08 8th Armored Division

Nickname: The Iron Snake. ….. Shoulder Patch: Usual armored force patch with red (FA), yellow (Cav.) and blue (Inf.) areas; black numeral and red bolt of lightning crossing black tank tread and cannon. ….. History: The division is a product of this war and has no prior history. ….. Training: Activated: Apr. 1, 1942, Ft. Knox, Ky., where it was a training or parent division for tank training and guardian of the Ft. Knox gold vaults. Other stations: Camp Campbell, Ky., and Camp Polk, La. Maneuvers: Louisiana, Third Army. Overseas: Nov., 1944 (ETO) ….. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. Wm. M. Grimes, Apr, 1942, to Oct., 1944; Maj. Gen. John M. Devine. Nov., 1944. to Aug., 1945; Brig. Gen. Charles F. Colson, Aug., 1945, to present. ….. Component Units: (As of Nov., 1944) 18th, 36th and 80th Tank Battalions; 7th, 49th and 58th Armored Infantry Battalions; 398th, 399th and 405th Arm. FA Battalions. Higher Commands: Fifteenth, Third and Ninth Armies. ….. Combat Highlights: Outstanding in the combat record of the 8th are its drives from Roer to Rhine and its part in the operations which reduced the Ruhr pocket. The division was sent hurriedly across France, 350 miles, in mid-January during a blizzard to meet a German drive at Strasbourg, but the Germans had been tossed back by the time the 8th reached Pont-a-Mousson. Late in the month, the 8th was committed in an attack against the Moselle-Saar salient. With the 94th Infantry Division, the 8th threw the Nazi 11th Panzers out of Nenning, Berg and Sinz. The following month the 8th was sent to Roermond, Holland, to create a diversion in connection with the main Roer crossing farther south. A week of hammering blows beat the enemy back to the north edge of the Heide Woods. Tetelrath, Arsbeck, Sevelen, Rheinberg, Ossenberg, Broth and Wallach were waypoints as the 8th fought its way to the Rhine, crossing the river Mar. 27, first armored division over the Wesel Bridge area of the Rhine. The 8th had taken 15 towns, captured 1300 prisoners. In April, the Iron Snake pointed at Dorsten, north flank of the Ruhr pocket and fought through Polsum, Kirchellen, Zweckel, Buer Hassel and Kol Berlich, throwing out an arm to Paderborn to close the steel circle around the Ruhr. The 8th cut into the pocket to clear the north bank of the Ruhr aimed at Soest and captured Collinghausen, Nordert, Ebbinghausen and entered Unna (Apr. 11) The division dashed 100 miles to Wolfenbuttel and turned south to Blankenberg at the foot of the Harz Mts., taking the city Apr. 20. Mopping up operations in the Harz Mountains followed. After V-E Day, the 8th consolidated at Gottingen, Germany, and moved on to Choteschau, Czechoslovakia.