The Battle of Metz was a battle fought during World War II at the city of Metz, France, from late September 1944 through mid-December between the U.S. Third Army commanded by Lieutenant General George Patton and the German Army commanded by General Otto von Knobelsdorff. On 18 September, U.S. reconnaissance units encountered Wehrmacht Panzergrenadiers again. The Battle is an excellent example of a Corps sized operation against [2][3], Napoleon III and Marshal Patrice de MacMahon formed the new French Army of Châlons, to march on to Metz to rescue Bazaine. After this development, the XII Corps launched another attack but was countered by the German defenders. The Germans besieged the city, and 54 days later the French were forced to capitulate. The Germans were surprised at the American approach on the battlefield. The Virtual Museum of the 95th Infantry Division - The Iron Men of Metz // Le Musée Virtuel de la 95th Infantry Division - Les Hommes de Fer de Metz [6] U.S. forces entered Metz on 18 November, and on 21 November Kittel was wounded and subsequently captured. [11], The French lost 167,000 enlisted men and 6,000 officers taken to POW camps on 27 October, as well as 20,000 sick who temporarily stayed behind in Metz. Siege of Metz. Bazaine was sent as a captive to Kassel. In other words, Lorraine found Patton completely out of his element. An army had not directly taken Metz since 1552. / firefightinirish In the fall of 1944, after the Normandy break out, a three-month long struggle was fought during World War II around the fortress city of Metz, France. Napoleon III ordered the army to break out of the encirclement immediately. This new but remarkable architectural example was commissioned to an architect from Berlin, Kröger, who erected many imposing buildings in the Rhenish … Metz had been overwhelmed by the German invasion of France in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War. The Battle of Metz was a battle fought during World War II at the city of Metz, France, from late September 1944 through mid-December between the U.S. Third Army commanded by Lieutenant General George Patton and the German Army commanded by General Otto von Knobelsdorff. At that time, the Wehrmacht did not consider it an important location and the city's defenses were reduced with many guns and equipment removed, although the fortifications were still heavily defended and well armed. Story of an Iron Man of Metz, Eldon Knuth, Co F - 379th Inf Reg. Against heavy resistance, the 95th captured the forts surrounding Metz and captured the city, 22 November. Metz is located between the rivers Moselle and Seille. Metz as a preliminary move to enhance the continued attack eastward of the US Third Army. Visit this website The Germans allowed the French officers to keep their swords and remain in Metz, which was largely unharmed by the siege. [10], Prince Friedrich Karl and the Prussian Second Army were now free to move against the French force in the Loire River area. The men of US 3rd Army deal with the mud of Lorraine, October 1944. Having reformed in the town, the Army of Châlons was immediately isolated by the converging Prussian armies. The level of casualties for both sides are unknown but high.[9]. September 3 – October 23, 1870. The Germans immediately sent a train of food and live cattle to the city they had just conquered. [4], The French calculated they had enough food for 70,000 civilians for three and a half months and five months worth of provisions for a regular garrison. For Sieges of Metz, see, Christer Bergström, "The Ardennes - Hitler's Winter Offensive", p. 28, "General George Patton Interrogates a SS General, 1944", Oral history interview with Frank Niedermayer, an infantryman during the Battle of Metz, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Battle_of_Metz&oldid=992540998, Battles of World War II involving the United States, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 20:27. On 14 November Generalleutnant Heinrich Kittel was appointed as the new commander of the German forces. Metz 1870 . In another attack, the US forces captured a small bridgehead across the Moselle to the south of Metz. The Battle of Metz was a three-month battle fought between the United States Army and the German Army during World War II. [9], On 29 October, Prussian flags were raised on Metz's outworks and the French Army of the Rhine marched out silently, and in good order. It was a campaign filled with personal and professional frustration for the general, and even the fall of Metz in early December, with its paltry haul of just 6,000 prisoners, did nothing to lighten the mood. A short drive to the west lies the famed fortress city of Verdun, site of one of history’s bloodiest battle exactly one hundred years ago this month. The French situation was much worse, with riots breaking out among the starving army and city. During this time, the XX Corps underwent a training program, experimenting with methods of reducing the defenses of the fortress. By