11TH ARMORED DIVISION
World War II
Activated: 15 August 1942. Overseas: 29 September 1944. Campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe. Days of combat: 96. Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-3 ; DSM-1 ; SS-227; LM-15; SM-2 ; BSM-2,417 ; AM-51. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks (August 1942-March 1944), Brig. Gen. Charles S. Kilburn (March 1944-March 1945), Maj. Gen. Holmes E. Dager (March 1945 until inactivation). Inactivated: 31 August 1945 in Europe.
Arriving in England, 12 November 1944, the 11th prepared for combat with 2 months' training on the Salisbury Plain. The Division landed in Normandy, 16 December 1944, assigned to contain the enemy in the Lorient Pocket, but the Von Rundstedt offensive 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 Neufchateau, Belgium, 30 December, the 11th defended the highway to Bastogne against fierce assault. The Division acted as spearhead of a wedge into the enemy line, and its junction with the First Army at Houffalize, 16 January 1945, created a huge trap. After the liquidation of the Bulge, the Siegfried Line was pierced, Lutzkampen falling 7 February 1945, 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 1945, in the sweep to the Rhine. In the swing southward to clear the SaarMoselle-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. 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 his last fanatical 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 Russian armies. The war in Europe officially ended 9 May, and the Division was placed on occupational duty until inactivation.
Assignments in the ETO*
13 December 1944: 12th Army Group. 19 December 1944: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group. 20 December 1944: First Army, 12th Army Group. 23 December 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group. 31 December 1944: XII Corps. 15 January 1945: VIII Corps. 12 March 1945: XX Corps. 16 March 1945: XII Corps, 24 March 1945: XX Corps. 1 April 1945: XII Corps.
Nickname: Thunderbolt. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored but with a number "11" in the upper portion of the triangle. Association: 11th Armored Division Association, c/o Armored Cavalry Journal, 1719 K Street NW, Washington, D. C. Publication: Thunderbolt, The Story of the 11th Armored; by unit members; TI&E, ETOUSA; distributor, 11th Armored Division Association; 1945.
[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]
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