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US Divisional Casualties in WWII

 
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US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 1:08:09 AM   
KG Erwin


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Here's some interesting info I've found:

Casualties
The ten divisions with the most battle casualties are presented below. Casualties are defined as killed in action, wounded in action, captured and interned, and missing in action.

Casualties Division Theater
25,977 3rd Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
23,277 9th Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
22,660 4th Infantry Division European
20,993 45th Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
20,659 1st Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
20,620 29th Infantry Division European
19,466 36th Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
19,200 90th Infantry Division European
18,446 30th Infantry Division European
17,087 80th Infantry Division European

Source: Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946.

The five divisions with the most battle casualties in the Pacific Theater are provided below. Casualties are defined as killed in action, wounded in action, captured and interned, and missing in action.

Casualties Division Theater
9,212 7th Infantry Division Pacific
8,812 96th Infantry Division Pacific
7,461 77th Infantry Division Pacific
7,268 32nd Infantry Division Pacific
7,012 24th Infantry Division Pacific

Source: Army Battle Casualties and Nonbattle Deaths in World War II, Final Report, 1 December 1941 - 31 December 1946.

Compare these figures to the total losses suffered by the six Marine divisions:

19,284 1st MarDiv
11,482 2nd MarDiv
8,676 3rd MarDiv
17,722 4th MarDiv
8,563 5th MarDiv
8,226 6th MarDiv

Source: Gordon Rottmann, "US Marine Corps World War II Order of Battle", pg 548.

Personal commentary: I had no idea that the 3rd Inf Div had such a high casaulty count. I would've thought it was "The Big Red One". The loss level for the "Old Breed" 1st Mar Div doesn't surprise me, as they fought at Guadalcanal, New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa.

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 6/12/2006 1:09:01 AM >
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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 1:15:17 AM   
KG Erwin


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A brief blurb about the 3rd ID:

"The 3d Infantry Division fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Germany and Austria for 531 consecutive days of combat. 3d Infantry Division soldiers earned 36 MOH during World War II. At Anzio the Division fought off three German divisions. While there it suffered more than 900 casualties, the most in one day of any division in World War II. The most highly decorated soldier of the war, LT Audie Murphy served with the 15th Infantry Regiment."

That's what I get by focusing on my favorites. I had no idea of this division's history. 36 Medals of Honor !! Damn.



< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 6/12/2006 1:26:07 AM >

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 1:38:23 AM   
BulletMagnet


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I can cinfirm this, as my Dad was a medic in the 3rd ID got a bronze star and was up for a silver but pulled a pratical joke on his CO and really got in the dog house.
Ironically he told me that when they were in africa he didnt even carry a pistol and that often the enemy would stop and let him cross the battlefiield to get to the wounded, but once he got to Italy it was completly different and thats when he carried a 45. The germans would do everythin they could to get him. I have a book of his left that has every soldiers name and final rank and has some cool storyies of those MoH winners and how they got them.


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 1:40:06 AM   
Alby


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good candidate for a campaign

hint hint

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 3:10:02 AM   
forgorin

 

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Hey BulletMagnet. You might want to think abotu publishing somethign like that. It would be a very small market, but it would be a shame to let somethign like that die.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 3:15:56 AM   
KG Erwin


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Oral history is indeed invaluable.   WWII vets are passing quickly, so we need to tap into their memories before they are gone. 

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 3:30:07 AM   
m10bob


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Gen Gerhard of the 29th ID was said to actually command 3 divisions at once.
One in the field, one in hospital, and the last in the cemetary.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 5:54:42 AM   
Gunter_Viezenz


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Just remember a person can be a casualty more than more time.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 5:57:30 AM   
KG Erwin


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Audie Murphy's MOH Citation:
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
to

MURPHY, AUDIE L
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B 1 5th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Holtzwihr France, 26 January 1945. Entered service at: Dallas, Tex. Birth: Hunt County, near Kingston, Tex. G.O. No.. 65, 9 August 1945.
Citation:
2d Lt. Murphy commanded Company B, which was attacked by 6 tanks and waves of infantry. 2d Lt. Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to prepared positions in a woods, while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him, to his right, 1 of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. Its crew withdrew to the woods. 2d Lt. Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, 2d Lt. Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer, which was in danger of blowing up at any moment, and employed its .50 caliber machinegun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to German fire from 3 sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. The enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate 2d Lt. Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards, only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound, but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he killed or wounded about 50. 2d Lt. Murphy's indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction, and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy's objective.


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 6:02:54 AM   
Gunter_Viezenz


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If he was alone how did they know he did all those things?

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 7:12:03 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gunter_Viezenz

If he was alone how did they know he did all those things?



