The Ardennes (also known as Ardennes Forest) is a Western European region of extensive forests, rough terrain, rolling hills and ridges formed by the geophysical features of the Ardennes mountain range and the Moselle and Meuse River basins. The trees and rivers of the Ardenne provided the underlying charcoal industry assets that enabled the great industrial period of Wallonia in the 18th and 19th centuries, when it was arguably the second great industrial region of the world, after England. The greater region maintained an industrial eminence into the 20th century after coal replaced charcoal in metallurgy. The Ardennes region is currently split between France, Germany, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
In the late winter of 1939, the German Army attempted to outflank the Allied armies in Belgium by driving through the wooded region of the Ardennes. However, doing this through the snow proved difficult, and the Allied armies were able to retreat back into Northern France before they were cut off.