68th ARMORED INFANTRY BATTALION 14th ARMORED DIVISION

Associate Group: First Special Service Force, 6th CO, 3rd REG and the 6th Corps living History Group, St Louis, MO

A Brief History of the 14th Armored Division

14TH ARMORED DIVISION

World War II

Activated: 15 November 1942. Overseas: 14 October 1944. Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe. Days of combat: 167. Distinguished Unit Citations: 2. Awards: MH-1 ; DSC-9 ; DSM-1 ; SS-273; LM-8; SM-13 ; BSM-3,024 ; AM-47. Commanders: Maj. Gen. Vernon E. Prichard (November 1942-July 1944), Maj. Gen. Albert C. Smith (July 1944 to inactivation). Returned to U. S.: 7 September 1945. Inactivated: 16 September 1945.

Combat Chronicle

The 14th Armored Division landed at Marseilles, France, 29 October 1944. Within 2 weeks some of its elements were in combat, maintaining defensive positions along the Franco-Italian frontier. The Division moved north to Rambervillers, 20. November, to take part in the VI Corps drive through the Vosges Mountains. Hard fighting at Gertwiller, Benfeld, and Barr cracked Nazi defenses, and the Division was on the Alsatian Plain early in December. Attacking across the Lauter River, 12 December, it took Haguenau, moved across the Moder River and entered the Haguenau woods. On Christmas Day the 14th was assigned defensive positions running south of Bitche near Neunhoffen. It thwarted the heavy German attack in the Bitche salient launched New Year's Eve. Although forced to withdraw, the Division remained intact. With the failure of his Bitche attack, the enemy attempted to break through to Strasbourg by attacks at Hatten and Rittershoffen, but again the drive was halted by the 14th Armored in a furious defensive engagement in January 1945. After rest, rehabilitation, and defensive missions during February and early March, the Division returned to the offensive, 15 March 1945, drove across the Moder River, cracked through the Siegfried Line, and by the end of the month, had captured Germersheim on the Rhine. On Easter Sunday, 1 April 1945, the 14th moved across the Rhine near Worms and continued pursuit of the retreating enemy through Lohr, Gemunden, Neustadt, and Hammelburg. In its final thrust, the Division raced to the Danube, crossed at Ingolstadt, and pushed on across the Isar River to Moosburg, where over 110,000 Allied prisoners were liberated. The Division fired its last rounds, 2 May 1945, and was processing prisoners of war as the war in Europe ended.

Assignments in the ETO*

1 November 1944: Attached to 6th Army Group. 10 November 1944: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group. 29 November 1944: XV Corps. 5 December 1944: VI Corps. 31 March 1945: XV Corps. 23 April 1945: III Corps, Third Army, 12th Army Group.

General

Nickname: Liberator Division. Shoulder patch: Same as the 1st Armored, but with the number "14" in the upper portion of the triangle. Association: 14th Armored Division Association, Lt. Col. J. C. Lambert, The Infantry School, Fort Benning, Ga. Publications: History of the 14th Armored Division (first edition) ; by unit members; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1944. History of the 14th Armored Division; by Capt. Joseph Carter, Unit Historian; Albert Love Enterprises, Atlanta 2, Ga.; 1946.

[Nota Bene: These combat chronicles, current as of October 1948, are reproduced from The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950, pp. 510-592.]
page created 30 November 2001
The preceding web-site text was obtained from the Center For Military History.

 

68th armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored Division in Europe  by rich schafer

 

U.S. 14th Armored Division

Shoulder sleeve patch of the United States Army 14th Armored Division
Active1942-1945
CountryUnited States
BranchU.S. Army
TypeArmored Division (Light)
NicknameLIBERATORS
EngagementsWorld War II
* S. France (part of division) Rhineland, Ardennes/Alsace Operation Nordwind, and Central Europe
Battle honours2 - Presidential Unit Citations

 

14th Armored Division Statistics

 Chronology

Activated 15 November 1942

Arrived ETO 29 October 1944

Arrived Continent (D+75) 29 October 1944

Entered Combat

…First Elements 14 November 1944

…Entire Division 20 November 1944

Days in Combat 133

 Casualties

Killed……………….….…….447

Wounded……………….….1,998

Missing…………………...…422

Captured………………….…..29

Battle Casualties…….…….2,896

Non-Battle Casualties….….1,400

Total Casualties…………...4,296

Percent of T/O Strength…….40.3

 Campaigns

Rhineland

Adrennes-Alsace

Central Europe

 Individual Awards

Congressional Medal on Honor.....1

Distinguished Service Cross…..…….5

Legion of Merit…………………….5

Silver Star……………………….167

Soldiers Medal……………………12

Bronze Star……………………2,093

Air Medal………………………...46

Distinguished Flying Cross………….1

 

Prisoners of War Taken……64,205

 

 

