XV Corps (United States)

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XV Corps
US XV Corps SSI.svg
Shoulder sleeve insignia of XV Corps
Active 1943–1946
Country United States United States of America
Branch  United States Army
Engagements World War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Wade H. Haislip
U.S. Corps (1939 - Present)
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The XV Corps of the US Army was initially constituted on 1 October 1933 as part of the Organized Reserves, and was activated on 15 February 1943 at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. During the Second World War, XV Corps fought for 307 days in the European Theater of Operations, fighting from Normandy through France and southern Germany into Austria. The corps was commanded in combat by Major General Wade H. Haislip, initially as a subordinate unit to the Third U.S. Army and later as part of the Seventh U.S. Army.

After the end of the war the corps was inactivated and reactivated several times, finally being inactivated in 1968.

Normandy[edit]

XV Corps took part in the July, 1944 breakout from Normandy (Operation Cobra). The corps liberated Le Mans on 8 August 1944. In a controversial decision by the Twelfth United States Army Group commander, Lieutenant General Omar Bradley, the corps was halted at Argentan on 13 August 1944, before it effected juncture with Canadian troops, allowing Germans trapped in the Falaise Pocket an escape route to the east. Seizing a bridgehead over the Seine River on 20 August 1944, the corps then mopped up German resistance along the west bank of the river. Subsequently, the corps had no divisions assigned to it and used its corps troops to screen the southern flank of the U.S. XII Corps.

Lorraine[edit]

On 11 September, XV Corps drove toward the Moselle River and crossed it at Charmes the following day. On 13 September, the French 2nd Armored Division, assigned to the corps, destroyed a German Panzer brigade in the town of Dompaire. After several days of battle, XV Corps liberated Lunéville on 22 September 1944. From 28 September until 10 October 1944, the corps cleared the Forêt de Parroy in Lorraine against determined German resistance. For another 12 days, XV Corps fought to capture the hill mass east of the Forêt de Parroy. On 1 November 1944, the corps' French 2nd Armored Division took Baccarat after a two-day battle. From 13 to 19 November 1944, XV Corps pierced German defenses in the Vosges Mountains near Sarrebourg, enabling the French 2nd Armored Division to force the Saverne Gap and liberate Strasbourg on 23 November 1944. This breakthrough unbalanced German defenses in the northern Vosges and opened the way for Seventh Army troops to advance into Alsace and reach the Rhine River.

Alsace[edit]

On 5 December 1944, the corps moved north against German defenses in the Maginot Line around Bitche. The fighting for the old French forts continued until 20 December 1944. Thereafter, the corps assumed a defensive stance. The corps withstood a fierce German counter-offensive (Operation Nordwind) into Alsace during January, 1945. During this period, XV Corps defended well, restored most of its original position by 7 January 1945, and assumed a defensive stance again until mid-February. From 15 to 23 February 1945, the corps made limited attacks, seizing Forbach, Gros Recherding, and hills south of Saarbrücken. Subsequently, the corps rested and prepared for offensive action designed to breach the Siegfried Line and invade Germany.

Germany and Austria[edit]

On 15 March 1945, XV Corps (along with the VI Corps and the XXI Corps) launched a major offensive (Operation Undertone). On 20 March 1945, the corps broke through the Siegfried Line, captured Homburg and Zweibrücken and then assaulted across the Rhine River in the region of Worms and Mannheim on 26 March 1945. Taking Bamberg on 13 April 1945, the corps moved south and seized Nuremberg on 20 April 1945 after five days of house-to-house combat. On 3 May 1945, the corps took Munich, and by the next day the corps had advanced to Salzburg, Austria, where combat operations for the corps ceased.

Campaign credits and inactivation[edit]

XV Corps is credited with service in the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns. XV Corps Headquarters was inactivated in Germany on 31 March 1946. Subsequent to the Second World War, the corps was activated and inactivated several times, with the last inactivation occurring on 31 March 1968 at the Presidio of San Francisco, California.

Commanders[edit]

Subordination[edit]

U.S. Third Army         6 Jul 1944 – 23 Aug 1944
U.S. First Army 24 Aug 1944 – 28 Aug 1944
U.S. Third Army 29 Aug 1944 – 28 Sep 1944
U.S. Seventh Army 29 Sep 1944 – VE Day

References[edit]

  • Weigley, Russell F., (1981). "Eisenhower's Lieutenants". Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-13333-5.
  • Williams, Mary H., compiler (1958). "U.S. Army in World War II, Chronology 1941–1945". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Wilson, John B., compiler (1999). "Armies, Corps, Divisions, and Separate Brigades". Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. ISBN 0-16-049994-1.