Hürtegen Forest

Merode Castle After the Fight

Merode Castle After the Fight

After the 39th Infantry Regiment stormed and captured the castle from the German 3rd Paratroop Division (3. Fallschirmjäger-Division), they stayed there for the night.  The regimental cannon company, later that evening, began firing at the castle, believing an enemy counter-attack was underway.  The boys in Company B, 39th Regiment, including Private First Class “Mac” MacLean, did not find this amusing.  The author is currently amassing research material to wrote a book on his father’s company.  Visit the Hürtgen Forest during this process with French for a really in-depth look at the battle.

Merode Castle After the Fighting

Merode Castle After the Fight2013-01-13T16:26:20-06:00

Walking Through the Forest

Walking Through The Forest

The Hürtgen Forest has miles and miles of trenches and the remnants of the fighting, as well as pieces of the Westwall, or Siegfried Line.  Rusted helmets, broken messkits and even rotted German boots bear witness to the ferocity of the fighting.  When walking through the woods, be careful not to pick up bazooka rounds or other dangerous ordnance.

Walking Through the Trees

Walking Through the Forest2013-01-13T16:28:35-06:00

Dragon’s Teeth

Dragon’s Teeth in the Forest

Most open areas in the forest had this type of obstacle.  Standing in the middle of rows of dragon’s teeth and looking at the German side some 200-500 yards will often reveal where a bunker was that would keep the obstacle under observation and fire if necessary.  Obstacles not covered by fire are almost worthless.  The Germans also made extensive use of anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines.

Dragon's Teeth in the Hürtgen Forest

Dragon’s Teeth2013-01-13T16:31:50-06:00

Merode Castle

Merode Castle in the Hürtgen Forest

Both the 1st Infantry Division and the 9th Infantry Division tried to wrest this formidable fortress from the German 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division.  The 39th Infantry Regiment of the 9th Infantry Division finally succeeded on December 12, 1944.  We will visit the scene of the fighting.  Here is a rare view of the castle from 70 years ago.

Merode Castle before the Fight

Merode Castle2016-01-13T18:02:11-06:00

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest

The U. S. Ninth Infantry Division had bloody fights at Germeter and Vossenack in October 1944.  South of Germeter off Highway 399 is the German Military Cemetery (Ehr. Fdhf.), where Field Marshall Walter Model is buried.  Elements of the U. S. Twenty-Eighth Infantry Division attacked from the south side of Vossenack to the Mestrenger Mühle and up the other side to Kommerscheidt in November 1944.  Here they ran into the German 116th Panzer Division.

Modern Map of the Southern Hürtgen Forest2012-10-15T20:37:01-05:00

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details

Years of research dug up this document awarding an Iron Cross 1st Class to a panzer commander, who was killed in the Hürtgen at Kommerscheidt.  Detailed research showed exactly where this fighting happened, including the individual American tank that destroyed the German vehicle.  French has maintained contact with many prominent military antique dealers in Germany, some for over 30 years.

The Hürtegen Forest, 1944 – Getting Interesting Details2012-10-15T20:38:02-05:00
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