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Nickdfresh
02-06-2008, 06:32 PM
Senseless bloodbath of a blunder or a sensible gamble that failed?

I'm thinking the US command should have been sent to the front-lines for it...

overlord644
02-06-2008, 07:50 PM
yes, senseless, with massive casualties. one day F company of the 22nd infantry regiment went foward for an attack, something like 12 guys walked out.

also has anyone not heard of the thanksgiving dinner incident?

Nickdfresh
02-06-2008, 09:03 PM
Not the one in Hurtgen. (There was also one in Korean, 1950)

overlord644
02-06-2008, 09:59 PM
oh, well when Roosevelt declared that each man in the US army would receive a turkey dinner for thanksgiving, men all over the 4th ID begged their commanding officers not to make them eat it. But sure enough all over the hurtgen forest men were gathered together to recieve their thanksgiving turkey. needless to say, with entire companies of infantry gathered together, the german artillery observers didnt waste the opportunity

GliderInfantry
03-21-2008, 09:12 PM
I think they could have gone around the forest right,

overlord644
03-22-2008, 12:27 AM
I think they could have gone around the forest right,

not sure what u mean, but if you mean that they would be safe under the trees (which is pretty much all of hurtgen) then thats the worst place you could be because the artillery shells explode in the treetops basically doubling the amount of shrapnel, since you have to add massive chunks of wood into the mix

GliderInfantry
03-22-2008, 10:56 AM
I n my last post it might have been mis- understood I meant for the american forces to by pass it to go around it to isolate it like they did to some of the japanese held islands in the pacific.any thoughts on this

Nickdfresh
03-22-2008, 11:24 AM
It's been a while since I read specifically about the Hurtgen, but I believe the plan had something to do with an amateurish attempt at infiltrating the forest and surprising the Germans on the other side of the Ardennes after engineers opened a road, and to fight a bit of a holding action forcing the Germans to disperse their forces. Instead, they handed the Wehrmacht prime opportunities for cover and concealment of ambushes and counterattacks rather than their own advance, and basically squandered their great advantages in mobility and firepower over the Germans...

BTW, may avatar is of a soldier during a pause in the action...

Drake
03-22-2008, 01:55 PM
Fighting germans in a german forrest, never a good idea since 9 AD ;)

gumalangi
03-23-2008, 07:10 AM
Fighting germans in a german forrest, never a good idea since 9 AD ;)

not according to riddley scott ... :mrgreen:

Drake
03-23-2008, 08:44 AM
Yeah, he's quite the guy for historic accuracy ;)

gumalangi
03-23-2008, 09:07 AM
not only him though,. most of other guys from sacredwood

GliderInfantry
03-24-2008, 05:35 PM
not sure what u mean, but if you mean that they would be safe under the trees (which is pretty much all of hurtgen) then thats the worst place you could be because the artillery shells explode in the treetops basically doubling the amount of shrapnel, since you have to add massive chunks of wood into the mix
no complete by pass it isolate it the war would be over in 6 months or so and the wood was no strategic value that i know of am I correct?

GliderInfantry
03-24-2008, 08:48 PM
The germans called it Die Totenfabrik or death factory
with good reason I guess.


Mod note: We already have a thread on the Battle of the Huertgen Forest.

GliderInfantry
04-12-2008, 11:18 PM
yes the germans were able to be in a good defensive position , in the forest you had to fight inf. tactics and were unable to use tanks, arty or cas .

HAWKEYE
04-13-2008, 08:26 AM
The U.S. Official History estimated that 120,000 troops, plus replacements, were committed to Hürtgen; by the end there had been 24,000 casualties plus 9,000 non-battle. Two divisions, the U.S. 4th Infantry Division and the U.S. 9th Infantry Division, were so badly mauled that they were withdrawn from the line to recuperate.

The battle for Schmidt cost 6,184 U.S. casualties — compared with about 4,000 losses by the two divisions at Omaha Beach. German casualties were fewer than 3,000.

In the second phase, the U.S. 4th Division had advanced 1½ miles by November 20, having suffered 1,500 battle casualties plus non-battle casualties numbering in the several hundreds due to trench foot, frostbite, and exhaustion. After two weeks, three miles had been gained for 4,053 battle and 2,000 non-battle casualties, bringing the November totals to 170 officers and 4,754 men.

One reference book I read talked about the new troops arriving at Aachen and the dead had not been gathered or buried in months. There were rotting corpses all over the ground. This was not what a fresh faced boy just out of boot camp needed to see.


There should never have been a "second phase" of this battle, it was useless slaughter.

the_librarian
04-14-2008, 09:19 AM
Hi all,

Sorry for any dupes, but was reading up on this last night and ran across this:

http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/HuertgenForest/HF.htm

Thought might add to the discussion....