the end of August 1944, German forces in Lorraine had managed to reestablish a defensive line around Metz and Nancy. By William E. Welsh Lieutenant General George Patton’s Third Army had come a long way since it was activated on August 1 in Normandy. The Division pushed toward the Saar, 25 November, and entered Germany on the 28th. The Battle of Metz was a battle fought during World War II at the city of Metz, France, from late September 1944 through mid-December between the U.S. Third Army commanded by Lieutenant General George Patton and the German Army commanded by General Otto von Knobelsdorff. The conflict was between the Prussians under King William of Prussia and the French under Marshal Bazaine. With this army and the Prussian Third Army, Moltke marched northward and caught up with the French at Beaumont on 30 August. Nietzsche contracted both diphtheria and dysentery during the siege, worsening his already poor state of health. On 6 June 1944, Allied troops landed in Normandy, and the liberation of German-occupied France was underway. Battles are told step by step, with testimonies of numerous veterans. [7] Bazaine was forced to surrender his entire army on 27 October because of starvation. Unable to silence the fortress guns sufficiently to conduct siege operations, the besiegers opted to starve out the trapped French army. The Prussians, under the command of Field Marshal Count Helmuth von Moltke, took advantage of this maneuver to catch the French in an encirclement. By September, about 25% of the 197,326-strong German siege force still lacked proper accommodations and the sick list in military hospitals grew to 40,000 men. Hitler understood the pause was due to a supply shortage, and would not last, and he recognized that the Third Army posed a threat to the Saar region of Germany. Location . The town of Metz lies on the French German border, and had lain within both countries during the preceding century, and had been heavily fortified by both countries. The fighting in 1914 left Verdun in a salient or … According to an order issued by Hitler in March 1944, fortress commanders were to hold their positions at all costs, surrendering only with Hitler's approval, which he would never give. Some troops were also withdrawn from Metz. The city was captured by U.S. forces and hostilities formally ceased on 22 November; the last of the forts defending Metz surrendered on 13 December. It had been captured after a 54-day … The last of the forts at Metz to surrender was Fort Jeanne d'Arc, which capitulated to the U.S. III Corps on 13 December. The fortress was promptly surrounded by German forces under Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia. [2] The city was captured by U.S. forces and hostilities formally ceased on 22 November; the last of the forts defending Metz surrendered on 13 December. [4] Several small scale attacks were made by the U.S. forces after this encounter. The November Battle for Metz (Concluded) The Enemy Situation in the Metz Area 1. The Army of Châlons marched north-east towards the Belgian border to avoid the Prussians before striking south to link up with Bazaine. During the Battle of Metz, he did not have the chance to enter the city like some units of the 377th and 378th infantry regiment, but fought in the cold, mud and rain to capture the forts surrounding the city. A huge website focused on the 95th Infantry Division which was decisive during the battle for Metz and Saar. Most of the Nazi dignitaries assumed it was obvious that Metz, where so many German army officers were born,[note 1] was a German city. At the end of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Metz’ destiny changed dramatically as the city and its département (Moselle) was annexed by Bismarck to Germany. During World War II it was occupied by the Germans and in 1944 was liberated only after a long battle. Allied supply lines simply need more time to catc… Third Army during the Metz Campaign of the Fall of 1944. [8], Although the battle resulted in defeat for the German forces, it served the intended purpose of the German command of halting the advance of the U.S. Third Army for three months, enabling retreating German forces to make an organized withdrawal to the Sarre river and to organize their defenses. The Battle of Metz (27 September-13 December 1944) was a major battle of the Liberation of France, occurring as the US Third Army under General George S. Patton liberated the Lorraine region of eastern France. Generaloberst Johannes Blaskowitz, C.O of Armeegruppe G, reviewed Patton's decision to launch a headlong attack straight into the fortifications of Metz by saying: "A direct attack on Metz was unnecessary....in contrast a swerve northward in the direction of Luxemburg and Bitburg would have met with greater success and caused our 1st Army's right flank collapsed followed by the breakdown of our 7th Army.". The number of German troops positioned in the vicinity of Metz was equivalent to four and a half divisions.