No city in France or Germany is so inextricably connected with the history of the 100th Infantry Division as this ancient fortress city, protector of the gates of Lorraine, and bastion of the strongest sector of the Maginot Line. From the time the 100th Infantry Division began closing in on the outskirts of the town in mid-December, 1944, through the brutal defensive combat to halt the German NORDWIND offensive in January (during which the Division threw back elements of three German divisions), to the final liberation of Bitche in March, 1945, the 100th Infantry Division lost more men around Bitche than it did in all other sectors combined in its six months of continuous combat. In September of 1984, the 100th Infantry Division Association and the people of the city of Bitche jointly posted a plaque on an interior wall of the great early 18th-century red sandstone citadel that towers over the town.