The Siegfried Line Campaign
To many an Allied soldier and officer and to countless armchair strategists, World War II in Europe appeared near an end when in late summer of 1944 Allied armies raced across northern France, Belgium, and Luxembourg to the very gates of Germany.
To many an Allied soldier and officer and to countless armchair strategists, World War II in Europe appeared near an end when in late summer of 1944 Allied armies raced across northern France, Belgium, and Luxembourg to the very gates of Germany. That this was not, in fact, the case was a painful lesson that the months of September, October, November, and December would make clear with stark emphasis. The story of the sweep from Normandy to the German frontier has been told in the already published Breakout and Pursuit. The present volume relates the experiences of the First and Ninth U.S. Armies, the First Allied Airborne Army, and those American units which fought under British and Canadian command, on the northern flank of the battle front that stretched across the face of Europe from the Netherlands to the Mediterranean. The operations of the Third U.S. Army in the center, from mid-September through mid-December, have been recounted in The Lorraine Campaign; those of the Seventh U.S. Army on the south will be told in The Riviera to the Rhine, a volume in preparation. Unlike the grand sweep of the pursuit, the breaching of the West Wall called for the most grueling kind of fighting. Huge armies waged the campaign described in this book, but the individual soldier, pitting his courage and stamina against harsh elements as well as a stubborn enemy, emerges as the moving spirit of these armies. In the agony of the Huertgen Forest, the frustration of MARKET-GARDEN the savagery of the struggle for Aachen, the valor of the American soldier and his gallant comrades proved the indispensable ingredient of eventual victory.
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Charles B. McDonald
Center of Military History United States Army