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Pictorial History of the US 3rd Armored Division in World War Two (Hardback)

Military > Pre-WWI > American History Military > Regimental History Photographic Books WWII

By Darren Neely
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 400 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526775511
Published: 2nd March 2021
Last Released: 30th June 2021



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The Third Armored Division, famously known as the “Spearhead Division”, had an illustrious combat career in WW2. One of only two “heavy armored” divisions of the war, the 3rd Armored joined the battle in the ETO in late June of 1944, was bloodied almost immediately and was at the front of the American advance through the hedgerows of Normandy and the rapid advance through France into Belgium by September 1944. The 3rd was one of the first units to breach the vaunted Siegfried Line and then fought a series of back and forth battles with the German army in the Autumn of 1944 as the weather conditions and determined tenacity of the German defenders produced an Autumn stalemate. The 3rd was rushed to the Ardennes front in December of 1944 in response to Hitler’s winter offensive and they famously fought battles at the defense of Hotton, Grandmenil and then pushed the Germans back to the border after vicious battles in places like Ottre, Lierneux, Cherain and Sterpigny. The early days of the Bulge battles would find the lost unit of Col Samuel Hogan’s 400 men who were surrounded for days and fought their way back to friendly lines. After a brief rest and being outfitted with 10 of the T-26 Pershing tanks, the 3rd was at the spearhead of the 1st Army advance into Germany, across the Rhine and into the Harz mountains and the liberation of the Nordhausen concentration camp. This final campaign would see the highpoint of the famous Cologne tank duel between a Pershing and German panther, made famous by the recent book “Spearhead” by Adam Makos. Then, just a few weeks later the beloved commander of the division, Major General Maurice Rose, was tragically shot by a German tank commander when trying to surrender Paderborn, Germany. The 3rd would end the war at the tip of the American advance into Germany before the war ended.

“An immersive narrative of one of the most revered Allied units of World War Two, Darren Neely’s history draws the reader in to learn more.”

Classic Military Vehicle, January 2023

A lavishly illustrated photographic history of the US 3rd Armored Division, documenting their arrival in Normandy a few weeks after the D-Day landings, through to the end of the war. The Division served with the 1st US Army and, as their nickname of the Spearhead Division implies, were frequently at the forefront of many battles; in France, the Ardennes, and ultimately across the Siegfried Line and into Germany. The individual chapters provide only a very brief summary of events, leaving the considerable array of excellent quality photographs, together with their detailed captions, to tell the story. These have been carefully selected to show the Division and its numerous vehicle types in a variety of situations, and the book culminates with an account of the famous duel between a Panther tank and one of the Division's new Pershing's in Cologne.

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Pegasus Archive

"An armored division is more than just its tanks, and the author makes that clear by including numerous images of the unit's infantry, reconnaissance artillery and support troops performing their duties. This book provides a wealth of details of how the men of this division lived and fought during the war."

WWII History

There is loads of inspiration for the modeler and the book is a great resource for the historians and WWII buffs in the mix. This brings some great ideas for those Allied tanks in your stash.

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There are lots of facets to the photos in this book which do a fine job of taking us through the journey of this strong armoured division in its' WW2 combat history in Europe. Not only that of the men of the division, but the equipment they used and their impact on the war, including the liberation of civilians and POWs, as well as the capture of enemy POWs as the war came to a close. A fine collection of archive images, well put together.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

All in all a fascinating and useful resource, bringing to life this units crucial part in the post-Normandy Western Front campaign.

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A Question of Scale

Modellers will love this to see how tanks in action actually looked like and the extra armour carried later in the war.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Sometimes a pictorial history is a hundred times better than a textual history, and that's certainly the case with the US 3rd Armored Division...

Books Monthly

This is a chunky sized book and contains a huge amount of photographs of the division and its success in helping to win the war for the allies. These high quality photos portray the ‘everyday’ life of the division both men, machines and situations encountered in a beautiful and easy to follow timeline. I imagine this book to have a huge appeal to a lot of different people, this is a highly photographed packed book supported by excellent supporting text. I would most certainly recommend this book to anyone interested.

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UK Historian

In these days of the internet we have to a large extent become lazy and expect everything to be at the touch of a button, well books like this change all that as they drag us in visually and encourage us to learn more and so could be said to make us better than we were. Visual histories instantly drag the viewer in and encourage them to look and learn more on a given subject. This book does far more though as it shows the men and machines sent to fight and puts us in touch with them in a sense while depicting how death and destruction can become the norm, the images here will create the spark for modellers to reproduce something seen here and have a context behind it. A truly great book at a good price for getting the imaginative juices flowing.

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'It is a fantastic collection of the timeline of the 3rd Armored Division’s battle history during the war. The inclusion of so many daily life photos and the grim reality of what a knocked out tank looks like leaps off the pages for the reader. The photos are reproduced to a high standard. If you want to see what this division endured in combat during the Second World War then you need this book. I highly recommend this book for anyone with an interest in WW2 armoured warfare or the 3rd Armored Division in particular'.

Todd Shugart

If the history of the US armored forces interests you, then this book is a necessary addition to your library. It will appeal to many other tastes too such as reenactors, historians, and uniform / equipment buffs. The title says it is a pictorial history and it delivers in a superb manner on that description. The author must have spent a massive amount of time locating the photos and deserves congratulating on this wonderful book.

Dr Stuart C Blank

About Darren Neely

Darren Neely is the author of several photo survey books on WW2 subjects including Panzer Wrecks 21: German Armor and the forthcoming Pictorial History of the US 3rd Armored Division by Pen & Sword.

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