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This cold dark and forbidding place as a scene of one of the fiercest bloodiest.
And least known battles of World War II.
Welcome the war stories I'm over north -- you know from the African forest in Germany.
These densely wooded hills are quiet now but from September of 1944.
Until February of 1945.
With -- artillery mortar and machine guns and tank fire.
American generals -- -- quick portion of Germany's industrial heartland.
But battle hardened very -- troops -- -- to hold their ground.
For five months tens of thousands of American and German soldiers battled each -- -- harsh terrain and bitter cold that claim combatants.
On both sides.
-- shells burst in these trees above well prepared and tenacious driven defenders.
Turned the American offensive and one nightmare.
For every yard gain.
This was the deadliest campaign.
In the European theater.
Stay with us and meet the men both American and -- who fought to the death in this dark and frightening force.
Still hottest place if did you know we work within the forward.
In his car.
Bringing snow and cold.
Ruins of bunkers so weapons -- -- -- hand grenades.
Don't see sunlight.
There's still traces of World War II in the air.
Almost imagine being back there the river 1944.
6 June 1944.
The liberation of Europe begins.
After ferocious fights on the Normandy beaches the allies were bogged down for weeks in the French -- -- before breaking out.
The military progress in the armored drive -- -- alive and -- and the goal of this.
Back and I did back.
On Saturday there was plumbing of heavy fighting.
Can get through Normandy.
It after barely surviving that puts a boat -- New Jersey native lieutenant Leonard Little oil and the rest of the second ranger -- today and still -- months of fierce combat ahead.
And a lot of fighting about two and a half months.
Let us cross.
Who are true.
-- -- -- the allies broke out from Normandy real judgment and the Americans in particular -- we go to the east to thwart.
And defeat the Germans fell back -- total disarray.
Retired army lieutenant colonel Edward Miller is spent fifteen years studying the battle in the -- and force.
He's the author of the book a dark and bloody ground.
By and large they were very ill equipped.
Something that certainly the allies could look at with a little bit out of optimism.
And and twenty -- August American troops of the 28 infantry division.
The keystone boys -- the Pennsylvania National Guard marched down the streets of -- liberated Paris.
The division commander general Norman -- and general Omar Bradley -- -- Hodges -- the parade.
The proceed across.
Rants and approach to Germany led.
People who think that there might be a chance that the court could be ended by the end of 9040.
Fighting decide with an -- -- in the second ranger battalion was -- Sunday 23 year old son of a Wisconsin farm.
Do you remember anybody saying you know say this war's going to be over bunkers or -- or a lot of rumors like that.
Private Sunday was hearing more than just scuttlebutt.
US troops have reached the German border and supreme allied commander Dwight Eisenhower's chief of staff lieutenant general Walter Bedell Smith.
Boldly announced to the press from Paris militarily the war result.
Back in the states the -- even stopped sending packages to the boys in Europe.
So the period of August through mid September 1940 war was really -- race.
Good Eisenhower -- his armies through the border defenses across the Rhine river for the Germans could set their defects.
In Berlin the German terror -- at allied advance.
With the enemy that is gates Hitler called up one of his most effective than iron fisted generals.
Total -- an art and not see however he was not a yes -- in fact he was one of the few German -- officers who would actually argue.
Strenuously with Hitler to prove a point.
US army colonel Douglas -- -- -- military historian and an expert on the German army in World War II.
Mobile was very blunt very gruff profane even -- he would be very ruthless at the situation demanded it.
And he was brought to the western front August 18 1944.
To exert magic I think probably -- effort.
He was known as as -- firemen.
And the fears firemen wasted no time.
General mobile is that handpicked by Hitler for this -- what's his mission volatile and once significant.
Mission that was to stop the allies from crossing -- And entering the term industrial heartland -- Located just a gross Germany's western border.
The 17100 square mile -- river valley was the coal and manufacturing center of the Nazi war machine.
It was one of the -- -- warning capability and needed to be defended at all cost.
So much so that that -- -- -- privilege to confer with general mobile and visit nearby factories to inspire more production.
This is going to be footage shows -- the propaganda minister with these spellbound workers into a frenzy.
You have you can't you do.
I hope it -- I think that yeah I bet it.
It was the idea of the American side.
Particularly Eisenhower's supreme commander he had to make the decision on exactly how is Arby's would literature.
-- patents -- tied up further south generals Eisenhower and Bradley gave general Courtney Hodges the mission of breaking into Hitler's Third -- According Hodges looked like -- or rumpled small town -- he was the direct opposite of the -- type person.
But directly between the ruhr valley and Hodges first army was seventy square miles of heavily wooded terrain the Germans called -- involved.
-- -- ordered Hodges dispatched to the mountain forests and drive straight to the river valley.
This decision but the first -- -- argues on a collision course with the -- Force.
One of the participants.
Likened it to the force -- -- -- and revelers almost.
-- primeval feel to it.
I was just in a big cooler replacement.
Joining the battle hardened troops who fought all the way from Normandy where thousands of green replacements like twenty year old bill -- He joined a 47 regiment of the ninth infantry division the old reliable news.
-- with a third armored division Wyly and his fellow infantryman were among the first Americans into the forest.
He got on the truck -- up to a point when the story here and done.
There was a lieutenant colonel who -- us and told us that in a nice meats.
Everybody's not movement that it's not as bad days you might think that was totally inaccurate.
It was worse than what what matters is.
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