12th Armored Division (United States)

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12th Armored Division
12th US Armored Division SSI.svg
12th AD shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1942–45
Country  United States
Branch  United States Army
Type Armored Division
Nickname(s) "Hellcat Division"
Motto Speed Is the Password
Engagements

World War II

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Roderick R. Allen
U.S. Armored Divisions
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11th Armored Division (Inactive) 13th Armored Division (Inactive)


The 12th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II. It fought in the European Theater of Operations in France, Germany and Austria, between November 1944 and May 1945.

The German Army called the 12th Armored Division the "Suicide Division"[1] for its fierce defensive actions during Operation Nordwind in France, and General George S. Patton, Jr., nicknamed them "The Mystery Division"[2] when they were temporarily transferred to his command under the Third Army to cross the Rhine River.

The 12th Armored Division was one of only ten U.S. Divisions (and only one of two U.S. armored Divisions) during World War II that had African-American combat companies integrated into the Division. One of the African American soldiers, Staff Sergeant Edward A. Carter, Jr. was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.[3][4]

History[edit]

The 12th Armored Division was activated on 15 September 1942.[5] Organization and initial training was at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, and continued at Camp Barkeley in Abilene, Texas. The division consisted of approximately 11,000 soldiers, and was composed of tank, field artillery, motorized infantry battalions and other support units.[6][7][a]

In early 1943 the Division adopted the nickname "The Hellcats", symbolizing its toughness and readiness for combat.[b][8]

While at Camp Barkeley, the 44th Tank Battalion was sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations on a special mission and later distinguished itself as the first unit to enter Manila. The 44th was replaced by the 714th Tank battalion.[9]

Walt Disney himself designed a logo for the 714th Armored Battalion.[10]

Origin of Combat Units[edit]

The 12th was originally organized as a heavy armored division with two armored regiments, the 43rd and 44th, and one armored infantry regiment, the 56th Armored Infantry Regiment.[11][12] It was reorganized from a heavy division to a light division as part of a general streamlining of all armored divisions, except the 2nd Armored Division and the 3rd Armored Division.[13][14]

Tank Battalions[edit]

The original 43rd and 44th Armored Regiments assigned to the 12th AD were re-designated to become the 23rd, 43rd, 44th, 714th and 779th Tank Battalions during the reorganization the 12th Armored Division underwent while at the Tennessee Maneuver Area in Watertown, Tennessee in November 1943.[11] The 714th was sent to Fort Jackson, SC and the 779th went to Fort Knox, KY as separate independent tank battalions. The 44th Tank Battalion was detached from the 12th AD and sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations, where it distinguished itself as the first tank battalion to enter the city of Manila and liberated American and Allied civilian prisoners interred in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp.[15] It was replaced by the 714th who rejoined the 12th in November 1943. The 779th was sent to the Philippines late in the war in 1945 but did not see action.[13]

Armored Infantry Battalions[edit]

The 56th Armored Infantry Regiment traced its historical origin back to the 17th Infantry Regiment of Maj. Gen. George Sykes' 2nd Division of the 5th Army Corps, of the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War. During World War I, soldiers from the reconstituted 17th Infantry Regiment were used to form the 56th Infantry Regiment on May 15, 1917, which was involved in the battle around Metz in Alsace-Lorraine. Ironically, when reconstituted as the 56th Armored Infantry Battalion during World War II, they were back in Alsace-Lorraine, fighting with the 12th Armored Division to liberate the same region of France from Nazi occupation in 1944-1945. On July 7, 1942 the unit was reconstituted as the 56th Armored Infantry Regiment and assigned to the 12th Armored Division, which was activated as a division at Camp Campbell, KY on September 15, 1942. On 11 November 1943 while at Watertown, Tennessee, the 12th Armored Division was reorganized and the 56th Armored Infantry Regiment was reorganized to form the 17th, 56th and 66th Armored Infantry Battalions. The 1st Battalion of the 56th AIR became the 66th AIB and the 2nd Battalion of the 56th AIR became the 17th AIB of the 12th Armored Division. The 3rd Battalion of the 56th AIR became the 56th AIB. Companies G, H and I of the 56th AIR became Companies A, B and C of the 56th AIB.[11] [c]

World War II[edit]

