First United States Army

The First Army is the oldest and longest established field army of the United States Army, having seen service in both World War I and World War II, under some of the most famous and distinguished officers of the U.S. Army. It now serves as a mobilization, readiness and training command.

First Army
1st Army
Active10 August 1918 – 20 April 1919
8 September 1932 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Army
TypeSecurity operations
RoleTraining support
SizeField army
Part ofUnited States Army Forces Command
Garrison/HQRock Island Arsenal
Rock Island County, Illinois, U.S.
Motto(s)First In Deed
Anniversaries10 August 1918
EngagementsWorld War I
World War II
WebsiteOfficial website
LTG Thomas S. James Jr.
John J. Pershing
Omar Bradley
Courtney Hodges
Russel L. Honoré
Distinctive unit insignia
1st Army Distinctive Unit Insignia
Flag of the First United States Army


Establishment and World War I

First Army was established on 10 August 1918 as a field army when sufficient American military manpower had arrived in France during World War I. As an element of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in the latter stages of World War I it was the first of three field armies established under the AEF. Serving in its ranks were many figures who later played important roles in World War II. First Army was inactivated in April 1919.

Inter-war years

As part of an army reorganization and final realization of the 1920 amendment to the National Defense Act of 1916, Army Chief of Staff, General Douglas MacArthur directed the establishment of four field armies that each commanded three corps areas that were geographically located. The field armies were established to provide organizational structure for large military organizations that might be mobilized in time of national need.

First Army was located in the northeast United States and was activated on 11 September 1933 at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York. Initially activated as a paper army, it was commanded by General Dennis E. Nolan. Until 1942, First Army's commander was always the senior commander of one of its three corps areas. The First Corps Area was headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Second Corps Area was headquartered at Fort Jay, Governors Island, in New York, New York, and Third Corps Area was located at Fort Howard (Maryland) near Baltimore, Maryland. Since First Army was only a paper organization in its early days, its staff was the existing staff of the corps areas. The overall mission of the First Army was commanding and training regular army, army reserve and national guard units in the three corps areas.

Nolan, the American Expeditionary Force's (AEF) chief of intelligence during World War I was followed by Major General Fox Conner, First Corps Area commander and another AEF veteran and its Chief of Operations. In the years after World War I, Conner was a crucial mentor in the careers of Dwight Eisenhower and George C. Marshall. Passed over as a candidate for Army Chief of Staff for Douglas MacArthur, Conner retired.

In 1938 First Army came under command of General Hugh A. Drum. Drum, who along with a buildup of the Army in 1939 and through the early 1940s, began to develop First Army into a bona fide field army. It began to establish and develop its own staff and participated in the large scale Army maneuvers in Louisiana and North Carolina between 1939 and 1941. As the United States entered World War II, Drum was assigned command of the newly established Eastern Defense Command, responsible for coastal and domestic defense, which relieved First Army of this responsibility on 24 December 1942. Drum retired in 1943 when he reached mandatory retirement age. General George Grunert, commander of Second Service Command, assumed command of First Army until Headquarters, First Army was activated in Bristol, England in January 1944 under command of General Omar Bradley.

World War II

First Army's entry into World War II began in October 1943 as Bradley returned to Washington, D.C. to receive his command and began to assemble a staff and headquarters to prepare for Operation Overlord, the codename assigned to the establishment of a large-scale lodgement on the European Continent following Operation Neptune, which was the invasion of Normandy. The headquarters were activated in January 1944 at Bristol, England.

Upon going ashore on 6 June 1944, D-Day, First Army came under General Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group (alongside the British Second Army) which commanded all American ground forces during the invasion. Three American divisions were landed by sea at the western end of the beaches, and two more were landed by air. On Utah Beach, the assault troops made good progress, but Omaha Beach came nearest of all of the five landing areas to disaster. The two American airborne divisions that landed were scattered all over the landscape, and caused considerable confusion among the German soldiers, as well as largely securing their objectives, albeit with units completely mixed up with each other. First Army captured much of the early gains of the Allied forces in Normandy. Once the beachheads were linked together, its troops struck west and isolated the Cotentin Peninsula, and then captured Cherbourg. When the American Mulberry harbour was wrecked by a storm, Cherbourg became even more vital.

