History Podcasts

9 February 1945

9 February 1945

9 February 1945

War at Sea

German submarine U-923 sunk with all hands in Kiel Bay

German submarines U-864 sunk off Bergen

Western Front

British and Canadian troops break through the Siegfried Line and reach the Rhine

US 6th Army eliminates the Colmar Pocket

Eastern Front

Soviet troops capture Elbing



9 Feb 1945: Victory at the Colmar Pocket, Germans Eviction From The West Bank of The Rhine

On 9 February 1945, the last German forces on the west bank of the River Rhine were defeated by the French and Americans. The defeat of these troops, who had held onto an area referred to as the Colmar Pocket, was a significant strategic moment, securing a defensive line along the Rhine.

It was also a symbolically important moment. Alsace, the region in which the Pocket existed, had been a source of conflict between France and Germany for nearly a century. It had been taken from France by the Germans in the Franco-Prussian war (1870-71), retaken by the French at the end of the First World War, seized once more by the Germans in 1940, and now it became French again.

Borders had been pushed back to where the French felt they should be, and from now on troops in the region would advance into Germany.


February 9, 1945 An Underwater Chernobyl

Only 4kg of mercury are estimated to have leaked so far, about nine pounds, and surrounding waters are already off limits, to fishing. The Nazi submarine sank this day in 1945 carrying 67 tons.

A light rain fell on Heston Aerodrome in London, as thousands thronged the tarmac awaiting the return of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. Searing memories of the Great War only 20 years in the past, hung over London like some black and malevolent cloud.

Emerging from the door of the aircraft that evening in September, 1938, the Prime minister began to speak. The piece of paper Chamberlain held in his hand annexed that bit of the Czechoslovak Republic known as the “Sudetenland”, to Nazi Germany. Germany’s territorial ambitions to her east, were sated. It was peace in our time.

With the March invasion of Czecho-Slovakia, Hitler demonstrated even to Neville Chamberlain that the so-called Munich agreement, meant nothing. That Poland was next was an open secret. Polish-British mutual aid talks began that April. Two days after Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact, the Polish-British Common Defense Pact was added to the Franco-Polish Military Alliance. Should Poland be invaded by a foreign power, England and France were now committed to intervene. That same month the first fourteen “Unterseeboots” (U-boats) left their bases, fanning out across the North Atlantic.

The German invasion of Poland began on September 1, the same day the British passenger liner SS Athenia departed Glasgow for Montreal with 1,418 passengers and crew. Two days later Great Britain and France declared war, on Germany. With the declaration only hours old, Athenia was seating her second round of dinner guests, for the evening.

At 19:40, U-30 Oberleutnant Fritz Julius Lemp fired two torpedos, one striking the liner’s port side engine room. 14 hours later, Athenia sank stern first with the loss of 98 passengers and 19 crew. The Battle of the Atlantic, had begun.

In a repeat of WWI, both England and Germany implemented blockades on one another. And for good reason. At the height of the war England alone required over a million tons a week of imported goods, to survive and to stay in the fight.

The “Battle of the Atlantic” lasted 5 years, 8 months and 5 days ranging from the Irish Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Caribbean to the Arctic Ocean.

New weapons and tactics would shift the balance first in favor of one side, and then to the other. Before it was over 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships were sunk to the bottom. 500,000 tons of allied shipping was sunk in June 1941, alone.

Nazi Germany lost 783 U-boats.

Submarines operate in 3-dimensional space but their most effective weapon, does not. The torpedo is a surface weapon operating in two-dimensional space: left, right and forward. Firing at a submerged target requires that the torpedo be converted to neutral buoyancy. The complexity of firing calculations are all but insurmountable.

The most unusual underwater action of the war occurred on February 9, 1945 in the form of a combat between two submerged submarines.

U-864

The war was going badly for the Axis Powers in 1945, the allies enjoying near-uncontested supremacy over the world’s shipping lanes. Any surface delivery between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was sure to be detected and destroyed. The maiden voyage of the 287-foot, 1,799 ton German submarine U-864 departed on “Operation Caesar” on December 5, delivering Messerschmitt jet engine parts, V-2 missile guidance systems and 67 tons of mercury to the Imperial Japanese war production industry.

The mission was a failure, from the start. U-864 ran aground in the Kiel Canal and had to retreat to Bergen, Norway, for repairs. The submarine was able to clear the island of Fedje off the Norway coast undetected on February 6. By this time British MI6 had broken the German Enigma code and were well aware, of Operation Caesar.

The British submarine Venturer, commanded by 25-year-old Lieutenant Jimmy Launders, was dispatched from the Shetland Islands to intercept and destroy U-864.

ASDIC, an early name for sonar, would have been helpful in locating U-864, but at a price. That familiar “ping” would have been heard by both sides, alerting the German commander he was being hunted. Launders opted for hydrophones, a passive listening device which could alert him to external noises. Calculating his adversary’s direction, depth and speed was vastly more complicated without ASDIC but the need for stealth, won out.

U-864 developed an engine noise and commander Ralf-Reimar Wolfram feared it might give him away. The submarine returned to Bergen for repairs. German submarines of the age were equipped with “snorkels”, heavy tubes which broke the surface, enabling diesel engines and crews to breathe while running submerged. Venturer was on batteries when those first sounds were detected.

The British sub had the advantage in stealth but only a short time frame, in which act.

A four dimensional firing solution accounting for time, distance, bearing and target depth was theoretically possible but had rarely been attempted under combat conditions. Unknown factors could only be guessed at.

A fast attack sub Venturer only carried four torpedo tubes, far fewer than her much larger adversary. Launders calculated his firing solution, ordering all four tubes and firing with a 17½ second delay between each pair. With four incoming at different depths, the German sub didn’t have time to react. Wolfram was only just retrieving his snorkel and converting to electric, when the #4 torpedo struck. U-864 imploded and sank, instantly killing all 73 aboard.

So, what about all that mercury?

In our time, authorities recommend consumption limits of certain fish species. Sharp limitations are recommended for pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Fish and shellfish have a natural tendency to concentrate or bioaccumulate mercury in body tissues in the form of methylmercury, a highly toxic organic compound of mercury. Concentrations increase as you move up the underwater food chain. In a process called biomagnification, apex predators such as tuna, swordfish and king mackerel may develop mercury concentrations up to ten times higher than prey species.

The toxic effects of mercury include damage to the brain, kidneys and lungs and long term neurological damage, particularly in children.

Exposures lead to disorders ranging from numbness in the hands and feet, muscle weakness, loss of peripheral vision and damage to hearing and speech.

In extreme cases, symptoms include insanity, paralysis, coma, and death. The range of symptoms was first identified in the city of Minamata, Japan in 1956 and results from high concentrations of methylmercury.

In the case of Minamata, methylmercury originated in industrial wastewater from a chemical factory, bioaccumulated and biomagnified in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea. Deaths from Minamata disease continued some 36 years among humans, dogs and pigs. The problem was so severe among cats as to spawn a feline veterinary condition known as “dancing cat fever”.

Today, 67 tons of mercury lie under 490-feet of water at the bottom of the north sea, in the broken hull of Adolf Hitler’s last best chance. Rusting containers have already begun to leach toxic mercury into surrounding waters.

The wreck has been called an “underwater Chernobyl”.

Only 4kg are estimated to have leaked so far, about nine pounds, and surrounding waters are already off limits, to fishing. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and young children are advised not to eat fish caught near the wreck.

