World Battlefronts: La Pucelle

The French used to call Metz La Pucelle ("the Virgin"). Up to last week this historic Lorraine stronghold had never been taken by storm. Attila's Huns destroyed it in 451 A.D., but there were no Roman legions there to defend it. It was still in possession of the French when they surrendered in 1870, of the Germans in the autumn of 1918. The French claim that quislings gave it up in 1940. Last week, for the first time, Metz gave way under attack—by Americans.

The cutting of Metz's communications unhinged the German position in...

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