Campaign map showing the operations of the 12th Armored Division in Europe from 5 December 1944 to 5 May 1945

After completing training the Division left Abilene and departed from Camp Shanks, New York, for the European Theater of Operations on 20 September 1944. It landed at Liverpool, England on 2 October 1944. While awaiting replacement armor which had been borrowed by the U.S. Third Army, the 12th was sent to Tidworth Barracks[16] in Wiltshire, UK. It crossed the English Channel from Southampton, arrived at Le Havre, France, on 11 November 1944 and then traveled up the Seine River to Rouen to join the Seventh Army under Lieutenant General Alexander Patch. Advance elements met the enemy near Weisslingen in Alsace on 5 December, and the entire division moved against the Maginot Line fortifications two days later.[17]

In its advance, Rohrbach-lès-Bitche and towns surrounding Bettviller were liberated by 12 December 1944, and Utweiler, Germany was seized on 21 December. After a short period of rehabilitation and maintenance, the 12th rolled against the Rhine bridgehead at Herrlisheim that the Germans had established as part of their Operation Nordwind offensive. In order to seal the Battle of the Bulge, units of the Seventh Army were diverted north to assist the Third Army in capturing Bastogne. Due to this, the remainder of the Seventh Army, including the 12th Armored Division, was stretched thin holding a 126 miles (203 km) long front line with only eight divisions.[18]

German defenders repulsed two division attacks in the most violent fighting in the history of the division, during 8 to 10 January and 16 to 17 January 1945. The division's attacks at Herrlisheim failed to use combined-arms tactics and were defeated in detail, resulting in two tank and two armored infantry battalions taking heavy losses. Poor tactics were compounded by terrain that was almost tabletop-flat, offering the German defenders excellent fields of fire. However, enemy counterattacks failed also, in part because of the firm leadership of the commander of Combat Command B, Colonel Charles Bromley, who declared his headquarters expendable and ordered all personnel in the headquarters to prepare a hasty defense.[d][18]

The division was subsequently relieved by the U.S. 36th Infantry Division. The 12th Armored Division suffered over 1,700 battle casualties during the fighting in and around Herrlisheim. As a consequence, when African-American soldiers who were in non-combat positions were able to volunteer to become combat troops, Major General Roderick R. Allen was one of only ten Division commanders who allowed them to join the combat ranks.[3]

12th AD soldier with German prisoners of war, April 1945. United States National Archives, Group 208 of the Records of the Office of War Information 1926 – 1951, National Archives Identifier: 535840[19]

After recovering from the bruising experience at Herrlisheim, the 12th went over to the offensive and attacked south from Colmar, after being assigned to the French First Army under General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny.[20][21] In a lightning drive, the 12th effected junction with French forces at Rouffach, on 5 February, sealing the Colmar Pocket and ending German resistance in the Vosges Mountains. Except for elements acting as a protective screen, the division withdrew to the St. Avold area for rest and rehabilitation. The Division was attached to the Third Army under General George S. Patton, Jr., on 17 March 1945 through its crossing of the Rhine on March 28.[16] The soldiers were ordered to remove their identifying unit insignias and vehicle markings were painted over,[22] disguising the fact that Patton had an additional tank division under his command. Thus the 12th was given the nickname "The Mystery Division".[2] The attack resumed on 18 March 1945.

A light tank of the 12th Armored Division in Rouffach, 5 Feb. 1944

In a quick drive to the Rhine, Ludwigshafen fell on 21 March, and two other important river cities, Speyer and Germersheim, were secured on 24 March, clearing the Saar Palatinate. Maintaining the rapid pace, the 12th crossed the Rhine River at Worms on 28 March over pontoon bridges, advanced toward Würzburg, and captured that city along with elements of the famed 42nd Infantry Division (United States).[23][24] After assisting in the seizure of Schweinfurt, the division continued toward Nuremberg on 13 April, taking Neustadt, then shifted south toward Munich on 17 April. Elements of the 12th raced from Dinkelsbühl to the Danube, where they found the bridge at Lauingen had been blown.[25] Moving quickly they captured the bridge at Dillingen intact before demolition men could destroy it. This bridge provided a vital artery for Allied troops flooding into southern Germany.[26]


