The Battle of Metz was a battle fought during World War II at the city of Metz, France, from late September 1944 through mid-December between the U.S. Third Army commanded by Lieutenant General George Patton and the German Army commanded by General Otto von Knobelsdorff. Strong German resistance resulted in heavy casualties for both sides. The city was captured by U.S. forces and hostilities formally ceased on November 22; the last of the forts defending Metz surrendered on December 13.
Metz is located between the rivers Moselle and Seille. The fortifications of Metz consisted of several forts and observation posts with connecting entrenchments and tunnels. The city had fallen to the German forces when France was defeated in 1940. Following the fall of France, the city was immediately annexed to the Third Reich. Most of the Nazi dignitaries assumed it was obvious that Metz, where so many German army officers were born, was a German city. At that time, the Wehrmacht did not consider it an important location and the city's defenses were reduced with many guns and equipment removed, although the fortifications were still heavily defended and well armed.
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