24 Jan hurtgen forest relics
All through the night and into the next day, frightened, fatigued men made their way across the icy Kall in small irregular groups, or alone.”. Dismount and fight.”, At 9 a.m. on November 2, a cold, misty Thursday, GIs heaved themselves from their holes like doughboys going over the top. By 10 a.m., Schmidt once again belonged to the Reich. First Army’s capture of Aachen and breach of the Siegfried Line in the adjacent Stolberg corridor left barely 20 miles to traverse before the Rhine. ON OCTOBER 28, General Dwight D. Eisenhower reiterated his plan for winning the war. Dragon’s teeth etc & rebuilt church, Simmerath and a great example of a long line of “Dragon’s teeth” of the “Siegfried Line”, Schevenhutte and the battles for this strategic town, inc some nice “Then & Now” photos, The Roer River Dams – The Schwammenauel & Urft Dams, STRASS -The battles for Strass, Bergheim & Hill 375 – Well preserved American 330th Infantry (83rd division) foxholes in the forest and German positions can be seen here, Winden – excellent bridge memorial & heavily battle scarred building, where the Germans were firing from, covering the bridge itself, Zweifall German bunkers & American command post with memorial. Hurtgen Forest (2) Subscribe. Plus a discuSsion about the hand to hand, house to house close combat, that ensued, to wrestle the vital town from the Germans. Of more than 2,000 American soldiers who had fought east of the Kall, barely 300 returned. See more ideas about forest, world war ii, wwii. Apr 7, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Philip Lizee. Spreading across the forest like the fingers of a hand are ridges that run southwest to northeast, the largest of them being the Monschau corridor, which extends from Monschau to Duren on the other side of the forest. IN LATE OCTOBER 1944, the U.S. First Army set up its winter headquarters in the Belgian town of Spa. Artillery and mortar barrages pounded Kommerscheidt through the night, and catcalling enemy infiltrators crept so close in the encroaching draws that Jewish GIs hammered out the telltale H—for Hebrew—on their dogtags. Inside an Aachen safe, an American lieutenant found Wehrmacht plans for demolishing several dams; by one calculation, 100 million metric tons of water could flood the Roer valley for 20 miles, transforming the narrow river to a half-mile-wide torrent. 0:52. By September 1944, the Allied offensive in Western Europe had swept from the Normandy beaches all the way to the West Wall, or Siegfried Line, the formidable defensive position along the German border consisting of concrete bunkers fronted by antitank obstacles. How does a man stand it, day in and day out?”, How, indeed? Date of experience: November 2016. The 9th Division in late September had learned how lethal the Hürtgen could be when its troops tried to cross the forest as part of the initial VII Corps effort to outflank Aachen. Max Raid Battles: Fields of Honor, Soothing Wetlands, Forest of Focus, Insular Sea Anime Appearences Azumarill has made several appearances, most of which were cameos. Eleven thousand artillery rounds chewed up German revetments and flayed the forest with steel from shells detonating in the tree canopy. “Nobody was enthusiastic about fighting there, but what was the alternative?…If we would have turned loose of the Hürtgen and let the Germans roam there, they could have hit my flank.”, NO LESS REGRETTABLE was a misreading of German topography. 2:15. “We squat in an air-less cellar,” a German medic wrote his parents. HistoryNet.com is brought to you by Historynet LLC, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. Panzer drumfire from Schmidt soon reduced nine Shermans to six, and nine tank destroyers to three. Sometimes on request he ghost-wrote love letters for young GIs, reading his favorite passages to fellow journalists. Headquarters generals also requisitioned the hilltop mansion of a Liège steel magnate as their bivouac; Belgian guests were occasionally invited to movie screenings in a nearby school, where soldiers tried to explain in broken French the nuances of Gaslight and A Guy Named Joe. Copyright © 2013. It might as well be an unpopular item for American history-writing because of the lack of success and the massive losses. The army historian Forrest Pogue described one cashiered officer waiting by the road for a ride to the rear, belongings piled about him “like a mendicant.”