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5th Infantry Division (United States)

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Title: 5th Infantry Division (United States)  
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5th Infantry Division (United States)

5th Infantry Division (United States)
5th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active 1917 – 21
1939 – 46
1947 – 92
Allegiance United States of America
Branch Regular Army (inactive)
Type Mechanized infantry division
Nickname "Red Diamond",[1] "Red Monkeys"
Motto We Will

World War I

World War II

  • Normandy
  • Northern France
  • Rhineland
  • Ardennes-Alsace
  • Central Europe

Vietnam War

  • Counteroffensive, Phase V
  • Counteroffensive, Phase VI
  • Tet 69 Counteroffensive
  • Summer–Fall 1969
  • Winter–Spring 1970
  • Sanctuary Counteroffensive
  • Counteroffensive, Phase VII

Operation Just Cause

  • Panama 1989–90
Bernard W. Rogers
Distinctive unit insignia
US infantry divisions (1939–present)
Previous Next
4th Infantry Division 6th Infantry Division (Inactive)

The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized)—nicknamed the "Red Diamond",[1] the "Red Devils", or "die Roten Teufel"—was an infantry NATO and the U.S. Army III Corps. It was disbanded and deactivated on 24 November 1992.[2]

World War I

The 5th Division was activated on 11 December 1917 at Camp Logan, near Houston, Texas.[3] The entire division had arrived in France by 1 May 1918 and components of the units were deployed into the front line.[4]

November 1918: US General Pershing at a review of the 5th Division in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg.

Units associated with the division included:[3]

The 5th Division trained with French Army units from the 1st through the 14th of June, 1917.[3] The first soldiers of the unit to be killed in action died on 14 June of that year. On 12 September, the unit was part of a major attack that reduced the salient at Jackson, South Carolina. On October 4, 1921 the 5th Division was inactivated except for the 10th Infantry Brigade and its supporting elements.[5]

World War II

The 5th Division was provisionally activated August 1936 at [6]


The following spring, in 1940, the division was sent to [8]

Normandy landings

Infantry from 5th Infantry Division advances toward Fontainebleau en route to Paris, supported by M10 tank destroyers of the 818th TD Battalion.

Now commanded by Major General Stafford L. Irwin the 5th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944 and four days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, 9–10 August, captured Chartres, (assisted by the 7th Armored Division), 18 August,[9] pushed to Fontainebleau, crossed the Seine at Montereau, 24 August, crossed the Marne and seized Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The division then prepared for the assault on Metz, 7 September.[10] In mid-September a bridgehead was secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, at Dornot and Arnaville after two attempts. The first attempt at Dornot by the 11th Regiment failed. German-held Fort Driant played a role in repulsing this crossing. A second crossing by the 10th Regiment at Arnaville was successful.[11] The division continued operations against Metz, 16 September to 16 October 1944, withdrew, then returned to the assault on 9 November. Metz finally fell 22 November. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach (a suburb of Völklingen) on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the Saar River, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas.

On 16 December the Germans launched their winter offensive, and on the 18th the 5th ID was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, where it smashed through the Siegfried Line.

Across the Rhine

The 5th ID crossed the Rhine River on the night of 22 March 1945. After capturing some 19,000 German soldiers, the division continued to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27–29 March.[12] In April the division, under Major General Albert E. Brown took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.[12] The division spent 270 days in combat and sustained 2,083 soldiers killed, 9,278 wounded, 1,073 missing, with 101 soldiers captured.[12]

Post-World War II

Following World War II, the 5th Infantry Division was inactivated on 20 September 1946. However, the division was reactivated on 15 July 1947 under Brigadier General John H. Church. The 1950s saw the division in West Germany as part of the US contribution to NATO though the division later returned to the United States.

Vietnam War

Vietnam, 1969. A member of the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized), takes down barbed tape (a modified form.

When the 1st Infantry Division deployed to Vietnam in 1965, additional manoeuvre battalions were required; thus two infantry battalions from the 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, were relieved and assigned to "The Big Red One."[13] In September 1965, the 2nd Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was moved, minus personnel, to Fort Carson, Colorado, and refilled there. The remaining personnel at Fort Devens formed the basis of the 196th Infantry Brigade.

