Identifier

etd-0710103-051947

Degree

Master of Arts in Liberal Arts (MALA)

Department

Liberal Arts

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

The 317th Infantry Regiment was reactivated on July 15, 1942 as a subordinate element of the 80th Infantry Division. The regiment trained for two years in Tennessee, Kansas, Arizona, California, and finally New Jersey before departing for England in June 1944. Entering the European continent after D-Day, the regiment experienced its first combat in August 1944 when it assisted in closing the gap at Falaise and spearheaded Third Army's attack on Nancy. The 317th sat through the logistics shortfall that stopped the Third Army's advance during the "October Pause" in the fall of 1944. But then in November the regiment moved through the Maginot Line and prepared to attack Hitler's West Wall. In mid-December, German forces launched the famous Battle of the Bulge with a surprise attack in the Ardennes forest with twenty-five divisions. The 317th was one of the first units to begin the movement north to relieve the beleaguered American troops in the Ardennes. The regiment continued fighting through January 1945 until some units were exhausted. When Third Army resumed the offensive in February, so did the regiment. On Valentine's Day, 1945, it entered the Reich, moved rapidly through the Eifel and Palatinate regions, and crossed the Rhine River. During this time, the 317th overran some of the concentration camps that were Hitler's answer to the "Jewish question." The regiment moved through Nuremberg and into Austria, where, as it prepared for what loomed as a ferocious battle, the war ended. After serving as an occupation force, the unit officially deactivated in January 1946, after three and a half yearsof valiant service. The 317th had fought its way from Evron, France to Kirchdorf, Austria,participants in the horror and glory of war. It left behind on the battlefields of Europe 312 officers and 7392 enlisted men - fallen comrades in the struggle to free Europe from Nazi tyranny.

Date

2003

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Stanley E. Hilton

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