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World War II

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28th Infantry
"Keystone"
Division



109th Infantry Regiment

History



110th Infantry
Regiment

History



112th Infantry
Regiment

History

Order of Battle

109th Infantry Regiment
110th Infantry Regiment
112th Infantry Regiment

28th Reconnaissance Troop (Mech.)
103d Engineer Combat Battalion
103d Medical Battalion
28th Division Artillery

107th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)
108th Field Artillery Battalion (155 Howitzer)
109th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)
229th Field Artillery Battalion (105 Howitzer)

Special Troops

728th Ordnance Light Maintenance Company
28th Quartermaster Company
28th Signal Company
Military Police Platoon
Headquarters Company
Band



Activated:
17 Feb 1941
Overseas:
8 Oct 1943
Returned to U.S.:
2 Aug 1945
Inactivated:
13 Dec 1945
 
Days of Combat:
196
Casualties:
16,762


Commanders
Maj. Gen. Edward Martin
Feb - Dec 1941
Maj. Gen. J. Garsche Ord
Jan - May 1942
Maj. Gen. Omar N. Bradley
Jun 1942 - Jan 1943
Maj. Gen. Lloyd D. Brown
Jan 1943 - Jul 1944
Maj. Gen. Norman D. Cota
Aug 1944 to inactivation


Campaigns
Normandy
6 Jun - 24 Jul 44
North France
25 Jul - 14 Sep 44
Rhineland
15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45
Ardennes-Alsace
16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45
Central Europe
22 Mar - 11 May 45


Medals
Medal of Honor
1
Distinguished Service Cross
29
Distinguished Service Medal
1
Silver Star
435
Legionaires Medal
27
Soldiers Medal
21
Bronze Star Medal
2,312
AM
100


Decorations
Presidential Unit Citation
Streamer embroidered LUXEMBOURG

French Croix de Guerre with Palm
Streamer embroidered COLMAR

Luxembourg Croix de Guerre
Streamer embroidered LUXEMBOURG

Headquarters Company (Scranton)
1st Battalion, additionally entitled to
Meritorious Unit Commendation,
Streamer embroidered EUROPEAN THEATER


Medal of Honor

Technical Sergeant Francis J. Clark
109th Infantry Regiment






1941
 
17 Feb-
The division was activated at Camp Livingston, Louisiana.
1942
 
17 Feb-
The division was reorganized and redesignated as Headquarters, 28th Infantry Division, the brigades were disbanded, and the 111th Infantry Regiment was detached and reorganized as a separate regimental combat team, initially used to guard important Eastern Seaboard industrial facilities.
1943
 
8 Oct-
The division trained in the Carolinas, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida and went overseas on 8 October 1943, arriving in South Wales. Having conducted specialized combat training in everything from offensive maneuvers in mountainous terrain to amphibious warfare, the Division's intensive training agenda culminated in its deployment to England.
1944

22 Jul-

After another 10 months of training in England and Wales, the first elements of the Division entered combat on July 22, 1944, landing on the beaches of Normandy.

28 Jul-
From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944.
29 Aug-

The 28th pushed east towards Paris. In little more than a month after landing at the Normandy beachhead, the men of the 28th entered Paris and were given the honor of marching down the Champs-Elysées on 29 August 1944 in the hastily arranged Liberation of Paris.

The advance continued through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keystone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September.

11 Sep-
A small night patrol of the 109th Infantry Regiment began the division's protracted struggle on the Siegfried Line on the Dragon's teeth fortification infested Westwall. The patrol crossed the Our River by bridge from Weiswampach, Luxembourg into Sevenig, Germany, making it the first of the Allied armies to reach German soil.
12 Sep-
The 109th began hammering at the Siegfried Line, destroying pillboxes and other fortifications.
1 Oct-
The 109th moved north to Elsenborn, then returned on the 6th for patrols and rotation of troops.
2 Nov-
Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses.
10 Nov-

The 28th began to move south, where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River.

