During the Second World War, Operation Clipper was an Allied offensive by British XXX Corps to reduce the Geilenkirchen salient in mid-November 1944. Clipper was the preliminary to the wider Allied operation, named Operation Queen to gain control of the Roer valley and the Hürtgen Forest.
Geilenkirchen is situated on the Wurm river, some 20 km north of Aachen. The surrounding area is undulating, alternating between woodland, farmland and industrial villages. The area was crossed by a network of passable minor roads, some major roads and a railway line. The Wurm is the major geographic feature.
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