The Battle of Elsenborn Ridge was the only sector of the American front lines during the Battle of the Bulge where the Germans failed to advance. The battle centered on Elsenborn Ridge east of Elsenborn, Belgium. In this region, Elsenborn Ridge marks the westernmost ridge of the Ardennes rising more than 600 meters above sea level; unlike the upland’s further north, east and south, it has been extensively logged for agriculture. West of Elsenborn Ridge, where the land descends in gentle hills down to the cities of Liège and Spa, was a vast array of Allied supplies and the well-developed road network leading to the Meuse River and Antwerp. The Germans planned on using two key rollbahns or routes through the area to seize Antwerp and force a separate peace with the United States and Britain. Capturing Monschau, the nearby village of Höfen, and the twin villages of Rocherath-Krinkelt just east of Elsenborn Ridge, were key to the success of the German plans, and Hitler committed his best armored units and infantry troops to the area, including the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjugend.
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