The Allied offensive into Germany began on 8 February 1945. The 1st Canadian Army was deployed on the northern flank of the Anglo-American forces. Initially, the Canadians encountered only sporadic resistance, but the German forces soon conducted a more determined defence. As the 1st Canadian Army advanced through the Reichswald, (forested area), a combination of melting snow and heavy rainfall turned the countryside into a muddy quagmire. After fighting through the flooded lowlands of Belgium in October and November 1944, however, the 1st Canadian Army experienced little difficulty negotiating the sodden terrain. On 21 February, the 1st Canadian Army broke through the last German defensive network, the "Siegfried Line," and pushed farther into Germany. The 1st Canadian Army halted on 9 March 1945. The British commander of the Allied armies, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, ordered the 1st Canadian Army to advance into Holland and northwestern Germany.