Battle Of Hurtgen Forest


September 19 - December 8, 1944
September, 1944. Allied forces were pushing into Germany. General Courtney Hodges wanted to close to the Rhine River, and to do that required driving Nazi forces out of the Hurtgen Forest. Laying on the German-Belgian border, just east of the Roer River, the forest was about 50 square miles. It was densely wooded, with fir trees that reached 20-30 meters into the air. Lack of sunlight turned the forest floor into a dark, damp place devoid of underbrush. Sgt. George Morgan, 4th Division, describes it best: "The forest was a helluva eerie place to fight. You can't get protection. You can't see. You can't get fields of fire. Artillery slashes the trees like a ...

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useless. The real objective should have been the Dams, which would have been a priceless asset to the Allies. The plan of attack was also severely flawed, turning the campaign into one of the most useless battles in the European Theater of Operations.
On September 19, the 3rd Armored and 9th Infantry Divisions began the attack. Lieutenants and captains soon found that controlling their men was impossible. The troops couldn't see but a few feet past their faces. The forest contained no clearings, and only narrow trails. When the German troops saw the Allied troops from their bunkers, they called in presighted artillery fire. The few roads that allowed passage of vehicles were either too muddy, too heavily mined or too narrow to allow passage, thus rendering tank and jeep assistance unavailable. Air support was also not available. Sgt. Mack Morris described the situation, "Hurtgen had its firebreaks, only wide enough to allow two jeeps to pass, and they were mined and interdicted by ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 9/27/2006 12:54:57 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1126
Pages: 5

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