The Battle of Kassel was a four-day struggle between the U.S. Army and the German Army in April 1945 for Kassel, a medium-sized city 140 kilometers northeast of Frankfurt am Main, which also is the second-largest city in Hesse . The battle resulted as the U.S. Third Army pushed northeast from the region of Frankfurt and Mainz. The battle opened on April 1, 1945 and ended with an American victory three days later. Opposing the Third Army's 80th Infantry Division were an infantry replacement battalion, some heavy tanks, and anti-aircraft guns. Although the Germans gave battle at Kassel, their army was on the brink of collapse as the Western Allies and the Red Army made deep inroads into Germany. The defense of Kassel did not materially impede the Allied advance, and, one month after the battle ended, Germany was forced to capitulate.
After the Ardennes Offensive, the U.S. Third Army had pushed east and southeast into Germany, capturing Pruem and Trier. This advance brought General Patton's troops to the Rhine River, which they crossed at Oppenheim, near Mainz, on March 22, 1945. While the U.S. First Army was marching on Paderborn, the Third Army moved on a roughly parallel course further to the east to cover the First Army's right flank and prevent any German attempt to relieve their troops trapped in the Ruhr Pocket. Moving east from its bridgehead across the Rhine, the Third Army's XII Corps fought through scattered German opposition and reached Frankfurt on March 26. After Frankfurt, Kassel was the largest city in Hessen, having had a population of 200,000 in 1939. Another corps of the Third Army, the XX, was directed to capture it. By March 30, elements of the Third Army were nearing Kassel, having moved some 220 kilometers in eight days.
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