The Siege of Bastogne was an engagement in December 1944 between American and German forces at the Belgian town of Bastogne, as part of the larger Battle of the Bulge. The goal of the German offensive was the harbour at Antwerp. In order to reach it before the Allies could regroup and bring their superior air power to bear, German mechanized forces had to seize the roadways through eastern Belgium. Because all seven main roads in the densely wooded Ardennes highlands converged on Bastogne (Bastnach in German), just a few miles away from the border with neighbouring Luxembourg, control of its crossroads was vital to the German attack. The siege was from 20 to 27 December, until the besieged American forces were relieved by elements of General George Patton's Third Army.