Campaigns of the 9th Armored Division in Western Europe

Vibrant campaign map showing the heroic efforts of the 9th Armored Division in Western Europe.

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This wonderful map from the Second World War shows the route taken by the 9th Armored Division during their march across France, Belgium, and Luxembourg into the heart of Germany. Accompanying text boxes and small illustrated vignettes provide some additional context as to the experiences of the unit between December 1943 and V-E Day in 1945. A photo of the Ludendorff Bridge, lower right, commemorates one of the division’s greatest achievements for which an entire combat command was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation [text below]:

“Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action from 28 February to 9 March 1945 in Germany. On 28 February, Combat Command B launched an attack from the vicinity of Soller and less than twenty-four hours later crossed the Erft River at Derkum, forcing the enemy into disorderly retreat, the unit headed south-east, reaching the heights west of Remagen on 7 March, where troops of the command could see the Ludendorff Bridge across the Rhine River with large numbers of German troops fleeing across it. At 1500 hours that day a prisoner was captured who revealed that the bridge was mined for demolition and was to be destroyed at 1600 hours. At 1535 hours, one column of Combat Company B reached the western approach to the bridge. The span was still intact. Although the destruction of the bridge was imminent, American troops unhesitatingly rushed across the structure in the face of intense enemy automatic weapons fire. An explosion rocked the bridge but did not destroy it. Engineers scrambled down the abutments, cutting wires leading to other demolition charges and disposing of hundreds of pounds of explosives by hurling them into the river. Bulldozer tanks, working under heavy artillery and small-arms fire, filled craters at the bridge approach to permit vehicular passage.

Upon reaching the opposite bank, troops of Combat Command B fought gallantly and cleared the surrounding high ground. Although the strength of the span was unknown, tank units rumbled across the bridge after dark and lent their support to foot troops. Antiaircraft artillery men deployed their weapons so skillfully that in the ensuing days numerous enemy airplanes were destroyed in vain attempts to destroy the bridge. The superb skill, daring and esprit de corps displayed by each officer and man of Combat Command B, 9th Armored Division, in the dash to the Rhine, the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge, and the successful exploitation of this first bridgehead across Germany’s formidable river barrier made an outstanding contribution to the defeat of the enemy.”

The map was drawn by Sergeant Charles F. Squires, Jr. and published in 1945 by the S-2 Section of the 9th Armored Division Engineering Battalion.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1945

Author: Charles F. Squires, Jr.

Sheet Width (in): 27.50

Sheet Height (in): 12.50

Condition: A

Condition Description: Light creasing and a bit of faint wear along fold lines. Very good overall.

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