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US Army 3rd Armored Division shoulder sleeve patch with tank, gun, and red lightning bolt

Object | Accession Number: 2004.749.7

Shoulder sleeve insignia, 3rd Armored Division, United States Army, known as the Spearhead Division, of the type used during World War II. The patch design was used by all Armored divisions, with the division number, in this case 3, at the apex of the triangle. The colors represent the military branches that form an armored division: yellow for cavalry, blue for infantry, and red for artillery. The symbols represent the characteristics: the tank track, mobility and armor protection; the cannon, fire power; and the red flash of lightning, shock action. The 3rd Division landed in Normandy in late June 1944, where their role as the spearhead in many attacks during the liberation of France in 1944 earned them their nickname. They pushed on and were the first Allied ground force to invade Germany. While fighting through Germany, they were first to capture a German town and to breach and advance across the Siegfried Line in September 1944. They were also the first Allied ground force to capture a major German city, when they captured Cologne on March 5 and 6, 1945. The 3rd and the 104th Infantry Division liberated Dora-Mittelbau concentration camp and Boelcke-Kaserne, a subcamp of Mittlebau, on April 11, 1945. They immediately began transporting 250 ill and starving survivors to nearby hospitals. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. The Division was placed on occupation duty in Germany until inactivated on November 10, 1945.

Military Insignia
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 16:24:58
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