US medal awards were only given if the events described could be verified by eyewitnesses, and from endorsements through the chain of command.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 10:17:47 AM   
forgorin

 

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Probably by his crew cowering back in the woods. Not much to be said of them eh!
Maybe that was a little rude. Lets change it to. Not much to be said of them that time eh!

< Message edited by forgorin -- 6/12/2006 10:20:43 AM >


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/12/2006 10:25:48 AM   
Twotribes


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He ORDERED his troops to fall back. What would you have them do? Ignore his orders? To make a statement dipsaraging of his men is ludicrous.

As for his actions, his men could see him and all his actions, all they did is fall back a bit to prepared positions.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/17/2006 1:02:14 PM   
Puukkoo


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Those casualty numbers seem to be quite high; how much did an American division have men when in full strenght? Hardly more than 20,000. There must have been a great amount of replacements included as well.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/18/2006 3:51:28 AM   
azraelck

 

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IIRC, a US division is some 14,700 men in strength; but I may be wrong. However, casualty numbers are for overall in the entire war, some people may have been hurt more than once, accounting for multiple counts on the casualtiy tallies, as well as those who were hurt in one battle, counted, then later killed, counting again. Finally, there are replacements; green troops who took the place of those KIA or WIA.  

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/18/2006 5:52:14 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: azraelck

IIRC, a US division is some 14,700 men in strength; but I may be wrong. However, casualty numbers are for overall in the entire war, some people may have been hurt more than once, accounting for multiple counts on the casualtiy tallies, as well as those who were hurt in one battle, counted, then later killed, counting again. Finally, there are replacements; green troops who took the place of those KIA or WIA.  


One of the tragedies of war is that while the US tried to keep units at full strength, the quick infusion of replacements also meant that the newbies were the usually to first to get killed in the next action, before they could "learn the ropes" and get acclimated to the realties of combat.

This was brought home in the interviews of the vets in "Band of Brothers" -- the universal opinion of replacements was that no one wanted to get to know them, as they got killed so quickly.

How could they learn anything if no one wanted to associate with them?

It became a vicious cycle -- this is why divisions that saw heavy action sometimes saw their casualty rate exceeding 100% of their TOE manpower level.


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/18/2006 6:48:25 AM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin


quote:

ORIGINAL: azraelck

IIRC, a US division is some 14,700 men in strength; but I may be wrong. However, casualty numbers are for overall in the entire war, some people may have been hurt more than once, accounting for multiple counts on the casualtiy tallies, as well as those who were hurt in one battle, counted, then later killed, counting again. Finally, there are replacements; green troops who took the place of those KIA or WIA.


One of the tragedies of war is that while the US tried to keep units at full strength, the quick infusion of replacements also meant that the newbies were the usually to first to get killed in the next action, before they could "learn the ropes" and get acclimated to the realties of combat.

This was brought home in the interviews of the vets in "Band of Brothers" -- the universal opinion of replacements was that no one wanted to get to know them, as they got killed so quickly.

How could they learn anything if no one wanted to associate with them?

It became a vicious cycle -- this is why divisions that saw heavy action sometimes saw their casualty rate exceeding 100% of their TOE manpower level.



Things had not changed all that much in my army either..I learned a lot from my Sgt's, which kept me alive. In return, once I became a squad leader, I never allowed a newf to do the up front stuff till I was fairly certain he had a chance of survival. I was fortunate, in that by the time guys came to my Ranger unit, they knew some things the average soldier might not know, and the Army knew the guy could pay attention and stay focused.
New guys with "macho bravado" need not apply.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/18/2006 9:00:47 PM   
Puukkoo


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Rookies have no combat experience so why not use them for recon duty?

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/18/2006 11:31:19 PM   
String


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Puukkoo

Rookies have no combat experience so why not use them for recon duty?


Send them towards the enemy and then direct artillery on the gunfire?

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/19/2006 12:33:24 AM   
Riun T

 

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Because new recruits wouldn't have the smarts not to get lost!!

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/19/2006 5:39:08 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Puukkoo

Rookies have no combat experience so why not use them for recon duty?


So, you put the new guy on point? Man, did you ever serve in the military?

For the record, I didn't (medically ineligible), but I'd question your suggested method of frontline orientation for a fresh replacement.

You'd hook up each new guy with a veteran, right? This is done under the overall supervision of the platoon sergeant.


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/20/2006 9:58:33 AM   
bchapman


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quote:

Casualties Division Theater
25,977 3rd Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
23,277 9th Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
22,660 4th Infantry Division European
20,993 45th Infantry Division Mediterranean & European
quote:



Notice that the 4th most casualties were from the 45th ID. The 3rd and the 45th were fighting together almost the entire time. Days in combat for the 45th were almost the same also (511). Anizo, both divisions claimed the title of The Rock of Anzio, huge casualties and lots of heroics for both divisions.