By 1968 the division was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado, as a mechanized formation.[14] 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was dispatched to Vietnam after the Tet Offensive to replace a U.S. Marine Corps unit. The brigade, consisting of one battalion each of infantry, mechanized infantry, and armor, served there from July 1968 until 1971. Combat units included 1st Battalion, 11th Infantry; 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry (Mechanized); 1st Battalion, 77th Armor; A Troop, 4th Squadron, 12th Cavalry; and 5th Battalion, 4th Artillery.(Society of the Fifth Division) On 22 August 1971, the colors of 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division were cased and the brigade was inactivated at Fort Carson. Its final assignment was to III Corps, with the mission of reinforcement of Europe if a general war was to break out there.[15] In September 1969 the 4th Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was activated at Fort Carson, although, on the later return of 4th Infantry Division home from Vietnam in December 1970, the 4th Division replaced the 5th Division at Fort Carson, whereupon the 5th Division was inactivated.


On 21 October 1974 the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division was reactivated at Louisiana Army National Guard's 256th Infantry Brigade was assigned as the 'round-out' third brigade of the division.

In 1989, units of the 5th Division, based at Fort Polk, Louisiana, deployed in support of Operation Nimrod Dancer to protect American interests in Panama. First Battalion, 61st Infantry (Mechanized), "Roadrunners" (1st Brigade, 5th ID) was one of the first reinforcing units and remained there until September when there was a hand over to 4th Battalion, Sixth Infantry(Mechanized), "Regulars" (2nd Brigade, 5th ID).[2] 4–6 Infantry was in country and assisted during Operation Just Cause helping to overthrow Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, and also assisted in an emergency extraction of Delta Force operators engaged in Operation Acid Gambit when their helicopter went down.


Upon notification of deployment to Germany to defeat a Warsaw Pact attack, the 256th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Louisiana Army National Guard would deploy as the division's third maneuver brigade.[16]
Division Headquarters and Headquarters Company


(Partial list)[17]

  • Col. William M. Morrow, 1 Dec 1917-11 Dec 1917
  • Maj. Gen. Charles H. Muir, 12 Dec 1917-12 Dec 1917
  • Col. William M. Morrow, 13 Dec 1917-31 Dec 1917
  • Maj. Gen. John E. McMahon, 1 Jan 1918-16 Oct 1918
  • Maj. Gen. Hanson E. Ely, 17 Oct 1918-22 July 1919
  • Maj. Gen. John L. Hines, 27 Sep 1920-7 July 1921
  • Brig. Gen. Ulysses G. Alexander, 13 July 1921-4 Oct 1921
  • Brig. Gen. Campbell B. Hodges, 24 Oct 1939-3 Sep 1940
  • Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Cummins, 4 Sep 1940-23 July 1941
  • Maj. Gen. Charles H. Bonesteel, 24 July 1941-19 Aug 1941
  • Maj. Gen. Cortland T. Parker, 20 Aug 1941-23 June 1943
  • Brig. Gen. Allen D. Warnok, 24 June 1943-2 July 1943
  • Maj. Gen. S. Leroy Irwin, 3 July 1943-20 Apr 1945
  • Maj. Gen. Albert E. Brown, 21 Apr 1945-20 July 1946
  • Brig. Gen. Harry B. Sherman, June 1946-June 1946
  • Maj. Gen. Jens A. Doe, 20 July 1946-20 Sep 1946
  • Brig. Gen. John H. Church, 15 July 1947-1 Oct 1947
  • Maj. Gen. William B. Kean, 2 Oct 1947-30 June 1948
  • Maj. Gen. George H. Decker, 1 July 1948-28 Feb 1950
  • Brig. Gen. Frank C. McConnell, 1 Mar 1950-30 Apr 1950
  • Col. Thomas J. Wells, 6 Apr 1951-31 Jan 1952
  • Maj. Gen. Lawrence B. Kaiser, 1 Feb 1952-30 Nov 1952
  • Maj. Gen. George B. Barth, 1 Dec 1952-1 Sep 1953
  • Maj. Gen. Richard C. Partridge, 25 May 1954-30 June 1955
  • Maj. Gen. William T. Sexton, 1 July 1955-28 Feb 1956
  • Brig. Gen. Hiram D. Ives, 1 Mar 1956-30 Apr 1956
  • Brig. Gen. Cyrus A. Dolph, 1 May 1956-30 June 1956
  • Maj. Gen. Gilman C. Mudgett, 1 July 1956-31 May 1957
  • Brig. Gen. William M. Breckenridge, 1 Feb 1957-1 June 1957
  • Maj. Gen. Ashton H. Manhart, 19 Feb 1962-10 Dec 1962
  • Brig. Gen. Joseph R. Russ, 11 Dec 1962-28 Jan 1963
  • Maj. Gen. John A. Heintges, 29 Jan 1963-15 July 1964
  • Brig. Gen. Milburn N. Huston, 16 July 1964-30 July 1964
  • Maj. Gen. Autrey J. Maroun, 1 Aug 1964-30 Nov 1966
  • Maj. Gen. Charles A. Corcoran, 1 Dec 1966-30 April 1968
  • Maj. Gen. Donald H. McGovern, 1 May 1968-2 June 1968
  • Maj. Gen. Roland M. Gleszer, 3 June 1968-17 Sep 1969
  • Maj. Gen. Bernard W. Rogers, 18 Sep 1969-9 Dec 1970
  • Maj. Gen. William B. Steele, 1976-1978
  • Maj. Gen. Dale A. Vesser, 1983-1985 (approximate)
  • Maj. Gen. Thomas P. Carney, 1985-1988 (approximate)
  • Maj. Gen. James R. Taylor, 1988-1992 (approximate)


