The prolonged and ferocious WWII Battle of Hürtgen Forest rolled on for nearly 12 weeks near the Belgian-German border from September 19, 1944. It was November 14 when an unlucky G.I. stepped into a minefield among the trees. Severely injured, his screams were clearly audible to a nearby unit of German soldiers led by Lieutenant Friedrich Lengfeld. The question was, who would come to this stricken man’s aid?
It was on June 6, 1944 that D-Day – the massive counter-invasion of Western Europe – had started from the shores of Britain. Since then the Allied armies had fought their way across France and Belgium against stiff and at times fanatical opposition. Their sights were set firmly on overwhelming and crushing Nazi Germany.
By September 1944, the Allied push against the Nazis was losing some of its momentum. The reasons were twofold. Firstly, German resistance naturally hardened as the fighting encroached on the Fatherland itself. Secondly, Allied supply lines were becoming longer, causing inevitable logistical problems.