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FH2 #2 Road to Glory

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FRIDAY , 17 November, 19GMT , the map Hill 262 will be played in the campaign Road to Glory

 

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History

Hill 262, or the Mont Ormel ridge (elevation 262 metres (860 ft)), is an area of high ground above the village of Coudehard in Normandy that was the location of a bloody engagement in the final stages of the Normandy Campaign during the Second World War. By late summer 1944, the bulk of two German armies had become surrounded by the Allies near the town of Falaise. The Mont Ormel ridge, with its commanding view of the area, sat astride the Germans' only escape route. Polish forces seized the ridge's northern height on 19 August and, despite being isolated and coming under sustained attack, held it until noon on 21 August, contributing greatly to the decisive Allied victory that followed.

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The American success of Operation Cobra provided the Allies with an opportunity to cut off and destroy most German forces west of the River Seine. American, British and Canadian armies converged on the area around Falaise, trapping the German Seventh Army and elements of the Fifth Panzer Army in what became known as the "Falaise pocket". On 20 August Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model ordered a withdrawal, but by this time the Allies were already blocking his path. During the night of 19 August, two battlegroups of Stanisław Maczek's Polish 1st Armoured Division had established themselves in the mouth of the Falaise pocket on and around the northernmost of the Mont Ormel ridge's two peaks.

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On 20 August, with his forces encircled, Model organised attacks on the Polish position from both within and outside the pocket. The Germans managed to isolate the ridge and force open a narrow escape corridor. Lacking the fighting power to close the corridor, the Poles nevertheless directed constant and accurate artillery fire on German units retreating from the pocket, causing heavy casualties. Exasperated, the Germans launched fierce attacks throughout 20 August which inflicted losses on Hill 262's entrenched defenders. Exhausted and dangerously low on ammunition, the Poles managed to retain their foothold on the ridge. The following day, less intense attacks continued until midday, when the last German effort to overrun the position was defeated at close quarters. The Poles were relieved by the Canadian Grenadier Guards shortly after noon; their dogged stand had ensured the closure of the Falaise pocket and the collapse of the German position in Normandy.





 

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FRIDAY , 24 November, 19GMT , the map Elsenborn Ridge will be played in the campaign Road to Glory

 

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History

The Battle of Elsenborn Ridge was the only sector of the American front lines during the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans failed to advance. The battle centered on the Elsenborn Ridge east of Elsenborn, Belgium in the Ardennes forest. West of Elsenborn Ridge, near the cities of Liège and Spa, Belgium, was a vast array of Allied supplies and the well-developed road network leading to the Meuse River and Antwerp. The Germans planned on using two key rollbahns or routes through the area to seize Antwerp and force a separate peace with the United States and Britain. Capturing Monschau and the nearby village of Höfen, and the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt just east of Elsenborn Ridge, were key to the success of the German plans, and Hitler committed his best armored units and infantry troops to the area, including the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend.

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The green, untested troops of the 99th Infantry Division had been placed in the sector during mid-November because the Allies thought it was an area unlikely to see battle. Their soldiers were stretched thin over a 22-mile (35 km) front, and all three regiments were on line, with no reserve. In early December, the 2nd Infantry Division was assigned to capture a vital crossroads marked by a customs house and a forester’s lodge named Wahlerscheid, at the southern tip of the Hurtgen Forest. They transitioned through the 99th Division's lines and after a deadly, costly battle, captured the crossroads. But the Germans counterattacked in what the Americans initially thought was a localized spoiling action, but was actually a leading element of the Battle of the Bulge. The 2nd Division consolidated their lines, pulling back into Hünningen, and then to the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt, and finally at the dug-in positions held by the 99th Division at Elsenborn Ridge.

