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The 5. Panzerarmee was formed on 8 December 1942 in North Africa through the restructuring of the LXXXX Armee Korps. It surrendered in Tunisia on 9 May 1943. The 5. Panzerarmee was reformed on 5 August 1944 by the redesignation of Panzergruppe West. It fought in Normandy and narrowly escaped being destroyed in the Falaise Pocket. In September 1944, the 5. Panzerarmee launched an unsuccessful counterattack against the U.S. Third Army in Lorraine before withdrawing to the German border. It took part in the failed Ardennes offensive in December 1944 and later fought at the Remagen bridgehead before being destroyed in the Ruhr Pocket on 17 April 1945.
On April 1, 1945, armored divisions from both the First and the Ninth Armies met at the town of Lipstadt, trapping German Army Group B inside the Ruhr. Within three days, the equivalent of four American army corps had tightened the grip around the pocket. For the next two weeks, US troops attacked into the Ruhr to destroy the German forces trapped there. After several abortive counterattacks, the Germans began to retreat from the north side of the pocket, although Hitler had refused the request of the German commander, Field Marshal Model, to withdraw his badly outgunned forces. By April 14, 1945, the American advance had split the pocket in two as troops of the First and Ninth Armies met again, this time at the town of Hagen in the heart of the Ruhr.German troops began surrendering by the thousands. The rapidly shrinking eastern pocket surrendered on April 16, followed two days later by the remains of the western pocket. More than 300,000 Germans became prisoners of war, constituting the largest single German surrender in western Europe during the war.