. The Shermans fired four rounds apiece to dismember the church steeple in the town of Vossenack and any snipers hidden in the belfry, and 200 white-phosphorus mortar shells set the village ablaze. The Hurtgen Forest, located 50 square miles from the Belgian-German border, is recognised as the scene of a series of bloody battles in 1944-45. “The wounded lie on blood-stained mattresses….One has lost most of his intestines from a grenade fragment.” Another soldier, with an arm and a foot nearly severed, pleaded, “Comrades, shoot me.”, On the American side of the line, U.S. quartermaster troops dragged dead Germans feet first from a wrecked barn, while a watching GI strummed his guitar and belted out “South of the Border.” But the enemy kept its death grip on the forest. Simpson proposed to Hodges that he immediately “block these [enemy] capabilities.” A flanking attack toward Schmidt from Monschau in the south would also permit capture of Urft, Schwammenauel, and their sisters. An offensive in the north by 21st Army Group was also pushed back. But five other tanks stood disabled, repeatedly throwing tracks on the treacherous switchbacks and blocking the path, which at nine feet was precisely as wide as a medium tank. Army records described the color of his close-set eyes as “#10 blue.”, “God gave him a face that always looked pessimistic,” Dwight Eisenhower once observed, and even Hodges complained that a portrait commissioned by Life in early September made him appear “a little too sad.”, A crack shot and big game hunter—caribou and moose in Canada, elephants and tigers in Indochina—Hodges had earned two Purple Heart citations after being gassed in World War I but deemed them excessively “sissy” and tore them up. BATTLE OF HURTGEN FOREST 50th: SGM Robert S. Rush; Battle for Huppenbroich, Germany; Oral history interview with Arthur C. Neriani, a member of the 8th Infantry Division describes his experiences from the battle of Hürtgen Forest from the Veterans History Project at Central Connecticut State University This page was last edited on 7 December 2020, at 12:05 (UTC). German bunkers here and M.G position, Hill 203 – Heistern -many American 18th Infantry foxholes here, The heavily defended town of Lammersdorf. (John’s father fought in the Strass area (330th Infantry of the 83rd division), Anker’s MG Squad Memorial – Kleinhau (a touching tribute to an extremely brave American machine gun squad, that were overcome & were tragically killed in the woods here), TODTENBRUCH – The Todtenbruch – “Dead Man’s Moor” – blown German Bunkers , foxholes and an American soldier’s field grave memorial, ROLLSBROICH – The heavy battles around the little town of Rollsbroich. For two weeks across the 170-mile front of the First and Ninth Armies, the 28th Division would be the only U.S. unit launching an attack, attracting the undivided attention of German defenders who already knew precisely where the Blutiger Eimer (Bloody Bucket) division was assembling. “There was little of the vital fighting spirit.” Even the army’s official histories would describe his fall campaign as “lacking in vigor and imagination,” and among senior commanders he was “the least disposed to make any attempt to understand logistic problems.” He was “pretty slow making the big decisions,” a staff officer conceded, and he rarely left Spa to visit the front; for nearly two months the 30th Infantry Division’s Major General Leland Hobbs never laid eyes on him. Two hundred others stampeded in the wrong direction—southwest, into German lines—and of those only three would elude capture or worse. Museum 1944 und im Frieden, Geschichtsverein Hürtgenwald e.V., Vossenack, Hürtgen, Allerseelenschlacht November 1944, Gemeinde Hürtgenwald Unsubscribe Description. He would memorably describe the Hürtgen as the equivalent of the Great War’s bloody Battle of Passchendaele, except “with tree bursts,” but not even a Hemingway could quite capture the debasement of this awful place. My main areas of expertise are Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Scheldt, the liberation of Brabant, Hurtgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge, Operation Veritable, and the 1945 Allied Rhine crossings. There is a German cemetery nearby and I would recommend visiting that also. Plus a visit to the excellent Vossenack Museum. Having already committed his only division reserve to help the hard-pressed 110th Infantry in the south, the little Napoleon had lost control of the battle before it really began. Ernie Kovacs, U.S. comedian and television personality. Subscribed. 2,347 are buried here), HURTGEN CEMETERY – The Hurtgen German Military Cemetery (3,0001 burial’s) and the story about Lt Lengfeld – The German officer who lost his life, trying to aid a severely wounded American soldier, in the minefield in this location, A Field grave, in the forest, near Germeter, of a young 19 year old Luftwaffe soldier -Benno Schott, Field grave of an American soldier (Sgt Lemuel Herbert) at Kommerscheidt, The intense fighting in and around Obermaubach & Untermaubach and it’s important bridge. Dawn on Monday laid bare the American plight. American Jump-off positions from this town on the “Siegfried Line” (Huge German water bunker hidden in the forest). At headquarters, the supreme commander listened to Cota’s account and then said with a shrug, “Well, Dutch, it looks like you got a bloody nose.” Hodges and Gerow arrived a few minutes later for a hurried conference. “Aggressive, touchy, and high-strung,” Bradley later wrote of the staff he had created