Klever Reichswald

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The Reichswald near Kranenburg.
The Reichswald in the winter near Kleve.

The Klever Reichswald is an Imperial forest near Kleve in North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany between the Rivers Rhine and Maas at the Dutch/German border. The area is wooded and wet.

Main towns in the area are Kleve, Goch, Kevelaer, Keppeln, Geldern and Xanten.

History[edit]

In the Second World War, Klever Reichswald was the location of the Battle of the Reichswald, also known as Operation Veritable, in February and March, 1945. In this protracted battle against Anglo-Canadian forces on Germany's Western Front, German lines under the capable General Alfred Schlemm (of the Luftwaffe) had been reequipped. The Siegfried line was the most fortified in this area, and the troops were re-enforced by elite and experienced soldiers well prepared for protracted fighting. The terrain largely nullified the Anglo-Canadians' advantages in equipment, armament and munitions, and manpower. On the German side, over 90,000 men fought in this battle, and 52,000 were taken prisoner. [1] On the Anglo-Canadian side, nearly 200,000 men were engaged in the fighting, with 23,000 casualties.[2]

Geology[edit]

As the Reichswald is on a glacial ridge, it is not subjected to flooding. The glacial gravel contains a lot of loam from the northern German plain and this causes the surface to become extremely muddy when using the unmetalled roads during a rainy period.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Battle of the Rhineland". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15 July 2009. 
  2. ^ Fowler, T. Robert (1995). "Operation Veritable". The 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in the Rhineland. General Store Publishing House. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 

Coordinates: 51°44′35″N 6°02′35″E / 51.74306°N 6.04306°E / 51.74306; 6.04306