Seventh United States Army
The Seventh Army was a United States army created during World War II that evolved into the United States Army Europe during the 1950s and 1960s. It served in North Africa and Italy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and France and Germany in the European theater between 1942 and 1945; the I Armored Corps under command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton, it made landfall at Morocco during Operation Torch as the Western Task Force, the first all-U. S. Force to enter the European war. Following successful defeat of the Wehrmacht under General Erwin Rommel in North Africa, the I Armored Corps was redesignated the Seventh Army on 10 July 1943 while at sea en route to the Allied invasion of Sicily as the spearhead of Operation Husky. After the conquests of Palermo and Messina the Seventh Army prepared for the invasion of France by its Mediterranean coast as the lead element of Operation Dragoon in August 1944, it drove a retreating German army north and west toward the Alsace, being absorbed into the newly created Sixth United States Army Group in mid-September.
In January 1945 it repelled a fierce but brief enemy counter-offensive during the German Operation Nordwind completed its reduction of the region by mid-March. In a lead role in Operation Undertone launched March 15th, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine into Germany, capturing Nuremberg and Munich. Elements reached Austria and crossed the Brenner Pass into Italy by May 4th, followed shortly by war's end on VE-Day, May 8, 1945; the United States entered World War II on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. This was followed four days by the German declaration of war on the United States. By November 8, 1942, Major General George S. Patton, Jr. was commanding the Western Task Force, the only all-American force landing for Operation Torch, codename for the Allied invasion of French North Africa. After succeeding there, now promoted to the rank of lieutenant general, commanded the Seventh Army, formed at midnight on 10 July 1943 by the redesignation of the I Armored Corps, during the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943 in conjunction with the British Eighth Army, commanded by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Patton's rival.
Patton was to command the Seventh Army until early 1944. The Seventh Army landed on several beaches in southern Sicily on 10 July 1943 and captured the Sicilian capital of Palermo on 22 July and, along with the British Eighth Army, captured Messina on 16 August. During the fighting, the elements of the Seventh Army killed or captured thousands of enemy soldiers Italians. During the operation the Seventh and Eighth Armies came under the command of the 15th Army Group, under General Sir Harold Alexander; the headquarters of the Seventh Army remained inactive at Palermo and Algiers until January 1944, when Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark commanding the U. S. Fifth Army on the Italian Front, was assigned as commander and the Seventh Army began planning for the invasion of southern France; the invasion was given the code name of "Operation Anvil", but was changed to "Operation Dragoon" before the landing. In March 1944, Major General Alexander Patch, a experienced and competent commander, was assigned to command the Seventh Army, which moved to Naples, the following July.
On 15 August 1944, elements of the Seventh Army assaulted the beaches of southern France in the St. Tropez and St. Raphael area. On September 15, the Seventh was put under the field control of the 6th Army Group, under Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers; the 6th Army Group included the French First Army. Within one month, the Seventh Army, which by employed three American divisions, five French divisions and the 1st Airborne Task Force, had advanced 400 miles and joined with the Allied forces coming south from Normandy. In the process, the Seventh Army had liberated Marseilles, Lyon and all of Southern France; the Seventh Army assaulted the German forces in the Vosges Mountains and broke into the Alsatian Plain. During the Battle of the Bulge in late December, it extended its flanks to take over much of the area, the responsibility of U. S. Third Army commanded by Patton who had commanded the Seventh, which allowed the Third to relieve surrounded American forces besieged at Bastogne. In mid-January 1945, the Seventh engaged in pitched battle seeking to regain ground lost to Germany's Operation Nordwind New Year's offensive.