before ascending to 12th Army Group, “critical, unforgiving, and resentful of all authority but its own.” Three rivalrous figures played central roles in this unhappy family: Major General William B. Kean, the able, ruthless chief of staff who was privately dubbed Captain Bligh and to whom Hodges ceded great authority; Brigadier General Truman C. Thorson, the grim, chain-smoking operations officer nicknamed Tubby but also called Iago after the Shakespearean character who schemes to bring down his commander; and Colonel Benjamin A. Dickson, the brilliant, turbulent intelligence chief long known as Monk, a histrionic man of smoldering grievances. Unissued / Unused material. The Battle of Hurtgen Forest. Lots of untouched foxholes here, Below: Construction of the”Dragon’s Teeth” (Hockerlinie), of the “Westwall” near Lammersdorf. After a soldier ran over a Teller mine with his jeep, a lieutenant wrote, “His clothing and tire chains were found 75 feet from the ground in the tree tops. “I’ve condemned a whole regiment of the finest men that ever breathed,” a distraught officer told reporter Iris Carpenter. www.whitecrossbattlefieldtours.com The Battle of the Hürtgen Forest. MERODE – a fine example of extensive German trenches can be clearly seen here, in the now peaceful forest. je eigen pins op Pinterest. He had been seen weeping by the road as trucks passed carrying wounded soldiers from the front. As for the thirsty, each general in First Army received a monthly consignment of a case of gin and half cases of scotch and bourbon; lesser officers combined their allotments in a nightly ritual to make 12 quarts of martinis for the Hôtel Britannique mess, a grand ballroom with mirrors on three walls and exquisite windows filling the fourth. Men were “killed right and left as they were milling around….Everybody was trying to jump over a bleeding body to find shelter.” One company lost 41 of 127 men, another 75 of 140. 2002. Peevish and insulated, ever watchful for hints of disloyalty, Hodges showed an intolerance for perceived failure that was harsh even by the exacting standards of the U.S. Army. The forest's rough terrain starkly contrasts with that of the adjoining Rhine Valley. and it was good to visit such a place, knowing that the volunteer staff fully appreciated our interest. My unique and exciting, customised tours, cater for individuals, couples and for small groups of up to a maximum of 8 people. Soldiers at dusk fashioned litters from tree limbs and overcoats. The reconnaissance battalion was already galloping toward Schmidt, followed by the bulk of the division and by troops from the 89th Infantry Division. German Battlefield Relics from late 1944 including the Hurtgen forest and the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes Forest Reduced Price Items World War 1 British,French,Colonial Relics recovered from The Somme battlefield Humphrey Bogart, U.S. film actor (The African Queen, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon). With Germans still entrenched on the high ground at Schmidt, any November offensive to the Rhine now stood in jeopardy. A discussion about the terrible battles that were fought here in Merode, at a very heavy cost to the American 1st Infantry Division and the German 3rd Fallschirmjager division, DER BUHLERT -The German “Der Buhlert” Bunkers, near Schmidt. In early October, the 9th Division’s intelligence officer had warned that German mischief could generate “great destructive flood waves” as far downstream as the Netherlands. CU wooden cross with tin hat hanging on it. “We’ll take the ‘hit’ out of Hitler,” they sang. “I left with an incredible relief and with a sadness I had never so far known.”, From his fieldstone house, furnished with a potbelly stove and a brass bed in the living room, Hemingway rambled about in a sheepskin vest. A German engineer interrogated in Spa intimated that a wall of water could barrel down the Roer. “I’ve only had one day of it. There is a German cemetery nearby and I would recommend visiting that also. Still in their raincoats and hip boots, the engineers battled infiltrators all night around the church; Germans at one point occupied the tower and the basement while GIs held the nave. Examining a badly wounded man for injuries in the dark woods, a 28th Division medic reported, was “like putting your hand in a bucket of wet liver.” A surge in head wounds stirred debate in the ranks about whether German snipers were aiming at the bloody bucket insignia painted on their helmets. In late October 1944 the 9th Inf. “I never saw a wood so thick with trees as the Hürtgen,” a GI later wrote. your own Pins on Pinterest Others smashed radios, mine detectors, and the engine blocks on four surviving jeeps; three antitank guns were spiked and the only functioning Sherman booby-trapped. An engineer observed that the forest “represented not so much an area as a way of fighting and dying.” A coarse brutality took hold in Allied ranks, increasingly common throughout