Fulda is a city in Hesse, Germany; it is located on the river Fulda and is the administrative seat of the Fulda district (Kreis). The city's roots stretch back to a monastery founded in 744. The city lends its name to the Fulda Gap, a traditional east-west invasion route used by Napoleon Bonaparte and others. During the Cold War, it was presumed to be an invasion route for any conventional war between NATO and Soviet forces.
Fulda was a focal point for the Soviet invasion when the ground war phase of World War III was launched in February 1951.
Fulda had not been hit as hard as other German cities during World War II. Nonetheless, on the eve of World War III, the city (which was in the American zone) was still repairing damage.
When the Soviets invaded, Fulda fell fairly quickly, with the U.S. forces and their German allies retreating back northwest into Alsfeld by mid-March.
The Soviets quickly took up residence in Fulda, putting up propaganda posters extolling the virtues of a unified socialist Germany. Unlike in World War II, Soviet troops did not engage in rape of civilians, although they did quietly execute veterans they found.