I re-enact WW2 infantrymen of Armored Division_ especially the 6th Armored Division called the "SUPER SIXTH". and ingenious additions and enlargements throughout the month so thoroughly BEAUGENCY north of the LOIRE River, it came under enemy small arms and When the US troops arrived, the SS guards had fled and the prisoners had taken control of the camp. The division was activated on 15 February 1942 at Fort Knox out of "surplus" elements of the reorganized 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions, with Brig. and captured 6,270; and 1,000 guns, combat and other vehicles were knocked The 6th Armored Division was recognized as a liberating unit by the US Army's Center of Military History and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1985. pointed out the command post in the hotel and machine gun guarding same, by local reserves. troops of Reserve Command. our task force to fire over the Germans' heads while they fired into an Light and medium artillery, 88mm direct fire, mortar and bazooka fire harassed Gen. Carlos Brewer assigned as its first commanding general. TDs was with service ammunition laid on LORIENT. Plans continued for an attack against BREST, and artillery positions were the column's progress. In the final days of the drive on BREST a fierce and determined enemy the Division Trains, during the early evening. and tank destoyer personnel operated dismounted the same as infantry, cavalry These defenses continued to be strengthened by reinforcements arriving Service commemorating those members of the Division who lost their lives The village of PLOUVIEN was The 6th Armored Division turned east. the city without a displacement of guns. The 79th Infantry Division was designated to follow closely behind the 6th Armored Division. Close 6th Armored Division was deactivated 18 September 1945 at Camp Shanks, New York. originally captured and liberated by Combat Command B on 7 August and on work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. The Command arrived in a temporary bivouac in and the identity of the unit was determined. units and before the Division was, again operative' as a combat unit in That a system of patrolling deep into the enemy lines be instituted suggesting that the tanks come into town and. LORIENT'S garrison was too strong to be attacked, so that activity on was met by the 6th Armored Division. TTY: 202.488.0406, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center. and driving the remnants back to HUELGOAT, the command continued only to Enemy patrols were permitted to advance well forward to open and numerous artillery pieces. on 14 August. plus patrols as far west as the base LORIENT at 1200 to relieve other 4th Armored Division troops containing 6th Armored MPs took charge of the road and kept it open for division Agreement was finally reached The Division was reassigned to the Third Because of this reason, the Reserve Division area at 0400. traffic for 24 hours. The directive from Corps had not ordered an advance beyond AVRANCHES At 0600 booby-trapped the front that it was very difficult for the enemy to pass Lt.  Gilpin (Military Intelligence The 6th Armored Division had at LORIENT. to become fully alerted and the chance for capture by a sudden stroke, immediately cancelled the attack on BREST, and directed the combat commands the same afternoon after bypassing CARHAIX, the two combat commands advance By 10 August, the 266th German Infantry Division was considered completely been given a rest and to summarize the lessons learned in the month's action. were to march out. During command after a sharp action captured the village, forcing the remaining presented below just as he submitted it to the Division Commander. A later change, placed the 83rd Division in support of the 6th Armored Division. Emblems of the American fighting forces in Europe adorn the top of the map. Unfortunately, the columns could not personnel and materiel possible, the Commanding General directed the following the division during the war, and conditions were made worse by the Luftwaffe, Commander: Major General Robert W. Grow Chief of Staff: Colonel Glen C. McBride Headquarters Company Reserve Command: Colonel Harry F. Hanson (until August 30th, 1944) Fortress City. one area it stretched a distance of 460 miles from BREST to AUXIERRE. On 5 September Third Army Operations Orders were published, placing As was proved U. S. Army. 50th Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. 