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13th Armored Division (United States)

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Country  United States
Type  Armor
Size  Division
Branch  United States Army
Role  Armored warfare
13th Armored Division (United States)
Active  15 October 1942 – 15 November 1945 1947–52

The 13th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II.

Contents

History and combat chronicle

The division was activated on 15 October 1942 at Camp Beale, east of Marysville, California.

The 13th Armored, known as the Black Cats, landed at Le Havre, France, 29 January 1945. After performing occupation duties, the Division moved to Homberg near Kassel to prepare for combat under the Third Army, 5 April. At Altenkirchen, it was attached to the XVIII Corps and prepared for the Ruhr Pocket operation. The attack jumped off at Honnef, 10 April. After crossing the river Sieg at Siegburg, the 13th pushed north to Bergisch Gladbach, then toward Duisburg and Mettmann by 18 April.

Shifting south to Eschenau, the Division prepared for Bavarian operations. Starting from Parsberg, 26 April, the 13th crossed the Regen river, then the Danube at Matting and secured the area near Dünzling. On the 28th, elements closed in at Plattling and crossed the Isar River. Moderate to heavy resistance was met during this drive through southern Germany. The Division smashed into Braunau am Inn, Austria, 2 May, and the command post was set up in the house where Hitler was born. A bridgehead across the Inn was established at Marktl, but the river was not crossed as orders came to reassemble north of Inn River, 2 May.

Preparations were made for further advances when the war in Europe ended. The 13th remained in Germany until 25 June and left Le Havre, France, for home, 14 July 1945.

The division moved to Camp Cook, California after returning to the United States. It was training in amphibious operations at the time of the Japanese surrender. The men were aware that it was an open secret that they were likely to participate in the invasion of Japan. It was inactivated on 15 November 1945.

The division was reactivated in 1947, reflagged from the 19th Armored Division, which had been 'placed on rolls,' but not actually activated, during World War II. The 19th Armored Division was eventually activated just after the war, and allotted to the Sixth Army area of the Organized Reserves (specifically California, Oregon, and Arizona). In 1947, the 19th Armored Division was reflagged as the 13th Armored Division at California's request. In 1952, the division was reflagged as the 63rd Infantry Division in Los Angeles, California, and thus the 13th Armored Division was finally inactivated.

Order of battle

Headquarters Company

Combat Command A Combat Command B Reserve Command 24th Tank Battalion 45th Tank Battalion 46th Tank Battalion 16th Armored Infantry Battalion 59th Armored Infantry Battalion 67th Armored Infantry Battalion 93d Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron (Mechanized) 124th Armored Engineer Battalion 153d Armored Signal Company

13th Armored Division Artillery

497th Armored Field Artillery Battalion 496th Armored Field Artillery Battalion 498th Armored Field Artillery Battalion

13th Armored Division Trains

135th Ordnance Maintenance Battalion 83d Armored Medical Battalion Military Police Platoon Band

Casualties

  • Total battle casualties: 1,176
  • Killed in action: 214
  • Wounded in action: 912
  • Missing in action: 16
  • Prisoner of war: 34
  • Awards

    Campaigns

  • Rhineland
  • Central Europe
  • Individual Awards

  • Distinguished Service Cross: 2
  • Silver Star: 6
  • Bronze Star: 102
  • References

    13th Armored Division (United States) Wikipedia


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