of the Malmedy massacre, where 84 American prisoners of war were executed by Nazi SS troops under the command of Joachim Peiper. This was one of a number of such massacres of prisoners and Belgian civilians which took place in the Malmedy area. Between 1940 and 1945, Malmedy was re-incorporated into Germany.
On 21 December the town itself, which was then held by US troops, was attacked by German forces under the command of Otto Skorzeny, who were repelled. Moreover, on 23, 24 and 25 December 1944 the city was bombed repeatedly by the United States Army Air Forces in a series of friendly fire incidents. Approximately 200 civilians were killed in the tragic attacks, while the number of American casualties has never been revealed by the United States Department of Defense.