The Battle of Metz was a battle waged between American and German forces in late 1944. The battle occurred in the town of Metz in France and lasted about three months. The battle began on September 18th and ended on December 13th. Being between a fortress city between France and Germany, Metz was a strategic hub of military traffic. For centuries, Metz had been a city of fortification, with the first structures being put in place during Roman times. More recently, France had constructed many new forts just prior to the Franco-Prussian War. However, many of these forts, guns, and defensive structures were disassembled or removed by occupying German forces following the Invasion of France.
Regardless, the core fortifications still remained by the time of the battle, creating huge casualties for the attacking Americans, but it would not be without inflicting similar casualties on the German defenders.
Planning and Preparation
In defense of Metz, German forces had set up several forts that are about 3 km away from the center of Metz. There were about 4 divisions of German forces located in the Metz area. The German forces had also received the command to hold out until the end by Hitler. The city of Metz was a maze of tunnels and trenches and the leader of the German forces was Heinrich Otto von Knobelsdorff .
The Battle of Metz took place some months after the Invasion of Normandy, at a time when American General George S. Patton's Third Army advance into France that was so very alarming to the German high command was forced to halt due to logistical issues. Allied supply lines simply need more time to catch up with the quickly advancing troops.