After the capture of Cherbourg, First Army struck south. In Operation Cobra, its forces finally managed to break through the German lines. The newly established Third Army was then fed through the gap and raced across France.

With the arrival of more US troops in France, the Army then passed from the control of 21st Army Group to the newly arrived 12th Army Group which commanded the First Army and the newly formed Third Army under Lieutenant General George S. Patton. General Bradley assumed command of the 12th Army Group and Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges was placed in command of the First Army. First Army followed Third Army, the American armies forming the southern part of the encirclement of Germans at the Falaise pocket.

After capturing Paris (the Wehrmachtbefehlshaber von Groß-Paris, Dietrich von Choltitz, capitulated 25 August, ignoring Hitler's Trümmerfeldbefehl),[1][2] First Army headed towards the south of the Netherlands.

When the Germans attacked during the Battle of the Bulge, First Army found itself on the north side of the salient, and thus isolated from 12th Army Group, its commanding authority. It was, therefore, temporarily transferred, along with Ninth Army, back to 21st Army Group under Montgomery on 20 December.[3] The salient was reduced by early February 1945. Following the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland Campaign began, and First Army was transferred back to 12th Army Group. In Operation Lumberjack, First Army closed up to the lower Rhine by 5 March, and the higher parts of the river five days later.

On 7 March, in a stroke of luck, Company A, 27th Armored Infantry Battalion, part of Combat Command B, found the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine at Remagen still standing. It quickly captured the bridge and established a secure bridgehead. in the next 15 days, over 25,000 troops and their equipment crossed the river. By 4 April, an enormous pocket had been created by First Army and Ninth Army, which contained the German Army Group B under Field Marshal Model, the last significant combat force in the northwest of Germany. While some elements of First Army concentrated on reducing the Ruhr pocket, others headed further east, creating another pocket containing the German Eleventh Army. First Army reached the Elbe by 18 April. There the advance halted, as that was the agreed demarcation zone between the American and Soviet forces. First Army and Soviet forces met on 25 April.

In May 1945, advance elements of First Army headquarters had returned to New York City and were preparing to redeploy to the Pacific theater of the war to prepare for Operation Coronet, the planned second phase of Operation Downfall the proposed invasion of Honshū, the main island of Japan in the spring of 1946, but the Japanese surrender in August 1945 thanks to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki terminated that effort.

Post-war and peacetime missions

First Army returned to the United States in late 1945; first to Fort Jackson (South Carolina), then to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, returning to Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York, in the spring of 1946. Twenty years later, in 1966, First Army relocated to Fort Meade, Maryland, and took over the responsibilities of Second Army, which was deactivated. In 1973, First Army's mission changed from training and preparation of active units to Army Reserve units. In a 1993 reorganization, five divisions carried out that training and support mission:

75th Division, Houston, Texas
78th "Lightning" Division, Edison, New Jersey
85th "Custer" Division, Arlington Heights, Illinois
87th "Golden Acorn" Division, Birmingham, Alabama
91st "Wild West" Division, Dublin, California

In 1993, Headquarters First Army relocated to Fort Gillem, near Atlanta, Georgia, and became responsible for the training and mobilization of all Army Reserve and National Guard units in the United States and providing assistance to the civilian sector during national emergencies and natural disasters. In the latter role, First Army's contributions during the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster was a rare bright spot in leading federal relief efforts in the aftermath of the storm. Its commander, Russel L. Honoré, a Louisiana native, became a nationally recognized figure in his direct, no-nonsense approach to disaster relief which earned First Army a Joint Meritorious Unit Award.

In the 21st century, First Army was subjected to more changes as base closures and force structures were instituted to modernize, economize and change its mission. In 2005, a BRAC decision called for the relocation of First Army headquarters to Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, in 2011. Its former quarters at Fort Gillem was to transition to a single national location for the mobilization and demobilization of Army National Guard and Reserve units.

