12th Armored DIVISION - Hellcat

Activated 15 Sep 1942•  Entered Combat 7 Dec 1944 at Ardennes•  Days of Combat 102•  Casualties 3,527


Commanding Generals

Maj. Gen. Carlos Brewer   (Sep 42 - Aug 44) 
Maj. Gen. Douglass T. Greene   (Aug 44 - Sep 44) 
Maj. Gen. Roderick R. Allen   (Sep 44 - Jul 45) 
Brig. Gen. Willard A. Holbrook, Jr.   (Jul 45 - inactivation)



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

12th Armored Division Campaign Map

Division Chronicle

The 12th Armored Division landed at Liverpool, England, 2 October 1944. It arrived at Le Havre, France, 11 November 1944. Advance elements met the enemy near Weisslingen, 5 December, and the entire Division moved against the Maginot Line fortifications 2 days later. In its advance, Rohrbach and the Bettviller area were liberated by 12 December, and Utweiler, Germany, was seized 21 December. After a short period of rehabilitation and maintenance, the 12th rolled against the Rhine riverhead at Herlisheim. German defenders repulsed Division attacks in the most violent fighting in the history of the 12th, 9 to 10 January 1945. However, enemy counterattacks failed also. Going over to the offensive, the Division attacked south from Colmar, and in a lightning drive, effected junction with French forces at Rouffach, 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. Avoid area for rest and rehabilitation. The attack resumed, 18 March 1945. In a quick drive to the Rhine, Ludwigshafen fell, 21 March, and two other important river cities, Speyer and Germersheim, were secured on the 24th, clearing the Saar Palatinate. Maintaining the rapid pace, the 12th crossed the Rhine River at Worms, 28 March, advanced toward Wurzburg against light resistance, and captured that city. After assisting in the seizure of Schweinfurt, the Division continued toward Nurnberg, 13 April, taking Neustadt, then shifted toward Munich, 17 April. Elements of the 12th raced from Dinkelsbuhl to the Danube, taking the bridge at Dillingen before demolition men could wreck it. This bridge provided a vital artery for Allied troops flooding into southern Germany. The Division spearheaded the Seventh Army drive, securing Landsberg, 29 April, clearing the area between the Ammer and Wurm Seas on the 30th, and moving deeper into the "National Redoubt." Elements crossed .the Inn River and the Austrian border, 3 May. The 12th was relieved by the 36th Infantry Division, 4 May, and engaged in security duty until 22 November 1945, when it left Marseille, France, for home.

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