|U. S. 3rd Armored Division|
3rd Armored Division shoulder sleeve insignia
|Country||United States of America|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Branch||United States Army|
|Type||Armored Division (Heavy)|
|Colors||Blue, Red, Gold, Black|
|Engagements||World War II|
|Major General Maurice Rose|
|Armored Division Triangle|
The 3rd Armored Division —nicknamed the Spearhead Division— and sometimes colloquially referred to within the U. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including General Maurice Rose ( November 26, 1899 - March 31, 1945) was a United States Army general during World War II S. Army as the "Third Herd", was an armored division of the United States Army. A division is a large Military unit or formation usually consisting of around ten to thirty thousand soldiers The United States Army is a military organization whose primary mission is to "provide necessary forces and capabilities. The division was first activated in 1941, and was a key participant in the European Theater of World War II. The European Theatre of Operations ( ETO) was an area of heavy fighting across Europe during World War II, from Nazi Germany's Invasion of Poland World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including The division was stationed in Germany for much of the Cold War, and participated in the Persian Gulf War. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. Cold War is the state of conflict tension and competition that existed between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR and their respective allies from the Shortly after the Gulf War, the division was deactivated as part of a general drawing down of forces at the end of the Cold War. As of 2006 its strength is officially zero, but it is not inactive. Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar.
The Third Armored Division was organized as a "heavy" armored division, as was its counterpart, the Second Armored Division aka "Hell on Wheels". The 2nd Armored Division of the United States Army &mdashnicknamed Hell On Wheels &mdash played an important role during World War II in the invasions Other U. S. armored divisions of the time were smaller by comparison, since in the judgement of U. S. Military Staff, the large divisions were so large as to be somewhat unwieldy when maneuvering across the European road systems.
As a "heavy" division, the 3rd Armored possessed two armored regiments totalling four medium tank battalions and two of light tanks (18 companies) instead of three tank battalions containing both (12 companies), 232 Medium tanks instead of the 168 allotted a light armored division, and with attached units numbered over 16,000 men, instead of the normal 12,000 found in the light armored divisions. A regiment is a Military unit, composed of a variable number of Battalions – commanded by a Colonel. A battalion is a Military unit of around 500-1500 men usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel Each division type had an infantry component of three mechanized infantry battalions. The Infantry is the oldest and most numerous of the Combat Arms in the Armed forces, and consists Mechanized infantry (or "mech infantry" are Infantry equipped with Armored personnel carriers (APCs or Infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs
The division's core units were the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment, the 32nd Armored Regiment, the 33rd Armored Regiment, the 23rd Armored Engineer Battalion, the 83rd Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and the 143rd Armored Signal Company. A battalion is a Military unit of around 500-1500 men usually consisting of between two and seven companies and typically commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel Generally a company is a form of Business organization. The precise definition varies During World War II, these were organized operationally into task forces known as Combat Commands A, B and R (Reserve), as in the light divisions. A Combat Command was a combined-arms military organization of comparable size to a Brigade or Regiment employed by armored forces of the U
In addition to the core units, a number of other units of various kinds were attached to the division during various operations. As with most American divisions in World War II, the 3rd Armored suffered heavy casualties, and by the end of the war replacement troops often outnumbered veterans in the line units.
During 1944 and 1945, the units comprising the Third Armored Division included:
The division was activated on April 15, 1941 at Camp Beauregard, Louisiana. Events 1790 - The Turkish fortress of Izmail is stormed and captured by Suvorov and his Russian armies Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 1481 - Battle of Westbrook - Holland defeats troops of Utrecht. Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 546 - Gothic War (535–554: The Ostrogoths of King Totila Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 366 - The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers invading the Roman Empire. Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Events 1457 BC - Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 310 - Pope Miltiades is elected 626 - In fear of assassination Li Shimin ambushes and kills his rival Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Anti-aircraft warfare, or air defense, is any method of engaging hostile military Aircraft in defence of ground objectives, ground or naval forces Events 1456 - A retrial verdict acquits Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 622 - The beginning of the Islamic calendar. 1054 - Three Roman legates fractured relations between the Western and Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Events 1457 BC - Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Events 1450 - Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years' War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Beaumapjpg|thumb|Location of the camp|right]] Camp Beauregard is a U In June 1941, it moved to Camp Polk Louisiana (now Fort Polk). On 9 March 1942, it came under Army Ground Forces and was assigned to the II Armored Corps. Events 590 - Bahram Chobin is crowned as king Barham VI of Persia. Year 1942 ( MCMXLII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (the link will display the full 1942 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. In July 1942, it was transferred to Camp Young, CA and from August to October 1942, took part in maneuvers at the Desert Training Center. It left Camp Young in January 1943 and moved to the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, Pennsylvania.
