The Lorraine Campaign

The autumn of 1944 saw the US 5th, 90th and 95th Infantry Divisions besiege 19th century forts around the French city of Metz

By August 1944, after the Allied breakout in Normandy, the US Third Army raced across France but outran its supply lines. Crucially, it was running out of ‘gas’ so was halted on the Meuse River briefly. General Patton was eager to continue to push into Lorraine, a region in northeastern France that borders Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany, despite much-allied attention being focused on Operation Market Garden further north. The Lorraine campaign was to be the operation of the US Third Army in the region from September 1 through to December 18, 1944, including assaults across the Moselle and Sauer Rivers, the battles of Metz and Nancy and the push into Germany.

Objectives within Lorraine were given to constituent parts of the US Third Army. The capture of Nancy was assigned to units of the US XII Corps, while another city just 35 miles away, Metz, was given to the 5th, 90th, 95th Infantry and 7th Armoured Divisions of US XX Corps. At the confluence of the Moselle and the Seille rivers, Metz was protected by forts built by the Germans between 1870 and 1919. The fortifications comprised several forts, and it was these that would make

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