World War II
Activated: 1 April 1942.
Overseas: 7 November 1944.
Major Operations: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of Combat: 63.
Awards: SS-143; LM-4; BSM-825 ; AM-23.
Maj. Gen. William M. Grimes (April 1942-September 1944)
Maj. Gen. John M. Devine (October 1944-August 1945)
Brig. Gen. Charles F. Colson (August 1945 to inactivation).
Returned to U.S.: 10 November 1945.
Inactivated: 14 November 1945.
After training at Tidworth, England, the 8th Armored Division landed in France, 5 January 1945, and assembled in the Bacqueville area of upper Normandy. In mid-January the Division raced 350 miles across France to Pont-aMousson to help stem the German drive for Strasbourg, but, finding the enemy already halted, went into training. One element, Combat Command A, took part in the Third Army drive against the MoselleSaar salient, supporting the 94th Division attack on Nennig, Berg, and Sinz, 19-28 January 1945. The Division moved to Simpelveld, Holland, and continued training during the first half of February 1945. On 19 February the Division moved to Roermond, Holland, and launched a diversionary attack, pushing the enemy north of the Heide woods and east of the Roer River. The 8th crossed the Roer, 27 February, and began its drive to the Rhine, taking Tetelrath, Oberkruchten, and Lintfort in hard fighting. After a period of rest and training in mid-March, the Division crossed the Rhine, 26 March, and attacked Dorsten, which was cleared in the face of stubborn resistance. It crossed the Lippe River and entered the battle for the Ruhr Pocket, taking Neuhaus and cleaning out the Soest sector. The Division then shifted south to Wolfenbuttel, mopping up resistance in the area, continued south to Blankenberg, clearing the Harz Mountain region. This was its last combat activity in the war. On 23 April the Division went on occupation duty in the Harz Mountain area.
Assignments in the ETO *
8 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
12 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group, but attached to the Third Army, 12th Army Group.
1 February 1945: XVI Corps, Ninth Army, attached to the British 21st Army Group, 12th Army Group.
1 April 1945: XIX Corps.
4 April 1945: XIX Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
9 April 1945: XVI Corps.
12 April 1945: Ninth Army, 12th Army Group.
15 April 1945: XIX Corps.
Nicknames: The Iron Snake; also Show Horse. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored, but with a number "8" in the upper portion of the triangle. Association: 8th Armored Division Association (in process of formation), 240 Bushnell Ave., San Antonio, Texas (Maj. Gen. William G. Weaver). Publications: Thundering Herds (first and second editions) ; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga. ; 1944. Tornado: by unit members; TI&E, ETOUSA; distributor, 8th Armored Division Association; 1945.
* See footnote, 1st Infantry Division.
[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.]