19 Nov-
The Division moved south to hold a 25-mile sector along the Our River in Luxembourg.  
31 Nov-
A tenuous line along the Our and Sauer Rivers was held at the end of November,
16 Dec-
Two Panzer divisions, three infantry divisions and one parachute division, including 352nd Infantry Division and the 5th Parachute Division, in an infantry-tank attack on the "Ridge Road" just west of the Our River.
16 Dec-
The Rundstedt offensive was launched in Belgium along the entire Division front.
22 Dec-
The 28th fought in place using all available personnel and threw off the enemy timetable before withdrawing to Neufchâteau on 22 December for reorganization, as its units had been badly mauled.
1945
 
Jan-
By January 1945, Division soldiers had moved south where they served with the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket." The 109th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for its action which helped lead to the liberation of Colmar, the last major French city in German hands.
2 Jan-
The Division moved to a defensive position along the Meuse River from Givet to Verdun on, then to a patrol of the Vosges Mountains on 17 February.
1 Feb-
From 1 to 5 February, the division participated in the reduction of the Colmar Pocket.
6 Feb-
The division crossed the Rhône–Rhine Canal.
23 Feb-
The Division returned north to the American First Army.
6 Mar-
The 28th was in position along the Olef River when an attack was launched on March 6, 1945, carrying the Division to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Germund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankenheim all fell in a raid advance.
6 Mar-
After an attack toward the Ahr River, the 28th engaged in training, rehabilitation, and holding defensive positions.
7 Apr-
Beginning on 7 April the division performed occupation duties at Juelich and Kaiserslautern until it left France.
Apr-
By early April, the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Permanent occupation came two weeks later at the Saurland and Rhonish areas.
Jul-
In early July 1945, the 28th began its redeployment to the U.S. The Division was deactivated.



28th Infantry Division
in World War II

CD 1
Open all files from the folders on the CDs
Install Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader from CD 1

The files below are found on CD 1


26 Jul - 6 Aug 44

Northern France







CD 1
52 Pages - PDF



12 - 17 Sep 44

28th Infantry Division
112th Infantry Regiment

Technical Sergeant Francis J. Clark

Medal of Honor

CD 1
1 Page - PDF


1 - 30 Nov 44

28th Infantry Division
110th Infantry Regiment

Unit Report

Consthum,
Luxembourg

CD 1
7 Pages - PDF


2 Nov 44

28th Infantry Division
893rd Tank Destroyer Battalion
Company A
.
Vossenack,
Germany

CD 1
42 Pages - PDF


2 - 17 Nov 44

28th Infantry Division
112th Infantry Regiment


Battle for
Schmidt, Germany

CD 2
225 Pages - PDF


3 Nov 44

28th Infantry Division
112th Infantry Regiment
3rd Battalion

Defense of
Schmidt, Germany

CD 1
6 Pages - PDF


3 Nov 44

28th Infantry Division
112th Infantry Regiment


Strategic Defense Inhabited Localities

CD 1
36 Pages - PDF


16 Dec 44

28th Infantry Division
110th Infantry Regiment
1st Battalion

Operations
Luxembourg

CD 1
21 Pages - PDF


16 Dec 44

The Siege
of Bastogne









CD 1
364 Pages - PDF


18 Dec 44 - 29 Apr 45

28th Infantry Division
110th Infantry Regiment
Company K

Accounts of the
Movement and Treatment of
American POWs
by Germans.


CD 1
8 Pages - PDF


28 Jan 45

28th Infantry Division

Western Front
News Story







CD 1
4 Pages - PDF



28th Infantry Division

Conneticut Men
of the 28th

Division History







CD 1
19 Pages - PDF



6 Jun - 24 Jul 44

Normandy
Campaign

CD 1
51 Pages - PDF



1 Jul - 11 Sep 44

Breakout
and Pursuit

CD 1
771 Pages - PDF



25 Jul - 14 Sep 44

Northern France
Campaign

CD 1
32 Pages - PDF



Aug 44 - Mar 45

Riviera
To The Rhine

CD 1
630 Pages - PDF


11 Sep - 16 Dec 44

Siegfried Line


CD 1
697 Pages - PDF


15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45

Rhineland
Campaign

CD 1
36 Pages - PDF


16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45

Ardennes-Alsace
Campaign

CD 1
56 Pages - PDF



World War II
Situation Maps
Europe


CD 1
83 Pages - PDF

The files below are found on CD 2


16 Dec 44 - 3 Jan 45

The Ardennes:
Battle of the Bulge



CD 2
749 Pages - PDF


3 Jan - May 45

Last Offensive




CD 2
555 Pages - PDF


22 Mar - 11 May 45

Central Europe
Campaign



CD 2
36 Pages - PDF


Dec 44 - Jan 45

Dark December

Battle of the
Bulge Book

CD 2
257 Pages - PDF


Chart

Organization
USArmy Regiment

CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Long Road
To Victory



CD 2
20 Pages - PDF


US Air Force
Combat Chronology
1941-45


CD 2
743 Pages - PDF


"Fighting Divisions"

