The building behind the monument was from September 2nd to September 4th 1944, the headquarters of "Spearhead", the U.S. 3rd Armored Division This monument also commemorates the killed General-Major Maurice Rose.
The 3rd Armored Division entered Europe in Normandy in June 1944. After several battles in France, including the major battle of Saint Lo, close to Normandy. The 3rd Armored Division marched in direction Charleroi (Belgium). The French-Belgian border, where the former headquarters is just 3.5 km away from, was reached on September 2nd 1944. From here the route went on to Liège. At Mons, a large number of German soldiers were captured, after that the division went to direction Germany. Only ten days after the first foot was put on Belgian soil, the 3rd Armored Division set foot on German soil. The next battle that the 3rd Armored Division had to do was the famous battle of the Hurtgen Forest. Also became the 3rd Armored Division involved in fighting during the Ardennes offensive.
In February 1945, they marched up towards the Rhine-land. During these battles, on March 31th 1945 the commander of the 3rd Armored Division, General-Major Maurice Rose was killed. He came face to face with a German tank during a ride in his Jeep. He wanted to surrender to the tank crew but was shot by the tank commander as mistake. He is buried on the American War Cemetery in Margraten, he is the only general on this cemetery. The other Americans who sat in the Jeep were taken prisoner by the Germans.
In March 1945 the 3rd Armored Division reached Cologne and made a further advance to Berlin. When the division was at the River Elbe in Dassau, about 125km from Berlin, the war was over.
In the 3rd Armored Division during the Second World War, there were 2540 dead, 7331 injured, 95 went missing and 139 were taken prisoner by the Germans.
The building now is a rest home for the disabled and care needed people with Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or dementia.
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- Text: TracesOfWar.nl
- Photos: TracesOfWar.com