In a fierce battle lasting 10 days, the American and German lines were often confused. During the first three days, the battle raged over the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt, during which American G.I.s were at times isolated in individual buildings surrounded by German armor. Attacking Elsenborn Ridge itself, the Germans, although superior in numbers, were stopped by the Americans' well-prepared and deeply dug-in defensive positions. The German attack plans were not well coordinated and frustrated by the rugged terrain, built-up areas around the twin villages, and massed American artillery firepower positioned behind Elsenborn Ridge. American artillery batteries repeatedly pounded the German advance. While the Germans employed an effective combined arms tactic and penetrated the U.S. lines several times, the Americans called in indirect fire on their own positions, pushing the Germans back. U.S. reserve forces consisting of clerks and headquarters personnel were rushed in at one point to reinforce the 395th Infantry Regiment's lines. Although the Germans possessed superior armor, they were held in check by the innovative American tactics, including better communications, coordinated time on target artillery strikes, new proximity fuses for artillery shells, and superior air power.

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The Sixth Panzer Army was unable to break through and take its immediate objectives on the Meuse River. The stubborn American resistance forced Kampfgruppe Peiper to choose an alternative route well south of Monschau and Elsenborn Ridge. As a result, the German forces were strung out over miles of winding, single-track roads, unable to concentrate their armored units. Peiper's units were repeatedly stymied by U.S. Army engineers, who blew essential bridges along their route of advance. One column of roughly 40 tanks and support vehicles was destroyed on 17 December when they were discovered by an L4 air observer of the 62nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion, assigned to the 102nd Cavalry Group. They were attacked by the 62nd's 105 howitzers mounted on M7 SP's, Corps 155's and Army 240's. The panzers finally reached the Amblève River, only about halfway to the Meuse River, but ran out of fuel. Food and ammunition also ran low. After 10 days, the German forces had been reduced to an ineffective strength and withdrew. The Americans had about 5,000 casualties; while exact German losses are not known, they included significant amounts of armor. While the Americans had considerable supplies and enough troops to re-equip their forces, German losses could not be replaced.





 

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FRIDAY , 1 December, 19GMT , the map Siegfried Line  will be played in the Road to Glory Campaign.

 

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FRIDAY , 8 December , 19GMT , the map Westwall will be played in the campaign Road to Glory

 

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History

  In August 1944, the first clashes took place on the Siegfried Line; the section of the line where most fighting took place was the Hürtgenwald (Hürtgen Forest) area in the Eifel, 20 km (12 mi) southeast of Aachen. The Aachen Gap was the logical route into Germany's Rhineland and a main industrial area, and was therefore where the Germans concentrated their defence. The Americans committed an estimated 120,000 troops plus reinforcements to the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. The battle in this heavily forested area claimed the lives of 24,000 American soldiers plus 9,000 of so-called nonbattle casualties—those evacuated because of fatigue, exposure, accidents, and disease. The German death toll is not documented.
 

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After the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge began, starting in the area south of the Hürtgenwald, between Monschau and the Luxembourgish town of Echternach. This offensive was a last-ditch attempt by the Germans to reverse the course of the war in the West. German loss of life and materiel was severe in the failed effort.
There were serious clashes along other parts of the Siegfried Line and soldiers in many bunkers refused to surrender, often fighting to the death. By early 1945 the last Siegfried Line bunkers had fallen at the Saar and Hunsrück.

After the Battle of Hurtgen Forest, the Battle of the Bulge began, starting in the area south of the Hürtgenwald, between Monschau and the Luxembourgish town of Echternach. This offensive was a last-ditch attempt by the Germans to reverse the course of the war in the West. German loss of life and materiel was severe in the failed effort.
There were serious clashes along other parts of the Siegfried Line and soldiers in many bunkers refused to surrender, often fighting to the death. By early 1945 the last Siegfried Line bunkers had fallen at the Saar and Hunsrück.

 

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American units serving under British and Canadian command during the campaign incurred thousands more casualties, bringing total American losses to approximately 68,000. To this figure should be added the number of nonbattle casualties. The First Army incurred over 50,000 nonbattle casualties; the Ninth Army over 20,000. Thus the over-all cost of the Siegfried Line Campaign in American personnel was close to 140,000.
 

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