In a second change, as part of the 2006 reorganization of the United States Army program, First Army exchanged its civilian assistance mission for the training and support missions for military units in the western United States formerly held by US Fifth Army. Fifth Army then became U.S. Army, North with responsibilities for homeland defense and domestic emergency assistance.

First Army deactivated its training divisions and reactivated them as separate training brigades under two commands. First Army Division East, headquartered at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, has responsibilities in all states east of the Mississippi River; and First Army Division West assuming Fifth Army's role and relocating from Fort Carson to its new headquarters at Fort Hood, Texas, oversees units in all states west of the Mississippi River.

First United States Army was redesignated as First Army on 3 October 2006.

Heraldic items

Shoulder sleeve insignia

  • Description: On a background equally divided horizontally white and red, 3¼ inches high and 2½ inches wide at base and 2⅛ inches wide at top, a black block letter "A", 2¾ inches high, 2 inches wide at base and 1⅝ inches wide at top, all members 7/16 inch wide, all enclosed within a 1/8 inch Army Green border.
  • Symbolism:
  1. The red and white of the background are the colors used in flags for Armies.
  2. The letter "A" represents "Army" and is also the first letter of the alphabet suggesting "First Army."
  • Background:
US Army 1st Army SSI Prior to 1950
US Army 1st Army Shoulder Sleeve Insignia Prior to 1950 red and white background
  1. A black letter "A" was approved as the authorized insignia by the Commanding General, American Expedition Force, on 16 November 1918 and approved by the War Department on 5 May 1922.
  2. The background was added on 17 November 1950.


  • Description:
  1. A gold color metal and enamel device 1¼ inches high overall consisting of a black enamel capital letter "A" bearing three gold stars on the top cross bar and five gold on the center cross bar, in front of and interlaced with a gold fleur-de-lis.
  2. The vertical petal is charged in base with a red enamel arrowhead behind and extending above the letter "A" and the tops of the two outside or flanking petals above the cross bar extending over the vertical legs of the letter "A".
  3. The lower ends of the outside petals curve under and over the lower ends of the vertical legs of the letter "A" and are joined together by a gold arched scroll inscribed "First In Deed" in black enamel letters.
  4. The areas within the letter "A" above the center cross bar are white enamel and the areas below the cross bar are red enamel.
  • Symbolism:
  1. The basic design was suggested by the authorized shoulder sleeve insignia of the First Army.
  2. The Interlaced fleur-de-lis represent wartime service in France and alludes to the initial organization of the Headquarters Company as the Headquarters Troop, First Army at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, France 10 August 1918.
  3. The three stars at the top of the letter "A" are for Lorraine 1918, St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne campaigns in which the First Army participated in World War I.
  4. The five stars on the center cross bar are for the Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe campaigns in which the First Army participated in World War II, the red arrowhead referring to the assault landing on the Normandy beaches.
  5. The motto "First In Deed" is based on the numerical designation, purpose and achievements of the First United States Army.
  • Background: The insignia was approved on 27 January 1969.


