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3rd Armored Division
"Spearhead"

The 3rd Armored Division was reduced to zero strength (but not inactivated) on 15 February 1992 and removed from the force structure.

As Americans began to think the threat of a major European war was at last a thing of the past, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait further complicated international affairs. In November,1990, U.S. Army, Europe, sent VII Corps to Saudi Arabia to take part in Operation DESERT SHIELD and, later, in Operation DESERT STORM. V Corps immediately received orders to send the 12th Aviation Brigade to Southwest Asia, and then took on the mission of helping VII Corps deploy out of Germany. Victory Corps also sent its 3rd Armored Division and some battalions from the 8th Infantry Division along with VII Corps, because the Spearhead Division was well advanced in its modernization process and was largely equipped with Bradley Fighting Vehicles.

Following Operation Desert Storm and the liberation of Kuwait in February 1991, Camp Doha emerged as the focal point for U.S. Armed Forces in Kuwait. The threat of future aggression necessitated a presence of U.S. forces to maintain security and stability in the Gulf region. As a result, U.S. military forces began rotating into Kuwait providing security assistance, training exercises and performing necessary contingency planning. Among the first U.S. Army units deployed to Camp Doha after Desert Storm were the 3rd Armored Division, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 8th Infantry Division.

The 3d Armored Division landed in Normandy and entered combat 29 June 1944, taking part in the hedgerow fighting. The Division broke out at Marigny and with the 1st Infantry Division swung south to Mayenne in a general exploitation of the St. Lo break-through. In August 1944, the Division participated in the heavy fighting involved in closing the Falaise Gap, pocketing the German Seventh Army. Six days later (25 August) the Division had cut across the Seine River, and was streaking through Meaux, Soissons, Laon, Mons, Namur, and Liege. Liege fell 8 September and Eupen on 11 September. The Division breached the Siegfried Line with the capture of Rotgen, 12 September, and continued a slow advance against heavy resistance, to the vicinity of Langerwehe. When the Battle of the Bulge broke, the Division was shifted to Houffalize, Belgium, where it severed a vital highway leading to St. Vith, and in January participated in the reduction of the German salient west of Houffalize. After a brief rest, the Division returned to the front, crossed the Roer River- into Duren, broke out of the Duren bridgehead, and drove on to capture Koln, 6 March 45. The Division swept on to Paderborn ; it was at a road junction near Paderborn that Major General Rose was killed while attempting to surrender to a German tank commander, 31 March 1945. The Division took Paderborn, assisted in mopping up the Ruhr pocket, crossed the Saale River, and after overcoming stiff resistance took Dessau, 21-23 April 1945.



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