Europe. With that, the final battle for Europe would unfold, he said, in “three general phases”: an unsparing struggle west of the Rhine, the seizure of bridgeheads over the river, and finally a mortal dagger thrust into the heart of Germany. By midday the Americans had fallen back to entrenchments along the eastern lip of the gorge, and Kommerscheidt too was lost. “Please tell the truth.”, Soldiers in the claustrophobic forest debated whether they could stave off the enemy long enough to finish smoking the carton of cigarettes they carried, or merely an open pack, or perhaps only the Lucky Strike they had just lighted. Fantastic collection of Battlefield relics here, uniforms, weapons, maps, photos etc (However – museum only open on Sunday’s) MONSCHAU, GERMANY . Tank crews showed little sense of urgency—“Everybody appeared to treat the disabled tanks with the same kind of warmhearted affection an old-time cavalryman might lavish on his horse,” the army’s official history acknowledged. The Battle of Hurtgen Forest: The Spellmount Siegfried Line Series: Untold Story of a Disastrous Campaign | Whiting, Charles | ISBN: 9781862270947 | Kostenloser Versand für alle Bücher mit Versand und Verkauf duch Amazon. Eisenhower and Bradley had driven to Rott on Wednesday morning, disconcerted by reports of an attack gone bad. The morning wore on, and the existential crisis sharpened. Telephoned congratulations from division and corps commanders across the front poured into Cota’s headquarters in Rott, 10 miles to the west. “Chow all right, son?” a visiting officer asked one soldier, who without looking up, replied, “What the fuck do you care? The enemy’s industrial centers in the Ruhr and the Saar regions remained paramount objectives in the north and center, respectively, with Berlin as the ultimate target. Enemy forces now crowded the 28th Division on three sides, threatening the Bloody Bucket with annihilation. “Damn the dams.”, ATTACKING THE WORST PLACE OF ANY now fell to Major General Norman “Dutch” Cota and his 28th Division, still recovering from the September skirmishes that had revived the division’s World War I nickname, the Bloody Bucket, so called for their red keystone insignia. A relief battalion from the 110th Infantry that had been ordered to huddle together for warmth in Vossenack—“just like cattle do in a storm,” one survivor reported—attracted a 30-minute artillery barrage. Joe Collins’s VII Corps would again lead the attack, but first, V Corps on his right was to clear out the Hürtgen Forest and capture the high-ground village of Schmidt, providing First Army with more maneuver room and forestalling any counterattack into VII Corps’s right flank by enemies who might be skulking in the forest dark. Report. Not until November 7 did Hodges order V Corps to even begin drafting plans to seize the dam sites, and not until December 4 would Bradley’s war diary note: “Decided must control Roer dam.”, By that time another frontal assault through horrid terrain had come to grief, and officers at Spa were reduced to feeble maledictions. As the attack in the Hürtgen continued to sputter in late November, Hodges himself showed the strain. He was permitted to keep his command partly because so many other leaders had been lost in the division that four majors and a captain led infantry battalions. The 28th had regained full strength but only with many replacements untrained as infantrymen, under officers and sergeants plucked from antiaircraft units and even the Army Air Forces. Soon the entire battalion took to its heels, Companies I, K, and L scrabbling through gardens and over fences, “ragged, scattered, disorganized infantrymen,” in one lieutenant’s account. The town declined after the French Revolution, then revived itself, as such towns do—in Spa’s case, by peddling varnished woodware and a liqueur known as Elixir de Spa. Although this is a small map, it is so highly detailed and carefully crafted that I believe it comparable to Relic’s own professionally-made maps. “The division had accomplished very little,” the unit history conceded. Early in the morning of September 14th, 1944, elements of the 9th Infan… War History Online. See more ideas about forest, wwii, world war ii. People are still injured, maimed and killed by explosives in the forest. Rick Atkinson won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for An Army at Dawn, the first volume in his World War II Liberation Trilogy. GIs unable to leave their flooded rifle pits, described as “artesian wells,” were once again reduced to defecating in empty C-ration cans. Published in After the Battle, Number 71, 1991. Red Cross volunteers served pancakes and beer, and the division band played soldierly airs. Dead men from the 9th Division still littered the forest, bullet holes in their field jackets like blood-ringed grommets. But tree cover would prevent them from providing the support they could in other terrain, and entering the forest immediately lost the Americans one of their advantages. “That was an intelligence failure, a real combat intelligence failure.”