Researching
World War II

Unit Histories, Documents
Monographs, Books and Reports on CD
PDF Remastered and Keyword Searchable


Research Edition CD1

Research Edition 3 CD Set

Heirloom Edition CD1

Heirloom Edition 3 CD Set
Personalized Laser Etched Disc Graphics Picture of Your Veteran.

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This grouping of information is for the World War 2 Researcher or Family Member
and is designed to be suitable both as a Research Tool and as a Family Heirloom keepsake.


8th Infantry
"Golden Arrow"
"Pathfinder"

Division



13th Infantry
"First at Vicksburg"
Regiment




History


28th Infantry
"Black Lions"
"Lions of Cantigny"
Regiment


History


121st Infantry
"Old Gray Bonnet
"
Regiment




History

Order of Battle
13th Infantry Regiment
28th Infantry Regiment
121st Infantry Regiment

43rd Field Artillery Battalion
45th Field Artillery Battalion
56th Field Artillery Battalion
28th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm)
8th Signal Battalion
708th Ordnance Company
8th Quartermaster Company
8th Reconnaissance Troop
12th Engineer Battalion
8th Medical Battalion
8th Military Intelligence Company


Casualties
Killed in Action - 2,852
Total Casualties - 13,986



Commanders
Maj. Gen. Philip B. Peyton
Jun 1940–Dec 1940
Maj. Gen. James P. Marley
Dec 1940–Feb 1941
Maj. Gen. William E. Shedd
Feb 1941
Maj. Gen. Henry Terrell, Jr.
Mar 1941
Maj. Gen. James P. Marley
Apr 1941–Jul 1942
Maj. Gen. Paul E. Peabody
Aug 1942–Jan 1943
Maj. Gen. William C. McMahon
Feb 1943–Jul 1944
Maj. Gen. Donald A. Stroh
Jul 1944–Dec 1944
Maj. Gen. William G. Weaver
Dec 1944–Feb 1945
Maj. Gen. Bryant E. Moore
Feb 1945–Nov 1945
Maj. Gen. William M. Miley
Nov 1945 to inactivation



Campaigns

Normandy
Northern France
Rhineland
Central Europe




Days of Combat
266




Distinguished Unit Citations
5



Medals
Distinguished Unit Citations
5
Medal of Honor
3
Distinguished Service Cross
33
Distinguished Service Medal
2
Silver Star
768
Legionaires Medal
12
Soldiers Medal
24
Bronze Star Medal
2,874
AM
107