The wreck was located in 2003. Discussions began almost immediately to retrieve the deadly cargo from what Oslo’s newspaper Dagbladet called, “Hitler’s secret poison bomb.”

Now, 76 years to the day from the last dive of the U-864, the submarine’s hull and mercury containment vessels are believed too fragile to be brought to the surface.

In the fall of 2018, the Norwegian government decided to bury the thing under a great sarcophagus, of concrete and sand. Much the same technique as that used in Chernobyl to sea off contaminated reactors. The work was projected to cost $32 million (US) with completion date, of late 2020. The work was was delayed and once again, the government is now examining the possibility of retrieving the cargo.


February 9, 1945 Operation Caesar

The most unusual confrontation of WW2 occurred on this day in 1945, in the form of a combat action between two submerged submarines.

In 1939, the impending Nazi invasion of Poland was an open secret. That August, representatives of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Nazi-Soviet Pact, pledging mutual non-aggression for a period of two years.

Two days later, representatives of the United Kingdom signed the Agreement of Mutual Assistance with Poland, aligning Great Britain with the Franco-Polish Military Alliance. Should Poland be invaded by a foreign power, England and France were now committed to intervene.

The first fourteen “Unterseeboots” (U-boats) left their bases, fanning out across the North Atlantic. Hitler’s invasion of Poland, began, three weeks later. Even then, Hitler believed that war with England and France could still be avoided. The “Kriegsmarine” was under strict orders to follow the “Prize Regulations” of 1936.

England and France declared war on Nazi Germany on Septemebr 3. Hours later, U-30 Oberleutnant Fritz Julius Lemp fired a torpedo into the British liner SS Athenia. Lemp had mistakenly believed it to be an armed merchant vessel and fair game under Prize Regulations, but the damage was done. The longest and most complex naval battle in history, had begun.

As in WWI, both England and Germany were quick to implement blockades on one another. For good reason. By the time that WWII was in full swing, England alone would require over a million tons a week of imported goods, in order to continue the fight.

The “Battle of the Atlantic” lasted 5 years, 8 months and 5 days, ranging from the Irish Sea to the Gulf of Mexico, from the Caribbean to the Arctic Ocean. Winston Churchill would describe this as “the dominating factor all through the war. Never for a moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea or in the air depended ultimately on its outcome”.

Thousands of ships were involved in more than a hundred convoy battles, with over 1,000 single ship encounters unfolding across a theater thousands of miles wide. According to http://www.usmm.org, the United States Merchant Marine suffered the highest percentage of fatalities of any service branch, at 1 in 26 compared to one in 38, 44, 114 and 421 respectively, for the Marine Corps, Army, Navy and Coast Guard.

New weapons and tactics would shift the balance first in favor of one side, and then to the other. In the end over 3,500 merchant ships and 175 warships would be sunk to the bottom of the ocean, compared with the loss of 783 U-boats.

The most unusual confrontation of the war occurred on this day in 1945, in the form of a combat action between two submerged submarines. Submarines operate in 3-dimensional space, but their most effective weapon does not. The torpedo is a surface weapon, operating in two-dimensional space: left, right and forward. Firing at a submerged target requires that the torpedo be converted to neutral buoyancy, introducing near-insurmountable complexity into firing calculations.

U-864

The war was going badly for the Axis Powers in 1945, the allies enjoying near-uncontested supremacy over the world’s shipping lanes. At this time, any surface delivery between Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan was likely to be detected and stopped. The maiden voyage of the 287’, 1,799 ton German submarine U-864 departed on “Operation Caesar” on December 5, delivering Messerschmitt jet engine parts, V-2 missile guidance systems, and 65 tons of mercury to the Imperial Japanese war production industry.

WW2 U-boat pens, Bergen, Norway

The mission was a failure, U-864 having to retreat to the submarine pens in Bergen, Norway, for repairs after running aground in the Kiel Canal. The sub was able to clear the island of Fedje off the Norway coast undetected on February 6. By this time British MI6 had broken the German Enigma code. They were well aware of Operation Caesar.

The British submarine Venturer, commanded by 25-year-old Lieutenant Jimmy Launders, was dispatched from the Shetland Islands, to intercept and destroy U-864.

A four dimensional firing solution accounting for time, distance, bearing and target depth was theoretically possible, but had rarely been attempted under combat conditions.

ASDIC, an early name for sonar, would have been far more helpful in locating U-864, but at a price. That familiar “ping” would have been heard by both sides, alerting the German commander that he was being hunted. Launders opted for hydrophones, a passive listening device which could alert him to external noises. Calculating his adversary’s direction, depth and speed was vastly more complicated without ASDIC, but the need for stealth won out.

Developing an engine noise which he feared might give him away, U-864’s commander, Ralf-Reimar Wolfram decided to return to Bergen for repairs. German submarines of the age were equipped with “snorkels”, heavy tubes which broke the surface, enabling diesel engines and crews to breathe while running submerged. Venturer was on batteries when the first sounds were detected, giving the British sub the stealth advantage but sharply limiting the time frame in which it could act.

A four dimensional firing solution accounting for time, distance, bearing and target depth was theoretically possible, but had rarely been attempted under combat conditions. Plus, there were unknown factors which could only be approximated.

A fast attack sub, Venturer only carried four torpedo tubes, far fewer than her much larger adversary. Launders calculated his firing solution, ordering all four tubes firing with a 17½ second delay between each pair.

With four incoming at as many depths, the German sub didn’t have time to react. Wolfram was only just retrieving his snorkel and converting to electric, when the #4 torpedo struck. U-864 imploded and sank, instantly killing all 73 aboard.

Surface actions were common enough between all manner of vessels, but a fully submerged submarine to submarine kill occurred only once in WWI, on October 18, 1914, when the German U-27 torpedoed and sank the British sub HMS E3 with the loss of all 28 aboard. To my knowledge, such an action occurred only this one time, in all of WWII.


Today in World War II History—February 9, 1940 & 1945

80 Years Ago—February 9, 1940: Ireland establishes law to detain IRA men without trial.

William Dodd, US Ambassador to Germany 1933-37, dies of pneumonia in Virginia, age 70.

French Infantry advances into Colmar, 2 February 1945 (US Army Center of Military History)

75 Years Ago—Feb. 9, 1945: US Seventh & French First Armies clear Colmar Pocket and Alsatian Plain and drive Germans over Rhine south of Strasbourg, France.

In rare sub vs. sub combat and the only documented case in naval history where both were submerged, British submarine HMS Venturer sinks German U-boat U-864 off Bergen, Norway.


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Following reports of heavy casualties, the Allies sent reinforcements to bolster their attacks. General Milburn’s XXI Corps, which now incorporated French as well as American troops, was given the task of taking Colmar itself.

Meanwhile, the Germans were in chaos. They had not been able to work out the Allied objectives, believing this was just an opportunistic advance. Withdrawing units became mixed up and confused. Hitler would not order a retreat across the natural defensive barrier of the Rhine.

An advance now began near the centre of the pocket. One by one, key towns were taken. Biesheim fell on 3 February after an entire day of fighting. Fortified Neuf-Brisach, a key position, was taken on 6 February after French children showed the Americans an undefended route in.

The town of Colmar was attacked by the Allies on 2 February, and the Germans driven out the following day. The French 152 nd Infantry Regiment, which had been garrisoned in Colmar before the war, finally returned to a home which had been in enemy hands for nearly five years.