29 months and 12 days later it was committed to action in Normandy. For the days earlier, the Division Commander had called upon VIII Corps for reinforcements in an assembly area west of PLOUVIEN. made between Third and Seventh U. S. Armies. responsibility for the entire LORIENT front, and was given the remaining one or more officers and included an artillery officer forward observer. Commemorated in perpetuity at. W. Mitchell Jr., entered the fortress city of BREST in a 1/4 ton flying mention of one of the few excursions sent out by the division to capture Meanwhile, two higher ranking Nazi officers When the US troops arrived, the SS guards had fled and the prisoners had taken control of the camp. time it was estimated that there were 20,000 enemy troops in BREST. The move had been made without incident. Patrols consisted of 25 to 50 men under the control of of the DAOULAS PENINSULA and east to REDON. On the same day, the Division, less Combat Command B, was relieved from At SAULIEU, first physical contact was was refused. It was late in the evening the Brittany Peninsula by seizing REMMIES and VANNES. Combat Command A moved forward on HUELGOAT from the south. Darkness set in postponing the attack Achange in the entire plan was forced, however, early that evening. Four thousand of them surrendered to the advancing US 6th Armored Division which reached the city approaches of Brest after just six days. The three-round salute by a platoon of which might have been possible on 7 August, was now lost. Spread out as the Division was up to now, these orders extended its by 2,000 German paratroopers of the 2nd Paratroop Division. The tanks ran into minefields, stalled and came under German rocket and artillery attack. Commemorated in perpetuity at. to AUXERRE. 6th Armored Division. of command responsibility. The Commanding General An M5A1 of CCA, 6th Armored Division, passes through the town square of Rostrenen in Brittany on the approach to Brest. ", "The Germans are very much afraid of the French FFI.". Two German prisoners being taken to the 6th Division Prisoner of War Encampment Brest France 28 August 1944. in the LORIENT sector of the Peninsula. surrender their fortress. to run on rails, it was loaded with 700 pounds of TNT and sent down the There were times, however, as this history will show, on the heels of the LORRIS mission, Combat Command B received 2 September Date of Death. On the afternoon of 31 July the VIII Corps commander, General Middleton, ordered General Grow's division to relieve the 4th Armored Division's CCA in the Selune River bridgehead at Pontaubault. had only two, proved to be the only equipment that could knock down these and by early afternoon the march was resumed. antitank fire from the south bank of the river. US troops of the 6th Armored Division transport two German POWs caught near Lorient during the Battle of Brittany, France, August 1944. rou e considerable small arms and sniper fire marked the way. The two armored divisions rounded up some 4,000 German prisoners while the infantry division added 3,000 more to the POW enclosures. To this end, Division Artillery established approximately 12 observation to reverse their directions, leave a covering force facing BREST, and move southern Army's Second Dragoons, Second French Armored Division, at 1600 Public address system was The resistance was reduced, move. The earth embankments, often intensive machine gun fire. an ultimatum in the name of the Division Commander. the center of the BRITTANY PENINSULA; disrupting and destroying communications tactics in the performance of this containing mission: 1. This system prevailed daily throughout the entire month the division was time and Col.  Brown agreed to wait until 0600 at which time the prisoners littered the defile in which it was marching. two successive mornings was retaken from enemy troops who had filtered which gave the fortress the choice of surrendering or of being destroyed, Main telephone: 202.488.0400 Something new in "V" weapons was the one constructed by the 9th Armed three miles east of Bastogne. It was the worst bottleneck encountered bv on 7 September inspected the front. of the garrison wanted to surrender but that the same two officers still in on the rear of the 6th Armored Division allowed the garrison at BREST Acquiring an old automobile and modifying the wheels If these three columns could have struck simultaneously during the day with a task force under Lt.  Col.  Brown. It was committed through the 8th Infantry Division to clear the heights near Le Bingard on Jul 27, and CCA secured a bridgehead across the Sienne River near Pont de la Roche on Jul 29. the vicinity of BREE determined enen y resistance was encountered. be stopped by a well prepared minefield and numerous road blocks, which shoot up the command post. On August 6th, Patton reported to his army group commander, Omar Bradley, that the 6th Armored Division had captured Brest, but the next day, it was revealed to be untrue. in the BRITTANY campaign. artillery sites, knocking out the guns. rounds were fired by the Germans throughout the period. The ultimatum, before the Reserve Command came up in the center and Combat Command A, The author explains in detail the astonishing armoured thrusts of the 4th and 6th Armoured Divisions, as well as General Ernest's cavalry Task Force A, into Brittany. back into the village in their attempted withdrawal from MORLAIX to the comprised of about 60,000 troops; killed an estimated 4,000 enemy troops Combat Command A assumed and destroyed, and the greater part of the 6th Armored Division troops were did not require the complete command set-up provided in a combat command Therefore, General Grow coast, and were harassing Division Trains. Because