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Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.

-- Sun Tzu

79th Infantry Division

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The division landed across Utah Beach, France on 14 Jun 44, attacked toward Cherbourg with the 313th and 315th Infantry on 19 Jun 44, and reached the outer fortifications of the fortress-city the following day. The division began its main assault 22 Jun 44 as the 313th Infantry drove against the strongpoint at La Mare ? Canards. The 314th Infantry finally captured Fort du Roule on 26 Jun 44. The division left Cherbourg and moved south to hold defensive lines along the Ollonde River until 2 Jul 44. The division then pushed down the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula in driving rain and took La Haye-du-Puits after repelling German counterattacks on 8 Jul 44. It crossed the Ay River behind the 8th Infantry Division on 26 Jul 44 and took Lassey the next day, capturing Laval on 6 Aug 44. It sped past Le Mans on 8 Aug 44 and established a bridgehead near Mantes-Gassicourt over the Seine River 20 Aug 44, which it held against German counterattacks 22-27 Aug 44. It moved forward with the 2nd Armored Division and crossed the Therain River at the end of the month. After travelling 180 miles across the battlefields of WW I in 72 hours, the 79th Division crossed the Belgian border on 1-2 Sep 1944 -- the first American division to do so in WW II. The division then concentrated in the Joinville area on 10 Sep 44, and the 314th Infantry battled through Charmes 12 Sep 44 and forded the Moselle as the 313th Infantry captured Poussay and the 315th Infantry seized Neufch&ahat;teau 13 Sep 44. After heavy combat as the division cleared its sector, the offensive resumed on 18 Sep 44. On 20 Sep 44 the 314th Infantry encountered German fire as it reached the Meurthe River near Lun?ville attempting to turn the German flank. A battalion crossed the river near St. Clement the next day but had to be withdrawn. The division moved forward despite intense attacks from the For&ehat;t de Parroy, the 315th Infantry losing and then recovering part of Lun?ville 22 Sep 44 as the 314th Infantry was delayed by counterattacks at Moncel. The 314th Infantry frontally assaulted For&ehat;t de Monden the following day in heavy combat and the division entered the For&ehat;t de Parroy. The 315th Infantry was temporarily isolated in fighting at the main road junction there on 5 Oct 44 and the division was forced on the defensive. An all-out divisional assault forced a German withdrawal from the forest with the final capture of the main road junction 9 Oct 44. The division next took Emberm?nil 3 Oct 44 and battled for the high ground east of the town 15-22 Oct 44. It was relieved in this area 24 Oct 44.

It rested at Lun?ville and returned to the attack 13 Nov 44 with the 314th and 315th Infantry out of the Montigny area which carried it across the Vezouse with the capture of Fremonville 19 Nov 44. It consolidated north of Strasbourg 25 Nov 44 and fought the Battle of Hagenau 9-11 Dec 44. The division reached the Lauter River at Schiebenhardt on 15 Dec 44 and held defensive lines at Wissembourg until 2 Jan 45. It then moved to the southern portion of the Rhine River held by Task Force Linden (42d Infantry Division). The Germans established a bridgehead at Gambsheim and by 6 Jan 45 the division had battled through Stattmatten to relieve encircled elements of the task force. German attacks forced the 315th Infantry out of Hatten and Rittershoffen and defeated 314th Infantry efforts to take Drusenheim, and by 12 Jan 45 both 14th Armored Division and 103d Infantry Division units were committed to the battle. The division lost Sessenheim 19 Jan 45 and by 21 Jan 45 division lines had been forced back to the Moder River. German assault across the river at Neubourg and Schweighausen 24-25 Jan 45 punched through division positions which were restored the next day. The division remained on the defensive along the Moder River until 6 Feb 45.

It went into reserve and detached the 314th Infantry to forward positions overlooking the Roer as a diversion for Operation GRENADE 23 Feb 45. The division crossed the Rhine with the 313th and 315th Infantry after intensive artillery preparation on 24 Mar 45. It reached the Rhine-Herne Canal against strong opposition 29 Mar 45. The following day its 314th Infantry concluded the drive to Emser Canal and the division established defensive positions there until 6 Apr 45. The division then relieved the 35th Infantry Division west of Gelsenkirchen and attacked across the Emser and Rhine-Herne Canals with the 313th and 315th Infantry on 7 April 45. It reached the Ruhr on 9 Apr 45 and moved against scattered resistance east along the Ruhr, establishing a small bridgehead at Kettwig 11 Apr 45. It was relieved the following day and reverted to security duty in the Dortmund area where it was posted when hostilities were declared ended on 7 May 45.

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