  • The First United States Army was organized on 10 August 1918 in the Regular Army in France as Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, First Army.
  • Headquarters Troop was reorganized and redesignated in September 1918 as Troop A, Headquarters Battalion, First Army. It saw action in the American Expeditionary Force in the latter stages of World War I and included many figures who were later to become very famous, such as Douglas MacArthur.
  • Troop A, Headquarters Battalion, First Army was redesignated on 1 March 1919, as Headquarters Troop, First Army, and Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, First Army, demobilized on 20 April 1919 in France.
  • First Army was Constituted 15 August 1927 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Seventh Army, but was Redesignated 13 October 1927 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First Army.
  • Headquarters, First Army activated 1 October 1933 at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York. It had the mission of training Army formations at the time, as did all the other field armies.
  • Headquarters Company activated 18 November 1940 at Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York.
  • October 1943, Headquarters First Army relocated from Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York to Bristol, England in anticipation of Normandy invasion.
  • A separate First Army was Reconstituted on 27 June 1944 in the Regular Army as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First Army; concurrently consolidated with the original Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First Army. The consolidated unit designated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First Army.
  • First Army Headquarters returns to Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York in 1946.
  • First Army was Redesignated 1 January 1957 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, First United States Army.
  • Merger of First and Second Army, relocation of headquarters to Fort Meade and closure of Fort Jay, Governors Island, New York announced 20 November 1964.
  • 1 January 1966, the First and Second U.S. Armies merged and First Army headquarters moved to Fort Meade, Maryland.
  • Headquarters Company inactivated 5 June 1970 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, while Headquarters, First U.S. Army continued to function.
  • In 1973 the First Army again changed its orientation to improving the readiness of the Reserve Components.
  • In 1993, First Army headquarters was moved to Fort Gillem, Georgia (the former Atlanta Army Depot).
  • 2005, First Army is awarded a Joint Meritorious Unit Award for leading federal response to Hurricane Katrina.[4]
  • In 2006, it was announced that subject to Base Realignment and Closure Act, Fort Gillem will eventually be closed and First Army headquarters relocated to Rock Island Arsenal Illinois.
  • 1 December 2006, First Army reorganizes and reflags its five Reserve Component Training Support Divisions into 16 training brigades and establishes two sub-commands, First Army Division East and First Army Division West. First Army East at Fort Meade, Maryland administers eight brigades east of the Mississippi River and First Army West at Fort Hood, Texas, assumes the training responsibilities with eight brigades formerly held by U.S. Fifth Army. Fifth Army becomes U.S. Army, North, and assumes First Army's domestic assistance duties.

First U.S. Army honors

Campaign participation credit

Conflict Streamer Year(s)
World War I
Streamer WWI V
St. Mihiel 1918
Meuse-Argonne 1918
Lorraine 1918 1918
World War II
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal streamer
Streamer WWII V
Normandy (with arrowhead) 1944
Northern France 1944
Rhineland 1945
Ardennes-Alsace 1944–1945
Central Europe 1945


332-07 20121127 HRCMD CC.pdf
Permanent Orders 332-07 announcing award of the Army Superior Unit award



1st Army.svg First Army Division East – Fort Knox, Kentucky [7]

4th "Saber" Cavalry Brigade – Fort Knox, Kentucky. Formerly the 85th Division's 4th Brigade.
157th "Spartan" Infantry Brigade – Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Formerly the 87th Division's 5th Brigade.
174th "Patriot" Infantry Brigade – Fort Dix, New Jersey. Formerly the 78th Division's 2nd Brigade.
177th "Mudcats" Armored Brigade – Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Formerly the 87th Division's 3rd Brigade.
188th "Battle Ready" Infantry Brigade – Fort Stewart, Georgia. Formerly the 87th Division's 4th Brigade.

1st Army.svg First Army Division West – Fort Hood, Texas[8]

5th Armored Brigade – Fort Bliss, Texas. Formerly the 91st Division's 2d Brigade.
120th Infantry Brigade – Fort Hood, Texas. Formerly the 75th Division's 2d Brigade.
166th Aviation Brigade – Fort Hood, Texas.
181st "Eagle" Infantry Brigade – Fort McCoy, Wisconsin. Formerly the 85th Division's 2d Brigade.
189th "Bayonet" Infantry Brigade – Fort Lewis, Washington. Formerly the 78th Division's 4th Brigade.

List of commanders


 This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Army Center of Military History website

  1. ^ "Dietrich von Choltitz - Trümmerfeldbefehl".
  2. ^ Dokument, Deutsches Historisches Museum
  3. ^ Ardennes-Alsace, Sullivan, Gordon R.
  4. ^ a b HQ, Joint Task Force Katrina, Fort Gillem, Georgia 31 Aug 05 – 13 Oct 05
  5. ^ United States Army Center of Military History, Lineage and Honors, First United States Army, dated 30 April 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  6. ^ US Army Human Resources Command, Permanent Orders 120-10, dated 30 April 2009. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  7. ^ "First Army Division East".
  8. ^ First Army Division West Archived 11 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine


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  • Cole, Hugh M. The Lorraine Campaign. United States Army in World War II. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1950. OCLC 1253758
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  • "Why Didn't They Let First Army Win the War?" Army 9 (April 1959):48–52.
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Further reading

External links

188th Infantry Brigade (United States)

The 188th Infantry Brigade is an infantry training brigade of the United States Army based at Fort Stewart, Georgia. It is a subordinate unit of the First United States Army, Division East.

