By September 1944, the Allied advance across France and Belgium had turned into attrition along the German frontier. Standing between the Allies and the Third Reich's industrial heartland was the city of Aachen, once the ancient seat of Charlemagne's empire and now firmly entrenched within Germany's Siegfried Line fortifications. The city was on the verge of capitulating until Hitler forbade surrender.
Robert W. Baumer, a graduate of the University of Illinois, has been writing about World War II for twenty years. He is a former columnist for Armchair General, author of Aachen: The U.S. Army's Battle for Charlemagne's City in World War II (978-0-8117-1482-2), and coauthor with Mark Reardon of American Iliad: The 18th Infantry Regiment in World War II (978-0-9717650-5-4).