11th Armored DIVISION - Thunderbolt

Activated 14 Aug 1942•  Entered Combat 23 Dec 1944 at Ardennes•  Days of Combat 96  •  Casualties 2,877

1_b.jpg
 

Commanding Generals

Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks   (Aug 42 - Mar 44) 
Brig. Gen. Charles S. Kilburn   (Mar 44 - Mar 45) 
Maj. Gen. Holmes E. Dager   (Mar 45 - inactivation) 

 

Campaigns

Rhineland (15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45)
Ardennes-Alsace (16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45)
Central Europe (22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45)

Campaign Map

Division Chronicle

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.

 

Notes and sources:
Date Activated is the date the division was activated or inducted into federal service (national guard units).
Casualties are number of killed, wounded in action, captured, and missing.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.
The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States; , U.S. Government Printing Office. Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946. US Army Center of Military History at http://www.history.army.mil/ Various divisional histories