11th Armored Division (United States)

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11th Armored Division
11th US Armored Division SSI.svg
11th Armored Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active15 August 1942 – 31 August 1945
Country United States
Branch United States Army
RoleArmored warfare
Motto(s)J'Avance (I Advance)
EngagementsWorld War II
Edward H. Brooks
Distinctive unit insignia11 Arm Div DUI.svg
U.S. Armored Divisions
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The 11th Armored Division (11 AD) was a division of the United States Army in World War II. It was activated on 15 August 1942 at Camp Polk, Louisiana and moved on 24 June 1943 for the Louisiana Maneuvers. Transferred then to Camp Barkeley, Texas on 5 September 1943, the division participated, beginning 29 October 1943, in the California Maneuvers and arrived at Camp Cooke California on 11 February 1944. The division staged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey from 16 to 29 September 1944 until departing New York Port of Embarkation on 29 September 1944, arriving in England on 11 October 1944.

The 11 AD landed in France on 16 December 1944, crossed into Belgium on 29 December, and entered Germany on 5 March 1945. The 11th Armored Division was disbanded in August 1945.


Commanders of the 11th Armored Division were:[1]

Major General Edward H. Brooks, August 1942 – March 1944 Brigadier General Charles S. Kilburn, March 1944 – March 1945 Brigadier General (later Major General) Holmes E. Dager, March 1945 – May 1945

Combat chronicle[edit]

The division was activated on 15 August 1942. It arrived in England 11 October 1944 and prepared for combat with two months' training on the Salisbury Plain. The division landed in Normandy on 16 December 1944, assigned to contain the enemy in the Lorient Pocket, but the onset of the Battle of the Bulge resulted in a forced march to the Meuse and the defense of a 30-mile sector from Givet to Sedan, 23 December. Launching an attack from Neufchâteau, Belgium, 30 December, the 11th defended the highway to Bastogne against fierce assault.

An eyewitness account by John Fague of B Company, 21st Armored Infantry Battalion of the 11th Armored Division, describes the killing of 80 German prisoners by American soldiers at the Chenogne massacre "Machine guns were being set up. These boys were to be machine gunned and murdered. We were committing the same crimes we were now accusing the Japanese and Germans of doing".[2]

The division acted as spearhead of a wedge into the enemy line, and its junction with the First Army at Houffalize, Belgium, 16 January 1945, created a huge trap. After the liquidation of the Bulge, the Siegfried Line was pierced, Lützkampen falling 7 February, Grosskampenberg on the 17th, and the key point, Roscheid, 20 February.

After a brief rest, the division crossed the Prum and Kyll Rivers, taking Gerolstein and Nieder Bettingen against violent opposition. Andernach and Brohl fell 9 March, in the sweep to the Rhine. In the swing southward to clear the Saar-Moselle-Rhine pocket, the Moselle River was crossed at Bullay and the Worms Airport captured, 21 March.

After rest and maintenance, the division drove across the Rhine at Oppenheim, took Hanau and Fulda, and headed for the Thuringian Forest, reaching Oberhof, 3 April. The offensive raced through Bavaria, Coburg falling on the 10th, Bayreuth on the 14th.

Forward elements of the 11th Armored Division advance into Wernberg in Germany on 22 April 1945 (U.S. Army photo).

In the final drive, the division crossed the Regen river, 24 April, overran Grafenau and Freyung, and plunged toward the Danube, seizing Rohrbach, Neufelden, and Zwettl. The enemy put up its last significant resistance along the approaches to Linz, Austria, but the 11th entered that city, 5 May. Pushing onward, elements contacted Soviet forces, 8 May, the first unit of the Third Army, to meet the Soviet Red Army.

An M8 Greyhound armored car of the 11th Division entering the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria on 6 May 1945.

On 5 May 1945, elements of the US 11th Armored Division liberated the Mauthausen concentration camp.

The war in Europe officially ended 9 May, and the division was placed on occupational duty until it was disbanded on 31 August 1945.[3]


The division was composed of the following units:[4]

  • Headquarters
  • Headquarters Company
  • Combat Command A
  • Combat Command B
  • Combat Command Reserve
  • 22nd Tank Battalion
  • 41st Tank Battalion
  • 42nd Tank Battalion
  • 21st Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 55th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 63rd Armored Infantry Battalion
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 11th Armored Division Artillery
    • 490th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
    • 491st Armored Field Artillery Battalion
    • 492nd Armored Field Artillery Battalion
  • 41st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
  • 56th Armored Engineer Battalion
  • 151st Armored Signal Company
  • Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Armored Division Trains
    • 133rd Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
    • 81st Armored Medical Battalion
    • Military Police Platoon
    • Band


  • Total battle casualties: 2,877[5]
  • Killed in action: 432[6]
  • Wounded in action: 2,394[7]
  • Missing in action: 11[8]
  • Prisoner of war: 40[9]


  1. ^ "Combat Chronicle: Commanders". 11th Armored Division. Washington, DC: U.S. Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 31 January 2021.
  2. ^ Arnold Krammer (2008). Prisoners of War: A Reference Handbook. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 23. ISBN 978-0-275-99300-9.
  3. ^ J. Ted Hartman (4 June 2003). Tank Driver: With the 11th Armored from the Battle of the Bulge to VE Day. Indiana University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-253-10982-5.
  4. ^ "Order of Battle of the US Army - WWII - ETO - 11th Armored Division". US Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 22 May 2020.
  5. ^ Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistics and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  6. ^ Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistics and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  7. ^ Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistics and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  8. ^ Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistics and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)
  9. ^ Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths, Final Report (Statistics and Accounting Branch, Office of the Adjutant General, 1 June 1953)

External links[edit]