The division spearheaded the Seventh Army drive, securing Landsberg, on 27 April and clearing the area between the Ammer and Würm Lakes by the 30th of April. The 12th Armored Division is recognized as a liberating unit [27] of the Landsberg concentration camps near the Landsberg Prison, sub-camps of Dachau concentration camp on 27 April 1945. On 29 April 1945, the 12th AD liberated Oflag VII-A Murnau, a German Army POW camp for Polish Army officers interred north of the Bavarian town of Murnau am Staffelsee during World War II. [e][28]

Elements crossed the Inn River and the Austrian border at Kufstein on May 3.[29] The 12th Armored Division was relieved by the 36th Infantry Division on 4 May. On 5 May, Lieutenant (later Captain) John C. Lee, Jr., Co. B, 23rd Tank Battalion, organized the rescue of VIP French prisoners from an Alpine castle in Bavaria during the Battle for Castle Itter.[30] Under Lee's command were members of the German Wehrmacht, who combined forces with 2 tanks from the 12th to fight the SS Commander and soldiers guarding the prisoners. For leading the successful rescue of these prisoners, Lee was promoted to Captain and awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.[31]

The 12th Armored Division engaged in security duty around Ulm[22] until 22 November 1945, when it left Marseille, France, for home. Some members of the 12th attended the US Army University, in either Biarritz, France or Shrivenham, England during this time.[22][32]

It was deactivated on 3 December 1945, and on December 17, 1945, its battle flags were turned in at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.[33]

POWs[edit]

During its deployment the 12th Armored Division captured 72,243 Prisoners of War.[16] Among them were Adolf Eichmann[34] and Wernher von Braun.[35]

Casualties[edit]

Total 12th Armored Division complement: 10,937 at end of 1944;[36] 17,000 assigned to Division between activation and deactivation[37]

  • Wounded in Action: 2647[36]
  • Killed in Action: 814[36]
  • Prisoners of War: 427[36]
  • Total Battle Casualties: 3888[36]
  • Total Non-battle Casualties: 2,540[16]

Order of battle[16][edit]

  • Combat Command A (CCA)
  • Combat Command B (CCB)
  • Reserve Command (CCR)
  • 23d Tank Battalion
  • 43d Tank Battalion
  • 714th Tank Battalion
  • 17th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 56th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 66th Armored Infantry Battalion
  • 92d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized)
  • 119th Armored Engineer Battalion
  • 152d Armored Signal Company
  • 493d Armored Field Artillery Battalion
  • 494th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
  • 495th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
  • 82d Armored Medical Battalion
  • 134th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion
  • Military Police Platoon
  • Divisional Band

Awards[edit]

  • Division authorized by France to incorporate Arms of the City of Colmar in its division insignia for action in liberating the city.[40][41]
    City of Colmar Coat of Arms

Individual awards:[16]

Commanders[17][edit]

  • Major General Carlos Brewer (September 1942 – August 1944)
  • Major General Douglass T. Greene (August–September 1944)
  • Major General Roderick R. Allen (September 1944 – July 1945)
  • Brigadier General Willard Ames Holbrook, Jr. (July 1945 to inactivation)

Assignments in the European Theater of Operations[16][edit]

  • 13 November 1944: Ninth Army, Twelfth Army Group
  • 5 December 1944: XV Corps, Seventh Army, Sixth Army Group.
  • 27 December 1944: XXI Corps.
  • 30 December 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
  • 3 January 1945: XV Corps.
  • 6 January 1945: VI Corps.
  • 3 February 1945: XXI Corps.
  • 11 February 1945: XV Corps.
  • 28 February 1945: XXI Corps.
  • 17 March 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group, but attached to the XX Corps, Third Army, Twelfth Army Group.
  • 24 March 1945: XXI Corps, Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
  • 26 March 1945: XV Corps.
  • 31 March 1945: XXI Corps.
  • 4 May 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.