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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/20/2006 3:23:17 PM   
serg3d

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin
quote:

ORIGINAL: Puukkoo

Rookies have no combat experience so why not use them for recon duty?


So, you put the new guy on point? Man, did you ever serve in the military?


Soviet emplyed penal companies and battalions ("shtrafbat") formed form civilian prisoners, court-martialed personnel and former POW. They were used on the point of the offence, to break through heavy defences. The way out of penal battalions was getting wounded - "redemption by blood" or commit heroic deed. Or survive the term - from one to three months. The penal battalions/companies often suffered 80% or more casualities in single action. They were also forbidden automatic weapon, though in reality they used it, capturing from germans. They weren't wearing Red Army insigna and weren't shouting Hurrah!. They shouted Gu!-Ga! instead. There were also penal fighter wings for court-martialed pilots. By some estimations 1 million Gulag prisoners and 600 thousand military personnel passed through shtrafbats.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/20/2006 10:32:24 PM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: serg3d

quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin
quote:

ORIGINAL: Puukkoo

Rookies have no combat experience so why not use them for recon duty?


So, you put the new guy on point? Man, did you ever serve in the military?


Soviet emplyed penal companies and battalions ("shtrafbat") formed form civilian prisoners, court-martialed personnel and former POW. They were used on the point of the offence, to break through heavy defences. The way out of penal battalions was getting wounded - "redemption by blood" or commit heroic deed. Or survive the term - from one to three months. The penal battalions/companies often suffered 80% or more casualities in single action. They were also forbidden automatic weapon, though in reality they used it, capturing from germans. They weren't wearing Red Army insigna and weren't shouting Hurrah!. They shouted Gu!-Ga! instead. There were also penal fighter wings for court-martialed pilots. By some estimations 1 million Gulag prisoners and 600 thousand military personnel passed through shtrafbats.


Yes, I'm aware of this practice, which doesn't make me empathsize with the Russians too much. They also allegedly deployed NKVD patrols behind the lines to shoot retreating soldiers.

The US system had Provost Marshals to deal with miscreants, but the subject of military justice in the field isn't talked about too much. The Soviets (and the Germans later on) had a zero-tolerance level for shirkers and deserters.

You CAN do this in the game -- there's nothing to keep you from firing on your own men (by using the Z-key for direct fire into a hex).


< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 6/20/2006 10:34:47 PM >

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/21/2006 5:44:06 AM   
Korpraali V


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

You CAN do this in the game -- there's nothing to keep you from firing on your own men (by using the Z-key for direct fire into a hex).



That also changes the routed or retreating unit to pinned status. Or armoured vehicle to buttoned status. Naturally rising also their suppression.

However, in PBEM that can be considered as gamey... possibly exception could be Russians shooting retreating infantry to get them back to line, I think.

If I remember right also Germans used few penalty units in eastern front. Am I correct with this?

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/21/2006 6:46:47 AM   
KG Erwin


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Korpraali V

quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

You CAN do this in the game -- there's nothing to keep you from firing on your own men (by using the Z-key for direct fire into a hex).



That also changes the routed or retreating unit to pinned status. Or armoured vehicle to buttoned status. Naturally rising also their suppression.

However, in PBEM that can be considered as gamey... possibly exception could be Russians shooting retreating infantry to get them back to line, I think.

If I remember right also Germans used few penalty units in eastern front. Am I correct with this?


Well, firing into a friendly unit's hex IS gamey, and I don't do it.

Even if an enemy unit jumps into a friendly unit's hex in a melee, I don't fire into it. (Japanese units WILL jump into my Marines' foxholes once in awhile).

If the squad can't fight its way out, I'm not gonna save them by killing both them and the enemy.

Sending in a tank is useless --my trapped boys are too demoralized to protect it, and it's likely to get destroyed. There's nothing I can do, and it's frustrating.

Other than airstrikes, this is the situation I most fear -- to be forced to stand by helplessly while some of my men get massacred.

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/21/2006 10:48:13 AM   
serg3d

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Korpraali V
If I remember right also Germans used few penalty units in eastern front. Am I correct with this?

"999 units" - used for occupaion and antipartisan duties mostly. They were combined into "999th Afrika Brigade" in 1943 and intended to be sent to Africa. Only part was sent before collapse, and the rest was sent to Greece for occupation duties. German probaly had no this kind of mass insanity which allowed usage of court-martialed personnel as crack troops. Also penal troops more useful and relyable in the offence then in defence (Russian were formed in summer 1942) , and while Germans were advancing they weren't desperate enough to form assault troops from criminals.

