top of page

The French1st Army Crossing the Black Forest, 17 April 1945

Western Front

The French 1st Army Crossing the Black Forest, 17 April 1945

The French 1st Army crossed the Rhine River on 31 March 1945, with the dual objectives of taking Stuttgart and driving southeast to the Austrian border. On 17 April an RAF reconnaissance sortie covered the Army's advance through the Black Forest. French units had advanced as far as Herrenberg, 45 km southwest of Stuttgart and to the southeast had arrived at the village of Hallwangen on the way to Horb-am-Neckar. Vehicle concentrations and convoys could be seen be at several locations in towns and along roads to the west to the Rhine (map). Horb, with a possible Hitler Youth barracks and recently constructed defenses, was entered on the 20th. In the rear, along the Rhine, convoys were traveling north and south near the towns of Stollhoffen and Buhl, respectively. Except for the defenses at Horb, only a few sites along the routes showed signs of resistance or a German military presence. The town center of Wenden had been destroyed.

bottom of page