Wooded plateau region, northwestern Europe. It covers over 3,860 sq mi (10,000 sq km) and includes parts of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Meuse River valley of France; its average height is about 1,600 ft (488 m). Though half of it is covered with forests, the soil is generally unfertile and supports only heath. It is located in the middle of the heavily populated triangle of Paris, Brussels, and Cologne. During World Wars I and II, the area was the scene of severe fighting in 1914, 1918, and 1944 (see Battle of the Bulge).