Army
Divisions History

CD 2
241 Pages - PDF


Supreme Command

European
Theater Operations



CD 2
631 Pages - PDF


Brief History
of World War II





CD 2
55 Pages - PDF


APOs

Army Postal Service
Addresses

Alphabetical Listings

CD 2
149 Pages - PDF


Form SF180
Records Request

Request for
Personnel Records


CD 2
3 Pages - PDF


Research Guide

National Archives
Finding Information of
Personal Participation
in World War II Guide

CD 2
5 Pages - PDF


Mines - Booby Traps
Identification Guide





CD 2
42 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Nose Art





CD 2
34 Pages - PDF



Aircraft
Recognition Guide





CD 2
17 Pages - PDF



Aircraft
Insignia Poster


CD 2
1 Page - PDF



US
World War II
Posters

CD 2
250 Pages - PDF



German
World War II
Posters

CD 2
75 Pages - PDF


Rank
Insignia of Grade


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Shoulder Patch
Identification
Guide



CD 2
19 Pages - PDF


Chart

Enlisted Men's
Uniform Insignias


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Song Lyrics

Army
HIT KIT
of Popular Songs

CD 2
6 Pages - PDF


Comic Book
Covers




CD 2
8 Pages - PDF
The files below are found on CD 3


Music

"Singing Soldiers"

Winners Second
All Army Soldier
Singing Contest

1954-55
19 Song LP Record
2 Album Set

CD 3
Info - PDF
Files - Folder


Music

What Do You
Do In The Infantry ?

American Military March
Semper Fidelis (Marines)




CD 3
Files - Folder


Radio

DDay
Radio Broadcasts
~
13 - BBC/CBS/NBC
Normandy Invasion
Broadcasts
~
24 - CBS Invasion
1 Hour Broadcasts


CD 3
Files - Folder



Cartoons

11
BANNED
World War II
Cartoons

Popeye
Superman
Donald Duck
Bugs Bunny
more ...

CD 3
Info - PDF



28th Infantry
"Keyhole"
Division

28th Infantry Division History

The division was activated on 17 February 1941 at Camp Livingston, Louisiana. Lineage data gives the same date, but as the date the HHD 28th Division, was inducted into federal service 17 February 1941 at Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

It was reorganized and redesignated on 17 February 1942 as Headquarters, 28th Infantry Division. That same month the division was reorganized, the brigades were disbanded, and the 111th Infantry Regiment was detached and reorganized as a separate regimental combat team, initially used to guard important Eastern Seaboard industrial facilities.

The division trained in the Carolinas, Virginia, Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. It went overseas on 8 October 1943, arriving in South Wales.

Having conducted specialized combat training in everything from offensive maneuvers in mountainous terrain to amphibious warfare, the Division's intensive training agenda culminated in its deployment to England. After another 10 months of training in England and Wales, the first elements of the Division entered combat on July 22, 1944, landing on the beaches of Normandy.

The 28th Infantry Division after training in England, landed in Normandy, France, 22 July 1944.

From Normandy, the 28th advanced across western France, finding itself in the thick of hedgerow fighting through towns such as Percy, Montbray, Montguoray, Gathemo and St. Sever de Calvados by the end of July 1944.

The 28th pushed east towards Paris through the bloating corpse strewn stench of the Bocage along roads strewn with abandoned tanks. In little more than a month after landing at the Normandy beachhead, the men of the 28th entered Paris and were given the honor of marching down the Champs-Elysées on 29 August 1944 in the hastily arranged Liberation of Paris.

The fury of assaults launched by the 28th Infantry Division led the German Army to bestow the Keystone soldiers with the title "Bloody Bucket" Division. In a movement north toward the Seine in late August, the Division succeeded in trapping the remnant of the German 7th Army through Vorneuil, Breteuil, Damville, Conches, Le Neubourg and Elbeuf before entering Paris to join in its liberation.

