Twelfth United States Army Group

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Twelfth United States Army Group
Shoulder sleeve insignia
CountryUnited States United States
Branch United States Army
TypeArmy group
RoleArmy Group Headquarters
Size1.3 million men
Part ofAllied Expeditionary Force
EngagementsWorld War II
Omar Bradley

The Twelfth United States Army Group was the largest and most powerful United States Army formation ever to take to the field, commanding four field armies at its peak in 1945: First United States Army, Third United States Army, Ninth United States Army, and Fifteenth United States Army.[1] The order of battle across the four armies comprised 12 corps, containing a total of 48 divisions. Formed eight days after the Normandy landings, it initially controlled the First and the Third US Armies. Through various configurations in 1944 and 1945, the Twelfth US Army Group controlled the majority of American forces on the Western Front. It was commanded by General Omar Bradley with its headquarters established in London on 14 July 1944.

During the first week of the Normandy landings and the Battle of Normandy, Bradley's First US Army formed the right wing of the Allied lines. They were joined during July by the Third US Army, under the command of General George S. Patton, to form the Twelfth Army Group. Twelfth Army Group became operational in France on 1 August 1944. With General Omar Bradley assuming command of the Twelfth Army Group, Lieutenant General Courtney Hodges assumed command of the First Army. In addition, the USAAF's Ninth Air Force (not included in the 1.3 million soldiers figure) was attached to support the field armies of the Twelfth Army Group.[2]

Until 1 September 1944, when General Dwight D. Eisenhower assumed overall command of the Allied land forces in Northwest Europe, the US forces in Normandy were included with the British Second Army and the First Canadian Army in the British headquarters formation 21st Army Group, commanded by General Bernard Montgomery.

After the breakout from the beach-head at Normandy, the Twelfth Army Group formed the center of the Allied forces on the Western Front. To the north was the British 21st Army Group (the First Canadian and British Second)) and, to the south, advancing from their landing on the Mediterranean coast, was the Sixth United States Army Group (Seventh United States Army and French First Army).

As the Twelfth advanced through Germany in 1945, it grew to control four United States field armies: the First, the Third, the Ninth and the Fifteenth. By V-E Day, the Twelfth Army Group was a force that numbered over 1.3 million men.[3]

Twelfth Army Group was inactivated on 12 July 1945 upon Bradley's departure to become Director of the Veterans Administration. Its subordinate elements then became directly subordinate to United States Army Europe.


Headquarters Twelfth United States Army Group
Commanding General and Chiefs of Staff Sections[2]
Position 1 August 1944 8 May 1945
Commanding General Lieutenant General Omar N. Bradley General Omar N. Bradley
Chief of Staff Major General Leven C. Allen Major General Leven C. Allen
Deputy Chief of Staff Brigadier General Robert W. Hasbrouck Brigadier General Henry B. Lewis
Secretary, General Staff Lieutenant Colonel Eldon L. Bailey Colonel Eldon L. Bailey
G-1 (Personnel)[4] Colonel Joseph J. O'Hare Brigadier General Joseph O'Hare
G-2 (Intelligence)[4] Brigadier General Edwin L Sibert Brigadier General Edwin L. Sibert
G-3 (Operations and training)[4] Brigadier General A. Franklin Kibler Brigadier General A. Franklin Kibler
G-4 (Logistics)[4] Brigadier General Raymond G. Moses Brigadier General Raymond G. Moses
G-5 (Civil-military operations)[4] Colonel Cornelius E. Ryan Brigadier General Cornelius E. Ryan
Adjutant General Brigadier General Henry B. Lewis Colonel Charles R. Landon
Artillery Officer Brigadier General John H. Hinds Colonel Thomas B. Hedekin
Armored Colonel Edwin K. Wright Colonel Edwin K. Wright
Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Morgan J. O'Brien
Chemical Colonel John C. MacArthur Colonel Patrick F. Powers
Engineer Colonel Patrick H. Timothy Brigadier General Patrick H. Timothy
Finance Lieutenant Colonel Paul G. Hommeyer Major Eugene R. Melton
Headquarters Commandant Colonel Harry J. Karakas Colonel Harry J. Karakas
Inspector General Lieutenant Colonel Walter B. Cramer Colonel Frank G. Ringland
Judge Advocate Colonel Claude B. Mickelwait Colonel Claude B. Mickelwait
Ordnance Colonel Harold A. Nisley Brigadier General Harold A. Nisley
P & PW Colonel Clifford R. Powell Colonel Francis J. Fitzgerald
Provost Marshal Colonel Claud E. Stadtman Colonel Claud E. Stadtman
Quartermaster Colonel James W. Younger Brigadier General James W. Younger
Signal Colonel Garland C. Black Brigadier General Garland C. Black
Special Service Lieutenant Colonel Francis E. Conder Colonel Thomas M. Crawford
Surgeon Colonel Alvin L. Gorby Colonel Alwin L Gorby
Transportation Colonel Calvin L. Whittle Colonel Calvin L. Whittle
Commanding General, Special Troops Brigadier General Charles R. Doran Brigadier General Charles R. Doran

Order of battle – 8 May 1945[edit]

Source: Bradley, Omar, A Soldier's Story, New York: Henry Holt and Company (1950), pp. 557–561

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bradley, Omar N. (1983). A General's Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-41023-0.
  2. ^ a b Landon, Charles R., ed. (31 July 1945). Report of Operations (Final After Action Report) 12th Army Group (Report). Vol. I Summary. pp. 1, 4. OCLC 4520568. Retrieved 29 April 2022. [page 1] 12th Army Group "Eagle" [w/talons holding shoulder sleeve insignias of the four numbered armies and the one numbered air force]; [page 4 - table of the headquarters: commander and personal staff; coordinating assistant chiefs of staff; coordinating special staff]
  3. ^ CSI REPORT No. 6, Larger units: Theater Army – Army Group – Field Army, Combat Studies Institute, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, January 1985 [1]
  4. ^ a b c d e "The General Staff System | Basic Structure". United States Army Special Operations Command History Office.

External links[edit]