Assignments of the 12th AD to Higher Commands[16][edit]

Date Assigned to Corps Assigned to Army Attached to Army Assigned to Army Group Attached to Army Group

  • 07.10.1944 UK Base ETOUSA
  • 13.11.1944 Ninth Army 12th Army Group
  • 05.12.1944 XV Operations Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 27.12.1944 XXI Operations Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 30.12.1944 Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 03.01.1945 XV Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 06.01.1945 VI Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 03.02.1945 XXI Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 11.02.1945 XV Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 28.02.1945 XXI Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 17.03.1945 XX Operations Third Army,6th Army Gp 12th Army Group
  • 24.03.1945 XXI Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 26.03.1945 XV Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 31.03.1945 XXI Corps Seventh Army 6th Army Group
  • 04.05.1945 Seventh Army 6th Army Group

Detachments of units of the 12th Armored Division to other Commands[16][edit]

Unit Attached to From date (dd.mm.yyyy) To date (dd.mm.yyyy)
92nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Normandy Base Section 18.11.1944 30.11.1944
119th Engineer Battalion, C Company Normandy Base Section 18.11.1944 30.11.1944
493rd Armored FA Battalion, C Battery Normandy Base Section 18.11.1944 30.11.1944
493rd Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 05.12.1944 07.12.1944
494th Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 05.12.1944 07.12.1944
495th Armored FA Battalion 100th Infantry Division 05.12.1944 07.12.1944
43rd Tank Battalion, A Company 103rd Infantry Division 05.12.1944 07.01.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 106th Cavalry Group 23.12.1944 02.01.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 103rd Infantry Division 26.12.1944 02.01.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 26.12.1944 06.01.1945
23rd Tank Battalion, A Company 100th Infantry Division 01.01.1945 07.01.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 100th Infantry Division 02.01.1945 06.01.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 02.01.1945 06.01.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 79th Infantry Division 07.01.1945 14.01.1945
CC B 79th Infantry Division 07.01.1945 15.01.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 3rd Algerian Infantry Division 15.01.1945 16.01.1945
49th Armored FA Battalion 36th Infantry Division 20.01.1945 23.01.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 36th Infantry Division 20.01.1945 23.01.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 36th Infantry Division 21.01.1945 23.01.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 3rd Algerian Infantry Division 23.01.1945 02.02.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 3rd Algerian Infantry Division 24.01.1945 02.02.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 3rd Algerian Infantry Division 24.01.1945 02.02.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 117th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron 02.02.1945 [f]
494th Armored FA Battalion 28th Infantry Division 04.02.1945 09.02.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 28th Infantry Division 07.02.1945 10.02.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 10.02.1945 13.02.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 10.02.1945 16.02.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 11.02.1945 12.02.1945
714th Tank Battalion 70th Infantry Division 12.02.1945 17.02.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 13.02.1945 16.02.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 44th Infantry Division 14.02.1945 16.02.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 17.02.1945 09.03.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 17.02.1945 9.03.1945
CC A 70th Infantry Division 02.03.1945 08.03.1945
CC R 101st Cavalry Group 02.03.1945 08.03.1945
43rd Tank Battalion, C Company 63rd Infantry Division 09.03.1945 14.03.1945
493rd Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 13.03.1945 17.03.1945
494th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 13.03.1945 17.03.1945
495th Armored FA Battalion 70th Infantry Division 13.03.1945 17.03.1945
92nd Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron 63rd Infantry Division 5.03.1945 16.03.1945
CC A 94th Infantry Division 22.03.1945 22.03.1945
CC A 42nd Infantry Division 07.04.1945 13.04.1945

Attachments (Units officially attached to the 12th Armored Division) [16][edit]

  • 572nd Antiaircraft Artillery (AAA) AW Battalion (SP) 04.12.1944-18.05.1945
  • CC V, 2nd French Armored Division 30.04.1945-04.05.1945
  • 101st Cavalry Group 08.04.1945-04.05.1945
  • 42nd Reconnaissance Troop, 42nd Infantry Division 13.04.1945-14.04.1945
  • 99th Chemical Mortar Battalion, A Company, 07.03.1945-08.03.1945
  • 206th Engineer Combat Battalion 18.03.1945-20.03.1945
  • 256th Engineer Combat Battalion 14.04.1945-21.04.1945
  • 290th Engineer Combat Battalion 21.04.1945-04.05.1945
  • 204th Field Artillery Group 18.03.1945-22.03.1945
  • 342nd Field Artillery Battalion 28.03.1945-04.05.1945
  • 933rd Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer) 31.03.1945-19.04.1945
  • 36th Field Artillery Group, Headquarters 01.04.1945-19.04.1945
  • 937th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer) 01.04.1945-04.05.1945
  • 935th Field Artillery Battalion (4.5 inch Gun) 11.04.1945-19.04.1945
  • 977th Field Artillery Battalion, A Batt (155mm Gun) 24.04.1945-25.04.1945
  • 1st & 2nd Bn, 22nd Infantry Reg, 4th Infantry Division 02.04.1945-03.04.1945
  • 3rd Bn, 222nd Infantry Reg, 42nd Infantry Division 02.04.1945-08.04.1945
  • 2nd Bn, 242nd Infantry Reg, 42nd Infantry Division 05.04.1945-07.04.1945
  • G Co, 242nd Infantry Reg, 42nd Infantry Division 10.04.1945-12.04.1945
  • 3rd Bn, 242nd Infantry Reg, 42nd Infantry Division 12.04.1945-14.04.1945
  • 15th CT, 3rd Infantry Division 24.04.1945-25.04.1945
  • 827th Tank Destroyer Battalion 19.12.1944-13.02.1945