The 3rd AD arrived in the European Theatre on September 15, 1943, conducting pre-invasion training in the Liverpool and Bristol areas. Events 668 - Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II is assassinated in his bath at Syracuse Italy. Year 1943 ( MCMXLIII) was a Common year starting on Friday (the link will display full 1943 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. It remained in Somerset, England until June 24, 1944, when it departed to partake in the Normandy operations. Somerset ( or) is a county in south west England The County town is Taunton, which is in the south of the county England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland Events 972 - Battle of Cedynia, the first documented victory of Polish forces takes place Year 1944 ( MCMXLIV) was a Leap year starting on Saturday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Normandy (Normandie Norman: Normaundie) is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy.
The first elements of the 3rd Armored in France saw combat on June 29, with the division as a whole beginning combat operations on July 9, 1944. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Events 512 - A Solar eclipse is recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland. Events 455 - Roman military commander Avitus is proclaimed Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. During this time, it was under the command of VII Corps and XVIII Airborne Corps for some time, and assigned to the First Army and the 12th Army Group for the duration of its career. For the VII Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War see VII Corps (ACW. The XVIII Airborne Corps is the Corps of the United States Army designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world The First United States Army was a field army of the United States Army. The Twelfth United States Army Group was the largest and most powerful American military formation ever to take to the field
The division "spearheaded" the US First Army through Normandy, taking part in a number of engagements, notably including the Battle of Saint Lô, where it suffered significant casualties. Saint-Lô is a town and commune of France, the Préfecture (capital of the Manche département, in After facing heavy fighting in the hedgerows, and developing methods to overcome the vast thickets of brush and earth that constrained its mobility, the unit broke out at Marigny, alongside the 1st Infantry Division, and swung south to Mayenne. A hedge is a line of closely spaced Shrubs and bushes planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area
Ordered to help close the Falaise Gap and Argentan pocket which contained the German Seventh Army, the division finished the job near Putanges by 18 August. During August 1944 the Falaise pocket was the area between the four towns of Trun, Argentan, Vimoutiers and Chambois near Falaise The 7th Army (7 Armee Oberkommando was a World War II field army Events 293 BC - The oldest known Roman temple to Venus is founded starting the institution of Vinalia Rustica. Six days later the outfit had sped through Courville and Chartres and was located at the banks of the Seine River. The Seine (sɛn in French) is a slow flowing major River and commercial waterway within the regions of Île-de-France and Haute-Normandie On the night of August 25, 1944 the crossing of the Seine by the division started; once over, the 3rd slugged its way across France, reaching Belgium on September 2, 1944. Events 1248 - The Dutch city of Ommen receives city rights and fortification rights from Otto III the The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those Events 44 BC - Pharaoh Cleopatra VII of Egypt declares her son co-ruler as Ptolemy XV Caesarion.
Liberated in the path of the division were Meaux, Seissons, Laon, Marle, Mons, Charleroi, Namur and Liege. It was at Mons that the division cut off 40,000 Wehrmacht troops and captured 8,000 prisoners. Wehrmacht (literally "defense force" was the name of the unified Armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945 Then the division began the first invasion of Germany since the days of Napoleon. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe.
On September 10, 1944 the Spearhead Division fired what it claimed was the first American field artillery shell of the war onto German soil. The original Siegfried line ( Siegfriedstellung) was a line of defensive forts and tank defenses built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916-1917 Events 506 - The Bishops of Visigothic Gaul meet in the Council of Agde. Two days later it passed the German border and soon breached the Siegfried Line, taking part in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest.
The 3rd Armored Division continued fighting during the Battle of Bulge, far north of the deepest German penetration. The Ardennes Offensive (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945 was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the forested Ardennes Mountains Countering German attacks, it severed an important highway leading to St Vith. By late January 1945, the German offensive had been checked, and the division began pushing its way into Germany. Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Advancing at a little better than half a mile a day against stiff resistance, the 3rd captured ten towns in January 1945, took 2,149 prisoners and destroyed 61 armored vehicles.
