Mouwembleem 3rd Army (Sleeve patch 3rd Army)

WW 2 aanmaak


The Third United States Army is a military formation of the United States Army, which saw service in World War I and World War II, in the First Gulf War and in Iraq. It is best known for its campaigns in World War II under the command of George S. Patton.


Mobilization saw Third Army take on the role of training some of the huge numbers of recruits that the draft was bringing into the Armed Forces. Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, later to gain fame for his command of Sixth Army during operations in the Pacific commanded Third Army from May 1941 until February 1943. Under his leadership, the basis of the Army's later success as a combat formation was laid. Krueger was succeeded by Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges who led the Army for the rest of 1943. The news that many had expected came in December 1943. Third Army was shipped from the U.S. to the United Kingdom.

Third Army did not take part in the initial stages of Operation Overlord. However, when it did take the field, its field of combat suited the style of its commander far more. Lieutenant GeneralGeorge Patton was one of the U.S. Army's greatest exponents of armored warfare. When Third Army was moved to France, it was just after Bradley's formations had achieved the breakout fromNormandy. Third Army followed up on that success and began a great dash across France. It was only the inevitability of logistics problems that halted Patton's force near the borders of Germany.

After a period of consolidation, Third Army was ready to go on the offensive again. However, the Germans then launched their last great offensive of the war – the Battle of the Bulge. This battle was an attempt to repeat the decisive breakthrough of 1940. However, in 1944, the Germans were doomed to failure. Their own logistical problems surfaced, and they ground to a halt. Nevertheless, they had broken the U.S. front, and it took a great effort to reduce the resulting salient. In one of the great moves of the war, Patton turned Third Army's axis of advance through ninety degrees and set it upon the south of the German forces. The German salient was reduced by the end of January 1945, and the remainder of the process of closing up to the Rhine could be completed. Some vicious fighting took place, but by April there was but one great natural barrier between Third Army and the heart of Germany. Unlike in 1918, the crossing of the Rhine was opposed. However, the bridgehead was won, and Third Army embarked on another great eastward dash. It reached Austria and in May liberated the Mauthausen-Gusen concentration camps complex. Its forces ended up in Czechoslovakia, the furthest east of any American units.

Third Army After Action reports state that the Third Army captured 765,483 prisoners of war, with an additional 515,205 of the enemy already held in corps and divisional level POW cages processed between 9 May and 13 May 1945, for a total of 1,280,688 POWs, and that, additionally, Third Army forces killed 144,500 enemy soldiers and wounded 386,200, for a total of 1,811,388 in enemy losses. Fuller's review of Third Army records differs only in the number of enemy killed and wounded, stating that between 1 August 1944 and 9 May 1945, 47,500 of the enemy were killed, 115,700 wounded, and 1,280,688 captured. Fuller's combined total of enemy losses is 1,443,888 enemy killed, wounded, or captured by the Third Army. The Third Army suffered 16,596 killed, 96,241 wounded, and 26,809 missing in action for a total of 139,646 casualties

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