Lorraine Campaign

Lorraine’s campaign is a term used by historians to describe U.S. military operations in Lorraine Third U.S. Army during World War II from September 1 to December 18, 1944. You can also include other operations in the area, conducted by the Seventh Army until March 1945. The official names of the U.S. military campaign for this period were Northern France (“Northern France”) and Rhineland (“Rhine”). The term was popularized by the publication of a volume of the same name by the U.S. Army in 1950. As the author of the volume:

Although the term campaign Lorraine is unofficial, represents a more traditional use of the term “campaign” in the fact that the battles described by the term formed part of a broader operation that had a preset target. By contrast, the names of U.S. military campaign refer to what were actually multiple military campaigns and large organizations with different objectives.

Operationally, the term encompasses the assaults to cross the river Moselle and Sûre, the battles of Metz and Nancy, fighting in the Vosges, the progression along the Moselle to the German border and fighting 1939 January to March 1945.

Campaign Timeline

In the Lorraine campaign can distinguish three stages.

1. The push the Moselle.

In Metz, the U.S. Army VII seriously threatened the defenses of the Reich, and in particular the Siegfried line, less than 60 kilometers. Hoping to buy time to strengthen their fortifications, the OKW decided to slow the progression of strengthening Patton estratéticos points of this front. The Moselstellung a fortified line of forts built during the annexation in the valley of the Moselle between Metz and Thionville, was an excellent foothold for German troops. The industry was then in charge of the German First Army. The August 27, 1944, the defense of Metz was entrusted to General Walther Krause and the town was declared Reich strength six days later.

For the OKW, stop Patton was a priority that resulted replacements and reinforcements for the 5th German Panzer Army and First Army. The top commander did not hesitate when sending new troops to the sector, such as 17th SS-Panzergrenadier-Division.

2. Deadlock around the fortress of Metz.

The Third Army, lacking fuel, was unable to take Metz and Nancy quickly, unlike the actions that characterized the rapid advance through France. After the battle of Arracourt, the release of Nancy and Mairy combat, the Third Army had to stop and wait for supplies.

Until October 12, 1944 and the beginning of the assault on Metz, there was an unusually rainy difficult military operations. This combined with the lively German resistance and competent land use around Metz, delayed the fall of the city until the end of November 1944.

3. Progress towards the Saar and the Siegfried Line.

After Metz and fortifications fell, the Third Army launched an offensive to advance to the Siegfried Line. He developed an attack on the Sarre when the Germans launched the Ardennes offensive. Operations in the Saar reduced their scale when the Third Army troops moved north to counter the German offensive on Belgium and Luxembourg from the south. The northward movement of the Third Army marked the end of the first phase of the campaign of Lorraine.

The U.S. military’s offensive operations in this part of the Western Front resumed with the U.S. Army General VII Patch. After the German offensive of January 1945, very bloody, the fighting did not follow in the areas of Forbach and Bitche until March 1945, with the aim of occupying the Saar-Palatinate.

Write offs

The Third Army had 55,182 casualties during the campaign (6657 dead, 36,406 wounded, 12,119 missing).

Lorraine German losses are unknown but suspected they were great. At least 75 000 German prisoners were captured by the Third Army during the offensive.


•The Lorraine Campaign, Hugh M. Cole, Washington: Center of Military History, 1950.

France in 1944

Battles of the United States in World War II

Battles of the Western Front (World War II)

Operations of the Second World War

Battles of Nazi Germany

History of Lorraine

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