Nickname: Battle-Axe. Shoulder Patch: Blue shield bearing a white battle-axe. .
The Battle-Axe Division was activated Aug., 1943, Camp Shelby, Mississippi. Overseas: Jan., 1945 (ETO). . Commanding General:
Maj. Gen. Stanley E. Reinhart, Aug., 1943, to present. .
(As of Jan., 1945): 259th, 260th and 261st Infantry Regiments; 720th (M), 867th, 868th and 869th CD FA Battalions. Higher Commands: Fifteenth Army and Third Army. ..
During the initial assignment of the 65th Division with the Fifteenth Army, the Division received additional training for combat and discharged the usual duties incident to arrival in a Theater of Operations.
France at that time had been overrun by the clanging tanks and the rapid moving motorized columns of the victorious Yank armies. Final victory was in the air as the Eisenhower legions gathered force for the final breakthrough and overrunning of Germany.
Von Rundstedt had blown up the last great offensive spark which still existed in German arms. The spark had flared into the Dec., 1944 blazing Battle of the Bulge.
The Allied armies had quenched the flames and were now full strength poised before the vaunted Siegfried line ready to deliver the crushing blow which caved in that strongest remaining outer shell of Nazi defense.
Under the Third Army the Battle-Axe Division was committed on the Western front early in Mar., 1945, 3n the vicinity of Saarlautern, where
it relieved the 26th (Yankee Infantry Division.)
The 65th launched its offensive Mar. 18 with a drive on the southern flank of the XX Corps, its objective to help secure Saarlautern. In four days the Siegfried Line was breached.
Reassembling in the vicinity of Neunkirchen, the division moved eastward across the Saarland toward the Rhine. By the last day of March the entire division had made the crossing.
The 65th crossed the Fulda four days later and entered Langensalda Apr. 6. Regensberg was next, the Battle-Axe men hacking their way to that city by Apr. 25 and going on the following day to cross the Danube between Regensberg and Kelheim, Regensberg itself was captured by the 65th a day later.
Scant days prior to the final capitulation of the Nazi power, the 65th Division had reached a point ten miles Southeast of Passau. Before hostilities ceased (three days prior to the cease-fire order) the Division reached Rufling and Horsching.