< Message edited by serg3d -- 6/21/2006 10:53:57 AM >

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RE: US Divisional Casualties in WWII - 6/21/2006 7:39:18 PM   
11Bravo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

The most highly decorated soldier of the war, LT Audie Murphy...


The other most highly decorated soldier of the war was Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Matt Urban who served with the 9th Infantry Division.

Here is his MOH Citation:

Citation:


Lieutenant Colonel (then Captain) Matt Urban, l 12-22-2414, United States Army, who distinguished himself by a series of bold, heroic actions, exemplified by singularly outstanding combat leadership, personal bravery, and tenacious devotion to duty, during the period 14 June to 3 September 1944 while assigned to the 2d Battalion, 60th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division.

On 14 June, Captain Urban's company, attacking at Renouf, France, encountered heavy enemy small arms and tank fire. The enemy tanks were unmercifully raking his unit's positions and inflicting heavy casualties. Captain Urban, realizing that his company was in imminent danger of being decimated, armed himself with a bazooka. He worked his way with an ammo carrier through hedgerows, under a continuing barrage of fire, to a point near the tanks. He brazenly exposed himself to the enemy fire and, firing the bazooka, destroyed both tanks. Responding to Captain Urban's action, his company moved forward and routed the enemy.

Later that same day, still in the attack near Orglandes, Captain Urban was wounded in the leg by direct fire from a 37mm tank-gun. He refused evacuation and continued to lead his company until they moved into defensive positions for the night. At 0500 hours the next day, still in the attack near Orglandes, Captain Urban, though badly wounded, directed his company in another attack. One hour later he was again wounded. Suffering from two wounds, one serious, he was evacuated to England.

In mid-July, while recovering from his wounds, he learned of his unit's severe losses in the hedgerows of Normandy. Realizing his unit's need for battle-tested leaders, he voluntarily left the hospital and hitchhiked his way back to his unit hear St. Lo, France. Arriving at the 2d Battalion Command Post at 1130 hours, 25 July, he found that his unit had jumped-off at 1100 hours in the first attack of Operation Cobra." Still limping from his leg wound, Captain Urban made his way forward to retake command of his company. He found his company held up by strong enemy opposition. Two supporting tanks had been destroyed and another, intact but with no tank commander or gunner, was not moving. He located a lieutenant in charge of the support tanks and directed a plan of attack to eliminate the enemy strong-point. The lieutenant and a sergeant were immediately killed by the heavy enemy fire when they tried to mount the tank. Captain Urban, though physically hampered by his leg wound and knowing quick action had to be taken, dashed through the scathing fire and mounted the tank. With enemy bullets ricocheting from the tank, Captain Urban ordered the tank forward and, completely exposed to the enemy fire, manned the machine gun and placed devastating fire on the enemy.
His action, in the face of enemy fire, galvanized the battalion into action and they attacked and destroyed the enemy position.

On 2 August, Captain Urban was wounded in the chest by shell fragments and, disregarding the recommendation of the Battalion Surgeon, again refused evacuation. On 6 August, Captain Urban became the commander of the 2d Battalion. On 15 August, he was again wounded but remained with his unit.

On 3 September, the 2d Battalion was given the mission of establishing a crossing-point on the Meuse River near Heer, Belgium. The enemy planned to stop the advance of the allied Army by concentrating heavy forces at the Meuse. The 2d Battalion, attacking toward the crossing-point, encountered fierce enemy artillery, small arms and mortar fire which stopped the attack. Captain Urban quickly moved from his command post to the lead position of the battalion. Reorganizing the attacking elements, he personally led a charge toward the enemy's strong-point. As the charge moved across the open terrain, Captain Urban was seriously wounded in the neck. Although unable to talk above a whisper from the paralyzing neck wound, and in danger of losing his life, he refused to be evacuated until the enemy was routed and his battalion had secured the crossing-point on the Meuse River. Captain Urban's personal leadership, limitless bravery, and repeated extraordinary exposure to enemy fire served as an inspiration to his entire battalion. His valorous and intrepid actions reflect the utmost credit on him and uphold the noble traditions of the United States.



_____________________________

YOU MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO DISAGREE.

WOULD YOU DO THAT IF I WAS EUROPEAN?


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Post #: 28
Matt Urban - 6/21/2006 7:44:06 PM   
11Bravo


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From a press report: March 6, 1995:
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Matt Urban -- perhaps the most decorated soldier in US history -- died of complications from a collapsed lung Saturday in Holland, Michigan. He was 75 and had won 29 medals for valor in World War II, three more than war hero Audie Murphy. The 1989 Guinness Book of World Records gave the record to Colonel Urban.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/murban.htm



_____________________________

YOU MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO DISAGREE.

WOULD YOU DO THAT IF I WAS EUROPEAN?


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