2nd Armored Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II


Name:2nd
Type:Armored
Nickname:Hell on Wheels
Source:Regular Army
Theater: Mediterranean & European
Casualties:5,864
Days of Combat:280
Activation Date:15 Jul 40
Date Sent Overseas:8 Nov 42 (North Africa)
Date Entered Combat:8 Nov 42 (North Africa)
Status June 1946:active Fort Hood, Texas
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. Charles L. Scott    (Jul 40 - Jan 41)
Maj. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.    (Jan 41 - Feb 42)
Maj. Gen. Willis D. Crittenberger    (Feb 42 - Jul 42)
Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon    (Jul 42 - Apr 43)
Maj. Gen. Hugh J. Gaffey    (May 43 - Apr 44)
Maj. Gen. Edward H. Brooks    (Apr 44 - Sep 44)
Maj. Gen. Ernest N. Harmon    (Sep 44 - Jan 45)
Maj. Gen. Isaac D. White    (Jan 45 - Aug 45)
 
Campaign(s): Algeria-French Morocco    (8 Nov 42 - 11 Nov 42)
Sicily    (9 Jul - 17 Aug 43)
Normandy    (6 Jun 44 - 24 Jul 44)
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)

Brief History:
Elements of the Division first saw action in North Africa, landing at Casablanca, 8 November 1942, and later taking part in the fighting at Beja, Tunisia, but the Division as a whole did not enter combat until the invasion of Sicily, when it made an assault landing at Gela, 10 July 1943. The Division saw action at Butera, Campobello,-and Palermo. After the Sicilian campaign, the Division trained in England for the cross-Channel invasion, landed in Normandy D plus 3, 9 June 1944, and went into action in the vicinity of Carentan; ; the Division raced across France in July and August, drove through Belgium and attacked across the Albert Canal 13 September 1944, crossing the German border at Schimmert, 18 September to take up defensive positions near Geilenkirchen. On 3 October, the Division launched an attack on the Siegfried Line from Marienberg, broke through, crossed the Wurm River and seized Puffendorf 16 November and Barmen 28 November. The Division was holding positions on the Roer when it was ordered to help contain the German Ardennes offensive. The Division fought in eastern Belgium, blunting the German Fifth Panzer Army's penetration of American lines. The Division helped reduce the Bulge in January, fighting in the Ardennes forest in deep snow, and cleared the area from Houffalize to the Ourthe River of the enemy. After a rest in February, the Division drove on across the Rhine 27 March, and was the first American Division to reach the Elbe at Schonebeck on 11 April. It was halted on the Elbe, 20 April, on orders. In July the Division entered Berlin-the first American unit to enter the German capital city.

Notes:
Activation date 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.
Other Wars are the wars in which the division was mobilized.
The dates after the campaign name are the dates of the campaign not of the division.

Sources: 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.


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