Nickdfresh
04-14-2008, 10:11 AM
Good find, thanks...

Cpt_Prahl
12-06-2008, 03:09 AM
Huertgen was a total blunder and waste of American lives it served very little if any tactical importance and could have been surrounded and bombed into oblivion much like the russians did to all the trapped Germans in another forest south of berlin.

There were many other divisons involved in the battle the 1st Divison also fought in the Huertgen but as much of what the Big Red One did isnt written about or explored much.

kamehouse
12-06-2008, 03:59 AM
A good account of the Hurtgen Forest battle:
"Victory was beyond their grasp,with the 272nd Volksgrenadier division from the Hurtgen forest to the heart of the Reich" by Doug Nash
@Librarian,thanks for the link.

Dara
12-06-2008, 07:27 PM
Senseless bloodbath of a blunder or a sensible gamble that failed?

I'm thinking the US command should have been sent to the front-lines for it...

Senseless bloodbath perpetrated by people who could not possibly have known what the terrain was like and didn't seem to care all that much to find out. A horrific display of officers with maps dictating (badly and with very, very little to gain from such manuevers) the actions of those doing the actual fighting, IMHO.

gunner-B
12-07-2008, 08:14 PM
Dara

You sound like what a critic would have said about WW1 Western Front battles.

Paul

Dara
12-07-2008, 08:40 PM
Really? I just find that this was one of the most disgusting displays of trying to gain something of little value at the cost of so much and so many. The more I learn about this, the more I find that I am sick to my stomach.

colonel hogan
12-25-2008, 05:52 PM
i know that the 4th and 1st inf. div. fought there along with the 36th div. and 442 inf.reg.

gunner-B
12-26-2008, 10:05 PM
I'm sure I read somewhere many years ago (I think it was in After the Battle Magazine) that a crewman (men) of a Sherman Tank were not recovered from their destroyed vehicle in Hurtgen Forest until many years after the war. It was in a cordoned of area strewn with glass mines which was too dangerous to clear. I can't remember if the unfortunate(s) were recovered in 1963 or 1973 or some such date.

Paul

flamethrowerguy
12-27-2008, 08:46 AM
I'm sure I read somewhere many years ago (I think it was in After the Battle Magazine) that a crewman (men) of a Sherman Tank were not recovered from their destroyed vehicle in Hurtgen Forest until many years after the war. It was in a cordoned of area strewn with glass mines which was too dangerous to clear. I can't remember if the unfortunate(s) were recovered in 1963 or 1973 or some such date.

Paul

Right, Paul, however it was not a Sherman. Please look here:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/modern/HiH_301_1%23.html

gunner-B
01-03-2009, 03:56 PM
Right, Paul, however it was not a Sherman. Please look here:
http://www.ww2incolor.com/modern/HiH_301_1%23.html

If I recall right, the caption that I saw in the 'After the Battle' magazine showed a Sherman under a few trees fenced off in about an acre of land. By the looks of the picture it seemed to have been taken long after the war.
It goes to show Just how dangerous the Glass mines were and how hazardous it must have been for those brave American troops.

Paul

Sorry about the delay in replying to this thread as I was away for the week visiting family.

Happy and prosperous new year to all at WW2 in Colour.

colonel hogan
01-23-2009, 03:31 PM
didnt the 442 infantry regiment fight there. i believe they were attached to the 36 texas national guard division. they made a movie about it with van johnson i believe.

peopleselbow
03-05-2009, 03:40 PM
the hurtgen forest battles were a shambles

flamethrowerguy
03-05-2009, 04:29 PM
the hurtgen forest battles were a shambles

Yes, and I feel like fighting the Lernaean Hydra.

jcompton
03-05-2009, 04:45 PM
Yes, and I feel like fighting the Lernaean Hydra.

Good luck with that Hercules;)

jungleguerilla
08-06-2010, 12:21 AM
Located at the border of Germany and Belgium, the Hürtgen Forest was a wooded area 50 square miles wide that provided another possible corridor for the Allies to thrust into Germany. Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges' First Army, charged with taking the densely wooded terrain, quickly saw the advance becoming a standstill as the American material advantage were taken away by the fierce shelling from well defended German positions.

After nearly a month of fighting, the Americans suffered 4,500 casualties after pushing only a few kilometers into the forest. Had the Americans advanced further, the German defenders also had the option of opening the dams nearby and flood the entire forest. Meanwhile, elements of Hodges' army besieged the city of Aachen a short distance north of the forest; Aachen became the first large German city to fall under Allied control when it fell on 21 Oct 1944. Instead of enveloping Hürtgen Forest and move the bulk of his forces eastwards into the heart of Germany, Hodges decided to eliminate the German forces in the forest to secure his southern flank.

