Recreating History

71st Infantry Division

World War II

Activated: 15 July 1943

Overseas: 26 January 1945.

Campaigns: Rhineland, Central Europe.

Days of combat: 62.

Distinguished Unit Citations: 1.

Awards: DSC-1 ; DSM-1 ; SS-180; LM-1 ; SM-8 ; BSM-695 ; AM 10.


Brig.Gen. Robert L. Spragins (July 1943-October 1944)
Maj. Gen. Eugene M. Landrum (October-November 1944)
Maj. Gen. Willard G. Wyman (November 1944-16 August 1945)
Brig. Gen. Onslow S. Rolfe (17 August 1945 10 October 1945)
Maj. Gen. Arthur A. White (October 1945-February 1946).

Returned to U.S.: 10 March 1946.

Inactivated: 12 March 1946.

Combat Chronicle

The 71st Infantry Division arrived at Le Havre, France, 6 February 1945, and trained at Camp Old Gold with headquarters at Limesy. The Division moved east, relieved the 100th Division at Ratswiller and saw its first action on 11 March 1945. Their ouster of the Germans from France began 15 March. The Division moved through outer belts of the Siegfried Line, captured Pirmasens, 21 March, and crossed the Rhine at Oppenheim, 30 March. The 71st continued the advance, taking Coburg without resistance, cutting the MunichBerlin autobahn, 13 April, and capturing Bayreuth after fierce opposition on the 16th. Moving south, the Division destroyed Schonfeld, 18 April, took Rosenberg, crossed the Naab River at Kallmunz on the 24th and crossed the Danube on the 26th. Regensburg fell on the next day and Straubing on the 28th. As resistance crumbled, the Division crossed the Isar on the 29th and entered Austria, 2 May. The 71st organized and occupied defensive positions along the Enns River and contacted Russian forces east of Linz, 8 May, the day before hostilities ceased. The Division was assigned occupational duties until it left for home and inactivation 1 March 1946.

Assignments in the ETO

21 January 1945: Fifteenth Army, 12th Army Group.
2 March 1945: Seventh Army, 6th Army Group.
9 March 1945: XV Corps.
22 March 1945: XXI Corps.
25 March 1945: VI Corps.
29 March 1945: 12th Army Group.
8 April 1945: Third Army, 12th Army Group.
11 April 1945: XII Corps.
20 April 1945: XX Corps.


Nickname: The Red Circle. Shoulder patch: A red circle with a white center bearing the Arabic numerals “71” in blue and placed diagonally. Association: 71st Division Society, The Secretary, Fort Monroe, Va. Publication: History of the 71st Infantry Division; by unit members; E. Kieser, KG, Inhofstrasse 13, Augsburg, Germany; 1946 ; 117 pp.