1941
 
1 Sep-
The 8th Division took part in the Carolina Maneuvers.
1942  
Mar-
The 8th Division returned to Camp Jackson, SC. late in March to resume training.
Sep-
There was a motor march to the area of the Tennessee Maneuvers. Two more months of war games further hardened the troops of the 8th. Then, after a brief stay in tents at Camp Forrest, Tennessee, the Division set out for its new station, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
Dec-
There was another period of comparative calm.
1943  
Mar-
The 8th moved to Camp Laguna, Arizona, for six months of desert training.
Aug-
The Division returned to Camp Forrest. Preparations were begun immediately for an overseas movement.
27 Nov-
The 8th arrived at the staging area at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey.
5 Dec-
The 8th Infantry Division sailed from New York Harbor.
15 Dec-
The Division arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for training. Every two weeks the Division sent seventy-five enlisted me and fifteen officers to the British 55th Division and received an equal number of United Kingdom troops for a two-week period.
1944  
1 Jul-
A convoy of four troop ships and twelve motor transports carrying the 8th Division steamed out of Belfast Harbor.
4 Jul-
The Division began debarking at Omaha Beach on the Cherbourg peninsula.
6 Jul-
The Division assembled in the vicinity of Monteburg.
7 Jul-
The 8th Infantry Division entered combat.
8 Jul-
The Division jumped off on its first attack in the Battle of France.
26 Jul-
The Division crossed the Ay River.
28 Jul-
Resuming the advance the 8th Division proceeded rapidly against light resistance until it had taken all objectives.
1 Aug-
The Division continued to move southward, clearing out small pockets of resistance and securing road nets and vital installations along the route of march.
3 Aug-
The 8th Division reached St. James.
4 Aug-
The Division moved to an assembly area near Betten, northeast of Rennes.
8 Aug-
The Division pushed through Rennes.
9 Aug-
The 3rd Battalion was cut off from the Regiment. For three days it withstood almost incessant artillery bombardment and repeated attempts by the enemy to annihilate it, suffering many casualties.
13 Aug-
The 8th Division continued its mission of holding and defending Rennes. During this period, it maintained road blocks, cleared rubble and obstacles from the streets, and engaged in extensive patrolling. Although some prisoners were taken, no contact was made with organized enemy forces.
14 Aug-
The Regiment occupied Dinard. A task force, composed mainly of the 3rd Battalion, 28th Infantry, moved to the Cap Frehel peninsula, farther east in Brittany, to take over positions held by French Forces of the Interior.
15 Aug-
The Division, meanwhile, had moved to an assembly area near Dinan.
17 Aug-
The remaining elements of the Division began movement to an assembly area near Brest. There, for three days, operations were confined to patrolling.
21 Aug-
The Division closed into its sector and awaited orders to attack Brest.
26 Aug-
Lt. Colonel Edmund Fry, commander of the 12th Engineer Combat Battalion was captured by the enemy, only to escape by sea and rejoin his battalion on the Crozon peninsula nineteen days later.
29 Aug-
The enemy in the sector of the 3rd Battalion, 28th Infantry, called a truce to evacuate wounded. Previously, two companies of the 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry, had advanced beyond their adjacent units, been cut off and captured by the Germans. After Brest had capitulated, these two companies were freed by men of their own unit from a German prisoner of war enclosure on the Crozon peninsula, south of the harbor of Brest, and returned to their unit.
31 Aug-
The 8th prepared for a coordinated Corps attack which was to include also the 2nd Division. A road in the vicinity of the town of Kergroas was the objective.
8 Sep-
With an improvement in the supply of artillery ammunition, the 121st Infantry attacked and seized the eastern end of the strongly defended Lambzellec ridge. The 121st then advanced toward the town of Lambzellec, and by noon was fighting in the streets. The 13th Infantry advanced abreast to positions from which it supported the attack of the 121st.
10 Sep-
Having passed through Lambzellec, the 121st was confronted with Fort Bouguen. This was a formidable work of thick walls, twenty to thirty feet in height, surrounded by a dry moat, twenty feet deep. Such an obstacle could not be assaulted by infantry without artillery fire.
11 Sep-
Heavy artillery fire was directed on the wall. This fire failed to make an appreciable breach and the VIII Corps Commander decided to suspend further operations against that portion of the inner defenses, and to contain the enemy within Fort Bouguen, while efforts were renewed farther east. He therefore directed that elements of the 2nd Infantry Division relieve the 8th Division in front of the fort.
12 Sep-
The 13th and 121st Infantry Regiments withdrew to a temporary assembly area near Plouvien.
14 Sep-
The Division moved into its attack positions.
15 Sep-