Active from 1921 to 1942 as part of the 94th Infantry Division, the brigade was transformed into a reconnaissance troop during and after World War II, supporting the 94th Division as it fought in Europe. Activated again from 1997 to 1999 and again in 2006, the unit gained responsibility for conducting training for other reserve component army units with a variety of purposes. Today, the unit is responsible for training selected United States Army Reserve and National Guard units East of the Mississippi River.

22d Air Refueling Wing

The 22d Air Refueling Wing (22 ARW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Mobility Command's Eighteenth Air Force. It is stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas and also functions as the host wing for McConnell.

Its primary mission is to provide global reach by conducting air refueling and airlift where and when needed. It is one of only three "supertanker" wings in the Air Force, with four Regular Air Force air refueling squadrons, and 63 KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft.

Its origins date to 1940 as the 22d Bombardment Group. The group was one of the first United States Army Air Forces units to be deployed into the Pacific Theater after the Pearl Harbor Attack with the Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber. The 22d Operations Group carries the lineage and history of its highly decorated World War II predecessor unit. Active for over 60 years, the 22 ARW and its earlier designation as the 22d Bombardment Wing, was a component wing of Strategic Air Command's deterrent force during the Cold War.

The 22d Air Refueling Wing is commanded by Colonel Joshua Olson. Its Vice Commander is Colonel Bruce P. Heseltine, Jr. The wing's Command Chief Master Sergeant is Chief Master Sergeant Shawn M. Hughes.

55th Infantry Division (United States)

The US 55th Infantry Division was a 'phantom division' created in October 1943 to cover the departure of the US 5th Infantry Division from Iceland. An entirely notional force, its existence was reported to the Germans only through controlled agents as Iceland was too far from Europe to make use of radio deception.

98th Operations Group

The 98th Operations Group is a component unit of the Nevada Test and Training Range, assigned to the United States Air Force Air Combat Command. The group is stationed at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

It provides day-to-day control of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) and directly supports Air Force, joint and multi-national test and training activities; and operates two Air Combat Command bombing ranges; the NTTR and Leach Lake Tactics Range, near Barstow, California.

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 98th Bombardment Group was a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bomb group that fought in North Africa and Italy. Two of its members, Colonel John R. (Killer) Kane and First Lieutenant Donald Pucket were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in combat. The group flew a total of 417 missions, earning a total of 15 battle streamers as well as two Presidential Unit Citations.

In the postwar era, the 98th Bombardment Group was one of the first United States Army Air Forces units assigned to Strategic Air Command (SAC) on 1 July 1947, prior to the establishment of the USAF. Equipped with low-hour Boeing B-29 Superfortress World War II aircraft, it was deployed to Far East Air Force in 1950 and flew combat missions over North Korea early in the Korean War. The group was inactivated in 1952 when the parent wing adopted the Tri-Deputate organization and assigned all of the group's squadrons directly to the wing. It was reactivated in 1987 as the 98th Air Refueling Group, Heavy; as an Air Force Reserve associate unit of the 434th Air Refueling Wing.

9th Airborne Division (United States)

The 9th Airborne Division of the United States Army was a military deception created in 1944 as part of Fortitude South II The division was initially depicted as being under the direct command of Fourteenth United States Army with its headquarters located in Leicester, Leicestershire in June 1944. In the Pas de Calais landings it and the notional '21st Airborne Division' were to be dropped behind the US XXXVII Corps beachheads. In August 1944 it was notionally transferred to the direct command of First United States Army Group.In the aftermath of Fortitude South, the notional United States 9th and 21st and British 2nd Airborne Divisions and the real United States 17th Airborne Division were used to depict an airborne threat to the Kiel-Bremen area in support of Operation Market Garden.In November 1944 it was announced that the division had been merged with the 21st Airborne Division to form the 13th Airborne Division, a real unit that was about to be deployed to France.

