From website about US Third Army / 89th Infantry Division: SS troops, Fortha, April, 1945
This located the Division near the so-called Werra River Line, and launched the drive to the Saale River. These and other small rivers afforded the Germans natural defense barriers, but they chose instead to fall back through the dense Thuringian Forest, using it as an escape route. Much of the heaviest fighting took place there.
Earliest opposition was stiffest in CT 3's zone. Attacking Fortha to clear the approach to Eisenach, the 3rd Battalion, 353rd, clashed with a pocket of 300 SS men and stragglers, meeting heavy small arms, Panzerfausts and automatic weapons fire, but cleared the town by 1700, April 5.