XXI Corps (United States)

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XXI Corps
XXI CORPS SSI.gif
Shoulder sleeve insignia of XXI Corps
Active 1943–1945
Country United States United States of America
Branch  United States Army
Engagements World War II
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Frank W. Milburn
U.S. Corps (1939 - Present)
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For the Twenty-First Army Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War, see XXI Corps (Union Army).

Initially constituted on 2 December 1943 in the Army of the United States, the XXI Corps was activated on 6 December 1943 at Camp Polk, Louisiana. XXI Corps fought for 116 days in the European Theater of Operations, fighting from Alsace through southern Germany and into Austria. The corps was commanded in combat by Major General Frank W. Milburn as a subordinate unit of the Seventh U.S. Army.

Eastern France[edit]

The corps commenced combat operations in mid-January 1945 during pitched battle by the U.S. Seventh Army to regain ground lost to Germany's Operation Nordwind New Year's offensive into Alsace. From 25 January until 16 February 1945, XXI Corps was attached to the French First Army and took part in bitter winter combat that ultimately collapsed the Colmar Pocket. After a period of rest, the corps returned to the front on 28 February 1945 and pushed to the edge of the Siegfried Line during the first week of March, 1945.

Germany and Austria[edit]

On 20 March 1945, after five days of combat, the corps broke through the Siegfried Line and captured Saarbrücken. Crossing the Rhine behind the U.S. XV Corps, the XXI Corps captured Würzburg on 5 April 1945, after a three-day battle marked by an assault across the Main River. Facing determined opposition, the corps fought its way into Schweinfurt on 12 April 1945, after five days of battle. Assaulting Fuerth on 18 April 1945, the corps seized Ansbach the following day and began a drive on the Danube River, over which the corps seized an intact bridge at Dillingen on 22 April 1945. On 28 April 1945, Augsburg fell to the XXI Corps, and on 1 May 1945, the corps seized Bad Tölz and captured German Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt. On 3 May 1945, the corps entered Austria, and advanced along the Inn River until German forces in the area unconditionally surrendered on 6 May 1945.

Campaign credits and inactivation[edit]

XXI Corps is credited with service in the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, and Central Europe campaigns. XXI Corps Headquarters was inactivated in Germany on 30 September 1945. Subsequent to the Second World War, the corps was active from September 1957 until June 1970. The post-Second World War activation and inactivation occurred at Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania.

References[edit]

  • 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.