Memorials Recognizing the 12th Armored Division[42][edit]

12th Armored Division Association[edit]

The 12th Armored Division Association was founded on 15 September 1945 at Heidenheim, Germany, on the occasion of the third anniversary of the Division's activation.[46]

"The Hellcat News" (newspaper)[edit]

The "Hellcat News", the newspaper of the 12th Armored Division, was first published in 1942 as an information sheet. Initial publication was part of the public relations duties of the Special Services unit of the 12th Armored Division while the division trained at Camp (later Fort) Campbell, Kentucky. In 1943, after the division was transferred to Camp Barkeley in Abilene, Texas, the division commander, Major General Carlos Brewer, assigned three men to Special Services to continue the newspaper.[47] The first official issue of the newspaper was published at Camp Campbell, Kentucky, although the byline reads "Somewhere in Tennessee". This was because Camp Campbell was in the Tennessee Maneuver Area[48] located on the Kentucky-Tennessee border between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee. Due to its close proximity to Clarksville, Tennessee, the War Department on March 6, 1942, designated Tennessee as the official address of the new camp. This caused a great deal of confusion, since the Headquarters was in Tennessee and the post office was in Kentucky. After many months of mail delivery problems, Colonel Guy W. Chipman requested that the address be changed to Camp Campbell, Kentucky. The U.S. War Department officially changed the address on September 23, 1942.[49]

The newspaper continued to be published by the Division Special Services after transfer of the Division to Camp Barkeley in Abilene, TX from Feb. 1944 through the final issue published in the U.S during the war on August 10, 1944 (Vol. 2, No. 26) when the entire Division was shipped to Europe to join the 7th Army in France. Publication resumed with Volume 3, Issue 1 on May 18, 1945 in Heidenheim, Germany, following cessation of combat operations in the ETO. The Special Services of the Division published the first issues in Europe on a weekly basis when conditions permitted, until the deactivation of the Division in 1946.[47] The Hellcat News is one of two U.S. military newspapers that has been continuously published since World War 2, the other being the older "Stars and "Stripes", which began publication on Nov. 9, 1861 in Bloomfield, Missouri. The "Hellcat News" is the oldest U.S. Armed Forces divisional newspaper still being published since World War 2.

Content[edit]

Wartime publications contained Division news stories, cartoons and photographs. The later editions of the 12th Armored Association contain information about former members of the Division, organizational news including information about the yearly reunion, original cartoons, and photographs both from the war years and afterwards. A series relating the history of the Division is also recounted in the newspaper. In addition, the president of the Association and the Secretary included messages of interest in most issues. These messages contain information about the Division’s Medal of Honor recipient, Staff Sergeant Edward A. Carter, Jr. The newsletter is currently published by the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum, whose mission is focused on education as well as honoring the soldiers, school curricula and teaching plans are available thorough Museum and the West Texas Digital Archives. Archived copies of the Hellcat News from the first issue in 1943 through 2012 are available online through the West Texas Digital Archive.[50]

12th Armored Division Memorial Museum[edit]

12th Armored Division Memorial Museum

In October 2001 the 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum opened its doors to the public in Abilene, Texas.[51] "The Twelfth Armored Division Memorial Museum is located in Abilene, Texas, near (9 miles south of) the site of the former Camp Barkeley where the Division trained prior to being sent overseas into the European Theater of Operations. The Museum holds collections of the 12th Armored Division, World War II archives, memorabilia, and oral histories, along with selected equipment and material loaned or donated by others. The education plan focuses on expanding academic access to World War II historical materials, veterans, and their families; preserving the history of the 12th Armored Division for study, research, and investigations by future generations; providing training in public history professions, developing new education programs for students and establishing a technology bridge between the 12th Armored Division Historical Collection and the public."

