A Dark and Bloody Ground

A Dark and Bloody Ground

The Hürtgen Forest and the Roer River Dams, 1944-1945

Book - 1995
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Blackwell North Amer
In late 1944, American forces advanced into the hilly, heavily wooded Hurtgen Forest southeast of Aachen, Germany. For weeks, without a clear-cut reason for attacking through the forest, U.S. commanders nevertheless ordered units of as many as seven divisions into the woods to be chewed up by German infantry and artillery. Small units, cut off by the rugged terrain and trees, unable to employ tanks or artillery effectively, fought entrenched and camouflaged Germans in the woods and villages of the region. The troops were exposed to rain, sleet, and freezing temperatures without proper winter clothing. Many companies suffered huge numbers of casualties.
For many years after the war the full extent of the disaster was not well known outside army circles. Eventually the story of the campaign spread, but it remained overshadowed by the fame of the Bulge. Only in the last decade have military historians begun to look at the fighting in the Hurtgen Forest.
The book examines uncertainty of command at the army, corps, and division levels and emphasizes the confusion and fear of ground combat at the level of company and battalion - "where they do the dying." Its gripping description of the battle is based on government records, a rich selection of first-person accounts from veterans of both sides, and author Edward G. Miller's visits to the battlefield. The result is a compelling and comprehensive account of small-unit action set against the background of the larger command levels.
The book's foreword is by retired Maj. Gen. R. W. Hogan, who was a battalion commander in the forest.

Publisher: College Station : Texas A&M University Press, c1995
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780890966266
Branch Call Number: 940.54 MI
Characteristics: xviii, 250 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm


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Oct 08, 2015

A Dark and Bloody Ground is one of the best books about the Battle of the Huertgen Forest. It discusses the first efforts to penetrate the forest in October of 1944 through the capture of the strategic dams in February of 1945. The book is well researched and written.


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