The division began a thrust into the Rhineland of Germany on February 7, 1945. The Rhineland ( Rheinland in German) is the general name for the land on both sides of the river Rhine in the west of Germany. Events 457 - Leo I becomes emperor of the Byzantine Empire. 1074 - Battle of Montesarchio in which the Prince On March 31, the commander of the division, Major General Maurice Rose, famed as one of few commanding generals to frequent the front lines during combat, rounded a corner in his jeep and found himself face to face with a German tank. Events 307 - After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Major General or Major-General is a Military rank used in many countries General Maurice Rose ( November 26, 1899 - March 31, 1945) was a United States Army general during World War II As he withdrew his pistol to surrender, the young German tank commander, apparently misunderstanding Rose's intentions, shot the general. A tank is a tracked, Armoured fighting vehicle designed for Front-line combat which combines Operational mobility and tactical
After Rose's death, the two sergeants with him were taken prisoner. Shortly after this, the division went into battle against Waffen SS units, and captured over 100 troops. The Waffen-SS ( German for "Armed SS" literally "Weapons SS" was the Combat arm of the Schutzstaffel ("Protective Squadron"  German historians claim these troops were killed while under guard by Third Armored Division troops, and believe that they were killed in retribution for Rose's death. This is possible, but it is an unfortunate fact that SS prisoners were sometimes killed by Allied troops, who put their adherence to the Geneva Convention aside in the case of SS Troops, due to their heinous reputation, especially after the Malmedy Massacre of 17 December 1944. The Geneva Conventions consist of four Treaties formulated in Geneva, Switzerland, that set the standards for International law for humanitarian The Malmedy massacre refers to a War crime in which about 90 unarmed American prisoners of war were executed by their German captors
The division swept into the key city of Cologne in March 1945. Beyond Cologne the division swept up Paderborn in its advance, to shut the back door to the Ruhr. The Ruhr is a medium-size River in western Germany ( North Rhine-Westphalia) a right tributary (east-side of the Rhine. In April, the 3rd crossed the Saale River, north of Halle, and sped on toward the Elbe River. The Elbe ( die Elbe Low German: de Ilv) is one of the major Rivers of Central Europe.
On April 11, 1945, the 3rd Armored discovered the Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp. Events 491 - Flavius Anastasius becomes Byzantine Emperor, with the name of Anastasius I. See also Nazi concentration camps Mittelbau-Dora (also Dora and Nordhausen-Dora) was a Nazi Germany labour camp that provided The division first arrived on the scene, reporting back to headquarters that it had uncovered a large concentration camp near the town of Nordhausen. Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people commonly in large groups without trial Requesting help from the 104th Infantry Division, the 3rd immediately began transporting some 250 ill and starving prisoners to nearby hospital facilities.
At war’s end it pulled up near Dessau. Occupational duty near Langen was given the division following V-E Day, a role it filled until inactivation. The division was inactivated on 10 November 1945. Events 1444 - Battle of Varna: The crusading forces of King Vladislaus III of Varna (aka Ulaszlo I of Hungary and Wladyslaw
The 3rd Armored Division had 231 days of combat in World War II, with a total of 2,540 killed, 7,331 wounded, 95 missing, and 139 captured. Total battle and non-battle casualties came to 16,122.
The 3rd Armored Division lost more tanks in combat than any other U. S. division. Combat Command A lost more tanks than any other unit in the 3rd Armored Division.
The division was reactivated on 15 July 1947 at Fort Knox, Kentucky to act as training formation. Events 1099 - First Crusade: Christian soldiers take the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem after the final Year 1947 ( MCMXLVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1947 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. In 1955 it was reorganized for combat and shipped to Germany the next year. Year 1955 ( MCMLV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar) It replaced the 4th Infantry Division under a program called Operation Gyroscope. The 4th Infantry Division is a modular division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado, with four Brigade combat
The 3rd Armored's primary mission during this period was, in the event of war, to defend the Fulda Gap against numerically superior Warsaw Pact forces alongside other NATO elements. The Fulda Gap is a region of lower elevation between the former East German border and Frankfurt (West Germany. The Warsaw Pact (see Nomenclature) was an organization of Communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. The North Atlantic Treaty At the peak of East/West tensions during the 1980s, as many as nineteen Soviet and East German divisions faced off against Spearhead soldiers. To prepare their defenses against an invasion, the division's units frequently conducted field training at Hohenfels Training Area and at, Wildflecken and Grafenwöhr U. Hohenfels is a municipality in the district of Konstanz in Baden-Württemberg in Germany. Wildflecken is a municipality in the Bad Kissingen district at the border of northeastern Bavaria and southern Hesse. Grafenwöhr is a town in the district Neustadt (Waldnaab, in eastern Bavaria, Germany. S. Army training areas, conducting exercises of live fire, movement and communications. The division would also frequently take to the German countryside for training maneuvers, including what became an annually staged war game Reforger, which simulated invasion of Western Europe by Warsaw Pact forces. Exercise REFORGER (from REturn of FORces to GERmany) was an annual exercise conducted during the Cold War, by NATO.