Allyn K. Capron

Captain Allyn K. Capron (1871–1898) was the first United States Army officer to die in the Spanish–American War.

Boyd Wagner

Lieutenant Colonel Boyd David "Buzz" Wagner (October 26, 1916 – November 29, 1942) was an American aviator and the first United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) fighter ace of World War II.

First United States Army Group

First United States Army Group (often abbreviated FUSAG) was a fictitious (paper command) Allied Army Group in World War II prior to D-Day, part of Operation Quicksilver, created to deceive the Germans about where the Allies would land in France. To attract Axis attention, prominent US general George S. Patton was placed in command of the fabricated formation.

Fort Atkinson (Nebraska)

Fort Atkinson was the first United States Army post to be established west of the Missouri River in the unorganized region of the Louisiana Purchase of the United States. Located just east of present-day Fort Calhoun, Nebraska, the fort was erected in 1819 and abandoned in 1827. The site is now known as Fort Atkinson State Historical Park and is a National Historic Landmark. A replica fort was constructed by the state at the site during the 1980s–1990s.The post, which included soldiers, traders, trappers, and other frontier people, has been credited by the Nebraska State Legislature as the first town in Nebraska. Founded almost 30 years before the creation of the Nebraska Territory, Fort Atkinson had more than 1,000 residents. It included a brickyard, lime kiln, stone quarry, grist mill, saw mill, and cooper shop.

Fort Brown

Fort Brown was a military post of the United States Army in Cameron County, Texas during the later half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Established in 1846, it was the first United States Army military outpost of the recently annexed state. Confederate Army troops stationed there saw action during the American Civil War. In the early 20th century, it was garrisoned in relation to military activity over border conflicts with Mexico. Surviving elements of the fort were designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Fourteenth United States Army

Fourteenth United States Army was a fictitious/military deception field army, under the command of John P. Lucas, developed as a part of Operation Quicksilver as a part of the fictitious First United States Army Group.

Fourth Army (United Kingdom)

The Fourth Army was a field army that formed part of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War. The Fourth Army was formed on 5 February 1916 under the command of General Sir Henry Rawlinson to carry out the main British contribution to the Battle of the Somme.

I Corps Observation Group

The I Corps Observation Group was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I as part of the Air Service, First United States Army. It was demobilized in France after the 1918 Armistice with Germany on 15 April 1919.

There is no modern United States Air Force or Air National Guard unit that shares its lineage and history.

Operation Lumberjack

Operation Lumberjack was a military operation with the goal of capturing the west bank of the Rhine River and seizing key German cities, near the end of World War II. The First United States Army launched the operation in March 1945 to capture strategic cities in Nazi Germany and to give the Allies a foothold along the Rhine.

One unexpected outcome was the capture of the Ludendorff bridge, a strategic railroad bridge across the Rhine, in the Battle of Remagen. Despite German attempts to destroy the bridge, Allied forces captured it intact and were able to use it for ten days to establish a beachhead on the far side, before it finally collapsed at 3:00 PM on 17 March 1945 after months of aircraft bombing, direct artillery hits, near misses, and demolition attempts.

Operation Lüttich

Operation Lüttich was a codename given to a German counter-attack during the Battle of Normandy, which took place around the American positions near Mortain from 7 August to 13 August 1944. (Lüttich is the German name for the city of Liège in Belgium, where the Germans had won a victory in the early days of August 1914 during World War I.) The offensive is also referred to in American and British histories of the Battle of Normandy as the Mortain counterattack .

The assault was ordered by Adolf Hitler, to eliminate the gains made by the First United States Army during Operation Cobra and the subsequent weeks, and by reaching the coast in the region of Avranches at the base of the Cotentin peninsula, cut off the units of the Third United States Army which had advanced into Brittany.

The main German striking force was the XLVII Panzer Corps, with one and a half SS Panzer Divisions and two Heer Panzer Divisions. Although they made initial gains against the defending U.S. VII Corps, they were soon halted and the Allies inflicted severe losses on the attacking troops, eventually destroying most of the German tanks involved in the attack. Although fighting continued around Mortain for six days, the American forces had regained the initiative within a day of the opening of the German attack.

