|Disbanded||17 April 2010|
|Motto(s)||Pyramid of Power|
|Colors||White and red|
|Campaigns|| World War II |
The Seventh Army was a United States army created during World War II that evolved into the United States Army Europe (USAREUR) during the 1950s and 1960s. It served in North Africa and Italy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and France and Germany in the European Theater between 1942 and 1945.
Originally the I Armored Corps under command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton, it made landfall at Morocco during Operation Torch as the Western Task Force, the first all-U.S. force to enter the European war. Following successful defeat of the Wehrmacht under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in North Africa, the I Armored Corps was redesignated the Seventh Army on 10 July 1943 while at sea en route to the Allied invasion of Sicily as the spearhead of Operation Husky.
After the conquests of Palermo and Messina the Seventh Army prepared for the invasion of France by its Mediterranean coast as the lead element of Operation Dragoon in August 1944. It then drove a retreating German army north and then east toward the Alsace, being absorbed into the newly created Sixth United States Army Group in mid-September. In January 1945 it repelled a fierce but brief enemy counter-offensive in the Colmar Pocket south of Strasbourg during the German Operation Nordwind, then completed its reduction of the region by mid-March.
In a lead role in Operation Undertone launched 15 March, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine into Germany, capturing Nuremberg and then Munich. Elements reached Austria and crossed the Brenner Pass into Italy by 4 May, followed shortly by war's end on VE-Day, 8 May 1945.
The predecessor of Seventh Army was the I Armored Corps, which was activated on 15 July 1940 at Fort Knox, Kentucky. With the goal of stopping German expansion in Europe and Africa, it was decided that the first operation for United States Army forces would be to assist the British in driving German forces from North Africa. On 15 January 1942, Major General George S. Patton Jr. assume command of I Armored Corps and began planning for the invasion of North Africa.
On March 6, 1943, following the defeat of the U.S. II Corps by the German Afrika Korps, commanded by Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, at the Battle of Kasserine Pass, Patton replaced Major General Lloyd Fredendall as Commanding General of the II Corps and was promoted to lieutenant general.
On 8 November 1942, General Patton was in command of the Western Task Force (a temporary redesignation of I Armored Corps for tactical deception), the only all-American force landing for Operation Torch, code name for the Allied invasion of French North Africa. I Armored Corps then began to drive east which complemented British forces driving from the west. The result was that Axis forces were trapped in Tunisia and were forced to surrender in May 1943.
After succeeding in North Africa, Patton, now promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General, became commander of the newly formed Seventh Army, which was formed at midnight on 10 July 1943 by the redesignation of the I Armored Corps. The Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, was conducted in conjunction with the British Eighth Army, commanded by General Sir Bernard Montgomery, Patton's rival. Patton commanded the Seventh Army until early 1944.
The Seventh Army landed on several beaches in southern Sicily on 10 July 1943 and captured the Sicilian capital of Palermo on 22 July and, along with the British Eighth Army, captured Messina on 16 August. During the fighting, the elements of the Seventh Army killed or captured thousands of enemy soldiers, mainly Italians. During the operation the Seventh and Eighth Armies came under the command of the 15th Army Group, under General Sir Harold Alexander. The headquarters of the Seventh Army remained relatively inactive at Palermo, Sicily, and Algiers until January 1944, when Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, then commanding the U.S. Fifth Army on the Italian Front, was assigned as commander and the Seventh Army began planning for the invasion of southern France.
The invasion was originally given the code name of "Operation Anvil", but was changed to "Operation Dragoon" before the landing. In March 1944, Major General Alexander Patch, a highly experienced and competent commander, was assigned to command the Seventh Army, which moved to Naples, Italy, the following July. On 15 August 1944, elements of the Seventh Army assaulted the beaches of southern France in the St. Tropez and St. Raphael area. On 15 September, the Seventh was put under the field control of the 6th Army Group, under Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers. The 6th Army Group also included the French First Army. Within one month, the Seventh Army, which by then employed three American divisions, five French divisions and the 1st Airborne Task Force, had advanced 400 miles north and joined with the Allied forces coming south from Normandy. In the process, the Seventh Army had liberated Marseilles, Lyon, Toulon and all of Southern France.
