Military history

Road To Huertgen: Forest In Hell

Road To Huertgen: Forest In Hell

The setting is the Huertgen Forest, a 1,300 square mile, densely wooded, hilly region along the German-Belgian border south and southeast of Aachen. From mid-September to mid-December 1944, six American infantry divisions—the 1st, 4th, 8th, 9th, 28th, and 83d—and part of the 5th Armored Division fought at one time or another in the Huertgen Forest. These divisions incurred 28,000 casualties, including 8,000 due to combat exhaustion and rain, mud, sleet, and cold.

The forest lay across the path the First U.S. Army had to take to reach the Rhine River, and thus American commanders considered it essential to conquer it. German troops had prepared an elaborate defense of Huertgen, resulting in a struggle where tanks, infantry, and artillery dueled at close range. The battle for the forest ended in December, when a sudden German offensive through the Ardennes to the south forced the Allied armies to fall back, regroup, and renew their attack. By the time both American and German artillery had done with it, the setting would resemble the Argonne battlefield of World War One—a bleak scene of near total devastation. Included are 16 pages of maps and photographs.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Epilogue

Photo section