By William E. Welsh By mid-September 1944, the U.S. Third Army was poised to strike at the soft underbelly of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich along a fabled corridor in northeastern France used for centuries by armies tramping across Europe. Having raced 400 miles from the hedgerows of Normandy to the forested banks of the Moselle River in less than one month’s time, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton’s troops had fought desperately to secure bridgeheads in the Lorraine region from an enemy that had a

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