Along with the French First Army, the Seventh went on the offensive in February 1945 and eliminated the Colmar Pocket. After capturing the city of Strasbourg, the Seventh went into the Saar, assaulted the Siegfried Line, reached the River Rhine during the first week of March, 1945. In a lead role in Operation Undertone, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine into Germany, captured Nuremberg and Munich, it crossed the Brenner Pass and made contact with Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott's U. S. Fifth Army at Vipiteno - once again on Italian soil. In less than nine months of continuous fighting, the Seventh Army had advanced over 1,000 miles and for varying times had commanded 24 U. S. and Allied divisions, including the 3rd, 36th, 42nd, 44th, 45th, 63rd, 70th, 100th, 103rd Infantry Divisions. The Seventh Army was inactivated in March 1946, in Germany, reactivated for a short time at Atlanta, Georgia inactivated again, it was reactivated by the United States European Command with headquarters at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, on 24 November 1950 and assigned the command and ground service forces of United States Army Europe.
For over a decade it hosted and staffed the acclaimed Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by the c
Bitche is a commune in the Moselle department of the Grand Est administrative region in north-eastern France. It is the Pays de Bitche's capital city and the seat of the canton of Bitche and the communauté de communes du Pays de Bitche; the town belongs to the Northern Vosges Regional Nature Park and is rated 4-flowers at the towns and villages in bloom competition. As of the 2013 France census, the town's population is 5,225; the inhabitants of the commune are known as Bitchoises. The town is known for its large citadel originating from a castle built at the beginning of the 13th century; the fortress is noted for its resistance during the Franco-Prussian War. Louis-Casimir Teyssier, its commander and chief, held the place for about 8 months with 3,000 men against about 20,000 Prussian and Bavarian soldiers until the French government ordered him to surrender after the ceasefire in 1871; the town became part of Germany after that date until the end of the First World War, when it was given back to France.
During the Second World War, it was annexed by the Third German Reich. Bitche is located near the German border on the small river Horn, at the foot of the northern slope of the Vosges between Haguenau and Sarreguemines; the town of Bitche, formed from the villages of Rohr and Kaltenhausen in the 17th century, derives its name from the old stronghold standing on a rock some 250 feet above the town. This had long given its name to the countship of Bitsch, in the possession of the dukes of Lorraine. In 1297 it passed by marriage to Eberhard I of Zweibrücken-Bitsch, whose line became extinct in 1569, when the countship reverted to Lorraine, it passed with that duchy to France in 1766. After 1766 the town increased in population; the citadel, constructed by Vauban on the site of the old castle after the capture of Bitche by the French in 1624, had been destroyed when it was restored to Lorraine in 1698. This was restored and strengthened in 1740 into a fortress that proved impregnable up until the 20th century.
The attack upon it by the Prussians in 1793 was repulsed. In 1815 during Napoleon's Hundred Days, Brigadier-General Creutzer was the commandant. Bitche was besieged by General Zollern's Fourth Infantry Division of the Austrian IV Corps, but Creutzer refused to surrender until the general armistice. Although Bitche was hotly contested by the Germans after the battle of Wörth during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, it held out until the war's end. A large part of the fortification is built into the red sandstone rock, was rendered bomb-proof. Commander of the fortress of Bitche was Louis-Casimir Teyssier.. After the war, it was given to German Empire as part of Alsace Lorraine, it was given back to France in 1918. The town is near the Maginot Line. Bitche was liberated in December 1944 by allied troops but was relinquished in the withdrawal forced by the German counteroffensive. In March 1945 the U. S. 100th Infantry Division broke through the Maginot Line in the Bitche area and liberated the town, occupied by German troops.
The attack was a part of Operation Undertone. After 1945, Bitche became one of the busiest military camps where all parts of the French army manoeuvered. Infantry and cavalry went to Bitche for experimenting with new weapons during the Cold War. Special training took place against potential bacteriological attacks from the "EAST" side. Military service was an obligation in France. Millions of young soldiers had a few days of training in Bitche. Bitche has been twinned with Lebach, Germany since 1979; the town of Bitche was mentioned in BBC comedy panel game QI, in episode 9 of season 3. Bill Bailey commented on the comical nature of seeing a sign "You are now leaving Bitche". Communes of the Moselle department Bombelles, marquis de.
