Oscar Koch

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Oscar W. Koch
Oscar Koch.png
Born(1897-01-10)January 10, 1897
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
DiedMay 16, 1970(1970-05-16) (aged 73)
Carbondale, Illinois
AllegianceUnited States United States of America
Service/branchEmblem of the United States Department of the Army.svg United States Army
Years of service1915–1954
RankUS-O7 insignia.svg Brigadier General
Commands held25th Infantry Division
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
Korean War
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit (2)
Bronze Star Medal (2)

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.

On the 9th day of December 1944, Col. Koch, serving as G-2 for the 3rd Army, 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 complelled Patton to incorporate emergency measures to rescue Gen Courtney Hodges's and his First Army, in addition to drawing up final plans of "Operation Tink", Pattons thrust into "Das Dritten Reich"—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]

Medals and decorations[edit]

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Legion of Merit with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze Star Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster
Mexican Border Service Medal
World War I Victory Medal
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
Silver star
Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Arrowhead device and silver and 3 bronze service stars
World War II Victory Medal
Army of Occupation Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Korean Service Medal
Chevalier of Legion of Honour
French Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 with Palm
Belgian Croix de guerre 1940-1945 with Palm
Officer of the Order of the Oak Crown
United Nations Korea Medal