The city of Muenster in North Rhine-Westfalia was heavily garrisoned during World War II, and five large complexes of barracks are still a feature of the city. Furthermore, Muenster was the mainline railroad center between the Ruhr Area and North-West Germany. Muenster was also the headquarters for the 6th Military District of the German “Wehrmacht”. The headquarters controlled military operations in the whole Ruhr area.
Muenster was bombed on 25 October 1944 by 34 diverted B-24 Liberator bombers. About 91 % of the Old City and 63 % of the entire city was destroyed by Allied air raids. The US 17th Airborne Division attacked Muenster with the British 6th Guards Tank Brigade on 2 April 1945 in a ground assault, and fought its way into the contested city center, which was cleared in urban combat on the following day.