As part of an on-going venture to become a larger part of the West Texas community and the greater Abilene area, 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum has partnered with the West Texas Digital Archives,[52] providing access to copies of the "Hellcat News" from first edition to 2012.

See also[edit]

Notable Veterans[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Division complement at the end of 1944 was 10.937; a total of over 17,000 soldiers had been assigned to the 12th AD between 1942 and deactivation in 1946, including the 44th Armored Bn transferred to the Pacific Theater of Operations, casualties and replacement troops who saw service
  2. ^ "In early 1943, Private Francis Beckman (493rd Armored Field Artillery Battery C) won a division contest to come up with a nickname, earning a three-day weekend pass."
  3. ^ Since all of the Armored Infantry Battalions of the 12th Armored Division, the 56th, 66th and 17th Armored Infantry Battalions, trace their origins to the 56th Infantry Regiment during WW I and further, back to the 17th Infantry Regiment during the American Civil War, the heraldic shields of all three battalions display elements of their rich history. The origins from the 56th Infantry Regiment from WW I is represented by the crest of the City of Metz and the white cross pattée on a blue background seen in the battalion crests represents the 2nd Division of Gen. Sykes’ V Corps to which the 17th Infantry Regiment belonged during the Civil War. The cross in the canton is surrounded by an embattled border (top of a wall), representing the 17th Infantry Regiment fighting at Fredericksburg during the Civil War when it suffered heavy casualties pinned down behind a wall at Marye's Heights. See: 56th_Infantry_Regiment_(United_States)#Coat of Arms of the 56th Infantry Regiment and derivative Armored Infantry Battalions
  4. ^ "[On 19 Jan 1945, at] about 5 p.m., 400 German infantrymen supported by 17 tanks almost succeeded in attacking across the Zorn from Landgraben River. North of Herrlisheim, the Germans pushed across the Zorn and almost overran CCB's command post in Rohrwiller. As clerks and other personnel started to panic and prepared to evacuate the area, Colonel Bromley shouted out: "Stop this goddamn panic. We're not retreating anywhere. We're defending this command post; we're holding this line. We're soldiers; we have weapons; we're expendable."
  5. ^ "Oflag VIIA was liberated by Troop B, 116th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (MECZ), Combat Command A of the 12th Armored Division, XXI Corps of the American 7th Army, on 29th April 1945.According to 12 Armored Division records (Daily Journal) the camp was liberated at 16:55 in the afternoon. The 116th was the second squadron of the 101st Cavalry Group. Task Force 2 contained Co. A and/or B 66th Armoured (sic) Infantry, plus Co. C of the 43rd Tank Battalion and a platoon of light tanks from Co. D of the 43rd Tank Battalion."
  6. ^ Date missing from unit records

References[edit]