The Seventh Army then assaulted the German forces in the Vosges Mountains and broke into the Alsatian Plain. During the Battle of the Bulge in late December, it extended its flanks to take over much of the area that had been the responsibility of U.S. Third Army then under the command of Patton, which allowed the Third to relieve surrounded American forces besieged at Bastogne. In mid-January 1945, the Seventh engaged in pitched battle seeking to regain ground lost to Germany's Operation Nordwind New Year's offensive. Along with the French First Army, the Seventh went on the offensive in February 1945 and eliminated the Colmar Pocket. After capturing the city of Strasbourg, the Seventh went into the Saar, assaulted the Siegfried Line, and reached the River Rhine during the first week of March, 1945.
In a lead role in Operation Undertone, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine into Germany, captured Nuremberg and then Munich. Finally it crossed the Brenner Pass and made contact with Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott's U.S. Fifth Army at Vipiteno– once again on Italian soil.
In less than nine months of continuous fighting, the Seventh Army had advanced over 1,000 miles and for varying times had commanded 24 U.S. and Allied divisions, including the 3rd, 36th, 42nd, 44th, 45th, 63rd, 70th, 100th, and 103rd Infantry Divisions.
|You may listen members of the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra broadcasting on the radio in Europe from 1956–2006 here on 7aso.org|
The Seventh Army was inactivated in March 1946, in Germany, reactivated for a short time at Atlanta, Georgia, then inactivated again. It was reactivated by the United States European Command (EUCOM) with headquarters at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, on 24 November 1950 and assigned to command the ground and service forces of United States Army Europe (USAREUR).For over a decade the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra performed in support of the United States Army's cultural diplomacy initiatives throughout Germany and Europe in the aftermath of World War II (1952–1962).
On 30 November 1966, the Seventh Army was relocated from Patch Barracks to Heidelberg. Following French disagreements with certain NATO policies, United States European Command relocated from Paris the following year. From that time forward the Seventh Army has been the headquarters for all Army units under the European Command. Its major subordinate elements were the V Corps and VII Corps (Inactivated 1992.) From 1 December 1966 to present, the commander of Seventh Army has been "dual hatted" as Commanding General, United States Army Europe.
Note - Starting in 1966, the commander of the United States Seventh Army has been "dual hatted" as the Commanding General, United States Army Europe.
V Corps, formerly known as the Fifth Corps, is a regular corps of the United States Army at Fort Knox. It was previously active during World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Kosovo War, and the War on Terrorism.
The European Theater of Operations, United States Army (ETOUSA) was a Theater of Operations responsible for directing United States Army operations throughout the European theatre of World War II, from 1942 to 1945. It commanded Army Ground Forces (AGF), United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), and Army Service Forces (ASF) operations north of Italy and the Mediterranean coast. It was bordered to the south by the North African Theater of Operations, United States Army (NATOUSA), which later became the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, United States Army (MTOUSA).
The 4th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army that earned distinction while spearheading General Patton's Third Army in the European theater of World War II.
General Lucian King Truscott Jr. was a highly decorated senior United States Army officer, who saw distinguished active service during World War II. Between 1943–1945, he successively commanded the 3rd Infantry Division, VI Corps, Fifteenth Army and Fifth Army, serving mainly in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) during his wartime service. He and Alexander Patch were the only U.S. Army officers to command a division, a corps, and a field army in combat during the war.
Lieutenant General Geoffrey Keyes was a highly decorated senior United States Army officer who served with distinction in Sicily and Italy during World War II.
The II Corps was a corps-sized formation of the United States Army that was active in both World War I and World War II. It was originally formed and fought on the Western Front during World War I and was also the first American formation of any size to see combat in North Africa or Europe during World War II.
