Oscar Koch

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Oscar W. Koch
Oscar Koch.png
Born Jan 10, 1897
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Died May 16, 1970
Carbondale, Illinois
Allegiance United States United States of America
Service/branch United States Department of the Army Seal.svg United States Army
Years of service 1915–1954
Rank US-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands held 25th Infantry Division
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Korean War

Oscar W. Koch (January 10, 1897, Milwaukee, Wisconsin - May 16, 1970, Carbondale, Illinois)[1] was a brigadier general in the U.S. Army and the Third Army intelligence officer (G-2) while the army was commanded by General George S. Patton in World War II.


Koch began his military career in 1915 with Troop A, First Wisconsin Cavalry and thereafter served on the Mexican border with General John J. Pershing. Koch subsequently served in World War I in France, and, in 1920, was commissioned an officer in the regular army cavalry.

Koch was an instructor at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley in the 1930s. It was at that post that he first met George S. Patton. In 1940, he was assigned to the staff of the newly formed 2d Armored Division by Gen Patton. Koch was called by Patton to be his chief of staff during the invasion of French Morocco in November 1942. Subsequently, Koch served as the senior intelligence officer for Patton as he successively commanded the II Corps, I Armored Corps, Seventh Army, and finally Third Army.

Early in December 1944, Koch famously warned Patton that intelligence indicators pointed to an imminent large-scale German offensive against the U.S. VIII Corps in the Ardennes. This warning was accepted by Patton and resulted in Third Army devising contingency plans to swiftly change the axis of their operations—plans which Patton rapidly exercised when the Germans attacked on December 16, 1944.[2]

During the Korean War, Koch commanded the 25th Infantry Division. Koch retired from military service in 1954. In 1970, shortly before his death, he completed a book coauthored with Robert G. Hays, G2: Intelligence for Patton.

General Koch was made a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.[3]