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U.S. 3rd Infantry Division
It left the United States in October 1942 and landed in Morocco during Operation Torch, coming ashore at Fedala and capturing half the country. On 10 July 1943, the Division, as part of the U.S. Seventh Army in Operation Husky, made an assault landing on Sicily, fought its way into Palermo before the armor could get there, and raced on to capture Messina, thus ending the Sicilian campaign. Nine days after the Italian invasion, 18 September 1943, the 3d landed at Salerno and in intensive action drove to and across the Volturno and to Cassino. After a brief rest, the Division was ordered to hit the beaches at Anzio, 22 January 1944, where for 4 months it maintained its toe-hold against furious German counterattacks. On 29 February 1944, the 3d fought off an attack by three German Divisions. In May the Division broke out of the beachhead and drove on to Rome, and then went into training for the invasion of Southern France when the Seventh Army was assigned to the American 6th Army Group in Operation Dragoon. On 15 August 1944, another D-day, the Division landed at St. Tropez, advanced up the Rhone Valley , through the Vosges Mountains, and reached the Rhine at Strasbourg, 26-27 November. After maintaining defensive positions it took part in clearing the Colmar Pocket , 23 January-18 February 1945, and on 15 March struck against Siegfried Line positions south of Zweibrucken. The Division smashed through the defenses and crossed the Rhine, 26 March 1945; then drove on to take Nurnberg in a fierce battle, capturing the city in block-by-block fighting, 17-20 April. The 3d pushed on to take Augsburg and Munich, 27-30 April, and was in the vicinity of Salzburg, (Units from the 3rd were the first allied troops to arrive at Berchtesgaden which they secured along with the Berghof Hitler's Alpine residence), when the war in Europe ended.
In 2003, the 3rd Infantry Division deployed from the United States to Kuwait. It was one of the first units to arrive in theater during the buildup for Operation Iraqi Freedom. When the campaign started, 3rd Division lead the drive on Baghdad. It bypassed most of the major Iraqi centers of resistance, and entered Baghdad from the west after capturing the international airport. In a total departure from normal urban warfare doctrine, a brigade of the division made a 'thunder run' through Baghdad to test the defences of the city. When they were found to be weak, units of the division entered and stayed. The division remained on occupation duty in Iraq until late 2003.
At present the 3rd Infantry Division is undergoing a major reorganisation in preparation for another one year deployment to Iraq. The units of the division will be shipped to Iraq between November, 2004 and March, 2005 (source: globalsecurity.org).
Notable Members of the 3rd Infantry Division
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