12th Army Group History

The 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 29th, 1944.

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