  1. ^ ""Speed is the Password: The Story of the 12th Armored Division", Stars and Stripes G.I. Series, Paris: printed by Desfosses-Neogravure". Lonesentry.com. 1945. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "Mystery Division at Rhine: Patton’s Forces Chasing Germans on Road Back". Joseph Driscoll, New York Herald-Tribune, 22 March 1945, archived at the 12th Armored Memorial Museum website, accessed 4-20-2015. 
  3. ^ a b "African American Platoons in World War II". History Net: Where History Comes Alive - World & US History Online. 
  4. ^ John C. Ferguson, Hellcats: The 12th Armored Division in World War II (Military History of Texas Series). State House Press (31 August 2004)
  5. ^ "12th Armored Division". unithistories.com. Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "Hellcat News--12th Armored Division Newsletter". alc.org. 
  7. ^ James M. Myers. "Camp Barkeley". Handbook of Texas Online (Texas State Historical Association). Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "12th Armored Division - Timeline". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. 1 November 1943. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "12th Armored Division, "The Hellcats"". patriotfiles.com. 
  10. ^ "Walt Disney Draws, Copywrites Critter for 714th". The Hellcat News (West Texas Digital Archives) 2: 2. 10 August 1944. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c Nugent, John (1994). 56th Armored Infantry Battalion History Narrative (PDF). Abilene: 12th Armored Division Association. pp. ia – ic. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Francis, Jim (2004). "A History of the 23rd Tank Battalion" (PDF). The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. p. 1. Retrieved 30 June 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Anderson, Richard C. (2000). "US Army in World War II - Armor and Tank Types". Military History Online. MilitaryHistoryOnline.com, LLC. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  14. ^ Greenfield, Kent Roberts; Palmer, Robert R (1987). Origin of Army Ground Forces: General Headquarters U.S. Army 1940-1942 (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Center of Military History. pp. 319–335. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  15. ^ Bradstreet, Ken (1987). "44th Tank Battalion - Historical Record and History". 12th Armored Division History Book - Vol Two (PDF). Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. pp. 40–43. ISBN 0-938021-09-5. Retrieved 29 June 2015. 
  16. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "U.S. Army Center of Military History, Office of the Theater Historian, Paris, France. Order of Battle of the United States Army - World War II European Theater of Operations. Part I - Order of Battle of Divisions. 12th Armored Division". History.army.mil. December 1945. pp. 521–530. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  17. ^ a b "12th Armored Division - World War II Divisional Combat Chronicles". U.S. Army Center of Military History. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  18. ^ a b "Death of an American Combat Command". World War II Magazine, January 1999, archived at the 12th Armored Memorial Museum website. 
  19. ^ "A Negro soldier of the 12th Armored Division stands guard over a group of Nazi prisoners captured in the surrounding German forest., 04/1945". Archived from the original on 9 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015. 
  20. ^ "U.S. Army Center of Military History, Campaigns of World War II: A World War II Commemorative Series - Ardennes-Alsace (CMH Pub 72-26)". History.army.mil. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  21. ^ Bernard L. Rice (December 1997). "Recollections of a World War II Combat Medic" (PDF). Indiana Magazine of History (12tharmoredmuseum.com). XCIII. Retrieved 31 January 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c Dr. Max S. Eagelfeld, 82nd Armored Med Bn, Co. C, 12th AD. "Personal recollections and oral history video". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "Combat Highlights of the United States 12th Armored Division in the ETO". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  24. ^ "12th Armored Division History Book - Vol One: Combat in Germany". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  25. ^ "The Patriot Files : Dedicated to the preservation of military history". patriotfiles.com. 
  26. ^ "The Capture of Dillingen Bridge". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  27. ^ "The 12th Armored Division". ushmm.org.  "The 12th Armored Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the United States Army Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1988."
  28. ^ Rempfer, Olivier (2011). "Les photos oubliées". hollow.one.free.fr. Retrieved 17 April 2012. 
  29. ^ "Speed is the Password: The Story of the 12th Armored Division - WWII G.I. Stories Booklet". Lonesentry.com. Retrieved 2015-04-23. 
  30. ^ Harding, Stephen (2013). The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe. Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-82209-4 "Among these were 14 French notables, including two former premiers, Édouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud; Gen.Maxime Weygand and Gen. Maurice Gamelin, both former commanders of the French Armies; Jean Borotra, international tennis star; Michael Clemenceau, son of the former French Prime Minister; Gen. Charles de Gaulle's sister Marie-Agnès Cailliau, right-wing leader François de La Rocque,and future Nobel Prize winner Léon Jouhaux. It is rumored that Heinrich Himmler was planning on using these VIPs as hostages to trade to secure his escape in the event that Germany lost the war."