The famous photograph of American troops before the Arc de Triomphe, marching in battle parade down the Champs Elysees, shows the men of 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. With no time to rest, the Division moved on to fight some of the most bloody battles of the War the day following the parade.

The advance continued through the Forest of Compeigne, La Fere, St. Quentin, Laon, Rethel, Sedan, Mezieres, Bouillon and eventually across the Meuse River into Belgium. The Keystone soldiers averaged 17 miles a day against the resistance of German "battle groups." The city of Arlon, Belgium, fell to a task force as the Division fanned out into Luxembourg in early September.

On September 11, 1944, the 28th a small night patrol of the 109th Infantry Regiment began the division's protracted struggle on the Siegfried Line on the Dragon's teeth fortification infested Westwall. The patrol crossed the Our River by bridge from Weiswampach, Luxembourg into Sevenig, Germany, making it the first of the Allied armies to reach German soil.

It began hammering at the Siegfried Line, 12 September, destroying pillboxes and other fortifications, moved north to Elsenborn, 1 October, then returned on the 6th for patrols and rotation of troops. The 28th smashed into the Hurtgen Forest, 2 November 1944, and in the savage seesaw battle which followed, Vossenack and Schmidt changed hands several times.

After hammering away in assaults which destroyed or captured 153 pillboxes and bunkers, the Division moved north toward the Siegfried Line, clearing the Monschau Forest of German forces.

The 28th suffered excessive casualties that autumn in the costly and ill-conceived Battle of the Hurtgen Forest in late in late September.

After a brief respite, the Keystone soldiers made another move northward to the Huertgen Forest. Five Axis divisions stormed across the Our River the first day, followed by four more in the next few day.

Attacks in the forest began November 2, 1944. The 28th Infantry Division stormed into Vossenack, Kommerscheidt and Schmidt amid savage fighting and heavy losses. By November 10, the 28th began to move south, where it held a 25-mile sector of the front line along the Our River. It was against this thinly fortified division line that the Germans unleashed the full force of their winter Ardennes "blitzkreig" offensive.

On 19 November, the Division moved south to hold a 25-mile sector along the Our River in Luxembourg.

Overwhelmed by the weight of enemy armor and personnel, the Division maintained its defense of this sector long enough to throw Von Runstedt's assault off schedule. With allied forces able to a move in to counterattack, the "Battle of the Bulge" ensued, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy forces. Having sustained a devastating 15,000 casualties, the 28th withdrew to refortify. But within three weeks, the Division was back in action.

Finally, a tenuous line along the Our and Sauer Rivers was held at the end of November, only to be abruptly broken by two Panzer divisions, three infantry divisions and one parachute division, including 352nd Infantry Division and the 5th Parachute Division, in an infantry-tank attack on the "Ridge Road" just west of the Our River on 16 December.

The Rundstedt offensive was launched in Belgium on 16 December along the entire Division front. The 28th fought in place using all available personnel and threw off the enemy timetable before withdrawing to Neufchâteau on 22 December for reorganization, as its units had been badly mauled.

The Ardennes Offensive was launched along the entire divisional front by the Fifth Panzer Army led by General der Panzertruppe Hasso von Manteuffel. The 28th, which had sustained heavy casualties in the First Army drive to the Roer, fought doggedly in place using all available personnel and threw off the enemy timetable before withdrawing to Neufchâteau on 22 December for reorganization, as its units had been badly mauled.

By January 1945, Division soldiers had moved south where they served with the French First Army in the reduction of the "Colmar Pocket." The 109th Infantry Regiment was awarded the French Croix de Guerre for its action which helped lead to the liberation of Colmar, the last major French city in German hands.

The Division moved to a defensive position along the Meuse River from Givet to Verdun on 2 January 1945, then to a patrol of the Vosges Mountains on 17 February. From 1 to 5 February, it participated in the reduction of the Colmar Pocket, headed for the Rhine and crossed the Rhône–Rhine Canal on 6 February.

By February 23, 1945, the Division returned north to the American First Army. The 28th was in position along the Olef River when an attack was launched on March 6, 1945, carrying the Division to the Ahr River. Schleiden, Germund, Kall, Sotenich, Sistig and Blankenheim all fell in a raid advance.