Sarreguemines is a commune in the Moselle department of the Grand Est administrative region in north-eastern France. It is the seat of a canton; as of the 2013 France census, the town's population is 21,572. The inhabitants of the commune are known as Sarregueminoises. Sarreguemines, whose name is a French spelling of the name in local Lorraine-German dialect "Saargemin", meaning "confluence into the Saar", is located at the confluence of the Blies and the Saar, 40 miles east of Metz, 60 miles northwest of Strasbourg by rail, at the junction of the lines to Trier and Saarburg. Traditionally Sarreguemines was the head of river navigation on the Saar, its importance being a depot where boats were unloaded. Sarreguemines was, from 1985 to 2015, the seat of two cantons: Sarreguemines, consisting of the Sarreguemines commune only. Sarreguemines-Campagne, comprising 21 nearby communes. Both cantons, minus the communes of Grundviller, Guebenhouse and Woustviller that were added to the canton of Sarralbe, were merged into one canton of Sarreguemines on January 1, 2015.
Sarreguemines a Roman settlement, obtained civic rights early in the 13th century. In 1297 it was ceded by the count of Saarbrücken to the Duke of Lorraine, passed with Lorraine in 1766 to France, it was transferred to Germany in 1871, with the Treaty of Frankfurt following the Franco-Prussian War. From 1871 to 1918 it formed part of the German imperial province of Alsace-Lorraine and manufactured plush velvet, leather and earthenware, was a chief depot for papier-mâché boxes used for snuffboxes, it was returned to France after World War I. On December 21–23 1944, the 44th Infantry Division threw back three attempts by the Germans to cross the Blies River. An aggressive defense of the Sarreguemines area was continued throughout February and most of March 1945. Sarreguemines was the birthplace of Jean-Pierre Bachasson, comte de Montalivet, Peer of France and a French statesman Auguste Hilarion Touret - French philhellene officer and a participant in the War of Independence of Greece Hans Traut, general Marianne Oswald, singer Karl Ullrich, Knights Cross holder Eugen-Ludwig Zweigart, pilot Céleste Lett, politician Michel Roth, chef Eric Hassli, French footballer Matthieu Sprick, French cyclist Erza Muqoli, French singer Communes of the Moselle department This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Saargemünd". Encyclopædia Britannica. 23. Cambridge University Press. P. 954. Official website http://realtravel.com/sarreguemines-lorraine-travel-guide-d1772892-1.html http://www.travelpost.com/EU/France/Lorraine/Saargemund/6224215 http://www.voyage-scolaire.com/france/sarregms/index.html http://www.sarreguemines-museum.com Médiathèque d'Agglomération Sarreguemines Confluences
Saarbrücken is the capital and largest city of the state of Saarland, Germany. Saarbrücken is Saarland's administrative and cultural centre and is next to the French border. Saarbrücken was created in 1909 by the merger of three towns, Saarbrücken, St. Johann, Malstatt-Burbach, it was the industrial and transport centre of the Saar coal basin. Products included iron and steel, beer, optical instruments and construction materials. Historic landmarks in the city include the stone bridge across the Saar, the Gothic church of St. Arnual, the 18th-century Saarbrücken Castle, the old part of the town, the Sankt Johanner Markt. In the 20th century, Saarbrücken was twice separated from Germany: in 1920–35 as capital of the Territory of the Saar Basin and in 1947–56 as capital of the Saar Protectorate. In modern German, Saarbrücken translates to Saar bridges, indeed there are about a dozen bridges across the Saar river. However, the name predates the oldest bridge in the historic center of Saarbrücken, the Alte Brücke, by at least 500 years.
The name Saar stems from the Celtic word sara, the Roman name of the river, saravus. However, there are three theories about the origin of the second part of the name Saarbrücken; the most popular theory states that the historical name of the town, derived from the Celtic word briga, which became Brocken in High German. The castle of Sarabrucca was located on a large rock by the name of Saarbrocken overlooking the river Saar. A minority opinion holds that the historical name of the town, derived from the Old High German word Brucca, meaning bridge, or more a Corduroy road, used in fords. Next to the castle, there was a ford allowing land-traffic to cross the Saar. A rejected theory claims that the historical name of the town, derived from the Germanic word bruco. There is an area in St Johann called Bruchwiese, which used to be swampy before it was developed, there were flood-meadows along the river, those are marshy. However, the Saarbrücken area was first settled by Celts and not by Germanic peoples.
