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The Fight for the Hürtgen Forest



In January 1945, the 1st Infantry Division surgeon submitted a comprehensive annual report for 1944 on all of the division`s medical activities to The Surgeon General, U.S. Army, through command channels. Then LTC John Ficicchy, Jr., MC, the Division Surgeon, divided his report into four major sections which cover the pre-invasion period, the invasion and beach head operations, the breakthrough and exploitation, and the battle for Germany. A thorough reading of this report provides a unique, detailed look at the medical activities of this excellent division that was heavily engaged in combat from June through December 1944 as part of VII Corps, First U.S. Army.  The 1stInfantry Division was engaged in heavy fighting in the northern section of the Hurtgen Forest and Stolberg Corridor during November and early December 1944.The division`s medical operations during this period are covered in the section on the battle for Germany, but that coverage should be read together with the other sections to understand the way that medical support worked in the division.

In addition, Maj. Joseph J. Bradley, MC, the 1st Infantry Division`s Division Psychiatrist, provides an insightful report on the problems of dealing with neuropsychiatric and combat exhaustion cases.

1st Infantry Division, Division Surgeon`s Annual Report on Medical Department Activities, 1944

John Greenwood
Chief, Office of Medical History
Office of The Surgeon General, U.S. Army
Falls Church, Virginia