Throughout the Cold War, Third Herds headquarters company, 503d Adjutant General Co. and 503d M. P. Co. were based on Drake Kaserne, with 141st Signal Bn. Kaserne is a Loanword taken from the German word Kaserne (plural Kasernen) which translates as " Barracks " and other support units stationed across the street at Edwards Kaserne in Frankfurt, West Germany. A number of its subunits were based in other Kasernes throughout the German state of Hessen, notably Kirch-Goens and Butzbach (CCA/1BDE), Gelnhausen (CCB/2BDE), and Friedberg (CCC/3BDE). Hesse (Hessen is a state of Germany with an area The NCO Academy contained 2 companies: Co. 'A' was assigned to the medieval castle at Usingen-Kransburg, while Co. 'B' was located in Butzbach. The division itself comprised an average of 15,000 soldiers, organized into three Combat Commands (CC's) later renamed Brigades (ROAD Reorg in 1963), organizations of comparable size to the World War II combat commands. These brigades were individually manned by at least one battalion each of infantry, armor, and artillery, and various supporting units, notably including medical, engineering, and aviation elements. The division was also assigned a dedicated military intelligence battalion by 1980. Military intelligence (abbreviated MI int Commonwealth, or intel
Most of the Kasernes were located adjacent to or within German communities, leading to lively trade and interaction between soldiers and German civilians. A few, however, were somewhat remotely located, particularly Ayers Kaserne (aka "The Rock"), where the 1st Brigade was stationed, outside Kirch-Goens. The most famous soldier in the 3rd Armored Division during the 1950s was Elvis Presley, assigned to Company A, 1st Medium Tank Battalion, 32nd Armor Regiment, Combat Command C at Ray Barracks in Friedberg. After his time in service, Presley made the movie G.I. Blues, in which he portrays a 3rd Armored Division tank crewman with a singing career. GI Blues is a 1960 Elvis Presley musical Motion picture played as a romantic comedy Former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell also served in this division. Secretary of State is a commonly used title for a Government Official. Colin Luther Powell, KCB (Honorary MSC, (born April 5, 1937) is a retired General in the United States Army.
By 1990, Communism in eastern Europe collapsed, the two German states reunited, and the Soviet Army was being withdrawn back to the Soviet Union. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR was a constitutionally Socialist state that existed in Eurasia from 1922 to 1991 With these events, the Cold War came to a peaceful conclusion, freeing U. S. army units in Europe for other deployments.
The division remained in Germany until momentous events in the Middle East developed. The Middle East is a Subcontinent with no clear boundaries often used as a synonym to Near East, in opposition to Far East. In August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait, and soon after, President George Herbert Walker Bush committed US troops to the theater, first to defend Saudi Arabia, and then to eject Iraqi troops from Kuwait. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iraq topics. The State of Kuwait ( دولة الكويت IPA [dawlatt̪ alkuwajt̪]) is a sovereign Arab Emirate on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed George Herbert Walker Bush (born June 12 1924 served as the forty-first President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, KSA ( المملكة العربية السعودية, al-Mamlaka al-ʻArabiyya as-Suʻūdiyya) or Suudi
The 3rd Armored Division, then commanded by Major General Paul Funk, was one of four US heavy divisions deployed with U.S. Army VII Corps. For the VII Corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War see VII Corps (ACW. The division and its equipment were shifted from Germany to Saudi Arabia, with in some cases, National Guard and U.S. Army Reserve elements taking over some of their duties in Germany, while in others, kasernes were left virtually empty. For the National Guard of a State and other countries' National Guard see National Guard. The United States Army Reserve is the federal reserve force of the United States Army. One must note that this massive redeployment was possible only due to the Western victory in the Cold War, in which the 3rd AD helped to play an integral part by guarding the Fulda Gap.
