Ruhr Pocket

Ruhr Pocket

The Ruhr Pocket was a battle of encirclement that took place in late March and early April 1945, near the end of World War II, in the Ruhr Area of Germany. It was, for all intents and purposes, the final dagger in Nazi Germany's war effort, as more than 300,000 troops were taken prisoner.

In March 1945, Allied Forces crossed the Rhine river. South of the Ruhr, General Omar Bradley's U.S. 12th Army Group's pursuit of the disintegrating German army resulted in the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine at Remagen by the U.S. First Army. Bradley and his subordinates quickly exploited the crossing made on March 7, 1945, and expanded the bridge head until the bridge collapsed 10 days later.

North of the Ruhr on March 23, 1945, Field Marshal Montgomery's British 21st Army Group launched Operation Plunder and crossed the Rhine at Rees and Wesel.

Having crossed the Rhine, both Army Groups fanned out. In the south, the First Army headed northeast and formed the southern pincer of the Ruhr envelopment. In the north, the U.S. Ninth Army, which since the Battle of the Bulge had been assigned to Montgomery's 21st Army Group, headed southeast, forming the northern pincer.

Facing the Allied armies were the remnants of a shattered Wehrmacht, a few SS training units, and large numbers Volkssturm (militia units for aging men, including some World War I veterans) and Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth) units, composed of boys as young as 12.

Lead elements of the two Allied pincers met on April 1, 1945, near Lippstadt. By April 4, the encirclement was completed and the Ninth Army reverted to the command of Bradley's 12th Army Group. Within the "Ruhr Pocket" about 430,000 German soldiers of Army Group B, which was 21 divisions of the Wehrmacht, and millions of civilians were trapped in cities heavily damaged by numerous bombings.

While the main operations headed further toward central and northern Germany, US forces concentrated on the pocket, taking it section by section. On April 12, 1945, the US First and Ninth armies divided the area coming from the south; the smaller, eastern part surrendered the next day. The western part continued to resist until April 18 and April 21, 1945. Rather than surrender and violate his personal oath to Adolf Hitler that he would fight to the death, the commander, Field Marshal Walther Model, committed suicide in a forest south of the city of Duisburg.

The surviving 325,000 German soldiers from the Ruhr Pocket, and some civilians, were imprisoned in the Rheinwiesenlager.

External links

* [ "North to the Ruhr Pocket and On East to Peace"] , 10th Infantry Regiment official history.
* [ Ruhr Pocket] End of war in Rhineland and Westphalia in April 1945.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Ruhr Area — The Ruhr Area, (German Ruhrgebiet , colloquial Ruhrpott , Kohlenpott or Revier ) is an urban area in North Rhine Westphalia, Germany, consisting of a number of large formerly industrial cities bordered by the rivers Ruhr to the south, Rhine to… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of the Ruhr — Luftangriffe auf das Ruhrgebiet Teil von: Zweiter Weltkrieg, Westfront Zwei „Fliegende Festungen“ (B 17) der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Die Schlacht um die Ruhr — Luftangriffe auf das Ruhrgebiet Teil von: Zweiter Weltkrieg, Westfront Zwei „Fliegende Festungen“ (B 17) der …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Poche de la Ruhr — Carte de la poche de la Ruhr. Informations générales Date 7 mars 21 avril 1945 Lieu Ruhr, Allemagne Issue Victoire des Alliés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • "Рурский мешок" — (Ruhr Pocket) 2 я мировая война 1 апр. 1945 Рур был окружен амер. 9 й армией с севера и 1 й армией с юга. В окружение попали 5 я танковая и 15 я армии под командованием фельдмарш. Моделя и почти 100 000 солдат других соединений. Два корпуса из… …   Энциклопедия битв мировой истории

  • Western Allied invasion of Germany — Infobox Military Conflict conflict= Invasion of Germany partof= Western Front, World War II caption= date= March 22 – May 11 1945 place= Germany result= Allied victory, unconditional German surrender combatant1=flag|United States|1912 flag|United …   Wikipedia

  • Walter Model — Nickname Hitler s fireman, Frontline Pig Born …   Wikipedia

  • 8th Armored Division (United States) — Infobox Military Unit unit name=8th Armored Division caption=US 8th Armored Division Patch dates=1942 1945 country=USA branch=Army type=Armored Division command structure=* US Fifteenth Army November 1944 * US Third Army January 1945 * US Ninth… …   Wikipedia

  • Western Front (World War II) — Western Front Part of World War II …   Wikipedia

  • international relations — a branch of political science dealing with the relations between nations. [1970 75] * * * Study of the relations of states with each other and with international organizations and certain subnational entities (e.g., bureaucracies and political… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”