METZ 1944
Patton’s Fortified Nemesis

Written by Steven Zaloga
Illustrated by Steve Noon

This book is number 242 in Osprey Publishing’s “Campaign” series.

Metz was one of the most fortified cities in the Moselle region of France. The forts around Metz were built just prior to the Franco-Prussian War and were in service during the Siege of Metz in 1870. This area has always been considered to be strategic because of its location. Following World War I the French reinforced these forts even further and they became part of the famed Maginot Line. When Germany conquered France in World War II, these forts were further modernized and strengthened by Germany. The Allies in World War II saw Metz as the gateway to central Germany because the city is at a tripoint between France, Germany and Luxemburg.

The fortifications around Metz consisted of casemates, bunkers, fortified infantry posts and, observation posts with connecting entrenchments and tunnels. An entire system of trenches was built to interconnect all the positions.

Penetrating this fortified area was one of the toughest challenges Patton and his Third Army faced in addition to problems with logistics and weather. Because the weather was one of the wettest on record, it hampered Patton’s style of mechanized warfare making it one of his most difficult campaigns in World War II. These battles were fought for nearly four months, from September to December, 1944, and ended in victory for the US.

Metz 1944, Patton’s Fortified Nemesis, is a look at this fascinating campaign. The contents of this excellent Campaign Series book are;

  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • The Strategic Setting
  • Opposing Commanders
    • American commanders
    • German commanders
  • Opposing Forces
    • US Army
    • German Army
  • Opposing Plans
    • American plans
    • German plans
    • Campaign Operation Thunderbolt
      • Fort Driant
      • The October pause
    • Operation Madison begins
      • XII Corps
      • Operation Madison begins
      • XX Corps
    • The battle for Metz
      • On to the Saar
      • XII Corps
      • XX Corps advances beyond Metz
  • The Campaign in Retrospect
  • The Battlefield Today
  • Further Reading
  • Index

This 96 page book by Steven Zaloga provides an impartial review of the entire campaign, noting the successes and failures of both the Allied and Axis endeavors. It contains colorful illustrations, period photographs, maps, and birds-eye-views of the Attack on Fort Driant, September 27 – October 12, 1944; the XX Corps Crosses the Moselle at Thionville, November 9-14, 1944; and the Battle for Metz, November 14-19, 1944. Metz 1944 is an excellent book that provides a unique insight to the campaign that should be of interest to the wargamer and historian alike.

This book is available from Osprey Publications

Paperback: $19.95

eBook ePub $17.56

eBook PDF $17.56