As the German commanders on the spot had warned Hitler in vain, there was little chance of the attack succeeding, and the concentration of their armoured reserves at the western end of the front in Normandy soon led to disaster, as they were outflanked to their south and the front to their east collapsed, resulting in many of the German troops in Normandy being trapped in the Falaise Pocket.

Operation Quicksilver (deception plan)

Operation Quicksilver was a Second World War military deception. Undertaken by the Allies in 1944, the operation threatened an invasion of France in the Pas de Calais region through the simulation of a large Field Army in South East England. Quicksilver formed part of the Operation Fortitude deception, itself part of the strategic Operation Bodyguard plan. The key element of Quicksilver was the creation in German minds that "First United States Army Group" (FUSAG) commanded by General George Patton supposedly would land in the Pas-de-Calais for the major invasion of Europe, after the landings in Normandy had lured the German defenders to that front. (FUSAG was a genuine army group headquarters which later became Omar Bradley's 12th Army Group, but was given a fictitious role and many non-existent divisions for purposes of deception.)

Juan Pujol García, known by the British code name Garbo and the German code name Arabel, was a double agent loyal to the Allies who played a crucial role in the deception by supplying Germany with detailed information from a network of non-existent sub-agents supporting the idea that the main invasion was to be in the Pas-de-Calais.

Opposing force

An opposing force (abbreviated OPFOR or enemy force) is a military unit tasked with representing an enemy, usually for training purposes in war game scenarios. The related concept of aggressor squadron is used by some air forces. The United States maintains the Fort Irwin National Training Center with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment serving in the main OPFOR role. Other major units include the First United States Army which consists of 16 training brigades that often also serve as OPFOR. Fort Polk's Joint Readiness Training Center is another major training site typically reserved for units that are slated to deploy into conflict areas.

At a basic level, a unit might serve as an opposing force for a single scenario, differing from its 'opponents' only in the objectives it is given. However, major armies commonly maintain specialized groups trained to accurately emulate real-life enemies, to provide a more realistic experience for their training opponents. (To avoid the diplomatic ramifications of naming a real nation as a likely enemy, training scenarios often use fictionalized versions with different names but similar military characteristics to the expected real-world foes.)

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, commonly known as Ship, or SU, is a public university located in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, United States, 40 miles west-southwest of Harrisburg, and 30 miles north-northeast of Hagerstown, Maryland. It is one of the 14 state universities that comprise the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE).

Shippensburg University is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSACS).

Twelfth United States Army Group

The Twelfth United States Army Group was the largest and most powerful United States Army formation ever to take to the field, commanding four field armies at its peak in 1945: First United States Army, Third United States Army, Ninth United States Army and Fifteenth United States Army. Formed eight days after the Normandy landings, it initially controlled the First and the Third US Armies. Through various configurations in 1944 and 1945, the Twelfth US Army Group controlled the majority of American forces on the Western Front. It was commanded by General Omar Bradley with its headquarters established in London on 14 July 1944.

During the first week of the Normandy landings and the Battle of Normandy, Bradley's First US Army formed the right wing of the Allied lines. They were joined during July by the Third US Army, under the command of General George S. Patton, to form the Twelfth Army Group. Until September, when General Eisenhower assumed overall command of the Allied land forces in Northwest Europe, the U.S. forces in Normandy were included with the British Second Army and the First Canadian Army in the British headquarters formation 21st Army Group, commanded by General Montgomery.

After the breakout from the beach-head at Normandy, the Twelfth Army Group formed the center of the Allied forces on the Western Front. To the north was the British 21st Army Group (the First Canadian and British Second)) and, to the south, advancing from their landing on the Mediterranean coast, was the Sixth United States Army Group (Seventh United States Army and French First Army).

As the Twelfth advanced through Germany in 1945, it grew to control four United States field armies: the First, the Third, the Ninth and the Fifteenth. By V-E Day, the Twelfth Army Group was a force that numbered over 1.3 million men.

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