After a strong barrage by heavy and light artillery and chemical mortars, the attack began. In the zone of the 28th Infantry, the 3rd Battalion led the attack. By 0930 it was approaching the hamlet of St. Eflez. The 3rd Battalion and the 1st following it were under heavy flanking fire from the south ridge. All officers of Company L became casualties. Tech Sergeant Charles E. Ballance reorganized the company and took command. He was killed by a sniper the next day. In the vicinity of St. Eflez, resistance grew so fierce that it was apparent that the main line of enemy defenses had been reached.
16 Sep-
German counterattacks on both ridges were repulsed. At 0700hrs the attack was renewed under cover of a dense fog, which was to furnish an effective mask for each morning of the Crozon action.
19 Sep-
Crozon Peninsula was cleared.
26 Sep-
The 8th Division began the long move from the Crozon peninsula to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Foot troops and trucked vehicles made the journey by rail.
30 Sep-
Motorized elements drove in convoys, arriving near Ettelbruck, Luxembourg.
7 Oct-
A vehicle bearing Lt. Colonels Frederick J. Bailey, Jr. and John P. Usher of the 28th Infantry, was travelling well in rear of the front lines when it was flagged down by what appeared to be a U.S. Army captain and sergeant, standing beside a halted American First Army jeep. Pulling alongside, and hearing the “captain” talking wildly in German although he wore an American combat jacket and helmet, the 28th Infantry officers opened fire and killed the two men.
9 Oct-
Training began with 1,538 officers and enlisted men available. They were armed for the most part with rifles, automatic weapons and several anti-tank guns. Eight companies of approximately 200 men each compro- mised the battalion. Five of these were rifle companies. Training of this unit was continued, for two hours daily, until October 20th.
19 Oct-
A plan was worked out to rotate the troops. One platoon at a time was relieved.
3 Nov-
Both Vossenack and Schmidt had been taken, and a line of departure for the attack upon Hurtgen secured. So difficult was the terrain, however, that only foot troops could get through to Schmidt. There was no road between the two captured towns over which armor and anti-tank guns could move.
7 Nov-
Unable to get armored units through to the foot troops, the 28th Division was forced to withdraw from Schmidt. At one time, the Germans also recaptured half of Vossenack, but here their counterattack was again driven back.
16 Nov-
The 13th Infantry and the 8th Reconnaissance Troop began the motor march of the 8th Division to the V Corps front, and by nightfall.
19 Nov-
All elements of the Division had closed into their positions in the area southeast of Aachen.
20 Nov-
The Division drove across France to Luxembourg and moved to the Hurtgen Forest.
21 Nov-
The 121st Infantry opened the drive on Hurtgen. Attacking with three battalions abreast, the Regiment immediately ran into strong resistance. Enemy mortar and artillery tree bursts shattered the forested area and hailed shrapnel down upon infantry units whenever they attempted to advance, anti-personnel minefields further increased the peril of movement through the dense woods.
24 Nov-
The attack of the 121st Infantry resumed.
25 Nov-
At a conference of V and VII Corps Commanders it was decided to begin the armored attack on the morning of November 25th. At least three rifle companies were to advance astride the road during the night so the road could be cleared.
26 Nov-
Enemy pockets in the woods in front of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 121st Infantry were taken without opposition. Company F, 121st Infantry, had advanced to a point approximately 300 yards southwest of Hurtgen. Here it was met be dense machine gun fire. Company F held its advanced position during the night, and resumed the attack with the entire regiment the next morning.
27 Nov-
The 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry, joined the 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 121st Infantry in the attack at 0700. Division Artillery, less the 43rd Field Artillery Battalion, again fired prearranged concentrations in support of the infantry units. Company C of the 644th Tank Destroyer Battalion was also in close support.
28 Nov-
The Division cleared Hurtgen.
29 Nov-
The attack on Kleinhau began. The enemy defended stubbornly, holding out in cellars and wooded areas even after armored forces had driven through the town. During the night, the 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry, took over the captured town and the high ground.
30 Nov-
Men of the 13th cleared out remaining enemy pockets.
31 Nov-
Elements of the 121st and 28th continued to push southeast. Patrols were sent out by both regiments to determine enemy strength around Brandenburg. Resistance was encountered almost immediately, and orders were issued to hold present positions until plans for a full scale attack were completed.
3 Dec-
The Division cleared Brandenburg.
1945  
23 Feb-
The Division crossed the Roer river.
25 Feb-
Duren taken.
28 Feb-
Erft Canal crossed.
7 Mar-
The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen and maintained positions along the river near Koln.
6 Apr-
The Division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket.
17 Apr-
The Division completed its mission.
1 May-
After security duty, the 8th Division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.