. The kids are fine and so adorable. 1944, Hürtgen Forest Battle. This is the worst. It was in the midst of this 32,000 acre forest that the Allied forces and German military waged war against each other, costing the lives of many ill-prepared young men who never stood a chance in what has been described as those who were there, as “the Death Factory”. Had the regiments been properly deployed and dug in? Small bespoke tours are much more personal and interesting and a good way to make friends, or to share our mutual interest in WW2. Hodges, with assistance from Lieutenant General William Hood Simpson’s Ninth Army, was to sweep forward another 10 miles to the Roer River, overrun the town of Düren on the far bank, then press on toward Cologne and the Rhine. 10 December 1944. If they had been, even under heavy German artillery fire, casualties “would not be high nor would ground be lost.” During the battle, Hodges complained, the division staff appeared to have “no precise knowledge of the location of their units and were doing nothing to obtain it.” The First Army commander wanted Cota to know that he was “extremely disappointed.” Before driving back to Spa, Hodges told Gerow that “there may be some personnel changes made.”, The gray weather grew colder. Single American divisions continued to gnaw and be gnawed: Attacks in coming days by the 4th and 8th Infantry Divisions, like those by the 9th and the 28th, gained little at enormous cost, with battalions reduced to the size of companies and companies shaved to platoons. One regiment took four days to move a mile; another needed five. Mar 19, 2018 - Explore Joseph Callow's board "Hurtgen forest" on Pinterest. The 4 very impressive and intact, “Der Buhlert” camouflaged German Bunkers, hidden deep in the forest, near Schmidt (optional long hike, but well worth it). Items include 2 civilian silver spoons, a coffee ration packet, various kit buttons, shrapnel, M1 Garand rifle bullets, Garand ammo clip, an Artillery uniform button, wire and the best discovery of all – a sewing thimble. Ontdek (en bewaar!) Peremptory and inarticulate, Hodges “refused to discuss orders, let alone argue about them,” one military officer later wrote. The Urft finally fell in early February, but only because German defenders had rallied round the Schwammenauel and the 20 billion gallons it impounded. THE FIGHT FOR THE HÜRTGEN had taken a turn, though it was several hours before the command post in Rott got word that an infantry battle had become a tank brawl. No terrain analysis was undertaken, nor were the dams mentioned in tactical plans. MS wooden cross. There is a heavy focus on farming and the mod provides one of the largest multi-block structures allowing the creation different types of managed and manual farms. Any hope of maintaining formation was dispelled quickly by the blackness of the night and by German shelling. "Old Reliables" were relieved from the “green hell of Hurtgen Forest” after it suffered some 4,500 casualties in little more than 30 days of fighting by the 28th Infantry Division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Norman "Dutch" Cota. German pickets in the gorge let some wounded pass; others were detained for two days near a log dugout above the rushing creek, whimpering in agony until a brief cease-fire permitted evacuation. After nightfall, in relentless rain and stygian darkness, engineers hacked at the trail with picks and shovels—a bulldozer broke down half an hour after arriving—but even the nimble Weasels seemed clay footed, and the ammunition trailers they towed had to be unhitched and manhandled around each sharp turn into and out of the gorge. “Present indications are that he intends to make the strongest possible stand on the West Wall, in the hope of preventing the war spreading to German soil.” (West Wall referred to the fortified line of German defenses running along the country’s western border, which the Allies often called the Siegfried Line.) 17-mei-2018 - Deze pin is ontdekt door Cees van der Burgh. By late October, as First Army coiled to resume its attack, unnerving details about the Roer and its waterworks had begun to accumulate. 8 wire. Shortly before midnight on Tuesday, Gerow called back with permission. After 36 hours the regiment would hold only a narrow, mile-deep salient into enemy territory, a salient almost mirrored by Germans infiltrating the U.S. ranks. Pulling on an Old Gold, Hodges also berated Cota, but then rounded on Gerow in a crimson tirade—“tougher than I had ever heard him before,” Collins later recalled. From rooftops in the 16th-century town, the entire Hürtgen swam into view, along with the meandering Roer two miles to the east and the sapphire Schwammenauel reservoir a mile south. Read Books Hell in Hurtgen Forest: The Ordeal and Triumph … Mortar pits were overrun, bazooka rounds bounced off panzer hulls like marbles, and yowling enemy infantrymen raced toward Schmidt from the south, west, and east, some banging on their mess kits in a lunatic tintinnabulation. On Sunday night, reconnaissance troops from the 116th Panzer clattered down the Kall creek bed past an old sawmill, through ferns half as high as a man. If you book a 3 day Hurtgen Tour, we can visit the beautiful, North Eifel, medieval town of Monschau, with it’s traditional chocolate box style, half-timbered houses, narrow cobbled streets and ancient castle. A lieutenant who considered the pell-mell flight “the saddest sight I have ever seen,” added, “Many of the badly wounded men, probably hit by artillery, were lying in the road where they fell, screaming for help.”