American soldiers in the Battle of Metz from the 95th Infantry Division earned the nickname “Iron Men of Metz” because of their bravery. Metz, a French city near the German border, had been a historic crossroads for European wars and featured heavy fortifications. It had never been taken by force. In the fall of 1944, Gen. George S. Patton’s Third Army arrived to within miles of the city after chasing German forces from the Normandy beaches following the D-Day invasion on June 6. Patton ordered American forces, including the 95th Infantry Division that ultimately included Pvt. Eddie Sessions, to attack Metz on Nov. 7. The German commander surrendered to the Americans on Nov. 22 after both sides suffered heavy casualties. The battle was considered a low point for Patton, and has been largely overlooked by historians and in wartime memoirs.
> Return to main story | The Replacement Soldier: Eddie Sessions in World War II
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