After redeployment, the "Third Herd" acclimated to the desert climate and its troops faced new challenges in mobility, tactics and maintenance in a sandy and hot climate. Various National Guard and Army Reserve units were then attached to the division for the duration of the conflict, swelling the division's size to over 20,000 troops - 25% larger than during its time in Germany.
The majority of the division's troops never received Desert BDUs, due to a shortage of the uniforms, and fought in lightweight summer "woodland camouflage" uniforms, covered by tanker suits or the ever-present and much-despised chemical warfare protective MOPP suits. MOPP ( M ission O riented P rotective P osture (acronym pronounced as "mop" is a Military
Finally, after months of training the division moved to the Line of Departure, alongside the 1st Armored Division on its left flank and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment on its right flank. Line of Departure is a military term used to denote the starting position for an attack on enemy positions The 1st Armored Division &mdashnicknamed “ Old Ironsides ”&mdash is a standing armored division of the United States Army with base of operations The 2nd Cavalry Regiment ( 2CR) is a military unit within the United States Army. While the Iraqi Army concentrated much of its defenses in and around Kuwait itself, the 3rd AD and VII Corps launched a massive armored attack into Iraq, just to the west of Kuwait, taking the Iraqis completely by surprise.
Scouts from 2nd Brigade crossed on the afternoon of the February 23, 1991 just after 1500 hours. Events 1455 - Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western Book printed from Movable Year 1991 ( MCMXCI) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar. Less than two hours later, they had penetrated several miles into Iraq and managed to capture over 200 prisoners. On February 24, the official first day of action, the division as a whole swung into action as part of a coordinated attack by hundreds of thousands of allied troops. Events 303 - Galerius, Roman Emperor, publishes his edict that begins the persecution of Christians in his portion of the
During the first day of battle, the Third Herd pushed 18 miles into Iraq, taking over 200 prisoners. By dawn of the second day, an additional 50 prisoners had been taken, with scouts reporting enemy reinforcements moving to meet the division.
At 1115 hours of the second day, all elements of the division were finally across the Line of Departure. The day was marked by hard pushing to penetrate deep and fast, striking for an objective south of Basra. Basra ( BGN: AlBasrah also called Basorah Abillah and Uruk or IRAQ The name that British colony has adopted for Basra In the course of its drive, various elements of the division engaged the enemy, taking prisoners, skirmishing, sometimes bypassing enemy strongholds to gain ground, other time engaging in full scale battle.
By nightfall of the second day, 3AD had driven 53 miles into Iraq, with dozens of enemy vehicles destroyed, hundreds of POWs captured, and was on the verge of achieving its first objective - an accomplishment that war planners had not anticipated.
On the third day of combat, February 26, the division closed in upon its objective and faced for the first time the Iraqi Republican Guard, a much stronger foe than the forces the division had first engaged, and less inclined to retreat or surrender. Events 747 BC - Epoch (origin of Ptolemy 's Nabonassar Era 364 - Valentinian I is proclaimed Opposing forces included the highly touted Republican Guard "Tawakalna" Division, the Iraqi 52nd Armored Division and elements of the 17th and the 10th Armored Divisions. The Iraqi Republican Guard ( Arabic: الحرس العراقي الجمهوري/al-Haris Al-Jamhuri was a branch of the Iraqi military. The division engaged in full scale tank battles for the first time since World War II, and as one of the division's veterans states "There was more than enough action for everyone".
Action continued after nightfall, and by 1840 hours, the ground and air elements of the 3rd AD could report over 20 tanks, 14 APCs, several trucks and some artillery pieces destroyed. Armoured personnel carriers (APCs are Armoured fighting vehicles developed to transport Infantry on the Battlefield They usually have only a Machine Unfortunately, that same evening, the 4-32nd Armored Battalion lost the division's first casualties in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle to 25mm cannon fire - with two soldiers killed and three wounded. The M2 Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle and M3 Bradley CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle are American Infantry fighting vehicles manufactured by During the night, both darkness and sandstorms hampered soldiers' visibility, but thermal sighting systems on board the M1A1 Abrams tanks and Bradleys allowed gunners to knock out Iraqi targets. The M1 Abrams is a main battle tank produced in the United States.