On 5 February, the separate advances met up at Rouffach, splitting the Pocket in two. Four more days of fighting followed as the Allies covered German routes of retreat and assaulted positions still held by Axis forces. Artillery and aircraft bombarded significant clusters of German troops, driving them back.

On 9 February, the German rearguard was destroyed at Chalampé, and the Germans demolished the bridge over the Rhine there. With no significant German forces left in Alsace, the Colmar Pocket had fallen.


Contents

World War I Edit

The 2nd Division was first constituted on 21 September 1917 in the Regular Army. [7] [8] [9] [10] It was organized on 26 October 1917 at Bourmont, Haute Marne, France. [11]

Order of battle Edit

  • Headquarters, 2nd Division
  • 5th Machine Gun Battalion
    (75 mm) (75 mm) (155 mm)
  • 2nd Trench Mortar Battery
  • 2nd Ammunition Train
  • 2nd Supply Train
  • 2nd Engineer Train
  • 2nd Sanitary Train
    • 1st, 15th, 16th, and 23rd Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals [12][13]

    Twice during World War I the division was commanded by US Marine Corps generals, Brigadier General Charles A. Doyen and Major General John A. Lejeune (after whom the Marine Corps Camp in North Carolina is named), the only time in U.S. military history when Marine Corps officers commanded an Army division. [11]

    The division spent the winter of 1917–18 training with French and Scottish veterans. Though judged unprepared by French tacticians, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was committed to combat in the spring of 1918 in a desperate attempt to halt a German advance toward Paris. Major General Edward Mann Lewis Commanded the 3rd Brigade as they deployed to reinforce the battered French along the Paris to Metz road. The Division first fought at the Battle of Belleau Wood and contributed to shattering the four-year-old stalemate on the battlefield during the Château-Thierry campaign that followed.

    On 28 July 1918, Marine Corps Major General Lejeune assumed command of the 2nd Division and remained in that capacity until August 1919, when the unit returned to the US. The division went on to win hard-fought victories at Soissons and Blanc Mont. Finally the Indianhead Division participated in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive which ended any German hope for victory. On 11 November 1918 the Armistice was declared, and the 2nd Division entered Germany, where it assumed occupation duties until April 1919. 2nd Division returned to U.S. in July 1919.

    The 2nd Division was three times awarded the French Croix de guerre for gallantry under fire at Belleau Wood, Soissons, and Blanc Mont. This entitles current members of the division and of those regiments that were part of the division at that time (including the 5th and 6th Marine Regiments) to wear a special lanyard, or fourragère, in commemoration. The Navy authorized a special uniform change that allows hospital corpsmen assigned to 5th and 6th Marine Regiments to wear a shoulder strap on the left shoulder of their dress uniform so that the fourragère can be worn.

    The division lost 1,964 (plus USMC: 4,478) killed in action and 9,782 (plus USMC: 17,752) wounded in action. [ citation needed ]

    Major operations Edit

    Interwar years Edit

    Upon returning to the United States, the division was stationed at Fort Sam Houston, at San Antonio, Texas as one of three divisions to remain intact and on active duty for the entire interwar period. It remained there for the next 23 years, serving as an experimental unit, testing new concepts and innovations for the Army. The 2nd Division stationed at Camp Bullis and Fort Sam Houston, Texas was the first command reorganized under the new triangular concept of organization theory of warfare, which provided for three separate regiments in each division. Indianhead soldiers pioneered concepts of air mobility and anti-tank warfare, which served the army for the next two decades on battlefields in every corner of the globe. [ citation needed ]

    The 2nd Division participated in maneuvers at Christine, Texas between 3 and 27 January 1940. It then moved to Horton, Texas for maneuvers from 26 April to 28 May 1940, followed by maneuvers at Cravens, Louisiana from 16 to 23 August 1940. It returned to Fort Sam Houston, where it continued training and refitting, until it moved to Brownwood, Texas for the VIII Corps maneuvers from 1 June through 14 June 1941 at Comanche, Texas. The division was then sent to Mansfield, Louisiana from 11 August through 2 October 1941 for the August–September 1941 Louisiana Maneuvers. [ citation needed ]

    The division was transferred to the VIII Corps Louisiana maneuver Area on 27 July 1941, being redesignated as the 2nd Infantry Division in August, and remained there until 22 September 1942, whereupon the formation returned to Fort Sam Houston. They then moved to Camp McCoy at Sparta, Wisconsin on 27 November 1942. Four months of intensive training for winter warfare followed. In September 1943 the division received their staging orders, and moved to the Camp Shanks staging area at Orangeburg, New York on 3 October 1943, where they received Port Call orders. On 8 October the division officially sailed from the New York Port of Embarkation, and started arriving in Belfast, Northern Ireland on 17 October. They then moved over to England, where they trained and staged for forward movement to France. [10]

    World War II Edit

    Assignments in European Theater of Operations Edit

    1. 22 October 1943: Attached to First Army
    2. 24 December 1943: XV Corps, but attached to First Army
    3. 14 April 1944: V Corps, First Army
    4. 1 August 1944: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
    5. 17 August 1944: XIX Corps
    6. 18 August 1944: VIII Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group
    7. 5 September 1944: VIII Corps, Ninth Army, 12th Army Group
    8. 22 October 1944: VIII Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
    9. 11 December 1944: V Corps
    10. 20 December 1944: Attached, with the entire First Army, to the British 21st Army Group
    11. 18 January 1945: V Corps, First Army, 12th Army Group
    12. 28 April 1945: VII Corps
    13. 1 May 1945: V Corps
    14. 6 May 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group

    Narrative Edit

    After training in Northern Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the channel to land on Omaha Beach on D plus 1 (7 June 1944) near Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer. Attacking across the Aure River on 10 June, the division liberated Trévières and proceeded to assault and secure Hill 192, a key enemy strong point on the road to Saint-Lo. After three weeks of fortifying the position and by order of Commanding General Walter M. Robertson, the order was given to take Hill 192. On 11 July under the command of Col.Ralph Wise Zwicker the 38th Infantry Regiment and with the 9th and the 23rd by his side the battle began at 5:45am. Using an artillery concept from World War I (rolling barrage) and with the support of 25,000 rounds of HE/WP that were fired by 8 artillery battalions, the hill was taken. Except for three days during the Battle of the Bulge, this was the heaviest expenditure of ammunition by the 38th Field Artillery Battalion And was the only time during the 11 months of combat that 2nd Division artillery used a rolling barrage. The division went on the defensive until 26 July. After exploiting the Saint-Lo breakout, the 2nd Division then advanced across the Vire to take Tinchebray on 15 August 1944. The division then raced toward Brest, the heavily defended port fortress which happened to be a major port for German U-boats. After 39 days of fighting the Battle for Brest was won, and was the first place the Army Air Forces used bunker busting bombs. [ citation needed ]

    The division took a brief rest 19–26 September before moving to defensive positions at St. Vith, Belgium on 29 September 1944. The division entered Germany on 3 October 1944, and was ordered, on 11 December 1944, to attack and seize the Roer River dams. The German Ardennes offensive in mid-December forced the division to withdraw to defensive positions near Elsenborn Ridge, where the German drive was halted. In February 1945 the division attacked, recapturing lost ground, and seized Gemund, 4 March. Reaching the Rhine on 9 March, the division advanced south to take Breisig, 10–11 March, and to guard the Remagen bridge, 12–20 March.

