Alsfeld is a town in the center of Hesse, in Germany. Large towns nearby are Bad Hersfeld about 33 kilometres (21 miles) to the east, Fulda 36 kilometres (22 miles) to the southeast, Gießen 47 kilometres (29 miles) to the west and Marburg an der Lahn about 36 kilometres (22 miles) to the northwest. Alsfeld is located on the upper part of the Schwalm in the northern Vogelsberg Mountains and just to the south of the Knüll Mountains at the western edge of the Alsfeld basin.
After Fulda fell to the Soviets early in the groundwar phase of World War III, American troops, along with their West German allies were forced to retreat northwest to Alsfeld. The Americans began fighting house to house in Alsfeld, inflicting heavy casualties on the advancing Soviets.