Alsace-Lorraine (known in German as Elsass-Lothringen) was a territorial entity created by the German Empire in 1871 after the annexation of most of Alsace and parts of Lorraine from France in the Franco-Prussian War. A Franco-German borderland, it is culturally and linguistically mixed, and has changed hands several times, reverting to France in 1919, to Germany in 1940, and then back to France in 1945 after World War II.
Alsace-Lorraine in Southern Victory
Alsace-Lorraine was territory of France. When Germany won the Franco-Prussian War, they annexed only 93% of Alsace and 26% of Lorraine; the remaining portions of these regions continued to be part of France. This would prove problematic for both nations, as territorial leaders in the remaining French portions stirred up trouble within their government.
At the star of the Great War in 1914, the French aimed their first offensive into the territory, but suffered a horrible defeat. In 1917, as the war entered its final weeks, US President Theodore Roosevelt bargained with the Confederacy by trading a small portion of Kentucky that remained free of U.S. forces, in exchange for the portion of Tennessee that the U.S. held. He did this based on the history of all the problems caused by Germany not annexing all of Alsace-Lorraine. Over in Europe, as part of their own peace agreement, France ceded the rest of Alsace-Lorraine to Germany.
In 1941, France demanded the return of the territory; when Kaiser Wilhelm III refused the ultimatum, the Second Great War began. Early on in the war, the French managed to overrun the province by driving through the rugged wooden country to the north, but failed to cross the Rhine River. In 1943, when the war began to turn in favor of the Germans, they began the liberation of Alsace-Lorraine in conjunction with the liberation of Holland and Belgium.
Alsace-Lorraine in Worldwar