    The division crossed the Rhine on 21 March and advanced to Hadamar and Limburg an der Lahn, relieving elements of the 9th Armored Division, 28 March. Advancing rapidly in the wake of the 9th Armored, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Weser at Veckerhagen, 6–7 April, captured Göttingen 8 April, established a bridgehead across the Saale, 14 April, seizing Merseburg on 15 April. On 18 April the division took Leipzig, mopped up in the area, and outposted the Mulde River elements which had crossed the river were withdrawn 24 April. Relieved on the Mulde, the 2nd moved 200 miles, 1–3 May, to positions along the German-Czech border near Schönsee and Waldmünchen, where 2 ID relieved the 97th and 99th ID's. The division crossed over to Czechoslovakia on 4 May 1945, and attacked in the general direction of Pilsen, attacking that city on VE Day. The division lost 3,031 killed in action, 12,785 wounded in action, and 457 died of wounds.

    The 2nd Infantry Division returned to the New York Port of Embarkation on 20 July 1945, and arrived at Camp Swift at Bastrop, Texas on 22 July 1945. They started a training schedule to prepare them to participate in the scheduled invasion of Japan, but they were still at Camp Swift on VJ Day. They then moved to the staging area at Camp Stoneman at Pittsburg, California on 28 March 1946, but the move eastward was canceled, and they received orders to move to Fort Lewis at Tacoma, Washington. They arrived at Fort Lewis on 15 April 1946, which became their home station. From their Fort Lewis base, they conducted Arctic, air transportability, amphibious, and maneuver training.

    Campaign participation credit Edit

    Casualties Edit

    • Total battle casualties: 16,795 [14]
    • Killed in action: 3,031 [14]
    • Wounded in action: 12,785 [14]
    • Missing in action: 193 [14]
    • Prisoner of war: 786 [14]

    Awards and decorations Edit

    Korean War Edit

    With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea on 25 June 1950, the 2nd Infantry Division was quickly alerted for movement to the Far East Command and assignment to the Eighth United States Army. The division arrived in Korea, via Pusan on 23 July, becoming the first unit to reach Korea directly from the United States. [ citation needed ] Initially employed piecemeal, the entire division was committed as a unit on 24 August 1950, relieving the 24th Infantry Division at the Naktong River Line. The first big test came when the North Korean Korean People's Army (KPA) struck in a human wave attack on the night of 31 August. In the 16-day battle that followed, the division's clerks, bandsmen, technical and supply personnel joined in the fight to defend against the attackers. [ citation needed ]

    Shortly thereafter, the division was the first unit to break out of the Pusan Perimeter starting on 16 September and Eighth Army then began a general offensive northward against crumbling KPA opposition to establish contact with forces of the 7th Infantry Division driving southward from the Inchon beachhead. Major elements of the KPA were destroyed and cut off in this aggressive penetration the link-up was effected south of Suwon on 26 September. On 23 September the Division was assigned to the newly activated US IX Corps. The UN offensive was continued northwards, past Seoul, and across the 38th Parallel into North Korea on 1 October. The momentum of the attack was maintained, and the race to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, ended on 19 October when elements of the ROK 1st Infantry Division and US 1st Cavalry Division both captured the city. The advance continued, but against unexpectedly stiffening resistance. The Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA) entered the war on the side of North Korea, making their first attacks in late October. The Division was within 50 miles (80 km) of the Manchurian border when the PVA launched their Second Phase Offensive on 25 November. During the Battle of the Ch'ongch'on River, soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division were given the mission of protecting the rear and right flank of the Eighth Army as it retired to the south. After this battle, while surrounded and outgunned, the division had to fight its way south through what was to become known as "The Gauntlet" - a PVA roadblock 6 miles (9.7 km) long where the 23rd Infantry Regiment fired off its stock of 3,206 artillery shells within 20 minutes, a massive barrage that prevented PVA troops from following the regiment. This fighting around Kunu-ri cost the division nearly one third of its remaining strength. [ citation needed ]

    The Eighth Army ordered a complete withdrawal to the Imjin River, south of the 38th Parallel. On 1 January 1951, PVA troops attacked the Eighth Army's defensive line at the Imjin River, forcing them back 50 miles (80 km) and allowing the PVA to capture Seoul. The PVA offensive was finally blunted by the 2nd Infantry Division on 20 January at Wonju. Following the establishment of defenses south of Seoul, General Matthew B. Ridgway ordered US I, IX and X Corps to conduct a general counteroffensive against the PVA/KPA, Operation Thunderbolt. Taking up the offensive in a two-prong attack in February 1951, the Division repulsed a powerful PVA counter-offensive in the epic battles of Chipyong-ni and Wonju. The UN front was saved and the general offensive continued. [ citation needed ]

    In August 1951, the Division was on the offensive once again, ordered to attack a series of ridges that had been designated threats to the Eighth Army's line. These actions would devolve into the battles of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge. The Division would not receive relief until October, with its infantry regiments having suffered heavy losses. The 23rd Infantry Regiment bore the brunt of the damage, having been severely mauled on Heartbreak Ridge. The 2nd Division was withdrawn after possessing both Bloody and Heartbreak Ridges, and the damage they inflicted upon the PVA/KPA that held the ridges was estimated at 25,000 casualties. Ridge warfare was not embarked upon again as a military strategy for the remainder of the war. [15] In January 1953 the Division was transferred from IX Corps to I Corps.

    After the Korean Armistice Agreement was signed on 27 July 1953, the 2nd Infantry Division withdrew to positions south of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. [16] Soon after the armistice, 8th United States Army commander, General Maxwell D. Taylor, appointed Brigadier General John F. R. Seitz as Commander of the 2nd Infantry Division which remained on duty in Korea. [17] [18] Seitz commanded the division during a tense period following the armistice when both vigilance and intensive training of the Republic of Korea Army was required by the U.S. Army until the 2nd Infantry Division was redeployed to the United States in 1954. [17]

    Awards and decorations Edit

      : 18
          (4 and 5 September 1950) (31 August 1, 2 and 3 September 1951) (31 August 1, 2 and 3 September 1950) (1 September 1950) (1 September 1950) (31 August 1, 2 and 3 September 1950)
    • (2 January 1951) (1 February 1951) (17 September 1951) (26 November 1950) (14 February 1951)
      (8 and 9 October 1951) (1 September 1950) (12 February 1951) (12 January 1952)
      (27 August 1951)
      (1 September 1950)
    • MSG Ernest R. Kouma (1 September 1950)

    Reorganization Edit

    After the armistice, the division remained in Korea until 1954, when it was reduced to near zero strength, the colors were transferred to Fort Lewis, Washington, Georgia and, in October 1954, the 44th Infantry Division was reflagged as the Second.

    In September 1956, the division deployed to Alaska, with the division headquarters at Fort Richardson, as part of an Operation Gyroscope deployment (soldiers and families, no equipment), switching places with the 71st Infantry Division (which was reflagged as the 4th Infantry Division upon its arrival at Fort Lewis).

    On 8 November 1957, it was announced that the division was to be inactivated. However, in the spring of 1958, it was announced that the division would be reorganizing at Fort Benning. Division elements were reorganized into two infantry battle groups (the 1-9 IN and the 1-23 IN) that would remain in Alaska as separate units, eventually reorganizing in 1963 as infantry battalions, as the 4-9 IN and the 4-23 IN, assigned to the 171st and 172nd Infantry Brigades, respectively.