[4]. Metz was surrounded by forts built by the Germans between 1870 and 1919, then allowed to decay by the French, who possessed the Lorraine region until it was retaken by Germany in 1940. The attack on the city by the U.S. The first U.S. attack was launched by the 95th Infantry Division, in which they attempted to capture a bridgehead to the north of Metz. It took place at the city of Metz following the Allied breakout after the Normandy landings. Metz was to be the linchpin in the Germans’ defensive strategy. The battlefield extends from the woods that border the Moselle above Metz to Roncourt, near the river Orne. The Siege of Metz lasting from 19 August – 27 October 1870 was fought during the Franco-Prussian War and ended in a decisive Allied German victory. Kaiser Wilhelm II personally oversaw the new town planning project around the railway station, to the South of the Old Town, in order to make Metz a model of German prestige and elegance. Published on Dec 13, 2018 Martin (Germany) and Svein (USA) recreate the battle of Metz where the Americans were fighting to gain the bridgehead to advance further towards Germany while the … Because the entire Army of the Rhine was stuck in the fortress, there were only enough provisions for 41 days and oats for 25 days. The German 26th Brigade was stationed as the Metz garrison, with General von Kummer as commandant. A very solid, detached, and objective account of the Battle of Metz with detailed accounts of battalions, companies, and … The campaign against Metz proved a difficult and costly siege, yet its completion brought the Allies ever-closer to Germany’s western defenses. The Siege of Metz lasting from 19 August – 27 October 1870 was fought during the Franco-Prussian War and ended in a decisive Allied German victory. As previously covered by this website in a more detailed look at the U.S. Army's overall struggles during the Fall of 1944: " From September 5th to November 21st the fortress city of Metz held out against The Third Army's most strenuous efforts. The city had fallen to the German forces when France was defeated in 1940. [4], On 3 November a new attack was launched by the U.S. forces, which resulted in the capture of the outer defenses with the aid of the tactics developed during the training process. During the 1870–71 Franco-Prussian War the French troops retreated into Metz after an indecisive battle. It was ceded back to the French following World War I and fell again to the Germans during their blitzkrieg of 1940. Attempted French breakouts ended in defeat at the battles of Noisseville on 31 August – 1 September and Bellevue on 7 October. But few people know that America’s renowned general George S. Patton and his rampaging 3rd Army, met their worst … The Battle of Gravelotte, or Gravelotte-St… S With MacMahon wounded on the previous day, General Auguste Ducrot took command of the French troops in the field. [10] The French prisoners were sent by way of Saarbrücken and Trier to prisoners of war camps, guarded by Landwehr battalions. MacMahon, with his broken army, had escaped towards Strasbourg, and De Failly was proceeding to join him, but both were cut off from all communication with the main body. There he was besieged by over 150,000 Prussian troops of the First and Second Armies on 19 August. [1] Strong German resistance resulted in heavy casualties for both sides. After a sharp fight in which they lost 5,000 men and 40 cannons, the French withdrew toward Sedan. Each side lost about 5,000 men killed and wounded in total in these two breakout attempts. Unable to capture the fortress by bombardment or storm, the besieging Germans resorted to starving the French to submission. [3][8] The Prussians offered the honors of war to the defeated French army, but, contrary to usual practice, Bazaine refused the honor. As Third Army supply lines became stretched, material (especially gasoline) became scarce, and Supreme Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower called a halt to the Third Army advance so that supplies could be stockpiled for Operation Market Garden, an attempt to break into the vital (and heavily industrialized) German Ruhr Valley in the north. By this time, the U.S. command had decided to attack Metz from its rear, coming from the east. The Battle of Metz was a three-month battle fought between the United States Army and the German Army during World War II. The German commanders of the Metz forts were required to follow Hitler's "hold at all costs" order when attacked, in September 1944, by the U.S. Third Army led by General George S. Patton, who had reached Verdun before Eisenhower's order to halt the advance and conserve supplies. Metz was returned to France after World War I. Title /tardir/mig/a156950.tiff Created Date: 20030428131607Z Armored elements of the United States XX Corps, while on a reconnaissance operation in the direction of the Moselle, made contact with elements from the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division on 6 September 1944.