In the last centuries BC, the Mediomatrici settled in the Saarbrücken area. When Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in the 1st century BC, the area was incorporated into the Roman Empire. From the 1st century AD to the 5th century, there was the Gallo-Roman settlement called vicus Saravus west of Saarbrücken's Halberg hill, on the roads from Metz to Worms and from Trier to Strasbourg. Since the 1st or 2nd century AD, a wooden bridge upgraded to stone, connected vicus Saravus with the south-western bank of the Saar, today's St Arnual, where at least one Roman villa was located. In the 3rd century AD, a Mithras shrine was built in a cave in Halberg hill, on the eastern bank of the Saar river, next to today's old "Osthafen" harbor, a small Roman camp was constructed at the foot of Halberg hill next to the river. Toward the end of the 4th century, the Alemanni destroyed the castra and vicus Saravus, removing permanent human presence from the Saarbrücken area for a century; the Saar area came under the control of the Franks towards the end of the 5th century.
In the 6th century, the Merovingians gave the village Merkingen, which had formed on the ruins of the villa on the south-western end of the Roman bridge, to the Bishopric of Metz. Between 601 and 609, Bishop Arnual founded a community of a Stift, there. Centuries the Stift, in 1046 Merkingen, took on his name, giving birth to St Arnual; the oldest documentary reference to Saarbrücken is a deed of donation from 999, which documents that Emperor Otto III gave the "castellum Sarabrucca" to the Bishops of Metz. The Bishops gave the area to the Counts of Saargau as a fief. By 1120, the county of Saarbrücken had been formed and a small settlement around the castle developed. In 1168, Emperor Barbarossa ordered the slighting of Saarbrücken because of a feud with Count Simon I; the damage can not have been grave. In 1321/1322 Count Johann I of Saarbrücken-Commercy gave city status to the settlement of Saarbrücken and the fishing village of St Johann on the opposite bank of the Saar, introducing a joint administration and emancipating the inhabitants from serfdom.
From 1381 to 1793 the counts of Nassau-Saarbrücken were the main local rulers. In 1549, Emperor Charles V prompted the construction of the Alte Brücke connecting Saarbrücken and St Johann. At the beginning of the 17th century, Count Ludwig II ordered the construction of a new Renaissance-style castle on the site of the old castle, founded Saarbrücken's oldest secondary school, the Ludwigsgymnasium. During the Thirty Years' War, the population of Saarbrücken was reduced to just 70 by 1637, down from 4500 in 1628. During the Franco-Dutch War, King Louis XIV's troops burned down Saarbrücken in 1677 completely destroying the city such that just 8 houses remained standing; the area was incorporated into France for the first time in the 1680s. In 1697 France was forced to relinquish the Saar province, but from 1793 to 1815 regained control of the region. During the reign of Prince William Henry from 1741 to 1768, the coal mines were nationalized and his policies created a proto-industrialized economy, laying the foundation for Saarland's highly industrialized economy.
Saarbrücken was booming, Prince William Henry spent on building and on infrastructure like the Saarkran
Weissenburg Abbey, Alsace
Weissemburg Abbey Wissembourg Abbey, is a former Benedictine abbey in Wissembourg in Alsace, France. Weissenburg Abbey was founded around 660 AD by the Bishop of Dragobodo. Thanks to donations from the nobility and local landowners the monastery acquired possessions and estates in the Alsace, Electorate of the Palatinate and in the west-Rhine county of Ufgau; as a result, manorial farms and peasant farmsteads were set up and agriculture system introduced to create fertile arable farmland. Around 1100, it was important for the monastery, which had now become wealthy, to distance itself from the Bishop of Speyer and his influence. To this end a new tradition was established about the origins of the monastery, backed up by forged documents. In the case of Weissenburg, the story now ran that the abbey had been founded in 623 by the Merovingian king, Dagobert I. Detailed historic research in recent decades has demonstrated that this was unlikely to have been the case. Weissenburg developed into one of the wealthiest and culturally most significant abbeys in Germany.