    In June 1958, the division was reorganized at Fort Benning, Georgia, as a Pentomic Division, having reflagged the 10th Infantry Division upon the latter's return from Germany. The division's three infantry regiments (the 9th, 23rd and 38th) were inactivated, with their elements reorganized into five infantry battle groups (the 2-9 IN, 2-23 IN, 1-87 IN, 2-1 IN and the 1-11 IN). Initially serving as a training division, it was designated as a Strategic Army Corps (STRAC) unit in March 1962.

    In 1963, the division was reorganized as a Reorganization Objective Army Division (ROAD). Three Brigade Headquarters were activated and Infantry units were reorganized into battalions.

    Back to Korea Edit

    In 1965 at Fort Benning, Georgia, the 2nd Infantry Division's stateside units, the 11th Air Assault Division's personnel and equipment, and the colors and unit designations of the 1st Cavalry Division, returned from Korea, were used to form a new formation, the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). The personnel of the existing 1st Cavalry Division in Korea took over the unit designations of the old 2nd Infantry Division. Thus, the 2nd Infantry Division formally returned to Korea in July 1965. From 1966 onwards North Korean forces were engaging in increasing border incursions and infiltration attempts and the 2nd Infantry Division was called upon to help halt these attacks. On 2 November 1966, soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 23d Infantry Regiment were killed in an ambush by North Korean forces. In 1967 enemy attacks in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) increased, as a result, 16 American soldiers were killed that year.

    In 1968 the 2nd Infantry Division was headquartered at Tonggu Ri and responsible for watching over a portion of the DMZ. [19] In 1968 North Koreans continued to probe across the DMZ, and in 1969, while on patrol, four soldiers of 3d Battalion, 23d Infantry were killed. On 18 August 1976, during a routine tree-trimming operation within the DMZ, two American officers of the Joint Security Force (Joint Security Area) were axed to death in a melee with North Korean border guards called the Axe Murder Incident. On 21 August, following the deaths, the 2nd Infantry Division supported the United Nations Command in "Operation Paul Bunyan" to cut down the "Panmunjeom Tree". This effort was conducted by Task Force Brady (named after the 2nd ID Commander) in support of Task Force Vierra (named after the Joint Security Area Battalion commander).

    Given the task of defending likely areas of enemy advance from the north, in 1982 the division occupied 17 camps, 27 sites, and 6 combat guard posts in strategic locations such as the Western (Kaesong-Munsan) Corridor the Chorwon-Uijongbu Valley and other areas. [20]

    Organization 1987-93 Edit

    In 1987-1993 parts of the division were organized as follows: [21]

      • Aviation Brigade, Camp Stanley[22][23]
        • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
        • 5th Squadron, 17th Cavalry (Reconnaissance), Camp Garry Owen (M60A3 Patton main battle tanks & OH-58C Kiowa helicopters) [22]
        • 1st Battalion, 2nd Aviation (Attack), Camp Stanley (AH-1F Cobra & OH-58C Kiowa helicopters) [22]
        • 2nd Battalion, 2nd Aviation (General Support), Camp Stanley (UH-60A Black Hawk, UH-1H Iroquois & OH-58C Kiowa helicopters) [24][22]
        • Headquarters & Headquarters Battery
        • 1st Battalion, 4th Field Artillery, Camp Pelham (18 × M198 155mm towed howitzers up-gunning to 24 × M198) [25][26][27][28]
        • 8th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery, Camp Stanley (18 × M198 155mm towed howitzers switching to 24 × M109A3 155mm self-propelled howitzers) [25][26][27][28]
        • 1st Battalion, 15th Field Artillery, Camp Stanley (18 × M109A3 155mm self-propelled howitzers up-gunning to 24 × M109A3) [25][26][27][28]
        • 6th Battalion, 37th Field Artillery, Camp Essayons (12 × M110A2 203mm self-propelled howitzers & 9 × M270 MLRS) [25][26][27][29]
        • Battery F, 26th Field Artillery, Camp Stanley (Target Acquisition) [25][26][27][30]
        • Battery B, 6th Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Camp Mercer (attached Eighth Army unit with 2x MGM-52 Lance with W70-3 nuclear warheads) [25]
        • Battery C, 94th Field Artillery, Camp Stanley (9 × M270 MLRS)
        • Headquarters & Headquarters Company
        • 2nd Medical Battalion
        • 2nd Supply & Transportation Battalion, Camp Casey , Camp Edwards (activated 16 October 1989, first of the new support battalions (Forward), which were raised to replace the units of the Division Support Command) [31]
        • 702nd Maintenance Battalion, Camp Casey
        • Company C, 2nd Aviation (Aviation Intermediate Maintenance), Camp Stanley [22]

        Recent times in Korea Edit

        On 13 June 2002, a 2ID armored vehicle struck and killed two 14-year-old South Korean schoolgirls on the Yangju highway as the vehicle was returning to base in Uijeongbu after training maneuvers. Sergeants Mark Walker and Fernando Nino, the two soldiers involved, were found not guilty of negligent homicide in a subsequent General Court-martial. The deaths and court-martial was the subject of anti-American sentiment in South Korea.

        The 2nd Infantry Division is still headquartered in Korea, with a number of camps near the DMZ. Command headquarters are at Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek-si.

        Iraq War Edit

        From November 2003 to November 2004, the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team deployed from Fort Lewis, Washington in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the sands of Iraq the 3rd Brigade Stryker Brigade Combat Team proved the value of the Stryker brigade concept in combat and logistics operations. [39]

        During the late spring of 2004, many of the soldiers of the 2nd Infantry Division's 2d Brigade Combat Team were given notice that they were about to be ordered to further deployment, with duty in Iraq. Units involved in this call-up included: 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Air Assault) 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment (Air Assault) 2d Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized) 44th Engineer Battalion 2nd Forward Support Battalion Company A, 102nd Military Intelligence Battalion Company B, 122d Signal Battalion, elements of the 2d Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, a team from the 509th Personnel Services Battalion, and B Battery, 5th Battalion 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment (Deployed as a combination of mechanized infantry and light infantry with two platoons of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and 1 platoon of armored HMMWVs). As a result of the short notice, extensive training was conducted by the brigade as they switched from a focus of the foreign defense of South Korea to the offensive operations that were going to be needed in Iraq. Furthermore, time was given for the majority of the soldiers to enjoy ten days of leave. This was vital: many of the soldiers had been in South Korea for a year or more with only two weeks or less time in the United States during their stay of duty. More, they were about to depart on a deployment scheduled to last at least another year. Finally, in August 2004, the brigade deployed to Iraq.

        Upon landing in country, the 2d BCT was given strategic command to much of the sparsely populated area south and west of Fallujah. Their mission, however, changed when the major strategic actions began to take place within the city proper. At this time, the brigade combat team was refocused and given control of the eastern half of the volatile city of Ar-Ramadi. Within a few weeks of taking over operational control from the previous units, 2nd Brigade began suffering casualties from violent activity. Many of the units had to move to new camps in support of this new mission. The primary focus of the 2d BCT for much of their deployment was the struggle to gain local support and to minimize casualties.

        The brigade was spread out amongst many camps. To the west of the city of Ar-Ramadi sat the camp of Junction City. 2ID units stationed there included: HQ 2d BCT, 2nd ID 2–17th Field Artillery 1–9th Infantry 44th Engineer Battalion Company A, 102d Military Intelligence Battalion Company B, 122d Signal Battalion, and Company C (Medical), 2d Forward Support Battalion. To the eastern end of the city sat a much more austere camp, known as the Combat Outpost. This was home to the 1-503d Infantry Regiment. East of them but outside of the city proper itself was the town of Habbiniya and the 1–506th Infantry Regiment. Adjacent to this camp was the logistically important camp of Al-Taqaddum, where the 2d Forward Support Battalion was stationed.

