of the 1st I.D.
1st Infantry division is created in 1917. It is the first american
infantry division to be created in order to fight the german forces
during the first world war. It is composed of 4 infantry regiments,
3 artillery regiments and some small units. On the whole, this division
is composed of 28.000 men. On november 3rd, 1917, it gives its first
engagement in Europe.
the Picardie front, on May 28th 1918, in northern France, the 1st
infantry division attacks the german tranches during the Cantigny
battle. For days, the battle is very hard and losses are terrifying:
about a thousand of american soldiers are out of fight, but the
victory belongs to the Americans (the first american victory in
the 1st infantry division returns to active duty, it is composed
of 15.000 soldiers. Its first battle of the World War 2 starts in
North Africa during the operation Torch on November 8th, 1942. The
allied forces organize for the first time a big scale landing near
1st infantry division, nicknamed the "Big Red One" in
relation with its insigna, fights in Tunisia and takes part in the July 1943 Sicily invasion.
"Big Red One" then goes to England to prepare the operation
Overlord. Indeed, the 1st Infantry division is ordered to land on
Beach, with the 29th
June 6, 1944 the 16th infantry regiment led by Major General C.
Ralph Huebner lands at 06:30 a.m. in Normandy in front of the Colleville-sur-Mer
town. The german resistance is very strong and the Americans are
almost defeated. Losses are impressive: 95% of the officers are
killed and no soldiers have landed where they were supposed to.
But these veterans of the North Africa front do not loose controle
and attack once again the Atlantik wall, defended by the 352nd german
infantry division. General Taylor, commander in chief of the 16th
infantry regiment, tells his men : "Two kinds of people
will stay on this beach: the dead and those who will die! Now ,
let's go out of here!"
the Normandy landings, the 1st Infantry Division participate in
the liberation of the city of Liege (Belgium) and the German forces
back behind the Rhine. It crosses the Siegfried line then attacks
the German city of Aachen which surrender on October 21,1944.
shoulder patch of the 1st infantry division, nicknamed the "Big
on December 16, 1944, the Germans launche their last forces in the
Operation Nordwind and counterattack in the Ardennes forest. Located
at Bullingen, the 1st Infantry Division defends its position by
inflicting heavy losses to the German forces.
January 15, 1945, the U.S. situation is improving in the Ardennes
and the Allied divisions counterattack themselves. The 1st infantry
division crosses for a second time the Siegfried Line reoccupied
by the Germans, then it establishes a beachhead in the region of
April 8, 1945, the Big Red One enters in Czechoslovakia after crossing
the Weser river. This is its last action of the Second World War.
It serves as an occupation division in Germany until 1955 before
returning to Fort Riley (USA).
21.023 soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division have been killed,
wounded or are missing in action during World War 2.
In July 1965, the 1st Infantry Division is involved in the conflict
in Vietnam, in the landing at Cam Ranh Bay and Vung Tau. The division
is transferred during the Cold War in Germany (where it is still
based today) and returns to the battlefield during the operation
Desert Storm in 1991.
1996, elements of the Big Red One participate in peace operations
in Bosnia as well as in Kosovo in 1999 as part of a peacekeeping
operation called Joint Guardian. It is also engaged in Iraq and
in Afghanistan from 2001 until the end of the engagement in these