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Saint Vith during the Ardennes Offensive - January 1945

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Saint Vith during the Ardennes Offensive - January 1945

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Date Posted:October 23rd, 2008
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Description: All roads and rail lines obstructed by allied bombs at St.Vith during the Hun Winter Offensive in the Ardennes - 14 January 1945.

St-Vith is a town in the Belgian Province of Liège. At the beginning of the German Blitzkrieg in 1940, the town and most of Eastern Belgium was annexed by Germany. They felt this was a just cause. After all, the district of Eupen-Malmedy had been part of Germany untill after the Great War. It was declared Belgian territory by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919.
St-Vith has a history of conquests, the latest dating back from WWII. After it had been liberated in 1944 by American troops it was the Headquarters of the US VIII Corps. The 106th Infantry Division also had it's HQ there, after relieving the 2nd "Indianhead" Division.
Being an essential road and rail network, the town of St-Vith was the main objective for the German 5th Panzer Armee, commanded by General Hasso Von Manteuffel. The defense of St-Vith was nicknamed "The Battle for the Fortified Goose Egg" and earned unit citations for the 81st and 168th Combat Engineers, the 331st Medical battalion and the 106th Division Band.
The city finally fell on December 21st and was recaptured by German armored units. Heavy fighting followed and the city of St-Vith was obliterated in extensive aerial bombings in December. It was at last retaken by US troops of the 7th Armored Division at the end of January.

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