12th Army Group was formed on July 14th, 1944 from the former First U.S. Army
Group with Lt. General Omar Bradley in command. The Group moved to the Continent
eight days later and continued to advance across Europe with its elements.
Initially, the 12th was given command over the First and Third U.S. Armies but
was under the operational control of the British 21 st Army Group. On September
1 st, 1944, the 12th was placed directly under the control of Supreme
Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), and four days later the Ninth
U.S. Army was assigned to the Group. Elements of the 12th cleared the Brittany
Peninsula and then drove eastward and assaulted the Siegfried line. During the
Battle of the Bulge, elements of the 12th were assigned to the 21 st British
Army Group until the defeat of the German forces at St. Vith in January of 1945.
Another Army was added to the 12th when the Fifteen U.S. Army became operational
in January of 1945. Units assigned to the 12th broke through the Siegfried Line
in February, crossed the Rhine on the Remagen Bridge in March, and encircled the
German forces in the Ruhr in April. One element of the Group reached Austria
before operations ceased after the German surrender on May 9th. On July 31 st,
1945, operational control of all US Forces in Germany was transferred to the
United States Forces, European Theater, and the Group was inactivated. During
its existence, the Group had command control over 39 Infantry and Airborne
Divisions and 15 Armored Divisions - the largest command ever organized in U.S.
military history. The basic design of the 12th Group patch is an arrowhead
pointed downwards. The arrowhead suggests striking power and the colors red,
white, and blue are the National Colors. The patch was approved for wear on July