Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ruhr Pocket (Summary)

The Battle of the Ruhr Pocket was a World War II military engagement fought between the Allied forces and elements of the Wehrmacht, from March 30 to April 18th, 1945, in Germany Ruhr region. The Ruhr Pocket was a classic encirclement battle with the US 9th Army forming the northern jaw of the pincers and the 1st Army the southern jaw. Defending their country and territory were fragments of the German Army Group B, SS Hitlerjugend units, and Volkssturm militia units composed of old men, who veterans of World War I.

When the Allies armies crossed the Rhine River, the most important objective was the Ruhr area, which was one of the most industrialized region of Germany. The US 1st Army was part of the US 12th Army Group and had cross the Rhine at the German town of Remagen. Then, it had advanced northeast to make the sourthern arm of the pincers. The US 9th Army was part of British 21st Army Group and had crossed the Rhine at Wesel from Holland, heading south to form the northern arm of the pincers. The burden of the US attack would be carried by the US 75th Infantry Division (XVI Corps, 9th Army). Although spearhead units of the two jaws met on April 1, the 75th Infantry Division initiated the attack on April 4, near Waltrop. By April 11th, this American division reached the Ruhr near Witten and took two bridges, isolating the town of Dortmund by April 15th. By April 18th, the Ruhr Pocket was eliminated with 3,700 German prisoners captured by the 75th Division.

An account of the Ruhr Pocket (video)

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