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Battlefield 1942

Huertgen Forest for Battlegroup 42


[quote]This map is based on the battle of Huertgen Forest which occurred from September 14 to December 13, 1944. Huertgen Forest is located in the mountainous region south of Aachen on the border
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between Germany and Belgium and is about 10 by 20 miles. The Siegfried Line passes through the forest along the German border. The Siegfried Line is composed of 2 belts of fortifications, the Scharnhorst Line and Schill Line, which together make up the Siegfried Line. A total of 5 US infantry divisions, 2nd Ranger Battalion, elements of the 5th armored division and few other units such as the 1171st Engineer Combat Group participated on the American side. Opposing them were four German divisions, the 116th Panzer division and parts of the 12th and 272nd Volksgrenadier divisions. The trees in the forest were so close together as to prevent all travel by vehicles except on the narrow roads. The roads and many parts of the forest itself were filled with hundreds of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Adding to this, the weather during most of the battle was rain or snow, turning the roads into mud which caused supply problems. In addition, the weather prevented the US from using the Airforce in support. The rain and snow made life miserable for those on the ground. Many did not have proper winter equipment. Foxholes and bunkers filled with water. Thousands on each side had to be evacuated for trench foot. Because the trees were so thick, men lived in perpetual twilight. The German and American lines were so close that opposing positions were often in grenade range of each other. It was very easy to get lost in the forest because the only thing you could see in any direction was trees. The artillery used in the forest was set with contact fuses so the shells exploded in the tree tops, raining shrapnel and wood splinters down on the combatants. If you went prone, you were actually more likely to be hit. The Battle of Huertgen Forest was one of the bloodiest on the western front. During one advance, the US suffered 1 casualty for every 2 feet of ground gained. A total of 33,000 Americans were wounded, killed, or evacuated for trench foot or other illnesses. German losses are unknown but are estimated to be higher. Overall US divisions involved in the fighting suffered over 25% casualties. Realize that during WWII, casualties of 10% were considered high.[/quote]

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