Battle of Hurtgen Forest? I never heard of it… wow


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hürtgen_Forest

    Basically, a conglomerate of fierce german defenders hide in an impenetrable forest over the winter of 44 to 45. using the forest as a base.

    The allies want to blow up a dam on the rhur river, and decide that going through the forest is the most direct route.

    Air units can’t see a damn thing, and tanks can barely navigate the few roads that exist. Everything is mined/covered in barbed wire. anti-tank guns, pill boxes, and improvised booby traps are replete.

    It was impossible to maintain an effective front-line, or be confident areas were -clear- of enemy activity.

    The scale of the conflict is also HUGE…. 120,000 Yankee’s vs 80,000 Krauts…

    They called it hell’s forest for a reason…



  • There was a movie called When Trumpets Fade a few years ago that depicted some very demoralized American units in this forgotten battle.



  • @Gargantua:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Hürtgen_Forest

    Basically, a conglomerate of fierce german defenders hide in an impenetrable forest over the winter of 44 to 45. using the forest as a base.

    The allies want to blow up a dam on the rhur river, and decide that going through the forest is the most direct route.

    Air units can’t see a damn thing, and tanks can barely navigate the few roads that exist. Everything is mined/covered in barbed wire. anti-tank guns, pill boxes, and improvised booby traps are replete.

    It was impossible to maintain an effective front-line, or be confident areas were -clear- of enemy activity.

    The scale of the conflict is also HUGE…. 120,000 Yankee’s vs 80,000 Krauts…

    They called it hell’s forest for a reason…

    It’s a battle that lives in the shaddows of the Bulge. This battle, along with the defense of many of the 1000 years of fortification along the German/French border helped create what the Germans called the Miracle of the West in 1944.



  • @Vance:

    There was a movie called When Trumpets Fade a few years ago that depicted some very demoralized American units in this forgotten battle. Â

    Pretty good flick, it has the great Dwight Yoakam in it.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Garg: it might not be a well known battle, precisely because the US failed so miserably! The war was almost over, Germany supposedly on its knees, yet its army stalemated and embarrassed  a stronger one.



  • The Germans defended the forest to protect the southern flank around the Aachen battle and to stale the Allies in preparation for the december counter attack. They mauled the Americans without committing large  amount of forces to the battle. It’s the longest battle in american History.

    Found this fact about the battle I did not know.

    There is a stone monument with a bronze plaque at the Hürtgen military cemetery dedicated by veterans of the U.S. 4th Infantry Division to the memory of Friedrich Lengfeld (29 September 1921–12 November 1944), a German lieutenant. Lengfeld died on 12 November 1944, of severe wounds sustained while helping a wounded American soldier out of the “Wild Sow” (“Wilde Sau”) minefield. It is the only such memorial for a German soldier placed by his erstwhile opponents in a German military cemetery


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Nice Worsham.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    It’s interesting to see that the German Wikipedia page actually claims that this battle is well known in the US:

    In der amerikanischen Erinnerungskultur spielt diese Schlacht, an der auch Ernest Hemingway und Jerome D. Salinger teilnahmen, eine wesentliche Rolle. Sie gilt nach der Einnahme von Aachen als erste größere Feldschlacht der Amerikaner auf deutschem Boden überhaupt, wurde als längste Schlacht der US Army allgemein bezeichnet und hinsichtlich der Totenzahlen mit der Schlacht von Gettysburg verglichen.

    which translates as:

    “This battle, in which Ernest Hemingway and Jerome D. Salinger fought, plays a significant role in American memorial culture. Next to the battle of Aachen, it’s considered the first major US battle on German soil, has been marked out as the longest battle the US Army ever fought, and has been compared to the Battle of Gettysburg with respect to the number of casualties.”

    I’m not sure where they got that information, or whether Hemingway or Salinger wrote about this battle.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 '13 Moderator

    Interesting Herr KaLeun.
    A Gettysburg reference no less!


  • Liaison TripleA '11 '10

    This kind of reminds me of how no one remembers that Americans revolution wasn’t -exactly- fought against the British, but infact, many German Mercenary units…

    IE The Headless Horsemen was a Hessian Mercenary!


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