Battle of Hurtgen Forest

Battle of Hurtgen Forest is name given to series of battles fought in the Hurtgen Forest, afterwards known to both Americans and Germans simply as the Hurtgenwald.

The American High Command was flush with success after the breakout at Normandy and the race to Germany, and therefore overconfident.

The battles took place between September 13, 1944, through February 10, 1945, in a corridor barely 50 square miles on the border of Germany.

They were characterized by the American High Command not recognizing the true objectives of the forest, the dams that controlled the height of the Roer River, until December.

Had the Germans blown the dams, they could have flooded a region far to the south, delaying American advances. Multiple divisions were sent in, only to be wrecked and replaced by still more divisions.

Air, artillery, and armor, all advantages of the Americans at this time were nullified because of the terrain, and the Germans were happy to delay the much stronger force using smaller numbers and good defensive positions.

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