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Welcome to the official site of the 35th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II

Across France With Patton

Gen. Patton had begun his sweep across the heart of France to the South of Paris, using three spearheads, each containing an armored division and a mobile infantry division. The XII Corps, which included the 35th Division and the 4th Armored, were the right or Corps on the South, with the mission of protecting the right exposed flank of the Third Army. Each infantry regiment became a task force or combat team including an artillery battalion, companies of the 747th Tank Battalion and 654th Tank Destroyers, engineers and supporting units. 448th A.A. Battalion provided aerial defense and frequently lowered its guns for ground support. Thus, proceeded the greatest blitzkrieg demonstration of the war, the dash across France.

Along the road to Le Mans, the French people, delirious from their delivery from four years of German occupation, lined the roads to greet and cheer on the Americans, waving flags, giving flowers and food, cider and wines, everywhere the signs of “V” for Victory.

The first objective for the division lay eighty miles to the East – the magnificent and historical city of Orleans, former home of Joan de Arc, and 65 miles South of Paris. It was located on the North bank of the Loire River and a major supply center for the German Army and the site of a great airfield. We were to reduce all opposition by passed or too much for the 4th Armored Division to handle. Ahead would fly the Air Force. Their success was marked by the great numbers of overturned and burned out tanks, guns, half tracks, and trucks which were strewn along the countryside. At 11 a.m. on August 15th, the division moved out, led by Gen. Sebree’s tank forces, later joined by Combat Command A of the 4th Armored Division. Thirty hours later it arrived at Orleans to seize the airport and the crowded warehouses against light, surprised opposition. Combat team 134 followed to take on independent missions along the way as assigned.

Combat team 320 was routed 40 miles toward Paris to take Chateaudun where strong German artillery, mortar and rocket troops were located. At 8:30 a.m. on August 16th, Col. Byrne, Combat Team Commander, launched a “textbook” attack on the Germans who had been assigned to defend a large airport outside of Chateaudun. 320th Mortar Platoons showed their special talents with accurate and effective fire. Five tiger tanks were knocked out and by noon on the 17th, all resistance had ended in Chateaudun, and also in nearby Cloyes which had at first been temporarily bypassed. The area was then secured.

South of the Loire River, at Orleans, German snipers and artillery from across the river, intermittently dropped in rounds on the city but were unable to stop the occupation or the parade and liberation celebration of the local citizenry in which division personnel participated at the insistence of the French. The Germans had blown the bridges across the Loire River and had destroyed the city’s water system. No problem said the 60th Engineers who hooked up their equipment and supplied the city with 80,000 gallons a day. Here we met the Maquis and the Free French underground who provided intelligence and were ready to take over local defense. Here also we observed how the French took retribution on the collaborators, mostly women, who had consorted with the Germans during the occupation. Their hair was shorn and in some communities the ladies were disrobed and paraded in nature’s garb.

On August 21st, 1944, Maj. Gen. M.S. Eddy, New XII Corps Commander, forwarded Gen. Patton’s letter of commendation to the XII Corps for its “magnificent performance” in the capture of Orleans and Chateaudun.

Moving closer to Paris, the division combat teams had field days on key French cities and confusing and overrunning isolated pockets of resistance. To the 137th infantry fell the city of Sens about 60 miles southeast of Paris and a major supply center. Next came Montargis, taken August 23rd by the 134th and 320th combat teams, working in concert. 320th claimed Courtenay on the 24th and C.T. 134 took Joigny on the 25th. Prisoners poured into the prisoner of war cages by the thousands as light resistance kept the 35th casualties at a low tally. Next fell Troyes on the Seine River, compliments of Task Force S, but this time using the 320th Infantry. By the 1st of September, Task Force S was at Brienne Le Chateaux, just 65 miles West of Nancy and the Mosell River which would soon warm up our war again. We were nearing the battlefields where the 35th Division had fought in 1918. Gasoline shortages were beginning to slow the movement of the Third Army. The closing days of the Battle of Northern France were approaching. Hopes for an early end to the war were fading. The troops would not be home for Christmas. The nights were getting longer.

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Quick Facts

By Maj. Norman C. Carey, Company A-320th Inf. Regt.







Sgt Dick O'Brien
H Co 137 Infantry
Nancy, France


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