Along with the 2nd SS Panzer Division, it was responsible for holding the pocket open to allow German troops to escape. It managed to escape, although with only 600 infantry and 12 tanks intact. In October, it fought against American forces in the Battle of Aachen, with the town falling to the Americans on 21 October. It was moved to Düsseldorf for refitting. On 8 November, the division repulsed an attack from the US 28th Infantry Division in the Hürtgen Forest during the larger Battle of Hürtgen Forest, recapturing the town of Schmidt, thus providing the name to the 28th of the "Bloody Bucket Division".
The 116th then participated in the failed "Wacht am Rhein" Operation in the Ardennes, where it participated in the middle spearhead and later held the Allies at bay for other units to retreat, before being withdrawn over the Rhine in March. It then opposed the 9th US Army's advance across the Rhine, thus stopping the planned Allied breakthrough as well as opposing Operation Varsity's airborne landings. With 2,800 men and 10 tanks against 50,000 Allied troops and supporting tanks, the division held off the US 30th, the US 35th, the US 84th, the 4th Canadian and the US 8th Armored Divisions. On 18 April 1945, the majority of the division was forced to surrender to the 9th US Army, having been trapped in the Ruhr Pocket. It was described by the Commander of the 9th Army to New York Times reporter John MacCormac, in March 1945, as "the famed and best German Panzer Division", and was listed as the same in an article on 27–28 March. Remnants of the division continued to fight in the Harz mountains until 30 April, only surrendering after all of their resources had been exhausted.