83rd INFANTRY DIVISION - Thunderbolt
Activated 15 Aug 1942 • Entered Combat 27 Jul 1944 Normandy • Days of Combat 244 • Casualties 15,910
Maj. Gen. Frank W. Milburn (Aug 42 - Dec 43)
Maj. Gen. Robert C. Macon (Jan 44 - Jan 46)
Campaign Route Map
The 83d Infantry Division arrived in England on 16 April 1944. After training in Wales, the Division landed at Omaha Beach, 18 June 1944, and entered the hedgerow struggle south of Carentan, 27 June. Taking the offensive, the 83d reached the St. Lo-Periers Road, 25 July, and advanced 8 miles against strong opposition as the Normandy campaign ended. After a period of training, elements of the Division took Chateauneuf, 5 August, and Dinard, 7 August, and approached the heavily fortified area protecting St. Malo. Intense fighting reduced enemy strong points and a combined attack against the Citadel Fortress of St. Servan caused its surrender, 17 August. While elements moved south to protect the north bank of the Loire River, the main body of the Division concentrated south of Rennes for patrolling and reconnaissance activities. Elements reduced the garrison at Ile de Cezembre, which surrendered, 2 September. The movement into Luxembourg was completed on 25 September. Taking Remich on the 28th and patrolling defensively along the Moselle, the 83d resisted counterattacks and advanced to Siegfried Line defenses across the Sauer after capturing Grevenmacher and Echternach, 7 October. As the initial movement in operation "Unicorn," the Division took Le Stromberg Hill in the vicinity of Basse Konz against strong opposition, 5 November, and beat off counterattacks. Moving to the Hurtgen Forest, the 83d thrust forward from Gressenich to the west bank of the Roer. It entered the Battle of the Bulge, 27 December, striking at Rochefort and reducing the enemy salient in a bitter struggle. The Division moved back to Belgium and Holland for rehabilitation and training, 22 January 1945. On 1 March, the 83d advanced toward the Rhine in the operation "Grenade," and captured Neuss. The west bank of the Rhine from North of Oberkassell to the Erft Canal was cleared and defensive positions established by 2 March and the Division renewed its training. The 83d crossed the Rhine south of Wesel, 29 March, and advanced across the Munster Plain to the Weser, crossing it at Bodenwerder. As opposition disintegrated, Halle fell on 6 April. The Division crossed the Leine, 8 April, and attacked to the east, pushing over the Harz Mountain region and advancing to the Elbe at Barby. That city was taken on the 13th. The 83d established a bridgehead over the river but evacuated the area to the Russians on 6 May 1945.
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