By the fourth day, the division reached its objective, and pursued its now retreating enemy. The division turned east, into Kuwait, continuing to inflict heavy casualties and capture troops as it rolled forward, often hitting new units whose defensive berms and foxholes faced south from their northern flank, rendering their defenses ineffective. By nightfall, forces facing 3AD had been virtually eliminated, with their remnants in full retreat.
By the fifth day of combat, the division had achieved all objectives and continued to push east to block Iraqi retreat from Kuwait, conducting mopping up operations. One hundred hours after the ground campaign started, President Bush declared a ceasefire.
At the height of the battle, the 3rd Armored Division included 32 battalions and 20,533 troops. It was the largest coalition division in the Gulf War and the largest U. S. armored division in history. In its moving arsenal were 360 Abrams main battle tanks, 340 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 128 self-propelled 155 mm howitzers, 42 Apache attack helicopters, 27 multiple-launch rocket systems, and more. The M1 Abrams is a main battle tank produced in the United States. The M2 Bradley IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle and M3 Bradley CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle are American Infantry fighting vehicles manufactured by The M109 is an American -made self-propelled 155 mm Howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout
Superior training, initiative and equipment had enabled the soldiers of the "Third Herd" to spearhead their way through the Iraqi Army, including opponents with Soviet-provided training and equipment. The Red Army ( Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия R aboche- K rest'yanskaya K rasnaya A rmiya In the 100-hour Gulf War, 3AD destroyed hundreds of Iraqi tanks and vehicles, and captured more than 2,400 Iraqi prisoners, with 15 division troops killed between December 1990 and late February 1991.
In 1991, Division Historian Dan Peterson, comparing the performance of the division in WWII and Desert Storm stated "History does always repeat itself. 3rd Armored Division was the Spearhead in both wars". The soldiers of "Spearhead" had lived up to the reputation set by their WWII predecessors.
Following the war, 3rd Armored Division was one of the first units rotated to Camp Doha, Kuwait, providing protection to Kuwait as it rebuilt. Camp Doha was the main US Army base in Kuwait and played a pivotal role in the US military presence in the Middle East since the 1991 Gulf War and in the 2003 The State of Kuwait ( دولة الكويت IPA [dawlatt̪ alkuwajt̪]) is a sovereign Arab Emirate on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed
Following Desert Storm, a number of the division's units were transferred to the First Armored Division. The 1st Armored Division &mdashnicknamed “ Old Ironsides ”&mdash is a standing armored division of the United States Army with base of operations
On January 17, 1992, the 3rd Armored Division officially ceased operations in Germany, with a ceremony in Frankfurt at Division Headquarters, Drake Kaserne. Events 38 BC - Octavian marries Livia Drusilla. 1287 - King Alfonso III of Aragon invades Minorca Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar)
"Sir, this is my final salute. Mission accomplished," said Maj. Gen. Jerry Rutherford, the division commander. Rutherford preceded the final salute to General Crosbie E. Saint, USAREUR Commander, with a loudly shouted "Spearhead!" Tears rolled down the cheeks of many of the soldiers gathered for the ceremony. Crosbie Edgerton Saint is a retired United States Army four star general who served as Commander in Chief U The Seventh United States Army, formerly the United States Army Europe, is the land component of United States European Command. The division colors were then returned to the United States, with the 3rd AD still officially active, since Army Regulations state that Divisional "Casing of Colors" cannot occur on foreign soil.
Official retirement took place at Fort Knox, on October 17, 1992. Fort Knox is a United States Army post in Kentucky south of Louisville and north of Elizabethtown. Events 539 BC - King Cyrus The Great of Persia marches into the city of Babylon, releasing the Jews from almost Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) In attendance at the ceremony were several former Spearhead commanding generals, and division veterans from all eras. In a traditional ceremony, Command Sgt. Major Richard L. Ross, holding the division color with battle streamers, passed it to General Frederick M. Franks, Jr., and with that, the official retirement of the "Third Herd" was complete, and the 3rd Armored Division was removed from the official force structure of the U. Frederick Melvin Franks Jr is a retired General of the United States Army. S. Army.