8th Infantry Division
in World War II

CD 1
Open all files from the folders on the CDs
Install Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader from CD 1

The files below are found on CD 1


Aug - Sep 41

Louisiana Maneuvers

Exercises involving
400,000 troops.

CD 1
101 Pages - PDF


1944 - 1945

8th Infantry Division

World War II
Combat History

CD 1
101 Pages - PDF


6 Jun - 31 Jul 44

American Combined
Army Operations
in France


CD 1
86 Pages - PDF


8th Infantry Division

Medal of Honor
Recepients of WWII



CD 1
3 Citations - PDF


7-12 Aug 44

8th Infantry Division
121st Infantry Regiment

Operations
Pleutuit, France


CD 1
17 Pages - PDF


24-30 Aug 44

8th Infantry Division
28th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Battle of Brest


CD 1
40 Pages - PDF


21-27 Nov 44

8th Infantry Division
121st Infantry Regiment

Operations
Hurtgen, Germany


CD 1
32 Pages - PDF


23-25 Feb 45

8th Infantry Division
13th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Duren,Germany
Roer River

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


31 Mar - 4 Apr 45

8th Infantry Division
28th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Sieg River Offensive
Ruhr Pocket

CD 1
54 Pages - PDF


31 Mar - 5 Apr 45

8th Infantry Division
28th Infantry Regiment

Operations
Ruhr Pocket
Wissen, Germany

CD 1
26 Pages - PDF


1941 - 1945

US Army
WWII
Chronology




CD 1
672 Pages - PDF


Pictorial Record

The War Against
Germany, ItalyEurope
and Adjacent Areas




CD 1
458 Pages - PDF


1941 - Jul 45

Cross-Channel
Attack

Intro to Campaigns
of Western Europe

CD 1
538 Pages - PDF


6 Jun - 24 Jul 44

Normandy
Campaign




CD 1
51 Pages - PDF


25 Jul - 14 Sep 44

Northern France
Campaign




CD 1
32 Pages - PDF


Aug 44 - Mar 45

Riviera
To The Rhine

The Allied Drive
Across Northern Europe

CD 1
629 Pages - PDF


11 Sep - 16 Dec 44

The Siegfried Line
Campaign

CD 1
697 Pages - PDF


15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45

Rhineland
Campaign

CD 1
36 Pages - PDF


16 Dec 44 - 25 Jan 45

Ardennes-Alsace
Campaign

CD 1
56 Pages - PDF


22 Mar - 11 May 45

Central Europe
Campaign

CD 1
36 Pages - PDF


Brief History
U.S. Army
in World War II





CD 1
149 Pages - PDF


German
Prisoner of War
Camps

Where Amereican Prisoners Were Held


CD 1
4 Pages - PDF


1 Jul 43 - 30 Jun 45

Atlas of
World Battlefronts

European and
Pacific Theaters

CD 1
111 Pages - PDF


1939 - 1945


Long Road To Victory

Historical Narrative
Chronoligical Events
War in Europe 1939-45

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


Readers Guide

US Army
in World War II

CD 1
185 Pages - PDF


Soldiers
Pocket Guide
to Germany


CD 1
27 Pages - PDF


Chart

Organization
US Army Division

CD 1
1 Page - PDF


Map

United States Map
USArmy Regions

CD 1
1 Page - PDF


Rank
Insignia of Grade

Guide


CD 1
1 Page - PDF


Patches

3rd Army Divisions



CD 1
1 Page - PDF


Chart
Uniform Insignias

Guide


CD 1
1 Page - PDF


Shoulder Patch
Insignias

United States
Armed Forces

CD 1
19 Pages - PDF


Form SF180
Records Request

Request for
Personnel Records

CD 1
3 Pages - PDF


Researching the
National Archives

Finding Information in
the National Archives

CD 1
5 Pages - PDF


National Art Gallery

Guide to
Research Resources Relating to World War II

CD 1
20 Pages - PDF


Situation Maps

Europe Theater
of Operations


CD 1
82 Pages - PDF
The files below are found on CD 2


APOs

Army Postal Service
Addresses

CD 2
149 Pages - PDF


Supreme Command

European
Theater Operations

CD 2
631 Pages - PDF


VE Day

Eisenhower Flyer


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


6 Jun 44

SHAEF-Marshall


CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Aircraft
Recognition Guide

CD 2
17 Pages - PDF


Aircraft
Insignia Poster

CD 2
1 Page - PDF


Aircraft
Nose Art

CD 2
34 Pages - PDF


Troopships
of World War II

CD 2
391 Pages - PDF


"Fighting Divisions"