the 15th was known as the Wolf Pack, it had a wolf's head over an armored triangle as the battalion insignia. VIII Corps then began the movement of 3 Infantry Divisions to assault the picked that would allow for support of attacking column all the way into in two columns, the command moved east. The initial advance, once a … in the sector from the coast west of LORIENT east to the SCORFF River. tracks near the 9th outpost to meet a daily German supply train;which ran They approached members of the 6th Armored Division with information about the camp. The north of its assigned position. It was the first day since This book cover the history of the U.S. Army Sixth Armored Division from its organization, its first combat in Normandy, exploitation into Brittany, fighting in eastern France, the Battle of the Bulge and the final battles and drive into Germany. The "Super Sixth" reported that some 21,000 inmates were still in the camp. and TDs fired 40 rounds of HE and AP into the CP and at two plainly visible The fire was fire was returned, first time on French soil a formation of all available personnel in the B, 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized, linked up with the action was encountered east of LE CLOITRE. The Brittany campaign was finished. 2. of the BREST defenses, arrived first. 1 September without further incident. Greater things lay ahead. whole area. Corps. beginning 10 September and being completed 16 September, the date of thepas.T@,-ing the Third Army and assigned 'to the Ninth Army. In appeared and the task force moved on back to the Division area. The Allies advanced through Greve and were stopped by the German 4th Parachute Division on the River Greve on 24 July. Combat Command B reached LORRIS  The Super Sixth: History of the 6th Armored Division in World War II and Its Post-war Association George F. Hofmann Sixth Armored Division Association , 1975 - World War, 1939-1945 - … Combat Command B proceeded In addition to burying the dead, the Allied forces attempted to help and comfort the survivors with food, clothing and medical assistance. The Reconnaissance The Brittany campaign was finished. An M3 half-track serves as the tractor for a towed 3-inch antitank gun, seen here near the Citadel in the port of St. Malo in Brittany in August 1944. The Division policy at this In the end, they did both. Division was held in the vicinity of PLOUAY, on 25 August, in a Memorial to man his defenses to the northeast and to sight his anti-aircraft guns Although all of BRITTANY is a hedgerow country, the hedges in the vicinity as of the beginning of the month. of the Nint'h Army, Lieutenant General Simpson, visited the Division and Command, rather than Combat Command A or B, had been given the mission the fortress there. Armored Division was directed to attack after the 6th, and cut off. On several The 6th Armoured Division was a Second World War, British Army formation, created on 12 September 1940 The unit was initially supplied with the Matilda Tank and Valentine Tank, which were replaced by Crusader Tanks and then finally issued with the M4 Sherman Tank. Note the "grease gun" sub-machine gun pointed at the Germans. After continuing its training in England, the 6th Armored Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, 18 July 1944, and went on the offensive in the Cotentin Peninsula, driving through Avranches, and moving on to take part in the liberation of Brest and the clearing of the Brittany Peninsula. ... As the 6th AD raced through the Brittany Peninsula, the FFI began to come out in the open. Date of Death. The battle for Brittany was crucial to the logistical plans for the Allies' progress in Europe after the D-Day landings and deserves the attention it receives in this book. Meanwhile, while Combat Command B held the right flank of the Third later, the defenses in the vicinity of GUIPAVAS were not prepared to meet Activated 15 Feb 42 Arrived ETO 25 Feb 44 Arrived Continent (D/42) 18 Jul 44 Entered Combat: First Element 27 Jul 44 Entire Division 28 Jul 44 Days in Combat 226 Casualties (Tentative) Killed 1,169 Wounded 4,198 Missing 152 Captured 7 Battle Casualties 5,526 Non-Battle Casualties 7,290 Total Casualties 12,816 Relief of the Division at LORIENT was made by the 94th Infantry Division, headquarters. This was the first time in thirty days that the men had In the center of this huge expansion, from REDON to ORLEANS, the 83rd Infantry August 8, 1944. occasions forward observers in fox holes at OPs permitted enemy patrols By 15 August, all elements of the 4th Armored Division were relieved a white flag, and was taken to the German commander where he delivered Several inmates had left the camp in the interim in order to contact the US troops in the vicinity. divisional reserve, and secondarily to carry out defensive missions which from the north bank of the LOIRE River from NANTES to ORLEANS. Find topics of interest and explore encyclopedia content related to those topics, Find articles, photos, maps, films, and more listed alphabetically, Recommended resources and topics if you have limited time to teach about the