5th Armored Division, U.S. Army Divisions of World War II

 
Name:5th
Type:Armored
Nickname:Victory
Source:Regular Army
Theater: European
Activation Date:01 Oct 41
Date Sent Overseas:25 Feb 44 (England)
Date Entered Combat:2 Aug 44 (Normandy)
Days of Combat:161
Casualties:3,075
Status June 1946:inactivated 11 Oct 45
Commanding General(s): Maj. Gen. Jack W. Heard    (Oct 41 - Feb 43)
Maj. Gen. Lunsford E. Oliver    (Mar 43 - Jun 45)
Brig. Gen. Morrill Ross    (Jun 45 - Sep 45)
 
Campaign(s): 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:
The 5th Armored Division landed at Utah Beach, 24 July 1944, and moved into combat on 2 August, driving south through Coutances, Avranches, and Vitre, and across the Mayenne River to seize the city of Le Mans, 8 August. Turning north, the Division forged the steel ring around the Germans in Normandy by advancing to the edge of the city of Argentan on 12 August-8 days before the Argentan-Falaise Gap was closed. Turning Argentan over to the 90th Infantry Division, the 5th Armored advanced 80 miles to capture the Eure River Line at Dreux on 16 August. Bitter fighting was encountered in clearing the Eure-Seine corridor, the second big trap in France. The 5th passed through Paris 30 August to spearhead V Corps drive through the Compiegne Forest, across the Oise, Aisne, and Somme Rivers, and reached the Belgian border at Conde, 2 September. The Division then turned east, advancing 100 miles in 8 hours, and crossed the Meuse at Charleville-Mezieres, 4 September. Racing past Sedan, it liberated Luxembourg City on the 10th and deployed along the German border. The reconnaissance squadron of the Division sent a patrol across the German border on the afternoon of 11 September to be the first of the Allies to cross the enemy frontier. On 14 September the 5th penetrated the Siegfried Line at Wallendorf, remaining until the 20th, to draw off enemy reserves from Aachen. In October it held defensive positions in the Monschau-Hofen sector. The Division entered the Hurtgen Forest area in late November and pushed the enemy back to the banks of the Roer River in very heavy fighting. On 22 December it was withdrawn to Verviers and placed in 12th Army Group reserve. Crossing the Roer on 25 February 1945 the 5th spearheaded the XIII Corps drive to the Rhine, crossing the Rhine at Wesel, 30 March 1945. The Division reached the banks of the Elbe at Tangermunde, 12 April-45 miles from Berlin. On 16 April, the 5th moved to Klotze to wipe out the Von Clausewitz Panzer Division and again drove to the Elbe, this time in the vicinity of Dannenberg. The Division mopped up in the 9th Army sector until VE-day.

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.