Early in Nov, the Allies launched a new offensive into the forest. The elements of the First Army encountered exploding trees, a technique deployed by the German defenders where shells exploded 80 to 100 feet above the ground, and the explosion at the treetops sent a rain of shrapnel and wood splinters of wood down at the American troops who uselessly proned at the first sound of explosion.


Early in Nov, the Allies launched a new Offensive into the forest. The elements of the First Army encountered exploding trees, a technique deployed by the German defenders where shells exploded 80 to 100 feet above the ground, and the explosion at the treetops sent a rain of shrapnel and wood splinters of wood down at the American troops who uselessly proned at the first sound of explosion. The American troops, however, quickly learned to "hug a tree" in which they stood flat against large tree trunks to minimize body area exposed upwards. Replacement troops flowed into the forest constantly, but not at a rate that replaced the mounting number of casualties; many units had over 100% casualty rate with the fierce fighting.

The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was the longest battle the Americans had ever fought in the history of the United States military. The American forces suffered 33,000 casualties (though 9,000 of which were attributed to non-combat causes such as illness and friendly fire), while the Germans suffered 28,000 casualty (12,000 of them died). Despite the eventual American victory achieved with the "Yankee doggedness" as described by Eisenhower, many historians argue that the lives spent at Hürtgen was in vain for that the forest was of little strategic value. While the American troops fought the extended battle, dams on the Roer River remained under German control.

Perhaps, the Germans didn't blow up those dams in the Roer. They remained until the end of the war. After the Battle of The Bulge, the Hurtgen Forest Campaign had been long-forgotten. :army:

9th Infantry Division troops rest after an American attempt to break the defenses in the Kall trail.
http://bellsouthpwp2.net/e/a/ea_herr/Hurtgen111.jpg

Nickdfresh
08-06-2010, 02:46 PM
Bump.

Nickdfresh
08-06-2010, 02:47 PM
This thread is a duplicate of a discussion. Please use the search function before starting threads in the future...

flamethrowerguy
08-06-2010, 06:13 PM
Located at the border of Germany and Belgium, the Hürtgen Forest was a wooded area 50 square miles wide that provided another possible corridor for the Allies to thrust into Germany. Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges' First Army, charged with taking the densely wooded terrain, quickly saw the advance becoming a standstill as the American material advantage were taken away by the fierce shelling from well defended German positions.

After nearly a month of fighting, the Americans suffered 4,500 casualties after pushing only a few kilometers into the forest. Had the Americans advanced further, the German defenders also had the option of opening the dams nearby and flood the entire forest. Meanwhile, elements of Hodges' army besieged the city of Aachen a short distance north of the forest; Aachen became the first large German city to fall under Allied control when it fell on 21 Oct 1944. Instead of enveloping Hürtgen Forest and move the bulk of his forces eastwards into the heart of Germany, Hodges decided to eliminate the German forces in the forest to secure his southern flank.

Early in Nov, the Allies launched a new offensive into the forest. The elements of the First Army encountered exploding trees, a technique deployed by the German defenders where shells exploded 80 to 100 feet above the ground, and the explosion at the treetops sent a rain of shrapnel and wood splinters of wood down at the American troops who uselessly proned at the first sound of explosion.


Early in Nov, the Allies launched a new Offensive into the forest. The elements of the First Army encountered exploding trees, a technique deployed by the German defenders where shells exploded 80 to 100 feet above the ground, and the explosion at the treetops sent a rain of shrapnel and wood splinters of wood down at the American troops who uselessly proned at the first sound of explosion. The American troops, however, quickly learned to "hug a tree" in which they stood flat against large tree trunks to minimize body area exposed upwards. Replacement troops flowed into the forest constantly, but not at a rate that replaced the mounting number of casualties; many units had over 100% casualty rate with the fierce fighting.

The Battle of Hürtgen Forest was the longest battle the Americans had ever fought in the history of the United States military. The American forces suffered 33,000 casualties (though 9,000 of which were attributed to non-combat causes such as illness and friendly fire), while the Germans suffered 28,000 casualty (12,000 of them died). Despite the eventual American victory achieved with the "Yankee doggedness" as described by Eisenhower, many historians argue that the lives spent at Hürtgen was in vain for that the forest was of little strategic value. While the American troops fought the extended battle, dams on the Roer River remained under German control.

Perhaps, the Germans didn't blow up those dams in the Roer. They remained until the end of the war. After the Battle of The Bulge, the Hurtgen Forest Campaign had been long-forgotten. :army:

9th Infantry Division troops rest after an American attempt to break the defenses in the Kall trail.
http://bellsouthpwp2.net/e/a/ea_herr/Hurtgen111.jpg

I kind of doubt that the good people over here appreciate this post - uncredited as it is.
http://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=117