As early as 682 it was able to purchase shares in a saltworks in Vic-sur-Seille for the princely sum of 500 solidi. The Gospel Book written around 860 by a monk, Otfrid of Weissenburg, represented a milestone in the development of German language and literature. At that time the abbey was in the charge of Abbot Grimald of Weissenburg, the Abbot of the Abbey of Saint Gall and chancellor to Emperor Louis the German, thus was one of the most important figures in the whole of the German imperial church; the abbey lost an important possession, when in 985 the Salian Duke Otto appropriated 68 of the parishes belonging to it in the so-called Salian Church Robbery. Above all though, it was the transition from a situation in which the abbey managed its monastic estates itself to a feudal system in which the estates were granted as fiefs, that resulted in the loss of most of the abbey's possessions; this was. Thus the once extensive monastic estates evaporated. In the 16th century only three estates were left out of the thousands the abbey used to possess: these were Steinfeld and Koppelhof.
In 1262–1293, during the time of its decline, Abbot Edelin attempted to halt the loss of the monastic estates and to recover its stolen property by compiling a record of the abbey's possessions in a new register. This index, called the Codex Edelini or Liber Possessionum, is held in the Speyer State Archives. In 1524, the abbey, now destitute, was turned into a secular collegiate church at the instigation of its last abbot, Rüdiger Fischer, united with the Bishopric of Speyer in 1546; the princely provost of Weissenberg had an individual vote in the Reichsfürstenrat of the Reichstag of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. In the wake of the French Revolution the foundation was dissolved in 1789. Part of the monastic library went in the 17th century to the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel, the abbey records perished in the confusion of the revolutionary period. In 1764 the secular state of the Princely Propstei of Weissenburg comprised the following offices and estates: the Provost's Office with a master of the household, provost's counsel, secretaries and messengers the court in Weissenburg with nine officials the Fauthei of Schlettenbach with four officials and the villages of Bobenthal, Bundenthal, Bärenbach and Erlenbach the Provost's Court in the Zweibrücken district of Kleeburg with three officials the districts of Altstadt and St. Remig with eleven officials and the villages of Großsteinfeld, Kapsweyer, St. Remig, Schweighofen and Oberseebach the stewardship of Hagenau with two officials for St. Walpurga's Abbey the Sheriff's Office of Uhlweiler near HagenauTowards the end of the 18th century the territories of the Propstei of Weissenburg covered 28 square miles with 50,000 inhabitants.
In his abbey chronicle which first appeared in 1551, the theologian and historian, Kaspar Brusch, left a record of the abbots of Weissenburg, which appears to be fictitious. In addition Brusch suggests this himself. Principius Cheodonius Radefridus Ehrwaldus Instulphus Astrammus Gerbertus Ehrimbertus Dragobodo Charialdus Bernhardus David Wielandus Grimald, Odgerus Grimald, Volcoldus Gerochus Voltwicus Mimoldus Adelhardus Gerrichus Ercarmius Adalbertus Sanderadus Gisillarius Gerrichus Sigebodo Lu
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Haguenau is a commune in the Bas-Rhin department of France, of which it is a sub-prefecture. It is second in size in the Bas-Rhin only to some 30 km to the south. To the north of the town, the Forest of Haguenau is the largest undivided forest in France. Haguenau was founded by German dukes and has swapped back and forth several times between Germany and France over the centuries, with its spelling altering between "Hagenau" and "Haguenau" by the turn. After the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, Haguenau was ceded to the new German Empire, it was part of the German Empire for 48 years from 1871 to 1918, when at the end of World War I it was returned to France. This transfer was ratified in 1919 with the Treaty of Versailles. Haguenau is a growing town, its population having increased from 22,644 inhabitants in 1968 to 34,891 inhabitants in 2006. Haguenau's metropolitan area has grown from 43,904 inhabitants in 1968 to 64,562 inhabitants in 2006. Haguenau dates from the beginning of the 12th century, when Duke Frederick II the One-Eyed of Swabia erected a hunting lodge on an island in the Moder River.