  31. ^ Mayer, John G (26 May 1945). "12th Men Free French Big-Wigs" (PDF). Hellcat News (12th Armored Division Newspaper) 3 (West Texas Digital Archive). p. 3. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  32. ^ "The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946. Center of Military History, Army Historical Series, Washington, D. C., 1990. CHAPTER XVIII: The Occupation Troops, p. 329". Center of Military History. Retrieved 12 May 2015. 
  33. ^ "12th Armored Division Association: Our History". 12th Armored Division Association. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  34. ^ Orville Sarles, 493rd Arm Fd Art Bat / B Battery, 12th Armored Division Oral History Project. "Detained by men of the 493rd Arm Fd Art Battery near Ulm, Bavaria, but released when identity was not discovered". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 
  35. ^ Col. F.P. Field (ret). "The Capture of Werner Von Braun". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  36. ^ a b c d e "12th Armored Division members Killed in Action - Casualties of the United States 12th Armored Division". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  37. ^ "12th Armored Division Association". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  38. ^ "Tactics Department : The armored School, Fort Knox, Kentucky : Military Monograph" (PDF). 12tharmoredmuseum.com. 10 January 1946. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  39. ^ "Armored Divisions - 12 12th Armored Division - World War II Archives of Wartime Publications". Wartimepress.com. 15 September 1942. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  40. ^ a b "Speed is the Password: The Story of the 12th Armored Division - WWII G.I. Stories Booklet". Lone Sentry. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  41. ^ "Armored Divisions - 12 12th Armored Division - World War II Archives of Wartime Publications". Archived from the original on 30 March 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  42. ^ "Books of the 12th Armored Division". 12tharmoredmuseum.com. 20 September 2006. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  43. ^ http://www.12tharmoredmuseum.com/view_books.asp?book=26&folder=hellcat&image=21&max=81&chapter_title=Bronze%20Plaque%20at%20Fort%20Knox
  44. ^ "Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum". campbell.army.mil. 
  45. ^ "Place Col Meigs Plaque". westpointaog.org. 
  46. ^ "12th Armored Division Association - 12th Armored Division Association Official Site". 12tharmoreddivisionassociation.us.  "One purpose of the organization, as stated in its constitution, was to "commemorate the memories of fallen comrades and enjoy the companionship of those still with us." The Association assumed responsibility for continued publication of the "Hellcat News", the division newspaper started during the war. Today the paper continues to be published by the 12th Armored Association. In addition to veterans who were among the 17,000 soldiers who fought with the 12th Armored division, the Association has members who are spouses and family (Legacy members) of Division veterans. The Association elects a "Hellcat of the Year", which has been awarded every year since the first meeting of the Association. Col. Richard A Gordon, (CCR) was elected as the first president of the Association at its founding meeting. The first state-side reunion was held at the Hotel Commodore, New York City, 13–24 September 1947. Both annual national conventions and regional chapter meetings are announced in the "Hellcat News"."
  47. ^ a b "Hellcat News Collection Finding Aid, 12th Armored Division Museum, December 2010". Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 Jan 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  48. ^ "The Volunteer State Goes to War: A Salute to Tennessee Veterans - World War II, 1939-1945". Tennessee State Library and Archives. Retrieved 7 July 2015. 
  49. ^ "Fort Campbell: a brief history". Fort Campbell, KY (KENTUCKY). 
  50. ^ http://wtda.alc.org/handle/123456789/18214/browse?type=dateissued
  51. ^ "The 12th Armored Division Museum". The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum. Retrieved 1 February 2015. 
  52. ^ "The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum Collection". The University of North Texas Libraries:The Portal to Texas History. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Phibbs, Brendan (2002) Our war for the world : a memoir of life and death on the front lines in WWII. Lyons Press, Guilford, Conn. ISBN 978-1585745357, originally published as: Phibbs, Brendan (1987, 1st ed.) The other side of time : a combat surgeon in World War II. Little, Brown, Boston. ISBN 978-0316705103, a combat surgeon in the 12th Armored Division, covers the division's experiences in Europe. The book has been called "one of the best five Allied memoirs of the World War II".
  • Van Ells, Mark D. ed., (2009) The Daily Life of an Ordinary American Soldier in World War II: The Letters of Wilbur C. Berget." Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston. ISBN 978-0773449183.
  • Speed is the Password: The Story of the 12th Armored Division
  • Ferguson, John C. (2004, 1st ed.) Hellcats: The 12th Armored Division in World War II. (Military History of Texas Series). State House Press, Abilene, Tex. ISBN 978-1880510889
  • Monroe-Jones, Edward (2010) Crossing the Zorn: The January 1945 Battle at Herrlisheim as Told by the American and German Soldiers Who Fought It. McFarland, Jefferson, N.C. ISBN 978-0786447121