After an attack toward the Ahr River on 6 March, the 28th engaged in training, rehabilitation, and holding defensive positions. Beginning on 7 April it performed occupation duties at Juelich and Kaiserslautern until it left France.

By early April, the Division moved west of the Rhine and took up occupation duties in the area north of Aachen along the Holland-German border. Permanent occupation came two weeks later at the Saurland and Rhonish areas.

In early July 1945, the 28th began its redeployment to the U.S. The Division was deactivated on December 13, 1945.



109th Infantry
Regiment
109th Infantry Regiment History

The 109th Regiment served across France and through the Hurtgen Forest of Germany; elements of the Regiment led the Division into the Rhineland to become the first troops to invade German soil since Napoleon.

The 109th Infantry won battle honors at Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, the Rhineland and Central Europe and they were honored with the Luxemburg Croix de Guerre and the French Croix de Guerre for action at Colmar. Eddie Slovik, a member of this regiment was the only American soldier executed for desertion in the 20th century.

The regiment was federalized in 1941, at which time it became a Regimental Combat Team and was sent to France to be tested on the bloody battlefields of World War II. The men of the 109th battled across France and through the Hurtgen Forest of Germany; elements of the Regiment led the Division into the Rhineland to become the first troops to invade German soil since Napoleon.

The 109th Infantry paid with human life and blood as they won battle honors at Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, the Rhineland and Central Europe and they were honored with the Luxemburg Croix de Guerre and the French Croix de Guerre for action at Colmar.

The most noteworthy of the 109th Infantry's achievements during World War II came while the Regiment was resting in the Ardennes sector — considered a quiet sector early in December, 1944.

It was then that von Rundstedt launched his vicious, well planned Battle of the Bulge. The unsuspecting 109th Infantry was hit by an entire Yolks Grenadier Guard Division as well as elements of a panzer division, parachute division and other crack German units.

Although suffering great losses, (so great were the losses that the Division became known as the "Bloody Bucket Division" by the Germans who saw so many of our wounded troops wearing the red Keystone patch) in three days of bitter fighting, the 109th Infantry completely destroyed the 352d Yolks Grenadiers, at the same time holding its own tactical unity.

Technical Sergeant Francis J. Clark of Company K, earned the Medal of Honor while serving with the 109th Infantry on 12 September 1944 during the Siegfried Line Campaign.

The 109th had blocked von Rundstedt in the North and doomed the German offensive in the Ardennes. When the tide of battle turned on Christmas Eve, the battle-weary 109th soldiers attacked, threw the enemy across the Sure River, and retook several towns on the original front. Then started the drive into Germany and the final Allied push of World War II.



110th Infantry
Regiment
110th Infantry Regiment History

The 110th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division, on 16 December 1944, held the center sector of the defensive zone of the division and VIII Corps in the Ardennes.

Here it lay astride the main attack axis of the German LXVII Panzer Corps of the Fifth Panzer Army headed to Bastogne, Belgium, and points west. Vastly outnumbered and outgunned by the attacking German force, the 110th Infantry put up one of the classic defensive stands in American military history.

The officers and men of the 110th Infantry bought the precious time needed for the 101st Airborne Division to be trucked into the vital crossroads town of Bastogne and consolidate its defenses with elements of the 9th and 10th Armored Divisions and miscellaneous remnants of the 28th Infantry Division and VIII Corps.

The 110th Infantry Regiment received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions from 16 through 23 December 1944 during the German Ardennes offensive.



112th Infantry
Regiment
112th Infantry Regiment History

The regiment was called to active federal service on 17 February 1941, 10 months prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

After years of training, the unit first entered the continent of Europe on the Normandy beaches following the D-Day landing.

It became the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team which consisted of the 112th Infantry Regiment, the 229th Field Artillery Battalion, the 103rd Engineer Battalion, Company C, 447th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, and Company C, 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion.

28th Division commander James E. Wharton was in his first day of command when a German sniper shot him while he was at the 112th Infantry's command post.

The regiment plowed through France and Germany, participating in the capture of Paris and the bitter fighting in the Huertgen Forest. During December 1944, the 112th Infantry Regimental Combat Team was holding a 6-1/2 mile long sector which the Germans attacked with nine Divisions.

The Combat Team inflicted 1600 casualties and destroyed eighteen tanks during nine days of continuous action, that was later known as the Battle of the Bulge.