US Army
Division Histories


CD 2
241 Pages - PDF


US Air Force
Combat Chronology
1941 - 45



CD 2
743 Pages - PDF


Song Lyrics

Army
HIT KIT
of Popular Songs

CD 2
6 Pages - PDF


Mines - Booby Traps
Identification Guide




CD 2
42 Pages - PDF


Posters

US
World War II

CD 2
250 Pages - PDF


Posters

German
World War II

CD 2
75 Pages - PDF


Comic Book
Covers



CD 2
8 Pages - PDF


The
War Illustrated



CD 2
31 Issues - PDF
The files below are found on CD 3


Music

"Singing Soldiers"

Winners Second
All Army Soldier
Singing Contest

1954-55
19 Song LP Record
2 Album Set


CD 3
Info - PDF


Music

What Do You
Do In The Infantry ?

American Military March
Semper Fidelis (Marines)






CD 3
Files - Music Folder


Radio

DDay
Radio Broadcasts
~
13 - BBC/CBS/NBC
Normandy Invasion
Broadcasts
~
24 - CBS Invasion
1 Hour Broadcasts


CD 3
Files - Radio Folder


Cartoons

11
BANNED
World War II
Cartoons

Popeye
Superman
Donald Duck
Bugs Bunny
more ...

CD 3
Info - PDF


8th Infantry
"Golden Arrow"
"Pathfinder"

Division

8th Infantry Division History

After training in Ireland the 8th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, 4 July 1944, and entered combat on the 7th. Fighting through the hedgerows, it crossed the Ay River, 26 July, pushed through Rennes, 8 August, and attacked Brest in September.

The Crozon Peninsula was cleared, 19 September, and the Division drove across France to Luxembourg, moved to the Hurtgen Forest, 20 November, cleared Hurtgen on the 28th and Brandenburg, 3 December, and pushed on to the Roer. That river was crossed on 23 February 1945, Duren taken on the 25th and the Erft Canal crossed on the 28th.

The 8th reached the Rhine near Rodenkirchen, 7 March, and maintained positions along the river near Koln. On 6 April the Division attacked northwest to aid in the destruction of enemy forces in the Ruhr Pocket, and by the 17th had completed its mission.

After security duty, the Division, under operational control of the British Second Army, drove across the Elbe, 1 May, and penetrated to Schwerin when the war in Europe ended.



13th Infantry
"First at Vicksburg"
Regiment
13th Infantry Regiment History

1940
- 14 Jul - Activated at Ft. Jackson, SC.
1942
- 10 Sep - Commenced the Tennessee Maneuvers.
- 10 Nov - Moved to Camp Forest, TN.
- 29 Nov - Moved to Fort Leonardwood, MO.
1943
- 20 Mar - Transferred to Camp Young, CA.
- 16 Aug - Returned to Camp Forest, TN.
- 25 Nov - Staged at Camp Kilmer, NJ.
- 05 Dec - Departed New York P/E.
- 15 Dec - Arrived England.
1944
- 03 Jul - Arrived France.
- 19 Nov - Entered Germany.
1945
- 10 Jul - Arrived Hampton Roads P/E.
- 13 Jul - Moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
- 18 Nov - Inactivated.


In 1939 the regiment was reconstituted at Camp Jackson, South Carolina. The regiment found itself fighting through the hedgerows of France in July 1944 as a member of the 8th Infantry Division and led the drive to the Ay River.

