Sunday 30 March 2014

World of Tanks: Today in History: Siegfried Line Breached

The Western Wall (known also as the Siegfried Line) was a line of long term fortifications placed in the border parts of Western Germany. The line was 630 km long and 35-100 km deep. 16,000 fortifications were spread through this area.

In propaganda, the Siegfried Line was shown as impenetrable and indestructible. Battles over it began in August of 1944, and ended only on March 25th, 1945. Combat in this region was fierce. The Germans resisted desperately, the Allies took losses and experienced supply problems. Due to the inevitable end of the war, it was more and more difficult to get the soldiers to attack. No one wanted to die on the eve of victory.

In December, the Germans delivered a counteroffensive in the Ardennes. It was only dealt with by the Allies in January. Taking advantage of the Germans' defeat, the commander of the Allied forces, D. Eisenhower, gave an order to break through the Siegfried line. In February, the Rur Dam was captured, alleviating a hazard for the Allied offensive, as the Germans could open the dam and flood the Rur valley at any moment.

By March, the Allies pushed the Germans to the line itself. On March 15th, the Americans began a decisive offensive. The 7th Army crossed the Mosel river and Patton's tank forces delivered a crushing blow in the South-West direction with the intention to cut off German forces between Merzig and Saarbrücken. The 7th Army cut into the German lines and reached Kaiserslautern by March 18th, crushing and displacing the Germans. In the same day, the 3rd American Army threatened the Frankfurt Corridor between the cities of Mainz and Worms, through which German supply lines ran. While the Germans attempted to do something, the 7th Army took Saarbrücken and rejoined the 3rd Army. A part of the Germans retreated to the Eastern shore of the Rhein.

By March 25th, the Siegfried line was completely broken.

Original article available here.

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