Hermes' Wings

History, Writing and Personal Musings

The Campaign in the Hurtgen Forest

The Green Hell: The Hurtgen Campaign | PDF | 128 Pages | 56 Mb

The Green Hell (3e)

(Right click to save)

In the summer of 1944, as the Allied armies swept out of Normandy and Western France, the end of the war seemed within their grasp. But then American troops from the First Army reached a little-charted forest at Hürtgen and a great opportunity arose. Breaching this would gain them the western banks of the Rhine River – the last natural obstacle into Nazi Germany. But almost immediately what started out as a promising advance became a brutal slog.

Ferocious fighting crippled three American divisions and mauled another. The fighting consumed so much that men didn’t even have the energy to bury the dead. Replacements came “bug-eyed, in small, frightened bunches,” many soon to join the casualty lists. One American general called it a dreadful place and “one of the most costly, most unproductive and most ill-advised battles that our army has ever fought.” Another eyewitness, Ernest Hemingway, wrote a novel on the events. But a myopic focus on other campaigns reduced the Hürtgen fighting to a dim memory. Today it is virtually forgotten, especially in America. But Hürtgen remains a landmark of war’s inhumanity, of heroism and the limits of human military endeavor.

Includes: 14 Maps, +80 photographs and illustrations, a detailed order of battle. For examples of pencil art accompanying the text, check post: “Hurtgen Forest Artwork.”

This monograph is a result of the surprising number of people who have contacted me over the years asking for more information about this campaign – all because of a study I had once done on a now-defunct website. This work would not have been possible without their interest.

Instead of publishing it for monetary gain, I have instead released my research on this website in the hopes that it will add to the growing public awareness about this half-forgotten campaign and the men who fought it.

 


Some of the art found within the monograph

Ernst

 

Captain Albert Ernst, German tank ace – drawn from a frame of video at the National Archives showing Ernst surrendering to US troops from the 99th Division in Germany, 1945.

 

 

 

Divider-9

Greyhound

American Greyhound Armoured Car drives past a German wreck.

Divider-9

Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, correspondent for Colliers magazine, willing participant in combat.

 

5 responses to “The Campaign in the Hurtgen Forest

  1. Gaspar September 2, 2011 at 4:45 am

    Just some thankful words for sharing this huge research work on such a tough and obscure topic. THANKS.
    Gaspar

  2. Erik Jellema March 14, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    What a wonderful gift by a gifted man! But.. is this book also available as hardcoy?

    Erik

    • Akhil Kadidal March 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks, Erik. No, I decided not to have it published and offered it as a free download to help aid awareness on the Hurtgen Forest campaign.

      • Erik Jellema March 14, 2015 at 1:12 pm

        Pity, I will try to make a good print.

        Thanks anyway and keep up the good work.

      • Akhil Kadidal March 15, 2015 at 12:57 am

        If I remember correctly, I believe that the version of the book available for download is high-resolution. It should print just fine. Let me know if there are any problems. I may have set some PDF restrictions.

        Best wishes on your tour

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s