By Steven J. Zaloga
Common George Patton's such a lot debatable crusade was once the sequence of battles in autumn 1944 alongside the German frontier which founded at the fortified urban of Metz. It took approximately 4 months, from September to December 1944, for Patton's 3rd military to catch the Metz-Thionville fortified area. partially, the matter was once logistics. As used to be the case with the remainder of the Allied forces within the eu Theatre, provides have been restricted till the port of Antwerp may perhaps ultimately be cleared. additionally tricky was once the elements. the fall of 1944 used to be one of many wettest on list, and infrequently conducive to the kind of mechanized war for which Patton was once so recognized. even if on the middle of the matter was once the accretion of refined fortifications. Metz were fortified due to the fact that precedent days, seriously rebuilt via France within the post-Napoleonic interval, modernized via Germany in 1870-1914, and modernized by means of France in the course of the Maginot attempt in 1935-40. The Germans was hoping to carry Metz with a skinny monitor of second-rate troops, relying on the impregnable fortifications. This ebook covers the whole crusade from starting to finish, providing an independent evaluation of the luck and screw ups of either the Allied and Axis efforts.
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Additional info for Metz 1944: Patton's fortified nemesis (Campaign, Volume 242)
G redeploys to reinforce the more successful Co. B penetration in the southwest corner. 5 Kampfgruppe Petersen attempts to stage a major counterattack against Co. E around 1800hrs, but was bombed by orbiting P-47 fighters. 6 The sudden infusion of Co. G troops leads to a penetration into the fort as far as Casemates O and P by 1830hrs. 7 G/11th Infantry tries to push into the center of the fort, but around 1900hrs the German garrison stages a major counterattack which forces the American company into retreat.
In spite of the efforts expended by AOK 1 on the Delme Ridge defenses, the fighting in this sector soon became a pursuit by the 6th Armored Division, trying to prevent the battered 48. Infanterie-Division from reaching the new West-Stellung defense line on the Nied. The CCA/6th Armored Division secured a bridge at Hans-sur-Nied. This advance posed a major threat to XIII SS-AK and Knobelsdorff had no reserve to contest it since the 11. Panzer-Division was already entangled to the southeast. On November 11, Balck agreed to transfer the 36.
In addition, there was some hope that the extensive work on field fortifications and the West-Stellung could help stymie an American advance. German officers were comforted by the rule-of-thumb that it takes a threeto-one advantage to overcome a strongly defended position, and some officers argued that a heavily fortified defense like Metz required a six-to-one advantage. One of the few consolations in the picture was the lull in the fighting through most of October which allowed AOK 1 to rebuild its battered divisions and to conduct further field fortification work.