The XVIII Airborne Corps is a corps of the United States Army that has been in existence since 1942 and saw extensive service during World War II. The corps is designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world and is referred to as "America's Contingency Corps." Its headquarters are at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The 2nd Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army. The division played important roles during World War II in the invasions of Germany, North Africa, and Sicily and in the liberation of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. During the Cold War, the division was primarily based at Fort Hood, Texas, and had a reinforced brigade forward stationed in Garlstedt, West Germany. After participation in the Persian Gulf War, the division was inactivated in 1995.
The 3rd Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army. Unofficially nicknamed the "Third Herd," the division was first activated in 1941 and was active in the European Theater of World War II. The division was stationed in West Germany for much of the Cold War and also participated in the Persian Gulf War. On 17 January 1992, still in Germany, the division ceased operations. In October 1992, it was formally inactivated as part of a general drawing down of U.S. military forces at the end of the Cold War.
III Corps or III Armored Corps is a corps of the United States Army headquartered at Fort Hood, Texas. It is a major formation of the United States Army Forces Command.
The 10th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II. In the European Theater of Operations the 10th Armored Division was part of both the Twelfth United States Army Group and Sixth United States Army Group. Originally assigned to the Third United States Army under General George S. Patton, it saw action with the Seventh United States Army under General Alexander Patch near the conclusion of the war.
The 12th Armored Division was an armored division of the United States Army in World War II. It fought in the European Theater of Operations in France, Germany and Austria, between November 1944 and May 1945.
First Army is the oldest and longest-established field army of the United States Army. It served as a theater army, having seen service in both World War I and World War II, and supplied the US army with soldiers and equipment during the Korean War and the Vietnam war under some of the most famous and distinguished officers of the U.S. Army. It now serves as a mobilization, readiness and training command.
The 6th United States Army Group was an Allied Army Group that fought in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. Made up of field armies from both the United States Army and the French Army, it fought in France, Germany, Austria, and, briefly, Italy. Also referred to as the Southern Group of Armies, it was established in July 1944 and commanded throughout its duration by General Jacob L. Devers.
General Alexander McCarrell Patch was a senior United States Army officer who fought in both world wars, rising to rank of general. During World War II, he commanded U.S. Army and Marine Corps forces during the Guadalcanal Campaign in the Pacific, and the Seventh Army on the Western Front in Europe.
Lieutenant General Edward Hale Brooks was a senior officer of the United States Army, a veteran of both World War I and World War II, who commanded the U.S. Second Army during the Korean War. He received the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for heroism as a young officer in World War I and commanded the 2nd Armored Division during the Battle of Normandy as well as VI Corps during the subsequent defeat of German forces in World War II.
The United States Army North (ARNORTH) is a formation of the United States Army. An Army Service Component Command (ASCC) subordinate to United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), ARNORTH is the joint force land component of NORTHCOM. ARNORTH is responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities. ARNORTH is garrisoned at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Redesignated ARNORTH in 2004, it was first activated in early January 1943 as the United States Fifth Army, under the command of Lieutenant General Mark Wayne Clark.
The United States Army Central, formerly the Third United States Army, commonly referred to as the Third Army and as ARCENT, is a military formation of the United States Army which saw service in World War I and World War II, in the 1991 Gulf War, and in the coalition occupation of Iraq. It is best known for its campaigns in World War II under the command of General George S. Patton.
Major General Roderick Random Allen was a senior United States Army officer, who commanded the 20th and 12th Armored Divisions during World War II. Under his command of the 12th AD, the division defended Strasbourg from recapture against overwhelming odds; it provided the armored contingent in the closure of the Colmar Pocket and the liberation of Colmar; it spearheaded General George Patton's drive to the Rhine; captured intact the remaining bridge over the Danube River and broke the German defense line, making it the first time in recorded history that the Danube had failed to stop an invading army; and played a major part in blocking the Brenner Pass, thereby trapping over a million German soldiers in Italy as the war ended. En route to the Brenner Pass it overran eleven concentration camps at Landsberg, Germany.
United States Army Europe and Africa (USAREUR-AF) is an Army Service Component Command (ASCC) /Theater Army responsible for directing United States Army operations throughout the U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) area of responsibility.