        For this mission, the brigade fell under the direct command not of the 2d Infantry Division, but rather under a Marine division. For the first six months while in Ramadi, the BCT fell under the 1st Marine Division. For the second half of the deployment, they were attached to the 2nd Marine Division. While the Marines do not wear unit patches on their uniforms, the units of the 2d BCT involved are authorized to now wear any of the following combat patches: the 2nd Infantry Division patch, the 1st Marine Division unit patch or the 2nd Marine Division unit patch. [ citation needed ]

        The 2d Brigade Combat Team was in action in the city of Ramadi for many events, including the Iraqi national elections of January 2005. While the voting was accomplished and little to no violence was seen within the city, few voters participated (estimated to be in the 700 person range for the eastern half of the city, according to 2nd BCT officials).

        The 2d BCT also built several new camps within the city. For security reasons, many are left unverified, however ones that can be confirmed include Camps Trotter and Corregidor built to ease the burden on the accommodations at Combat Outpost.

        In July 2005, the brigade began to get relieved by units of the Army National Guard, as well as the 3d Infantry Division of the Regular Army. Six months into the deployment, the units of the 2d BCT were given word that they would not be returning to South Korea but, rather, to Fort Carson, Colorado in an effort to restructure the Army and house more soldiers on American soil.

        From June 2006 to September 2007, the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team deployed from Fort Lewis, Washington in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During the 3rd Stryker Brigade's second deployment to Operation Iraqi Freedom their mission was to assist the Iraqi security forces with counter-insurgency operations in the Ninewa Province. 46 soldiers from the brigade were killed during the deployment.

        On 1 June 2006 at Fort Lewis, Washington the 4th Brigade, 2d Infantry Division was formed. From April 2007 to July 2008 the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team was deployed in as part of the surge to regain control of the situation in Iraq. The brigade assumed responsibility for the area north of Baghdad and the Diyala province. 35 soldiers from the brigade were killed during the deployment.

        From October 2006 to January 2008, the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team deployed from Fort Carson, Colorado in support of the Multi-National Division – Baghdad (1st Cavalry Division) and was responsible for assisting the Iraqi forces to become self-reliant, bringing down the violence and insurgency levels and supporting the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure. 43 soldiers from the brigade were killed during the deployment.

        SSG Christopher B. Waiters of 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3d Brigade Combat Team was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on 23 October 2008 for his actions on 5 April 2007 when he was a specialist. Shortly after, SPC Erik Oropeza of the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team [40] Thus the division will be credited with the 17th and 18th Distinguished Service Cross awardings since 1975.

        The 2nd Infantry Division's 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Iraq in the fall of 2009. [41]

        3rd Brigade deployed to Iraq 4 August 2009 for the brigade's third deployment to Iraq, the most of any Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT).

        War in Afghanistan Edit

        On 17 February 2009, President Barack Obama ordered 4,000 soldiers from the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team to Afghanistan, along with 8,000 Marines. Soldiers are being sent there because of the worsening situation in the Afghan War. These soldiers were deployed in the southeast, on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. During deployment, 35 soldiers were killed in combat, two others were killed in accidents, and 239 were wounded. [42] In July 2010, the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team was inactivated and reflagged as the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. The brigade's Special Troops Battalion was also inactivated and reflagged and the rest of the subordinate units were reassigned to the reactivated 2nd SBCT. [43]

        3rd SBCT deployed in December 2011 and served in Afghanistan for one-year. 16 soldiers from the brigade lost their lives during the deployment. [44] [45] They were joined by their sister Stryker brigade, the 2nd SBCT, in the spring. [46] 2nd Brigade returned around December 2012 and January 2013 having lost eight soldiers during deployment. The 4th Stryker BCT also deployed to its first deployment to the country in fall 2012 and returned in summer 2013 having lost four soldiers. [47] [48]

        Rogue "kill team" criminal charges Edit

        During the summer of 2010, the U.S. military charged five members of the 3rd Platoon, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Infantry Regiment with the formation of a "kill team", which staged three separate murders of Afghan civilians in Kandahar province. In addition, seven soldiers were also charged with crimes including hashish use, impeding an investigation and attacking a whistleblowing soldier who alerted MPs during an initially unrelated investigation into hashish use by members of the 3rd Platoon. The alleged ringleader was Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs.

        • On 15 January 2010, Gul Mudin was killed "by means of throwing a fragmentary grenade at him and shooting him with a rifle," an action carried out by SPC Jeremy Morlock and PFC Andrew Holmes under the direction of Gibbs. Morlock allegedly told Holmes, age 19 and on his first tour of duty, that the killing was carried out for fun.
        • On 22 February, Gibbs and SPC Michael S. Wagnon allegedly shot the second victim, Marach Agha, and placed a Kalashnikov next to the body to justify the killing.
        • On 2 May, Mullah Adadhdad was killed after being shot and attacked with a grenade. SPC Adam C. Winfield and Gibbs were allegedly the perpetrators.

        Christopher Winfield, the father of platoon member SPC Adam Winfield, attempted to alert the Army of the kill team's existence after his son explained the situation from Afghanistan via a Facebook chat. In response to the news from his son, Winfield called the Army inspector general's 24-hour hotline, the office of Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and a sergeant at Joint Base Lewis-McChord who told him to call the Army Criminal Investigation Division. He then contacted the Fort Lewis command center and spoke to a sergeant on duty who agreed that SPC Winfield was in potential danger but that he had to report the crime to his superiors before the Army could take action. [49]


        February 9 Zodiac Horoscope Birthday Personality

        FEBRUARY 9 birthday horoscope predicts that you are shrewd and calculating when it comes to business. You are always armed and ready for whatever conflicts come your way. After all, the February 9 zodiac sign is Aquarius. You do not take no for an answer.

        11 comments

        HAHAHA, I KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS A BDAY OF THESE, AND HAS A BAD HABIT OF CHEATING, SOCIAL REPOSE. CHECK THAT YOUTUBER OUT. LMAO.

        This is so me and it’s all real

        Wow ! 9th I think I need to meet y’ll

        I know a feb 9th aqua, with a virgo rising and libra moon that I´m starting to see in the clear.

        He is often very agitated, at the point of blowing up over the littlest things- he realizes that later, but in the moment he gets as hot-headed as double scorpio with an aries moon.

        He says things STRAIGHT OUT the wrong way, even though you tell him to not say “that spesific thing” as it hurst you or others, that just makes him do it more. A bit toddler- ish, he likes to call people names, and is more often than not basically rudeness… summed up in a person….

        He has a habit of putting the blames the consequences of his vocal blunder’s on pretty much everyone else, an is also an alcoholic.

        So a very shadowy aqua, sadly without any balance. If he could get his rising to bring him down to earth, and his moon to balance him out with the scales, that would help him, but he seems to have chosen the path of all the negative traits of virgo and libra as well — sadly. And there is so much compassion in this combo!

        I have a few aquarian friends, and they are not like this. Brigth, inventive, fun, and most of all : non-judgemental and honest to the teeth.

        I guess my 9 feb friend is good deep own, but is defiant as well as having quite a granose sense of self, (I´ve heard him say “I am the greatest human being you ever will meet, everybody loves me!” When he was sober.

