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The battle of the Hürtgen Forest

96.03 km

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During the autumn and winter of 1944 and 1945 the longest battle of the war on German soil took place in the Hürtgen Forest. The Allies pushed into the rough and unfamiliar terrain in order to secure their advance towards the Rhine, and encountered a resistance from the German forces they underestimated.

The battle caused numerous casualties on both sides. The Hürtgen Forest consisted of thick woodland, bare hilltops and deep gorges. Heavy rain, snowfall and a lack of roads made it extremely difficult to penetrate. The battle proceeded from mid-September 1944 to mid- February 1945, and ended with an Allied victory.

For the American G.I.s, the very name – with it’s first syllable, ‘hurt’– became a byword for injury and death. To this day, hundreds of soldiers on both sides remain unaccounted for, and their remains continue to be found.

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