Front page
Table of Contents
The Brittany Campaign

A History of the 212th AFA in WWII, cont.

Division Commander (Maj. General Robert W. Grow)

[Web editor's notes: The handwritten text reads "To the men of the Super Sixth...In the campaigns in Europe, you have shown an exceptional pride in our Division and a high sense of duty that have overcome every hardship of nature and every form of enemy resistance. Our Division has never failed. R W Grow, Maj. Gen. USA, Commanding."

Click on the image above to display a high resolution version of the photo.

Historical footnote: Did General Grow, one of the best armored division commanders in Europe, and one who played a major role in defeating Germany, return home to glory and a rewarding retirement? No; in 1952, a Soviet agent photocopied Grow's personal diary while Grow was a diplomatic attache in Moscow, and portions of it appeared distorted and out of context in Communist newspapers, "proving" the warmongering intentions of the United States. He was court martialed and found guilty of "failing to safeguard classified information". The entire affair is documented in meticulous detail by military historian George F. Hofmann in COLD WAR CASUALTY, The Court-Martial of Major General Robert W. Grow, Kent State University Press, and available through the 6th Armored Division Association. Hofmann's research shows Grow to be an honorable, wrongly-persecuted man, and his Pentagon accusers to be self-serving, politically-motivated opportunists. Maj. Gen. Robert Grow died in November, 1985. ]


The primary purpose in publishing this combat history of the 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion is to render a service to all its members past and present. The book is a lasting, accurate story of the battalion's great achievements in the war in the European Theatre. Wherever we go on our separate ways, we shall have this book as concrete evidence of the close camaraderie, cooperation, teamwork, and sacrifices that made us a great fighting organization.

We had spent years in training, and our staff and personnel were all any commander could ask for. Facing war's realities, we learned lessons not taught in training; we gained battlefield knowledge, we learned the necessity to change the habits of our lives and minds. We emerged from the war the keenest and best of all artillery battalions.

For setting down the facts of this history and arranging for its publication, we are greatly indebted to 1st Lt. Elmer J. Gruber, who has painstakingly sought out from the battle records and operational reports all that is contained in the following pages.

It was my great honor to command the 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion from January 11, 1943, until June 1, 1945. It is to my regret that I was not able to accompany the battalion home to the states. No commander was ever privileged to lead a finer group of officers and men: no commander ever was more proud of the splendid performance of his troops.

Battalion Commander (Lt. Colonel Phillip H.Pope)

Battalion Exec (Major Arnold M. Anderson)

Battalion S-3 (Major Joseph W. Menges)

Map: Route of Battalion in Combat

[Web editor's note: This black-and-white copy of the 6th Armored's campaign map was bound into the front of the History, and was accompanied by some battalion-specific text. A full-size, color version of the map was folded and bound into the back cover of the History.

Click on the black-and-white image below to display the color version, along with a reproduction of the text at the bottom of the map that cannot be read at this resolution.]



21 -- Utah Beach
22 -- Les Mesnils
29 -- Gratot
30 -- Brehal
31 -- Avranches


1 -- Antrain
2 -- Combourg, Tinteniac, Becherel, Quedelac
3 -- St. Meen-la-grand, Mauron
4 -- St. Jouen-de-Lisle, La Trinite-Porhoet, Pontivy, Guemane-Scorff
5 -- Gourin, Landeleau, Huelgoat, La Feuillee
7 -- Thegonnec, Bodilis, Plouneventer, Kersaint-Plabennec
8 -- Gouesnou
9 -- Plouvien
10 -- Plabennec
14 -- Lesneven, Landivisiau, Comanna, Huelgoat, Landeleau, Gourin, Le Faouet, Arzano, Pont-Scorff
28 -- Plouay, Baud, Vannes, Redon
29 -- Nozay, Cande, Angers, Bauge
31 -- Chateau-Renault, Vendome, Beaugency, Bucy


1 -- Orleans, Chateauneuf, Lorris
14 -- Montargis, Sens, Troyes, Doaches
17 -- Bar-sur-Aube, Bologne, Neufchateau, Martigny
18 -- Toul, Nancy
19 -- Deuxville
21 -- Gremecy
22 -- Lanfroicourt
27 -- Amance