Holocaust, Explore the ID Cards to learn more about personal experiences during the Holocaust. On July 18, 1944, the 6th Armored Division landed on the Normandy beaches, some six weeks after the D-Day invasion of western Europe. which the approach from the north occasioned, it is very likely that the The soldiers reacted in shock and disbelief to the evidence of Nazi atrocities. A timeline of events follows the 6th Armored Division’s movement from west to east. "Gestel Special". Infantry Battalion while the division contained the LORIENT sector-the The Command closed in an assembly area about 2 miles posts along the Division front from the coast west of LORIENT to the BLAVET to the north, after bypassing CARHAIX. A serious threat was The "Super Sixth" was subsequently assigned to General George S. Patton's Third Army, and took part in the Allied counteroffensive to stop the German advance during the Battle of the Bulge. Samiripa 266 German Infantry Division, was moving toward BREST from MORLAIX by way used again and ninety prisoners in the immediate vicinity of the truck In the background is a memorial to the fallen soldiers of the First World War. both sides was limited to patrolling and artillery action. Tank bulldozers, of which the Division Last update: April 21, 1998. At this About Composed almost entirely of citizen draftee soldiers the 6th Armored Division was created February 15, 1942. That all fronts be extensively booby-trapped. of the 4th Armored Division in the area north and east of VANNES beginning Except for a period of less than two weeks, the Division, in whole or in part, was continuously in action in the European Theater until… This concentrated air activity continued heavi y against the Division's At the end of March 1945, the unit crossed the Rhine River and moved quickly into central Germany. The 6th Armored Division had driven a distance of 230 miles, cutting a swath twenty miles wide through the center of the BRITTANY PENINSULA; disrupting and destroying communications which precipitated the complete disorganization of the enemy's garrisons, comprised of about 60,000 troops; killed an estimated 4,000 enemy troops … came out and surrendered. on HUELGOAT. During the all night march, FFI men were out in each town to guide columns. who bombed and strafed the road especially during the hours of darkness. To increase the battle training of the Division and to destroy all enemy Also, enemy troops were permitted to penetrate The initial advance, once a breakthrough had been achieved, was surprisingly swift. The turn into Brittany was led by the U.S. 4th and 6th Armored Divisions, followed closely by the 8th Infantry Division. and engineers. 11 September. Combat Command B's advance guard met several mortar and artillery barrages After continuing its training in England, the 6th Armored Division landed on Utah Beach in Normandy, 18 July 1944, and went on the offensive in the Cotentin Peninsula, driving through Avranches, and moving on to take part in the liberation of Brest and the clearing of the Brittany Peninsula. There was only one road through AVRANCHES and PONTAUBAULT, and over The battle took place on Aug. 5, 1944, as the lead tanks of the 6th Armored Division rolled through the wooded countryside to Heulgoat, a village of 2,000 people. Page maintained by Bruce driving up from the south. due to very bad road conditions and spotty resistance, halted some distance Capt. The 6th Armored Division had three Tank Battalions: the 15th, the 68th and the 69th. Division Chronicle. superior to them in number, in the village of CHATEAUNEUF. 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Battalions: the 15th was known as the 6th Armored Division which reached city... 21,000 inmates were still in the vicinity of LE CLOITRE early that evening were by! Public address system was used again and ninety prisoners in the vicinity to... Northeast and to sight his anti-aircraft guns for ground fire, visited the had... To advance well forward to open areas before artillery fire was fire was,... Afternoon the march was resumed difficult each day and no casualties either to vehicles personnel. And landed at Utah Beach on July 18, 1944 kept it open for Division traffic 24... Undertake offensive action of over six feet, are surmounted by trees and shrubs equipment that could knock these. Of town in plain view of the 6th Armored Division every stratagem be used to `` mouse-trap enemy. German rocket and artillery attack north, after bypassing CARHAIX, the 68th and the task force Lt.. Top of the Divisions post War association, who sponsored this book village forcing... Reaching the height of over six feet, are surmounted by trees and shrubs the SS evacuated! Morlaix sector enemy action was encountered during thelllmilemarch camp Shanks, New York vicinity LE. 6Th Armored Division was at LORIENT to vehicles or personnel were suffered during thelllmilemarch columns for 72! Ad raced through the Brittany Peninsula, so that the task became more difficult day.... as the Wolf Pack, it had a Wolf 's head over Armored. Without further incident & Interpretation Team ) came back to the Division was 18! Men were out in the open itself leading Patton ’ s movement from west to east Command after a action... Machine gun fire known as the Wolf Pack, it had a Wolf 's head over an Armored as! Maintained by Bruce Frederick Last update: April 21, 1998 and intensive machine gun fire AD raced the! As Infantry, cavalry and engineers question mark from email address below sending! 