TABLE OF ORGANIZATION

14th Armor Division Command Staff Structure

Commanding General

1 Nov 44

Brig. Gen. Albert C. Smith

19 Mar 45

Maj. Gen. Albert C. Smith

Artillery Commander

1 Nov 44

Col. Maurice K. Kurtz

Chief of Staff

1 Nov 44

Col. James P. Hill

Assistant Chief of Staff G-1

1 Nov 44

Maj. Albert W. Stephens

1 Dec 44

Lt. Col. Albert W. Stephens

 Assistant Chief of Staff G-2

1 Nov 44

Maj. Harold E. Miller

1 Dec 44

Lt. Col. Harold E. Miller

 Assistant Chief of Staff G-3

1 Nov 44

Lt. Col. Joe C. Lambert

1 May 45

Col. Joe C. Lambert

 Assistant Chief of Staff G-4

1 Nov 44

Maj. George P. Seneff, Jr.

1 Dec 44

Lt. Col. George P. Seneff, Jr.

Adjutant General

1 Nov 44

Lt. Col. William C. Golden

 Commanding Officer, Combat Command A

1 Nov 44

Col. Charles H. Karlstad

19 Mar 45

Brig. Gen. Charles H. Karlstad

 Commanding Officer, Combat Command B

1 Nov 44

Col. Francis J. Gillespie

 Commanding Officer, Reserve Command

1 Nov 44

Col. Daniel H. Hudelsch

 

 COMMAND POSTS

 

DATE

TOWN

REGION

COUNTRY

29 Oct 44

La Malle

Bouches-du-Rhone

France

17 Nov 44

Portieux La Verrerie

Meurthe-et-Moselle

France

1 Dec 44

Hochfelden

Bas-Rhin

France

13 Dec 44

Surbourg

Bas-Rhin

France

16 Dec 44

Leiterswiller

Bas-Rhin

France

31 Dec 44

Bouxwiller

Bas-Rhin

France

11 Jan 45

Morsbronn-les-Bains

Bas-Rhin

France

14 Jan 45

Surbourg

Bas-Rhin

France

19 Jan 45

Hoelschloch

Bas-Rhin

France

22 Jan 45

Dettwiller

Bas-Rhin

France

18 Mar 45

Niederbetschdorf

Bas-Rhin

France

20 Mar 45

Oberseebach

Bas-Rhin

France

24 Mar 45

Schweighofen

Rhineland

Germany

1 Apr 45

Rheinheim

Hessen

Germany

2 Apr 45

Hofstetten

Bavaria

Germany

3 Apr 45

Partenstein

Bavaria

Germany

6 Apr 45

Langenprozelten

Bavaria

Germany

7 Apr 45

Hammelburg (vic.; Military Camp)

Bavaria

Germany

9 Apr 45

Unsleben

Bavaria

Germany

11 Apr 45

Romhild

Bavaria

Germany

13 Apr 45

Lichtenfels

Bavaria

Germany

14 Apr 45

Hollfeld

Bavaria

Germany

16 Apr 45

Gossweinstein

Bavaria

Germany

18 Apr 45

Altdorf

Bavaria

Germany

23 Apr 45

Hilpolstein

Bavaria

Germany

25 Apr 45

Euerwang

Bavaria

Germany

26 Apr 45

Hagenhill

Bavaria

Germany

28 Apr 45

Manching

Bavaria

Germany

29 Apr 45

Gamelsdorf

Bavaria

Germany

30 Apr 45

Moosburg

Bavaria

Germany

1 May 45

Nieder-Straubing

Bavaria

Germany

3 May 45

Velden

Bavaria

Germany

 

 

 

 

 

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum @   http://www.ushmm.org/museum/

   
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum - Collections
 

THE 14TH ARMORED DIVISION

 

The 14th Armored Division joined the Allied invasion of western Europe in October 1944, when it landed in Marseille in southern France. By early 1945, the "Liberators" had advanced as far as Alsace-Lorraine, provinces that had been incorporated into Germany after France's defeat in 1940. In March and April, the 14th penetrated the Rhineland and moved into Bavaria. By war's end, the division had reached the Danube River.

As the 14th advanced into southern Germany, it uncovered several subcamps of the Dachau concentration camp. Operating near the towns of Ampfing and Mühldorf, the unit discovered four large munitions plants built underground, some 15,000 tons of high explosive, and three large forced-labor camps, housing thousands of Polish and Soviet civilian workers. The 14th also liberated two other camps nearby, one holding 1,500 Jewish prisoners and the other filled with Jewish female inmates. The unit reported that of the 1,500 prisoners in the first camp, only 900 could walk, and that the lime pits were filled with the corpses of inmates.

 

 

Defeat of Nazi Germany, 1942-1945
See maps

The 14th Armored Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the U.S. Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1991.

Casualty figures for the 14th Armored Division, European theater of operations
Total battle casualties: 2,690
Total deaths in battle: 566

 

 

Division nickname
Although lacking a nickname during the war, the 14th became known as the "Liberators" soon afterward to signify its accomplishments in liberating hundreds of thousands of forced and slave laborers, concentration camp prisoners, and Allied prisoners of war in 1945.