Battle of Hurtgen Forest

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The Battle of Hurtgen Forest (German: Schlacht im Hürtgenwald) is the name given to the series of fierce battles fought between American and German armies during World War II in the Hürtgen forest (or Huertgen forest). The battles took place between September 19, 1944 and February 10, 1945, in a strategically insignificant corridor of barely 50 square miles (129 km²) east of the Belgian-German border.


  • For us the Hurtgen was one of the most costly, most unproductive, and most ill-advised battles that our army has ever fought.
  • The German Command could not understand the reason for the strong American attacks in the Hurtgen Forest...the fighting in the wooded area denied the American troops the advantages offered them by their air and armored forces, the superiority of which had been decisive in all the battles waged before.
    • Generalmajor von Gersdorff, Chief of Staff, German 7th Army, 1944-1945
  • The forest up there was a helluva eerie place to fight...Show me a man who went through the battle...and who says he never had a feeling of fear, and I'll show you a liar. You can't get all of the dead because you can't find them, and they stay there to remind the guys advancing as to what might hit them. You can't get protection. You can't see...Artillery slashes the trees like a scythe. Everything is tangled. You can scarcely walk. Everybody is cold and wet, and the mixture of cold rain and sleet keeps falling. Then they jump off again, and soon there is only a handful of old men left.
    • T.Sgt. George Morgan, 1st Battalion, 22d Infantry
  • I realized after the first week that the only reason I was still alive had more to do with my T/5 stripes than anything else. Were it not for those, I would have quickly been placed as a replacement in one of the rifle companies, and undoubtedly killed or wounded within days. As it was, I wasn't expendable yet. We lost so many good men.
    • T/5 Tony Brichta, 728th Ordnance, 28th Infantry Division

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