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 Accurate Unit History (World War 2 Deployment)

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Lee [42nd ID]
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Join date : 2012-10-30
Age : 26

PostSubject: Accurate Unit History (World War 2 Deployment)   Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:16 am

When formed and activated for World War II, the 42ID was a unique unit, as it was a reconstitution of the Rainbow Division from World War I. Except for the division headquarters, none of its earlier elements had reformed in the interwar period, so the Army Ground Forces filled its new units with personnel from every state. To emphasize the 42ID lineage from the 42ID of World War I, Maj. Gen. Harry J. Collins activated the unit on 14 July, the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Champagne-Marne campaign in France. Plaque at Dachau concentration camp commemorating the liberation of the camp by the Rainbow Division.

Following training at Camp Gruber, OK and the journey to Europe, the three infantry regiments (222nd, 232nd, & 242nd) and a detachment of the 42ID Headquarters arrived in France at Marseille, 8–9 December 1944, and were formed into Task Force (TF) Linden, under Henning Linden, the Assistant Division Commander (ADC). TF Linden was task organized to VI Corps under 7th Army. TF Linden entered combat in the vicinity of Strasbourg, relieving elements of the 36ID on 24 December 1944.

Defending a 31-mile sector along the Rhine, north and south of Strasbourg, TF Linden repulsed a number of enemy counterattacks, at Hatten and other locations. On 24 and 25 January 1945, in the Bois D’Ohlungen, and the vicinity of Schweighouse-sur-Moder and Neubourg, the 222nd Infantry Regiment repulsed repeated attacks by the German 7th Parachute and 47th VG Divisions. For this action the 222nd Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation (2001). After these enemy attacks, TF Linden returned to reserve of the 7th Army and trained with the remainder of the 42ID which had arrived in the meantime.

On 14 February 1945, the 42ID as a whole entered combat, taking up defensive positions near Haguenau in the Hardt Forest. After a month of extensive patrolling and active defense, the 42ID went on the offensive. The 42ID attacked through the Hardt Forest, broke through the Siegfried Line, 15–21 March 1945, cleared Dahn and Busenberg, and mopped up in that general area, while the 3rd Army created and expanded bridgeheads across the Rhine. Moving across the Rhine, 31 March 1945, the 42ID captured Wertheim am Main, 1 April 1945, and Würzburg, 2–6 April 1945, after a fierce battle. Schweinfurt fell next after hand-to-hand engagements, 9–12 April 1945. Fürth, near Nürnberg, put up fanatical resistance, but was taken, 18–19 April 1945, by the 42ID.

On 25 April, the 42ID captured Donauwörth on the Danube, and on 29 April 1945, liberated some 30,000 inmates at Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp along with the 45th Infantry Division. The 42ID campaign ended passing through Munich, 30 April 1945, as it cut across the Austrian border located north of Salzburg.
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