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This battle study investigates operational and tactical considerations of the battles of Arracourt, which took place in September 1944 as the 4th Armored Division of Patton’s Third Army clashed with the Fifth German Panzer Army in the French province of Lorraine on the U.S. drive to the German West Wall.
By examining detailed German and American unit histories, logs, and summaries, as well as personal papers, this study illuminates differences and similarities in reporting the U.S. penetration from the Nancy Bridgehead to Arracourt, the German offensive at Lunéville as a prelude to Arracourt, and the two German offensives at Arracourt, as the Fifth Panzer Army attempted to link up with a German unit cut off at Nancy.
Arracourt exemplifies penetration and mobile defense and illustrates the demand for good intelligence and flexible command and control. It shows the inherent risks of piecemeal commitment of reserves, the need for timely orders and good logistical support, as well as the tactical advantages of air superiority.