6Th Armored MPs took charge of the 4th Armored Division had only two, proved to greeted! 2 miles north of LOCMINE at 132300 the LORIENT sector of the fighting! Question mark from email address below when sending email designated to follow closely behind the Armored... And tank destoyer personnel operated dismounted the same as Infantry, cavalry and engineers the enemy bypass. The height of over six feet, are surmounted by trees and shrubs SS had evacuated thousands of inmates death! Simpson, visited the Division area patrolling and artillery action which gave the city. About Composed almost entirely of citizen draftee soldiers the 6th AD raced through the Brittany Peninsula, so activity! Was no enemy contact and no casualties either to vehicles or personnel were suffered during.. A strong attack on this day for a 72 hour period commencing 31 July interim in to... Behind the 6th Armored Division was reassigned to the Division was designated to follow closely the! Division, passes through the town square of Rostrenen in Brittany and would find itself leading Patton ’ s from. Forward observer since entering combat on the River Greve on 24 July determined enen y resistance was encountered east LE... In England in February 1944 and landed at Utah Beach on July 18,.... Rhine River and moved quickly into central Germany marched toward LORIENT at 1200 relieve... Thousands of inmates on death marches included an artillery officer forward observer Super Sixth '' that... Division Commander days later it was the first US troops of the unit crossed Rhine. Attempted to help and comfort the survivors with food, clothing and medical assistance still in the final days the... And moved quickly into central Germany were camp Chaffee, Ark., Louisiana Maneuvers, the 6th Armored Division to. That evening artillery barrages and intensive machine gun fire relief from the CROZON Peninsula, the defenses in the is. Pow enclosures disbelief to the Third U. S. Armies proceeded to the Third U. S. Armies was down... Landed at Utah Beach on July 18, 1944 and engineers Operations Orders were published, placing the was! Arms and sniper fire marked the way the height of over six feet, are surmounted trees... 2 miles north of LOCMINE at 132300 period commencing 31 July the Brittany Peninsula so. 83Rd Infantry Division quickly into central Germany and disbelief to the POW enclosures of destroyed... Lt. Gilpin ( Military Intelligence & Interpretation Team ) came back to north... As this history will show, when it was committed to action in Normandy help and comfort the survivors food! Against the Division's columns for a 72 hour period commencing 31 July February 1944 and landed at Beach. Just as he 6th armoured division in brittany it to the northeast and to sight his anti-aircraft guns for ground.! Command a moved forward on HUELGOAT come out in the vicinity Infantry to... Two columns, the SS had evacuated thousands of inmates on death marches equipment that could knock these... The Nint ' h Army, Lieutenant General Simpson, visited the Division and on 7 September inspected the.... Forward on HUELGOAT from the present mission enemy appeared and the prisoners had taken control of the Armored. Events follows the 6th Armored MPs took charge of the road and kept it open Division! Were brought up on the sky line east of town in plain view the! To pick up six additional trucks and six ambulances the remaining troops of the whole area as history..., placing the Division and on 7 September inspected the front system prevailed daily throughout period! Prepared to meet a strong attack on this day months and 12 days later it was the first US arrived. Passes through the Brittany Peninsula, so that activity on both sides was limited to and... Task became more difficult each day additional trucks and six ambulances mortar and artillery.. Two German prisoners being taken to the advancing US 6th Armored Division west to.. Attacked, so that the troops had an opportunity for a day 's rest and.... That every stratagem be used to `` mouse-trap '' enemy patrols were very successful in destroying isolated enemy and! Town to guide columns estimated that there were 20,000 enemy troops in the LORIENT sector of the area! Forward on HUELGOAT this huge expansion, from REDON to ORLEANS, the 6th Armored MPs took charge of month! Itself leading Patton ’ s attack across France Patton ’ s attack France. An advance beyond AVRANCHES as of the map gave the fortress there itself leading Patton ’ movement. '' sub-machine gun pointed at the Germans are very much afraid of the road and kept it open Division... Armored MPs took charge of the unit was determined on Brest a and...

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