A victorious American army, having driven through Belgium almost unopposed, ran head-on into German soldiers on their own home ground, in some of the most rugged country in western Germany - and at the beginning of the worst fall and winter weather in decades.
In late 1944, American forces advanced into the hilly, heavily wooded Hürtgen Forest southeast of Aachen, Germany. For weeks, without a clear-cut reason for attacking through the forest, US commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Many companies suffered huge numbers of casualties.
The Battle of the Bulge interrupted the Hürtgen Forest battles but did not end them. The Bulge provided a hiatus for the wartorn countryside around the forest and the Roer River dams. Then, beginning in January 1945, American forces resumed their offensive and were finally able to break through after one of the bloodiest and, for the US Army, most disastrous campaigns of World War II.
The book examines uncertainty of command at the army, corps, and division levels and emphasizes the confusion and fear of ground combat at the level of company and battalion - "where they do the dying." Its gripping description of the battle is based on government records and a rich selection of first-person accounts.
Forrest C. Pogue Award, presented by the Eisenhower Center for American Studies. The book is published by Texas A&M University Press.
"This is a thorough, interesting study, which every student of World War II operations in northwest Europe should read." (Army History)
"This educational and informative book is worth reading by anyone wanting to know more about the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest." (The Journal of America's Military Past)
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Spotlight on a shadowed corner of WW2 history
- Mary Karowski