        I felt really bad for him, and took him under my wing… And then when he’s used all my patience (and money), he calls them me for not coming back, being like everyone else and so and so…Very draining. I genuinely feel sorry for him.


        World War II Database


        ww2dbase "The German is now licked", said Alan Brooke to Dwight Eisenhower early in 1945, after Adolf Hitler's gamble in the Ardennes Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) had failed. "It is merely a question of when he chooses to quit." Before Eisenhower ordered his troops across Germany's traditional boundary, he gave the order to clear the area west of the Rhine River (and south of the Maas and Waal rivers in the Netherlands). The armies involved were, from north to south:

        • Canadian First and British Second Armies, attacking the northern section west of the Arnhem-Wesel region.
        • American Ninth Army, attacking the area west of the Duisburg-Düsseldorf region.
        • American First Army, attacking Cologne-Bonn region.
        • American Third Army, attacking the wide central Rhine region, including the Saar Basin.
        • American Seventh Army, attacking the Saar Basin.
        • French First Army, attacking the southern area from Strasbourg to near the Austrian border.

        ww2dbase In the extreme south of this operation, the French First Army launched their offensive against Colmar on 20 Jan 1945. Fierce German resistance and bad weather slowed the progress of the French troops. To reinforce the French, the XXI Corps under the command of Major General Frank Milburn came into the region, which included three American infantry divisions and one French armored division. The Germans surrendered Colmar on 3 Feb, and within a week all German forces in the region retreated across the Rhine. German casualties reached the count of 22,000 near Colmar.

        ww2dbase The northern borders of German were heavily defended with the best troops that were available to Germany, including the First Paratroop Army. The dams along the Roer also provided the German forces additional advantage in that they could control of the flow of the water by opening or closing the dams based on reported Allied movements. British General Bernard Montgomery launched his Canadian troops first, under the command of General H.D.G Crerar, on 10 Feb 1945 into the muddy flooded region near the Netherlands-Germany border. Slightly to the south, the American troops that could have relieved some pressure off of the bogged-down Canadian troops were sitting in frustration as the Roer was flooded by German troops, making an American advance impossible. The opportunity finally came two weeks later, launching the offensive on 23 Feb. The American troops maneuvered through difficult terrain caused by destructive Allied bombing and shelling, often needing armored bulldozers to clear the way so that Allied armor could continue their advance. The American Ninth Army finally met up with the Canadian and British troops on 3 Mar, driving the Germans back to their defensive positions at bridges on the Rhine.

        ww2dbase Part of the difficult terrain formed by bombing encountered by the Ninth Army was caused by Operation Clarion, an operation launched on 22 Feb 1945 with the goal of wiping out all forms of transportation still available to the German troops at this stage of the war. In 24 hours, nearly 9,000 aircraft were sent from Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands in a coordinated attack over 250,000 square miles of German territory. The primary targets were roads, bridges, crossroad towns, ports, and railroads. The Luftwaffe, previously hurt and currently overwhelmed, offered little organized resistance to the Allied operation. "It was a most imaginative and successful operation and stood as one of the highlights in the long air campaign to destroy the German warmaking power", commented Dwight Eisenhower.

        ww2dbase On the same day Lieutenant General William Simpson's Ninth Army launched their attacks in the northern sector, Omar Bradley ordered the First and Third armies to strike the central sector. The American VII Corps reached the outskirts of Cologne on 5 Mar, completely surprising the hastily trained German defenders. Cologne fell under American control two days later. The unexpected quick capture of Cologne gave Eisenhower some breathing room in that should any nearby sectors run into difficulties, the VII Corps could spare a couple of divisions as reserve or reinforcements.

        ww2dbase The opportunity to use the reserves came almost immediately. As Major General Courtney Hodges' III and V Corps reached the Rhine near Remagen, their rapid advances completely surprised the German troops, and in this surprise they had failed to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge as the other German units had done to the other bridges on the Rhine as the Allied troops drew near. Without hesitation, the 9th Armored Division of the III Corps crossed the bridge and established a defensive perimeter. A small charge exploded under the bridge, damaging some of its understructure, but the bridge remained in tact. Knowing that he had no orders to cross the Rhine just yet, Bradley cautiously reported the situation back to Eisenhower, who recalled:

        "I was at dinner in my Reims headquarters with the corps and division commanders of the American airborne forces when Bradley's call came through. When he reported that we had a permanent bridge across the Rhine I could scarcely believe my ears. I fairly shouted into the telephone: 'How much have you got in that vicinity that you can throw across the river?'"

        ww2dbase With Eisenhower's blessing, Bradley ordered four divisions to cross the bridge near Remagen. From the north, Eisenhower sent entire divisions from the Cologne area to Remagen. "That was one of my happy moments in the war", Eisenhower commented in 1948. Within two days the bridgehead area was expanded three miles into German territory. Even though on 17 Mar German long-range artillery fire caused the previously damaged Ludendorff Bridge to collapse (recall the small charge that caused structural damage when the bridge was initially secured), by this time a large number of American troops and equipment had already crossed the river, and enough temporary bridges were established in the region to supply these troops.

        ww2dbase During the action on the west bank of the Rhine, a major logistical operation was underway to transport Canadian and British troops from the Mediterranean region to the 21st Army Group in western Europe. The goal, as stated by Eisenhower's headquarters, was "to build up the maximum possible strength on the Western Front to seek a decision in that theatre". The bulk of the troops transferred during Operation Goldflake landed at the port city of Marseille and travelled across France on the vast network of roads and railroads. One achievement to be noted with this operation was that the large number of troops travelled across the country of France without disrupting supply runs to the front lines. Experienced logistical staff of the Allies contributed greatly to this achievement Eisenhower commended those who were responsible in the planning of this operation, stating that

        "[t]he complicated process of moving the units to France and northward across the lines of communication of the Southern and Central Groups of Armies was carried out efficiently and smoothly, and the security precautions taken were completely successful in concealing from the Germans what was afoot."

        ww2dbase Politically, it also appeased the Canadian leaders, who wished that at this stage all Canadian troops involved in Europe could serve under one single chain-of-command. As all Canadians serving in Europe came under the command of H.D.G. Crerar under the flag of the First Canadian Army, he emotionally announced to his troops that "now that we are all together, let us all speed to the victory in no uncertain manner".

        ww2dbase A little to the south, the Third Army secured both banks of the Moselle River. The northern component of the Third Army reached the Rhine on 10 Mar, while the southern arm attacked the Saar Basin simultaneously with the American Seventh Army to the south. The German defense at the Saar Basin held on valiantly, but to little effectiveness. Instead of sacrificing this region and withdrawing the troops across the Rhine where natural barriers could have provided advantages in defense, Hitler ordered that the ground was to be held at all costs. And the costs were indeed high. On 15 Mar the Seventh Army attacked, and the Third Army launched a simultaneous attack from the north in the direction of Worms. This southward move by the Third Army was not expected by the German commanders, who thought they would attempt to penetrate the Rhine defenses via the breach at Remagen. Several days later, the French First Army which had secured the Colmar region earlier moved north to assist in the Saar Basin. The region was secured on 23 Mar.

        ww2dbase On 25 Mar 1945, all significant German resistance on the western banks of the Rhine ceased.

