26th INFANTRY DIVISION - Red Diamond

Activated 16 Jan 1941  •  Entered Combat 12 Oct 1944 Normandy  •  Days of Combat 210  •  Casualties 10,701


Commanding General

Maj. Gen. Roger W. Eckfeldt   (Jan 40 - Aug 43) 
Maj. Gen. Willard S. Paul   (Aug 43 - Jun 45) 
Brig. Gen. Harlan N. Hartness   (Jun 45 - Jul 45) 
Maj. Gen. Stanley E. Reinhart   (Jul 45 - Nov 45) 



Northern France (25 Jul 44 - 14 Sep 44)
Rhineland (15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45)
Ardennes-Alsace (16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45)
Central Europe (22 Mar 45 - 11 May 45)

Campaign Route Map



The 26th Infantry Division landed in France at Cherbourg and Utah Beach, 7 September 1944, but did not enter combat as a Division until a month later, 7 October. Elements were on patrol duty along the coast from Carteret to Siouville, 13-30 September, and the 328th Infantry saw action with the 80th Division to which it was attached, 5-15 October. On 7 October the 26th relieved the 4th Armored Division in the Salonnes-Moncourt-Canal du Rhine au Marne sector, and maintained defensive positions ; a limited objective attack was launched, 22 October, in the Moncourt woods. On 8 November the Division went on the offensive, took Dieuze, 20 November, advanced across the Saar River to Saar Union, and captured it, 2 December, after house-to-house fighting. Reaching Maginot fortifications, 5 December, it regrouped, entering Saareguemines 8 December. Rest at Metz was interrupted by the Von Rundstedt offensive. The Division moved north to Luxembourg, 19-21 December, to take part in the battle of the Ardennes break-through. It attacked at Rambrouch and Grosbous, 22 December, beat off strong German counterattacks, captured Arsdorf on Christmas Day after heavy fighting, attacked toward the Wiltz River, but was forced to withdraw in the face of determined enemy resistance; after regrouping, 5-8 January 1945, it attacked again, reached the Wiltz River, and finally crossed it, 20 January. The Division continued its advance, took Grumelscheid, 21 January, and crossed the Clerf River, 24 January. The 26th then shifted to the east bank of the Saar, and maintained defensive positions in the Saarlautern area, 29 January-6 March 1945. The Division's drive to the Rhine jumped off on 13 March 1945, and carried the Division through Merzig, 17 March, to the Rhine, 21 March, and across the Rhine at Oppenheim, 25-26 March. It took part in the house-to-house reduction of Hanau, 28 March, broke out of the Main River bridgehead, drove through Fulda, 1 April, and helped reduce Meiningen, 5 April. Moving southeast into Austria, the Division assisted in the capture of Linz, 4 May. It had changed the direction of its advance, and was moving northeast into Czechoslovakia, across the Vlatava River, when the cease-fire order, was received.




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