71st Infantry Division (United States)

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 71st Infantry Division


caption=71st Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
dates= 1943-1946
country= United States
allegiance=
branch= U.S. Army
type=
role=
size=
command_structure=
garrison=
garrison_label=
equipment=
equipment_label=
nickname=The Red Circle
patron=
motto=
colors=
colors_label=
march=
mascot=
battles=World War II
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=
current_commander=
current_commander_label=
ceremonial_chief=
ceremonial_chief_label=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
colonel_of_the_regiment_label=
notable_commanders=William Westmoreland
Willard G. Wyman
identification_symbol=
identification_symbol_label=Distinctive Unit Insignia
identification_symbol_2=
identification_symbol_2_label=
US Infantry
previous=70th Infantry Division
next=72nd Infantry Division
The 71st Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War II.

World War II

*Activated: 15 July 1943.
*Overseas: 26 January 1945.
*Campaigns: Rhineland, Central-Europe
*Days of combat: 62.
*Awards: DSC-1 ; DSM-1 ; SS-180; LM-1 ; SM-8 ; BSM-695 ; AM-10.
*Commanders: Brig.Gen. Robert L. Spragins (July 1943-October 1944), Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum (October-November 1944), Maj. Gen. Willard G. Wyman (November 1944-16 August 1945), Brig. Gen. Onslow S. Rolfe (17 August 1945-10 October 1945), Maj. Gen. Arthur A. White (October 1945-February 1946). While his time served is not noted here, William Westmoreland is named in other Army records as having been divisional Chief of Staff and then Commanding General in 1946. [http://www.history.army.mil/books/cg&csa/Westmoreland-WC.htm and David Halberstam, 'The Best and the Brightest,' Ballantine Books, New York, 1992/3, p.556]
*Returned to U.S.: 10 March 1946.
*Inactivated: 12 March 1946.

*Subordinate Units:
**5th Infantry Regiment
**14th Infantry Regiment
**66th Infantry Regiment
**564th Field Artillery Battalion (155mm Howitzer)
**607th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
**608th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
**609th Field Artillery Battalion (105mm Howitzer)
**571st Signal Company
**771st Ordnance Company
**251st Quartermaster Company
**71st Reconnaissance Troop
**271st Engineer Battalion
**371st Medical Battalion
**71st Counter Intelligence Detachment

Combat chronicle

The 71st Infantry Division arrived at Le Havre, France, 6 February 1945, and trained at Camp Old Gold with headquarters at Limesy. The division moved east, relieved the 100th Division at Ratswiller and saw its first action on 11 March 1945. Their ouster of the Germans from France began 15 March. The division moved through outer belts of the Siegfried Line, captured Pirmasens, 21 March, and crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim, 30 March. The 71st continued the advance, taking Coburg without resistance, cutting the Munich-Berlin autobahn, 13 April, and capturing Bayreuth after fierce opposition on the 16th. Moving south, the Division destroyed Schonfeld, 18 April, took Rosenberg, crossed the Naab River at Kallmünz on the 24th and crossed the Danube on the 26th. Regensburg fell on the next day and Straubing on the 28th. As resistance crumbled, the division crossed the Isar on the 29th and entered Austria, 2 May.

Participated in the liberation of concentration camps including one in Austria called Gunskirchen Lager on May 4. A pamphlet was produced by the US Army after they liberated the camp, called "The Seventy-First came to Gunskirchen Lager". The book recounts in detail, and with very graphic photos, the tragedy they found in the camp. The complete booklet is available for free on-line.

The 71st organized and occupied defensive positions along the Enns River and contacted Russian forces east of Linz, 8 May, the day before hostilities ceased. The division was assigned occupational duties until it left for home and inactivation 1 March, 1946.


=Assignments in the ETO=

*21 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
*2 March 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
*9 March 1945: XV Corps.
*22 March 1945: XXI Corps.
*25 March 1945: VI Corps.
*29 March 1945: 12th Army Group,
*8 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.
*11 April 1945: XII Corps.
*20 April 1945: XX Corps

General

*Nickname: The Red Circle.
*Shoulder patch: A red circle with a white center bearing the Arabic numerals "71" in blue and placed diagonally.

References

* [http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/lineage/cc/cc.htm "The Army Almanac: A Book of Facts Concerning the Army of the United States"] U.S. Government Printing Office, 1950.

* [http://remember.org/mooney/gunskirchen-intro.html "The Seventy-First came to Gunskirchen Lager"] produced by the 71st Infantry of the US Army in May, 1945.


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