With the end of the Cold War, several of the division's overseas Kasernes were transferred to other units, particularly the 1st Armored Division. Over time, many were closed, fell into disrepair and were eventually demolished. Some 3rd Armored Units were also transferred to the 1st Armored, notably the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery Regiment, later to become semi-famous as the unit portrayed in Gunner Palace. Gunner Palace is a Documentary film by American documentary filmmaker Michael Tucker, which had a limited release in the United States
The 1st Battalion, 32nd Armor Regiment now resides at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as part of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). Fort Campbell is a United States Army installation located between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee, and is home The Commonwealth of Kentucky ( is a state located in the East Central United States of America. An Air Assault is a Tactical or Operational manoeuvre of an Infantry unit Airlifted by Helicopters usually to fulfil an Aerial The unit was reorganized as the 1st Squadron, 32nd Cavalry Regiment, and is assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as its organic RSTA element. A squadron is a small unit or formation of Cavalry, armour, Aircraft (including Balloons) or Warships Army The Cavalry (from French cavalerie) is the second oldest of the Combat Arms, and as Soldiers or Warriors who fought mounted on A regiment is a Military unit, composed of a variable number of Battalions – commanded by a Colonel. A brigade is a Military unit Echelon: is Reconnaissance Surveillance and Target Acquisition ( RSTA) is a type of unit in the United States Army. The 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor Regiment is also calling Fort Campbell and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) home. The 1st Battalion, 33rd Armor was reorganized as the 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment and is assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat team of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry is now part of 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Divion. The 2nd Infantry Division is a formation of the United States Army. The following units joined the 1st Cavalry Division:
In the modern era, the differences between an Infantry Division (Heavy) and an Armored Division are not as great as in past years. The 1st Cavalry Division ( "First Team") is a rapidly deployable heavy Armored division of the United States Army with base of operations The 5th Cavalry Regiment is a historical unit of the United States Army that began its service in the decade prior to the American Civil War and continues in modified The 8th Cavalry Regiment was constituited July 28 1866 and organized as a regiment on September 21 1866 at Camp Reynolds, The 2nd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment provides aerial C3 support limited air assault aeromedical evacuation and air movement for the 1st Cavalry Division. The Infantry is the oldest and most numerous of the Combat Arms in the Armed forces, and consists Armour (or armor) is protective covering most commonly manufactured from metals to prevent damage from being inflicted to an individual or a vehicle through use of direct contact One of the consequences of this is that unit designations are somewhat liquid, with less regard for unit histories than for seemingly ensuring that the "lowest numbered" infantry and armored divisions remain active (with some exceptions).
For example, the 5th Infantry Division was reflagged as the 2nd Armored Division, after the original division was retired. The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized &mdashnicknamed the Red Diamond and the Red Devils &mdash was an infantry division of the United States Army The 2nd Armored Division of the United States Army &mdashnicknamed Hell On Wheels &mdash played an important role during World War II in the invasions After some time, the 2nd Armored was reflagged -again- as the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. The 4th Infantry Division is a modular division of the United States Army based at Fort Carson, Colorado, with four Brigade combat Should the U. S. Army grow in size once again, the 2nd Armored Division would likely be reactivated prior to the 3rd Armored Division.
If the 3rd Armored was reactivated, most of the new soldiers would never have served in the division, and the equipment, if not brand new would have been transferred from storage, or other units. Some of the regiments historically associated with the division might be returned to it, but once again, new units might simply be reflagged in the name of the old for a semblance of historical continuity.
As technological advances and the nature of warfare change, it may be that someday soon, heavy armored vehicles and large units of over 10,000 soldiers may no longer be desirable. If so, then the "Third Herd" may never return to duty. However, in the minds of its veterans, and those who love history, it will remain forever alive.
The 3rd Armored Division had thirty-nine commanders over the couse of its history, many of whom went on to four star rank. 
Despite the division's impressive record and the important role it played during the war, it has been often overlooked by both historians and Hollywood, who have favored depictions and histories of units participating in D-Day, and in the siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. D-Day may also refer to Decimal Day in the United Kingdom. D-Day is a term often used in Military parlance to denote The Ardennes Offensive (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945 was a major German offensive launched towards the end of World War II through the forested Ardennes Mountains Books, movies and other media that feature the Third Armored Division include:
3rd AD Unit Websites
Personal Photos & Remembrances of the Third Armored Division in WWII
Cold War Sites featuring the Third Armored
Official & Government Sites
Other Relevant Sites