. Also a look at German MG positions and foxholes on the Brandenberg-Bergstein ridge, Location of the field grave & memorial cross, to PFC Paul Peternell (121st Infantry 8th Division), who died on the 9th of December 1944. “Damn the dams,” they would tell one another again and again. The exploded and buried German bunkers and a long impressive stretch of Dragon’s Teeth can be seen here. Barking officers grabbed at their soldiers’ herringbone collars in an attempt to turn them, but hundreds leaked down the road toward Kommerscheidt, forsaking their dead and wounded. “So this is combat,” a lieutenant new to the Hürtgen reflected. The Hurtgen is littered with live ordnance and will never be fully clear. All told, 120,000 soldiers sustained 33,000 casualties in what the historian Carlo D’Este would call “the most ineptly fought series of battles of the war in the West.” A captured German document reported that “in combat in wooded areas the American showed himself completely unfit,” a harsh judgment that had a whiff of legitimacy with respect to American generalship. William ‘Bill’ E. Loy Jr is a lifelong resident of Elon, North Carolina and a decorated World War II veteran. Charles B. MacDonald, the author of the army’s official account, described the retreat: “Like blind cattle the men thrashed through the underbrush. “The 28th Division situation is going from bad to worse,” First Army’s war diary noted on Tuesday. For nearly a week the green 78th Division, reinforced by a regiment from the 82nd Airborne and eventually the veteran 9th Division, had retaken ground won and then lost in the Hürtgen battles of late fall: the Kall gorge—where dozens of decaying, booby-trapped corpses of 28th Division troops still lined the trail—and then Kommerscheidt, and finally ruined Schmidt, captured in a cellar-to-cellar gunfight on February 8 after 40 battalions of U.S. artillery made the rubble bounce. As the members of this colicky command group settled into Spa and prepared for the coming campaign, they all agreed with the GIs: It was time to take the “hit” out of Hitler. “It was a horrible business, the forest….We had the bear by the tail, and we just couldn’t turn loose.” Even Joe Collins, who enjoyed favorite-son status with Hodges, conceded that he “would not question Courtney.”, “We had to go into the forest in order to secure our right flank,” Collins said after the war. You’re getting yours, aincha?”. We can enter one of these bunkers, to see how well they were built and how the young German soldiers lived, SCHMIDT -The 2 ferocious Battles for Schmidt (28th & 78th Infantry Divisions), GERMETER – The Germeter – Hurtgen road and the location where a Sherman tank fell into a huge crator, WILDESAU -The former massive German “Wildesau” (Wild Sow) Minefield location, on the Germeter-Hurtgen road (b399), Field Marshall Walter Model’s grave & The Vossenack German Military Cemetery (Hill 470). Plus some great “Then & Now” photos, inc one at the location of the so-called “Hurtgen Hotel” – 8th Division’s – 121st Infantry Regiment’s temporary C.P. D.RaD relic hunting / D.RaD metal detecting Seven Allied armies would advance east apace, arrayed from north to south: the Canadian First; the British Second; the U.S. Ninth, First, Third, and Seventh; and the French First. This specious historical analogy—the Germans could hardly mass enough armor in the cramped Hürtgen to pose a mortal threat—received little critical scrutiny within First Army, not least because of reluctance to challenge Hodges. The Hürtgen neutralized U.S. military advantages in armor, artillery, air power, and mobility, but Hodges was convinced that no First Army drive to the Roer was possible without first securing the forest and capturing Schmidt, from which every approach to the river was visible. Hürtgen Forest, Germany has been a favorite spot of collectors since WWII. Confrontation with the Americans would first fall to the 116th Panzer Division, which had fought through Yugoslavia and southern Russia as far as the Caspian Sea before surviving more recent battles in the west, at Falaise and Aachen. Such a command climate bred inordinate caution, suppressing both initiative and élan, and the men making up First Army’s senior staff made it worse. 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