WW2 History

The division was re-activated on August 15, 1942 and began its training at Camp Atterbury, Indiana where it was the first division to open this camp.
In July and August 1943 it participated in Second Army maneuvers in Tennessee and in spite of being the "youngest" division taking part in the maneuvers proved itself a tough, aggressive outfit In September 1943 it moved to Camp Breckenridge, Kentucky and trained there for the remainder of the year and for the first two months in 1944
The 83rd left the United States for foreign duty on April 6, 1944 and arrived in England on 16 April 1944. After Intensive training in England and in the northern part of Wales, the Division landed at Omaha Beach, 18 June 1944, and entered the hedgerow struggle south of Carentan, 27 June. Taking the offensive, the 83rd reached the St. Lo-Periers Road, 25 July, and advanced 8 miles against strong opposition as the Normandy campaign ended. After a period of training, elements of the Division took Chateauneuf, 5 August, and Dinard, 7 August, and approached the heavily fortified area protecting St. Malo. Intense fighting reduced enemy strongpoints and a combined attack against the Citadel Fortress of St. Servan caused its surrender, 17 August. While elements moved south to protect the north bank of the Loire River, the main body of the Division concentrated south of Rennes for patrolling and reconnaissance activities. Elements reduced the garrison at Ile de Cezembre, which surrendered, 2 September. The movement into Luxembourg was completed on 25 September. Taking Remich on the 28th and patrolling defensively along the Moselle, the 83rd resisted counterattacks and advanced to Siegfried Line defenses across the Sauer after capturing Grevenmacher and Echternach, 7 October. As the initial movement in operation "Unicorn," the Division took Le Stromberg Hill in the vicinity of Basse Konz against strong opposition, 5 November, and beat off counterattacks. Moving to the Hurtgen Forest, the 83rd thrust forward from Gressenich to the west bank of the Roer. It entered the Battle of the Bulge, 27 December, striking at Rochefort and reducing the enemy salient in a bitter struggle. The Division moved back to Belgium and Holland for rehabilitation and training, 22 January 1945.
On 1 March, the 83rd advanced toward the Rhine in the operation "Grenade," and captured Neuss. The west bank of the Rhine from North of Oberkassell to the Erft Canal was cleared and defensive positions established by 2 March and the Division renewed its training. The 83rd crossed the Rhine south of Wesel, 29 March, and advanced across the Munster Plain to the Weser, crossing it at Bodenwerder. As opposition disintegrated, Halle fell on 6 April. The Division crossed the Leine, 8 April, and attacked to the east, pushing over the Harz Mountain region and advancing to the Elbe at Barby. That city was taken on the 13th. The 83rd established a bridgehead over the river but evacuated the area to the Russians on 6 May 1945.
The 83rd returned to the US on March 26, 1946 (HQ) and was inactivated on April 5, 1946 at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey

Last updated: 2017-02-11
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