The regiment spent ten months in combat in Northern France, The Rhineland and Central Europe. It occupied a position on the Siegfried Line and was involved in the Battle of Hurtgen Forest. Private First Class Walter C. Wetzel was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing his life to save his comrades.

Following World War II the unit was inactivated at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri on 18 November 1945.



28th Infantry
"Black Lions"
"Lions of Cantigny"

Regiment
28th Infantry Regiment History

1940
-- Stationed at Fort Niagra, NY.
- 02 Dec - Moved to Camp Jackson, SC.
1942
- 00 Sep to Nov - Participated in the Tennessee Maneuvers.
- 28 Nov - Moved to Fort Leonardwood, MO.
1943
- 20 Mar - Transferred to Camp Young, CA.
- 17 Aug - Arrived to Camp Forest, TN.
- 23 Nov - Staged at Camp Kilmer, NJ.
- 05 Dec - Departed New York P/E.
- 16 Dec - Arrived England.
1944
- 03 Jul - Landed in France.
|- 30 Sep - Crossed into Luxembourg.
- 19 Nov - Entered Germany.
1945
- 06 Jul - Arrived Hampton Roads P/E.
- 09 Jul - Moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
- 01 Nov - Inactivated.


The inter war years found the Regiment headquartered at Ft. Niagara, NY. It was detached from the First Division on Oct 16, 1939, and assigned to the Eighth Division on June 22, 1940.

The 28th Infantry again distinguished itself in combat during WWII. After landing on Utah Beach on July 4, 1944, its first action was an attack to the south to establish a critical bridgehead over the Ay River so that armored divisions could launch a breakout and then attack into Brittany and Northern France. The Regiment then advanced south through Avranches and Rennes and turned west into Brittany. It participated in the savage battle for Brest and then fought on the Crozon Peninsula.

In late September, the 28th moved to Luxembourg and assumed its sector of the 8th Inf Div front which stretched along the Our River. In mid-November, the Regiment relieved elements of the 109th Infantry in the area southeast of Aachen. The next several weeks were spent attacking through the dense, forbidding Huertgen Forest, where deep mud, bitter cold, snow, enemy artillery and mines, and fierce enemy resistance caused numerous casualties in the worst fighting the Regiment was to experience.

The Regiment successfully conducted an assault crossing of the flood-swollen Roer River in late February. It then seized the town of Stockheim and continued the attack, seizing dozens of strongly defended enemy towns, until it reached the Rhine River.

In mid-April the 28th Infantry drove north as part of the campaign to destroy or capture all enemy forces trapped in the Ruhr-Sieg pocket. After a brief period of occupation duty in the Ruhr-Rhine area, the Regiment was ordered to cross the Elbe and advance toward the Baltic Sea. The final days of the war for the Regiment were spent managing huge numbers of Wehrmacht POWs, refugees and former prisoners of the Germans.

During its eleven months of combat, the Regiment played a major part in four allied campaigns - winning three Presidential Unit Citations embroidered Normandy, Bergstein and Stockheim. It suffered over 4,300 total casualties and captured more than 115,000 prisoners of war and vast stores of enemy material.

The Regiment was inactive from 1945 until 1950.



121st Infantry
"Old Gray Bonnet"
Regiment
121st Infantry Regiment History

1940
- 14 Jul - Activated at Ft. Jackson, SC.
1942
- 10 Sep - Commenced the Tennessee Maneuvers.
- 10 Nov - Moved to Camp Forest, TN.
- 29 Nov - Moved to Fort Leonardwood, MO.
1943
- 20 Mar - Transferred to Camp Young, CA.
- 16 Aug - Returned to Camp Forest, TN.
- 25 Nov - Staged at Camp Kilmer, NJ.
- 05 Dec - Departed New York P/E.
- 15 Dec - Arrived England.
1944
- 03 Jul - Arrived France.
- 19 Nov - Entered Germany.
1945
- 10 Jul - Arrived Hampton Roads P/E.
- 13 Jul - Moved to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
- 18 Nov - Inactivated.