The regiment was awarded battle streamers marked Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes-Alsace, Rhineland, and Central Europe for its service in World War II. The unit was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions during the Battle of the Bulge, from 16 to 24 December 1944.

The unit was mustered out of federal service on 6 December 1945 at Camp Gordon, Georgia. 



28th Infantry
Division
Campaigns of World War II

Normandy
6 Jun - 24 Jul 44
North France
25 Jul - 14 Sep 44
Rhineland
15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45
Ardennes-Alsace
16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45
Central Europe
22 Mar - 11 May 45
.

Normandy
6 Jun - 24 Jul 44

A great invasion force stood off the Normandy coast of France as dawn broke on 6 June 1944: 9 battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers, and 71 large landing craft of various descriptions as well as troop transports, mine sweepers, and merchantmen—in all, nearly 5,000 ships of every type, the largest armada ever assembled.

The naval bombardment that began at 0550 that morning detonated large minefields along the shoreline and destroyed a number of the enemy’s defensive positions. To one correspondent, reporting from the deck of the cruiser HMS Hillary, it sounded like “the rhythmic beating of a gigantic drum” all along the coast.

In the hours following the bombardment, more than 100,000 fighting men swept ashore to begin one of the epic assaults of history, a “mighty endeavor,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it to the American people, “to preserve. . . our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.”


North France
25 Jul - 14 Sep 44

As July 1944 entered its final week, Allied forces in Normandy faced, at least on the surface, a most discouraging situation. In the east, near Caen, the British and Canadians were making little progress against fierce German resistance.

In the west, American troops were bogged down in the Norman hedgerows. These massive, square walls of earth, five feet high and topped by hedges, had been used by local farmers over the centuries to divide their fields and protect their crops and cattle from strong ocean winds.

The Germans had turned these embankments into fortresses, canalizing the American advance into narrow channels, which were easily covered by antitank weapons and machine guns.

The stubborn defenders were also aided by some of the worst weather seen in Normandy since the turn of the century, as incessant downpours turned country lanes into rivers of mud.

By 25 July, the size of the Allied beachhead had not even come close to the dimensions that pre–D-day planners had anticipated, and the slow progress revived fears in the Allied camp of a return to the static warfare of World War I.

Few would have believed that, in the space of a month and a half, Allied armies would stand triumphant at the German border.


Rhineland
15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45

The Rhineland Campaign, although costly for the Allies, had clearly been ruinous for the Germans. The Germans suffered some 300,000 casualties and lost vast amounts of irreplaceable equipment.

Hitler, having demanded the defense of all of the German homeland, enabled the Allies to destroy the Wehrmacht in the West between the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Now, the Third Reich lay virtually prostrate before Eisenhower’s massed armies.


Ardennes - Alsace Campaign
16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45

In August 1944, while his armies were being destroyed in Normandy, Hitler secretly put in motion actions to build a large reserve force, forbidding its use to bolster Germany’s beleaguered defenses. To provide the needed manpower, he trimmed existing military forces and conscripted youths, the unfit, and old men previously untouched for military service during World War II.

In September Hitler named the port of Antwerp, Belgium, as the objective. Selecting the Eifel region as a staging area, Hitler intended to mass twenty-five divisions for an attack through the thinly held Ardennes Forest area of southern Belgium and Luxembourg.

Once the Meuse River was reached and crossed, these forces would swing northwest some 60 miles to envelop the port of Antwerp. The maneuver was designed to sever the already stretched Allied supply lines in the north and to encircle and destroy a third of the Allies’ ground forces. If successful, Hitler believed that the offensive could smash the Allied coalition, or at least greatly cripple its ground combat capabilities, leaving him free to focus on the Russians at his back door.


Central Europe Campaign
22 March - 11 May 1945

By the beginning of the Central Europe Campaign of World War II, Allied victory in Europe was inevitable. Having gambled his future ability to defend Germany on the Ardennes offensive and lost, Hitler had no real strength left to stop the powerful Allied armies. Yet Hitler forced the Allies to fight, often bitterly, for final victory.

Even when the hopelessness of the German situation became obvious to his most loyal subordinates, Hitler refused to admit defeat. Only when Soviet artillery was falling around his Berlin headquarters bunker did the German Fuehrer begin to perceive the final outcome of his megalomaniacal crusade.



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