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A Reichswald or Imperial forest, designates any of several historic woodlands under imperial protection in the lands of the former Holy Roman Empire.

The N├╝rnberger Reichswald is near Nurembergmarker.

The better-known Reichswald Forest, near the Dutch/German border, lies in North Rhine-Westphaliamarker in Germanymarker, to the east of Nijmegenmarker, in the Netherlandsmarker, and between the Rivers Rhinemarker and Maasmarker. The area is wooded and liable to flooding.

Main towns in the area are Klevemarker, Gochmarker, Kevelaermarker, Geldernmarker and Xantenmarker.

In the Second World War, Reichswald was the location of the Battle of the Reichswald, also known as Operation Veritable, in February and March, 1945. In this protracted battle against Anglo-Canadian forces on Germany's Western Front, German lines under the capable General Alfred Schlemm (of the Luftwaffe) had been reequipped. The Siegfried line was the most fortified in this area, and the troops were re-enforced by elite and experienced soldiers well prepared for protracted fighting. The terrain largely nullified the Anglo-Canadians' advantages in equipment, armament and munitions, and manpower. On the German side, over 90,000 men fought in this battle, and 52,000 were taken prison. On the Anglo-Canadian side, nearly 200,000 men were engaged in the fighting, with 23,000 casualties.


  1. N├╝rnberger Reichswald

As the Reichswald is on a glacial ridge it is not subjected to flooding.The glacial gravel contains a lot of loam from the northern German plain and this causes the surface to become extremely muddy when using the unmetalled roads during a rainy period.

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