On 22 November 1941, the regiment was relieved of assignment to the 30th Division and assigned to the 8th Division. . The regiment was briefly organized as a motorized infantry regiment before reverting to traditional infantry organization prior to shipping overseas. The 121st Infantry subsequently saw combat with the 8th Infantry Division in the European Theater of Operations during 1944-45.



8th Infantry
"Golden Arrow"
"Pathfinder"

Division
Campaigns of World War II

Normandy
6 Jun - 24 Jul 44
Northern France
25 Jul - 14 Sep 44
Rhineland
15 Sep 44 - 21 Mar 45
Central Europe
22 Mar - 11 May 45


Normandy
6 June - 24 July 1944

A great invasion force stood off the Normandy coast of France as dawn broke on 6 June 1944: 9 battleships, 23 cruisers, 104 destroyers, and 71 large landing craft of various descriptions as well as troop transports, mine sweepers, and merchantmen—in all, nearly 5,000 ships of every type, the largest armada ever assembled. The naval bombardment that began at 0550 that morning detonated large minefields along the shoreline and destroyed a number of the enemy’s defensive positions. To one correspondent, reporting from the deck of the cruiser HMS Hillary, it sounded like “the rhythmic beating of a gigantic drum” all along the coast. In the hours following the bombardment, more than 100,000 fighting men swept ashore to begin one of the epic assaults of history, a “mighty endeavor,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it to the American people, “to preserve. . . our civilization and to set free a suffering humanity.”


Northern France
25 July - 14 September 1944

As July 1944 entered its final week, Allied forces in Normandy faced, at least on the surface, a most discouraging situation. In the east, near Caen, the British and Canadians were making little progress against fierce German resistance. In the west, American troops were bogged down in the Norman hedgerows. These massive, square walls of earth, five feet high and topped by hedges, had been used by local farmers over the centuries to divide their fields and protect their crops and cattle from strong ocean winds. The Germans had turned these embankments into fortresses, canalizing the American advance into narrow channels, which were easily covered by antitank weapons and machine guns. The stubborn defenders were also aided by some of the worst weather seen in Normandy since the turn of the century, as incessant downpours turned country lanes into rivers of mud. By 25 July, the size of the Allied beachhead had not even come close to the dimensions that pre–D-day planners had anticipated, and the slow progress revived fears in the Allied camp of a return to the static warfare of World War I. Few would have believed that, in the space of a month and a half, Allied armies would stand triumphant at the German border.



Rhineland
15 September 1944 - 21 March 1945

The Rhineland Campaign, although costly for the Allies, had clearly been ruinous for the Germans. The Germans suffered some 300,000 casualties and lost vast amounts of irreplaceable equipment. Hitler, having demanded the defense of all of the German homeland, enabled the Allies to destroy the Wehrmacht in the West between the Siegfried Line and the Rhine River. Now, the Third Reich lay virtually prostrate before Eisenhower’s massed armies.



Central Europe Campaign
22 March - 11 May 1945
By the beginning of the Central Europe Campaign of World War II, Allied victory in Europe was inevitable. Having gambled his future ability to defend Germany on the Ardennes offensive and lost, Hitler had no real strength left to stop the powerful Allied armies. Yet Hitler forced the Allies to fight, often bitterly, for final victory. Even when the hopelessness of the German situation became obvious to his most loyal subordinates, Hitler refused to admit defeat. Only when Soviet artillery was falling around his Berlin headquarters bunker did the German Fuehrer begin to perceive the final outcome of his megalomaniacal crusade.


For Mac or PC computer use only. A monograph is a work of writing or essay or book on a specific subject and may be released in the manner of a book or journal article. Files copied from books and the National Archives and are 'as is' and may be incomplete or unreadable in parts. Video files are of reduced resolution due to CD space limitations. For Special Requests or more information about this or any of my other "Researching WWII" CDs like it, please email me at Hello@MtMestas.com .