Hürtgen Forest

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Hürtgen forest
German: Hürtgenwald
Huertgen Forest.jpg
View looking west over the Kall Valley in the Hürtgen Forest
Map showing the location of Hürtgen forest
Map showing the location of Hürtgen forest
Hürtgen forest, North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates Coordinates: 50°42′03″N 6°25′42″E / 50.7008°N 6.4284°E / 50.7008; 6.4284

The Hürtgen forest (also: Huertgen Forest; German: Hürtgenwald) is located along the border between Belgium and Germany in the southwest corner of the German federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Scarcely 50 square miles (130 km2) in area, the forest lies within a triangle outlined by the German towns of Aachen, Monschau, and Düren. The Rur River runs along the eastern edge of the forest.


Map of the Huertgen Forest (Hürtgenwald)

The Hürtgen Forest lies at the northern edge of the Eifel mountains; its terrain is characterized by plunging valleys that carve through broad plateaus. Unlike many areas of Germany in which the valleys are farmed and hilltops are wooded, the Hürtgen Forest's deep valleys are thickly wooded and the hilltop plateaus have been cleared for agriculture. The forest's rough terrain starkly contrasts with that of the adjoining Rhine Valley. Roads in the forest are few, winding, and narrow.

Battle of Hürtgen Forest[edit]

Siegfried Line bunker in the northern Eifel

The rugged terrain of this area was the scene of a long, bloody, drawn-out battle during World War II, often referred to as the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, which took place over five months during a cold winter from 19 September 1944 to 10 February 1945.

The Germans successfully defended the area which served as the staging area for the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes which was launched on 16 December 1944.[1][2]

Along a road that rises from the Kall River Valley to the town of Schmidt, there still remains the mark of the chain of a tank destroyed in that road. There a U.S. armored vehicle was targeted by the enemy and it burned.

In popular culture[edit]

HBO made a film about the Battle of the Hurtgen Forest, When Trumpets Fade (1998).


  1. ^ Charles Whiting (July 2007). The Battle of Hurtgen Forest. Spellmount. p. 274. ISBN 978-1-86227-396-2.
  2. ^ Charles B. MacDonald (29 March 2016). The Siegfried Line Campaign. ST JOHN Press. ISBN 978-1-944961-30-5.

External links[edit]