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4th Armored Operational History Commanders and Battle Honors


The 4th Armored is widely held to have been the best American Division in Europe.  The 4th was called many names in the press "Breakthrough", "Patton's Best", "The Fabulous Fourth", but in truth the 4th had no official nickname.  In the words of the 4th's most famous commander General J.S. Wood, "The 4th Armored will have no nickname, they shall be known by deeds alone." Those deeds were impressive.  The 4th landed at Normandy July 11th and had its first engagement on July 17th during Operation Cobra. It was the spearhead of the Third Army's drive to cut of the Britanny Peninsula, which it achieved by August 4th. The division was then turned east and again was the spearhead division in Patton's race across France, ending up at the Meuse River in September. After participating in the Westwall battles in the Arracourt region in September and early October, the 4th Armored Division was pulled out of the line for a well deserved rest and reorganization period.  This time to prepare for Patton's planned Saar offensive.  The battles through the Saar basin continued through November and early December.  In response to the German Ardennes offensive, the 4th was pulled out of its eastwared attack, sent 150 miles north, and launched as he spearhead of the Bastonge relief offensive.  Bastonge was relieved on December 26th , and the 4th continued its attack to cut the Bulge in two.  After the conclusion of the Battle of the Bulge, the 4th was again given a period of R&R.  In February 1945 , it was committed to the final assault into Germany. The 4th was in Czechoslovakia when the war ended.

Commanding Generals 4th Armored Division : Maj. Gen. J.S. Wood, Maj. Gen. H.J. Gaffney, Maj. Gen. W.H. Hoge.

Official Insignia: It is the shape of an equilateral triangle, divided into three segments, each a different color. The Blue segment represents the Infantry components of the Division: Scarlet, the Artillery, and Yellow, the Cavalry. The tank track and cannon in black, topped by a red lighting shaft are symbolic of armored "blitz" warfare. The black Arabic "4" in the upper yellow segment of the triangle indicates the number of the division.

Operational History

1941 - US: Pine Camp (formation and training).
1942 - US: Tennessee (maneuvers); California (desert training).
1943 - US: California (desert training); Massachusetts; UK (transit).
1944 - ETO: landed at Utah Beach (France) on 11 Jul;
1945 - ETO: Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace.
1945 - ETO: Central Europe;
1945 - ETO: reached Pisek (Czechoslovakia) at the end of the war.