        ww2dbase What was impressive with the operations to secure the western bank of the Rhine was not the crushing Allied maneuvers, but rather how they were conducted. The coordination between the armies of two major powers and other nations were as seamless as it could be consider their differing philosophies and goals. Even within the American salient, the fluidity of the army components, as demonstrated by the quickness to shift manpower from the VII Corps at Cologne to the III Corps near Remagen, proved Hitler wrong of what the German dictator thought of the armies of a democracy. Hitler, as recently as the Ardennes Offensive, thought that Eisenhower was nothing more than a puppet of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt, reporting every move back to Washington and London. Unlike Hitler's thoughts, Eisenhower at the frontlines was able to make quick decisions on the field to take advantage of even the small windows of opportunities that presented themselves during the action. "Happening to be on the spot at the moment, I authorized appropriate boundary adjustments, specifying particularly close interarmy liaison", Eisenhower recalled. "This involved also the transfer of an armored division from the Seventh to the Third Army. The insignificance of this slight change illustrates the accuracy with which staffs had calculated the probabilities."

        ww2dbase This advance also saw the start of a new problem: prisoners. At this stage of the war, the Allied forces were encountered with over 10,000 prisoners of war each day. This problem eventually turned out to be yet another Allied achievement that attributed to the superb organization skills of the logistics officers, who processed these prisoners efficiently without disrupting the frontline combat.

        ww2dbase Sources: Canadian Military Headquarters Historical Section Report No 181, Crusade in Europe.

        Last Major Update: Oct 2005

        Advance to the Rhine Interactive Map

        Advance to the Rhine Timeline

        2 Nov 1944 In accordance with Dwight Eisenhower's plan, Bernard Montgomery ordered a complete redeployment of his Army Group in Europe. First Canadian Army now assumed responsibility for the front from the sea to the Reichsward near Kleve in Germany, whilst Second British Army was ordered to clear the Germans west of the Maas River from the huge pocket between Venray and Roermond in the Netherlands, and then to take over the American front north of Geilenkirchen in Germany known as the Heinberg Salientl.
        13 Nov 1944 General Philippe LeClerc's Free French troops attacked to the Upper Rhine out of Alsace, France.
        21 Nov 1944 The French 1st Corps captured the city of Belfort in the Vosges region, but the Germans clung so tenaciously to defences beyond the city that it would not be until 25 November 1944 that the French advance could be resumed.
        14 Jan 1945 Operation Blackcock: British forces cleared the Roer Triangle in Germany, which was known for dams that powered the German industry.
        29 Jan 1945 Allied troops captured Oberhausen, Germany in the Rhine river basin.
        1 Feb 1945 US First Army captured Remscheid in Germany, east of Düsseldorf. On the same day, US Seventh Army reached the Moder River and the Siegfried Line/Westwall.
        2 Feb 1945 French troops captured Colmar, France.
        9 Feb 1945 British and Canadian troops forced their way through a main Siegfried Line/Westwall defensive zone. Meanwhile, half of German 19.Armee was evacuated back into Germany before the final Rhine River bridge in the Colmar Pocket in France was blown.
        12 Feb 1945 British and Canadian forces captured Kleve, Germany.
        14 Feb 1945 British and Canadian troops reached the Rhine River northwest of Duisberg, Germany.
        17 Feb 1945 US Third Army penetrated the Siegfried Line/Westwall and launched massive assault into German territory.
        19 Feb 1945 Units of the US 8th Division began encircling German troops trapped within the Siegfried Line/Westwall.
        20 Feb 1945 George Patton wrote to Omar Bradley, urging Bradley to convince Dwight Eisenhower to allow Bradley's army group to attack aggressively toward the Rhine River.
        25 Feb 1945 Omar Bradley gave George Patton the authority to make advances toward the Rhine River.
        28 Feb 1945 US Ninth Army achieved breakthrough near Erkelenz, Germany.
        1 Mar 1945 US Ninth Army captured cities of München-Gladback and Rheydt in Germany. On the same day, Dwight Eisenhower approved the commencement of Operation Lumberjack.
        2 Mar 1945 Elements of US Ninth Army reached the Rhine River at Neuss, Germany. To the north US Third Army captures Trier, Germany.
        3 Mar 1945 Canadian troops captured Xanten, Germany while US First Army captured Krefeld, Germany.
        5 Mar 1945 Patrols from US First Army reached outskirts of Köln, Germany.
        6 Mar 1945 US Third Army reached the Rhine River near Koblenz, Germany, while US First Army captured Köln.
        7 Mar 1945 US 9th Armored Division unexpectedly captured Rhine River bridge and formed a bridgehead on the east side of the river at Remagen, Germany.
        8 Mar 1945 In Germany, US troops entered Bonn while British and Canadian troops entered Xanten.
        9 Mar 1945 US Third Army captured Andernach, Germany.
        10 Mar 1945 The Germans evacuated Wesel as US Third Army captured Bonn.
        11 Mar 1945 US Third Army captured Kochem, Germany.
        12 Mar 1945 US Third Army crossed Moselle River near Koblenz, Germany.
        13 Mar 1945 In Operation Undertone, US 3rd and 7th Armies advanced toward Rhine River in Germany.
        15 Mar 1945 US First Army was unable to further expand the Remagen bridgehead in Germany due to enemy resistance.
        17 Mar 1945 The Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, Germany, which had served the Allies so well, collapsed after repeated being bombed by German Ar 234 jet bombers. Twenty-eight American engineers trying to strengthen the structure were swept away to their deaths. Meanwhile, US Third Army captured Koblenz, Germany about 15 miles to the southeast.
        18 Mar 1945 US Third Army captured Boppard, Germany.
        19 Mar 1945 US Seventh Army captured Worms, Germany.
        20 Mar 1945 US Seventh Army captured Saarbrücken, Germany while the US Third Army reached Mainz, Germany.
        21 Mar 1945 US First Army advanced toward Siegburg, Germany.

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        . of famous people, actors, celebrities and stars born in 1945

        75
        Vernon Wells
        75
        Franz Beckenbauer

        German association football player

        Andreas Schmidt-Schaller
        72
        Christine Kaufmann

        German actress and businesswoman

        *January 11th, 1945, Lengdorf March 28th, 2017, Munich

        75
        Gerd Müller

        German association football player

        *November 3rd, 1945, Nördlingen

        36
        Bob Marley

        Jamaican singer, songwriter and musician

        *February 6th, 1945, Nine Mile May 11th, 1981, Jackson Memorial Hospital

        Kip Niven

        *May 27th, 1945, Kansas City May 6th, 2019, Kansas City

        Rasa von Werder

        American bodybuilder and sex worker

        75
        Helen Mirren

        *July 26th, 1945, Hammersmith

        71
        Bernd Fritz

        *November 12th, 1945, Bechtheim April 16th, 2017, Bechtheim

        76
        Rodrigo Duterte

        Filipino politician and the 16th President of the Philippines

        72
        Barkley L. Hendricks

        *April 16th, 1945, Nicetown-Tioga April 18th, 2017, New London

        Claus Ryskjær

        *June 26th, 1945, Frederiksberg Municipality December 12th, 2016

        75
        John Lithgow

        American character actor, musician, and author

        76
        Barry Bostwick
        76
        Aung San Suu Kyi

        Current State Counsellor of Myanmar and Leader of the National League for Democracy

        Brian Oldfield

        *June 1st, 1945, Elgin March 26th, 2017, Illinois

        75
        Jean Nouvel
        76
        Adrienne Barbeau

        *June 11th, 1945, Sacramento

        75