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12th Army Group

The 12th Army Group was formed in 1944 from the former First United States Army Group. The 12th U.S. Army Group was the largest body of American soldiers ever to serve under one field commander; at its peak it consisted of four field armies, over 39 infantry and airborne divisions and 15 armored divisions. The Headquarters of the Twelfth Army Group was established in London on July 14, 1944, and was given operational control of the United States First and Third Armies on August 1. Its commanding general was Lt. Gen. Omar N. Bradley, who was also commanding general of its predecessor, the First United States Army Group. No officer in the U.S. Army had any practical experience with the operations of an army group. On September 5, 1944, the United States Ninth Army was assigned to the Twelfth Army Group. For a short time in late 1944 and early 1945 the First and Ninth Armies were detached for duty with the Twenty-first Army Group. In the midst of the Ardennes counter-offensive the United States Fifteenth Army was assigned to the Twelfth Army Group. It remained with that Group until the end of the combat period. Twelfth Army Group Headquarters, also known as the Central Group of Armies, was entirely American in composition. The operations of the 12th Army Group was dominated throughout the fall of 1944 by the necessity of developing a new administrative base in close proximity to the front lines. On the basis of daily maintenance needs of 650 tons a division, the 12th Army Group' requirements totaled 19,000 tons a day during the first half of October 1944, assuming the employment of twenty-two divisions, and 23,000 tons a day by 1 November 1944, when the strength of the army group reached twenty-eight divisions.



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