7 -- Brin-sur-Seille
8 -- Armaucourt
9 -- Leyr
15 -- Montenoy
28 -- Atton


8 -- Foret de Facq
10 -- Vigny
11 -- Beaux
13 -- Vatimont
14 -- Brulange
19 -- Harprich
20 -- Bertring
21 -- Erstroff
23 -- Diffembach-les-Helliner
25 -- St. Jean Rohrbach


2 -- Cappel
4 -- Farschviller
5 -- Diebling
7 -- Ippling
25 -- Metz
26 -- Luxembourg City, Mersch, Ermsdorf
29 -- Mellier
30 -- Assenois


1 -- Luzery
5 -- Isle-le-Pre
15 -- Mont
20 -- Bizory
21 -- Moinet
22 -- Weiler
27 -- Clervaux


7 -- Breidfeld
11 -- Bockholz
24 -- Dasburg. Daleiden, Arzfeld


1 -- Pintesfeld
4 -- Eisenbach, Vianden
9 -- Ettelbruck, Luxembourg City, Thionville, Metz, Pont-a-Mousson, Marsal, Haraucourt, St. Medard
13 -- Dieuze, Sarre-Union, Gros-Rederching
16 -- Bettviller, Ormesviller
17 -- Altheim
19 -- Ormesheim
21 -- Ostofen, Biedesheim
22 -- Biedsheim
23 -- Ostofen
25 -- Oppenheim, Russelsheim, Morpelden
26 -- Rhine-Main Airport
27 -- Niederrad
28 -- Offenbach, Dornigheim, Okarben
29 -- Bad Nauheim, Grossen-Linden, Steinbach
30 -- Alsfeld, Ziegenhain, Homberg, Unshausen
31 -- Melsungen, Wabern


1 -- Dissen
2 -- Gunsterode, Vockerode
3 -- Frankenhain
4 -- Grosgrab
5 -- Schonstedt
6 -- Langensalza
7 -- Thamsbruck
9 -- Langensalza
11 -- Schweinhausen
12 -- Kamburg, Haardorf, Romsdorf
13 -- Weissenborn
14 -- Roden, Wurchwitz
15 -- Alt-Mittweida
17 -- Mittweida
24 -- Oberelsdorf


11 -- Holzdorf


1 -- Auschaffenburg


Countries visited: France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany
Number of days in combat: 278
Longest stretch of consecutive combat (days): 221
Number of miles covered in combat: 3,225
Number of rounds fired: 100,659
Largest number of rounds fired in one day: 4,878
Number of gallons gasoline used: 995,000
Amount of food consumed: 315 tons
Amount of wire laid: 1,495 miles
Number of hours flown by cubs: 705
Number of miles flown by cubs: 60,000
Number of sorties flown by cubs: 704
Number of fire missions from cubs: 518
Number of battle casualties: 102

	Killed: 9

	Died of wounds: 2

	Wounded or injured: 91
Number of replacements: 90

	Officers: 15

	Enlisted men: 75
Number of vehicle casualties: 21


The 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion was inducted into Federal service for World War II on January 16, 1941, as the Second Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment, 26th Infantry Division. That was not the beginning of the battalion however; its origin dates back to 1637. It was in that year that the famous early American, Miles Standish, formed a number of Militia units in the New England colonies, one of which continued through the years under various numerical designations until it became a part of the Massachusetts National Guard as the 2nd Battalion, 101st Field Artillery Regiment. The 26th Division was triangularized shortly after Pearl Harbor, and the Second Battalion became a separate battalion, redesignated the 212th Field Artillery Battalion. It became the 212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion on September 1, 1942, when it was assigned to the 6th Armored Division, then at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas.

A month later the battalion began its armored training in earnest when it moved with the division to the Mojave Desert in California for 5 months of desert training and maneuvers. Camp Cooke, California, became the training ground in March 1943, and the division remained there until January, 1944, when it moved to Camp Shanks, New York, preparatory to sailing for Europe. On February 10, 1944, the battalion embarked from New York Harbor, and on February 24 landed at Glasgow, Scotland. The final period of training then followed at Ramsden Heath and Stow-on-the-Wold, England, until July 15th, when the division began its migration to the European Continent, via the port of Southampton.


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Last updated: August 9, 1997.