posted on Jul, 21 2021 @ 05:22 AM
a reply to: halfoldman
Actually they could have gone around the forest,
But nope, orders were they have to go right through it.
I won't defend the leadership of the Eisenhower-Bradley-Hodges team. They may have had individual strengths, but none of them were, contrary to
popular legend, great military leaders. They got the job done is about the best one can say. But ...
two things have to be considered here. One is that "going around" was not an option. To the south was the Ardennes-Eifel forest hill mass, itself
poor terrain for breakthrough operations. To the north were the Peel Marshes and the start of the canal-and-poulder-country of the Netherlands. In
summary, the terrain in that part of Europe was very well suited to defensive operations.
The other thing that needs to be noted is that in late summer and early fall 1944, the Allied supply situation was not good at all. That did not
improve until the Scheldt Estuary was cleared in November 1944, and only then did the supply situation approach 'normal' levels as expected by the
offensive doctrine of the day. Heavy artillery had been left behind during the dash across France and Belgium because of transportation and fuel
shortfalls. And the combat units, particularly the rifle units, were low on manpower because planners had really underestimated the staggering
magnitude of infantry losses in the Normandy campaign.
All that meant the First U.S. Army was primed for failure when it attempted to push into the Hürtgen Forest. For the part of the Germans, they were
desperate to hold that terrain because the space behind the Eifel was needed to amass the force they planned to use in the Ardennes. Top planners
believed the winning route in an invasion of Germany was across the north German plain to Berlin, so First Army fed division after division into the
Hürtgen while the Germans threw whatever they could spare into the battle as well. Result was a lot of losses on both sides.
edit on 21-7-2021 by F2d5thCavv2 because: (no reason given)