The division was deactivated for the final time on 24 November 1992, and reflagged as the U.S. 2nd Armored Division as part of the post-Cold War drawdown of US forces. The 2nd Armored Division moved from Fort Polk to Fort Hood, Texas in 1993, with the majority of the 5th Division's equipment.[2]

Though it was inactivated, the division was identified as the fourth highest priority inactive division in the 7th Infantry Division, the second be the 9th Infantry Division, the third be the 24th Infantry Division, the fourth be the 5th Infantry Division, and the fifth be the 2d Armored Division.

In popular culture

In the Axis & Allies miniatures role-playing game, a US infantry unit was designated "Red Devil Captain".

In the Twilight: 2000 role-playing game, players start out as members of the 5th ID in July 2000, after the division is overrun by Soviet and Polish units near Kalisz, Poland during a hypothetical World War III .


  1. ^ a b "Special Unit Designations".  
  2. ^ a b c "5th Infantry Division (Mechanized)". 23 May 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c Order of Battle of the United States Land Forces in the World War, Center of Military History 1988
  4. ^ a b Barta, Edward J. "The Fifth Infantry Division: World War I". The Society of the Fifth Division, United States Army. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Clay, Steven E. (2010). "U.S. Army Order of Battle 1919-1941". Combat Studies Institute Press. 
  6. ^ "The Fifth Infantry Division: World War II". The Society of the Fifth Division, United States Army. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Stanton, Shelby, World War II Order of Battle: An Encyclopedic Reference to U.S. Army Ground Forces from Battalion through Division, 1939-1946 (Revised Edition, 2006), Stackpole Books, p. 83.
  9. ^ Stanton, Shelby L. World War II Order of Battle, Gallahad Books, 1991, p. 84, ISBN 0-88365-775-9
  10. ^ Stanton, p. 84.
  11. ^ MacDonald, Charles B., Three Battles: Arnaville, Altuzzo, and Schmidt (United States Army Center of Military History: Washington, D.C.) 1993 reprint of 1952 edition, p. 35, 95.
  12. ^ a b c
  13. ^ John B. Wilson, Manoeuvre and Firepower: The Evolution of Divisions and Separate Brigades, Chapter Flexible Response: The Buildup of the Army, Center of Military History, United States Army, WASHINGTON, D. C., 1998, accessed November 2011
  14. ^ Stanton, Shelby L. (2003). Vietnam Order of Battle. Stackpole Books. p. 336.  
  15. ^ David C. Isby & Charles Kamps Jr., Armies of NATO's Central Front, Jane's Publishing Company, 1985.
  16. ^ Gordon L. Rottmen, Inside the US Army Today, Osprey Publishing 1988
  17. ^ Yves J. Bellanger, Commanders of the 5th Infantry Division, 1917-1970, retrieved March 24, 2014

External links

  • Society of the 5th Infantry Division
  • 5th Infantry Division Directory
  • The short film Big Picture: Recall is available for free download at the Internet Archive []
  • Organization of the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division At Fort Polk, LA
  • 5th Infantry Division Order of Battle in the ETO
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