The medieval King and Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa fortified the settlement and gave it town rights, important for further development, in 1154. On the site of the hunting lodge he founded an imperial palace he regarded as his favourite residence. In this palace were preserved the "Crown Jewels of the Holy Roman Empire", i.e. the jewelled imperial crown, imperial orb, sword of Charlemagne. Richard of Cornwall, King of the Romans, made it an imperial city in 1257. Subsequently, through Rudolph I of Germany Haguenau became the seat of the Landvogt of Hagenau, the German imperial advocate in Lower Alsace. In the 14th century, it housed the executive council of the Decapole, a defensive and offensive association of ten Alsatian towns against external aggression, economic expansion and related political instability. In the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, Alsace was ceded to France, which had invaded and looted the region in the past. In 1673 King Louis XIV had the fortifications as well as the remains of the king's palace razed in order to extinguish German traditions.
Haguenau was recaptured by German troops in 1675, but was taken again by the French two years when it was nearly destroyed by fire set by looting French troops. In 1793 Prussians and Austrians had occupied Lower Alsace from the Lauter to Moder to support the Royalists and before the year's end were driven back over the border by the French Revolutionary Army, causing the “great flight”. In 1871, Haguenau was ceded to the German Empire upon its victory in the Franco-Prussian War; the Haguenau Airport was built in 1916 by the German military to train fighter and bomber pilots to fight in the First World War. Hagenau was part of the independent Republic of Alsace-Lorraine after World War I, before being returned to France in 1919. In the Second World War, Germany retook the town in 1940. In November 1944 the area surrounding Haguenau was under the control of the 256th Volksgrenadier Division under the command of General Gerhard Franz. On 1 December 1944, the 314th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Division, XV Corps, 7th U.
S. Army, moved into the area near Haguenau, on 7 December the regiment was given the assignment to take it and the town forest just north that included German ammunition dumps; the attack began at 0645, 9 December, sometime during the night of 10 December and the early morning of 11 December the Germans withdrew under the cover of darkness leaving the town proper under American control. Before they withdrew, the Germans demolished bridges, useful buildings, the town park. However, as experienced by Haguenau throughout its history, the Germans came back and retook the town in late January. Most of the inhabitants fled with the assistance of the U. S. Army; the Americans launched an immediate counterattack to retake the town. The 313th Infantry Regiment of the 79th Division was relieved by the 101st Airborne Division on 5 February 1945; the 36th Infantry Division would relieve the 101st on 23 February 1945. On March 15 the Allied Operation Undertone, a combined effort of the U. S. Seventh and French 1st Armies of the U.
S. Sixth Army Group was launched to drive the Germans back along a 75 km line from Saarbrücken to Haguenau; the last German soldier was not cleared out of the town until March 19, 1945, after house-to-house fighting. Much of the town had been destroyed despite the Allied reluctance to use artillery to clear out the Germans. Technical Sergeant Morris E. Crain, Company E, 141st Infantry Regiment, 36th Infantry Division was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for providing covering fire for his men on 13 March 1945; the town has a well balanced economy. Centuries of troubled history in the buffer lands between France and Germany have given Haguenau a rich historical and cultural heritage which supports a lively tourist trade. There is a thriving light manufacturing sector centred on the industrial zone to the west of the town. Here the presence nearby of significant retail developments testifies to Haguenau's importance as a regional commercial centre; the recent extension of the ring road has improved access to the commercial and industrial zones and reduced the traffic congestion which used to be a frequent challenge for vehicle drivers using the road which follows the line of the old town walls on the western side of town.
In spite of the extensive destruction Haguenau suffered during the