78th Infantry Division -LIGHTNING- in WWII. An Official U.S. Army Division History. Originally publishd in 1947 by Infantry Journal Press, this is the official unit history for the 78th Infantry Division in World War II.
Details on the unit are as follows.
Activated: 15 August 1942. Overseas: 14 October 1944.
Campaigns: Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe.
Days of combat: 125.
The 78th Infantry Division arrived in England, 26 October 1944, and received further training.
It landed in France, 22 November, and moved to Tongres, Belgium, and to Rotgen, Germany, to prepare for combat.
The 311th Infantry Regiment was attached to the 8th Division in the Hurtgen Forest, 10 December.
The 309th and 310th Infantry Regiments relieved elements of the 1st Division in the line in the vicinity of Entenpfuhl, 1-12 December.
On the 13th these regiments smashed into Simmerath, Witzerath, and Bickerath and were fighting for Kesternich when Von Rundstedt launched his counteroffensive in the Monschau area, 18 December. The 78th held the area it had taken from the Siegfried Line against the violent German attacks throughout the winter. The Division attacked, 30 January 1945, and took Kesternich, 2 February, the town of Schmidt on the 8th, and captured intact the vital Schwammanauel Dam the next day. In the advance, the Roer River was crossed, 28 February, and the Division joined the offensive of the First and Ninth Armies toward the Rhine. That river was crossed over the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, 8 March, by the 310th Regiment, the first troops to cross in the wake of the 9th Armored Division. That unit, attached to the 9th Armored and acting as a motorized unit had driven across Germany capturing Euskirchen, Rheinbach, and Bad Neuenahr. The 78th expanded the bridgehead, taking Honnef and cutting part of the superhighway, the Autobahn, 16 March. From 2 April to 8 May, the Division was active in the reduction of the Ruhr Pocket and at VE-day was stationed near Marburg.
Nickname: Lightning Division. Slogan: Audaciter (Boldness). Shoulder patch: A red semicircle with a white bolt of lightning superimposed upon it.
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