Friday, November 11, 2011

The Hurtgen Forest Battle (World War II)

"A Time for Healing"

A few weeks back, my husband and I took a tour through the Hurtgen Forest. We had never heard about the battle there as I am sure that you haven’t either. Our guide and historian, Martin King, introduced a battle to us in the forest 5 miles south and east of Aachen, Germany. This battle claimed around 30,00 American GIs, either killed, wounded, lost or captured, deep within the dense, cold and wet forest. The Hurtgen Forest Battle was one of the most brutal and bloodiest battles in history. It began in September of 1944 and ended around February 1945.

Many people believe that this battle shouldn’t have been fought. With outdated topographical maps, Americans were dropped in Germany and then trudged their way through a forest that they never realized they were going to encounter. There was no way to get air relief because of the dense woods, and the trail they attempted to get there tanks up was incredibly narrow and windy.

In visiting the battle site, we physically stood in foxholes that still exist from over 60 years ago. We also got to see the some bunkers and walk part of the Kal Trail where the tankers and the men slowly made their way to the Schwammenauel Dam.

Please take a moment today to remember those who have fought for us.

Here are some websites to read more on the battle of The Hurtgen Forest

Our guide:
·         Martin King is a respected military historian who has conducted tours for many Allied veterans and interviewed both German veterans and civilian witnesses in and around Europe’s World War II battlefields. Voices of the Bulge is King's first book. 


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