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5th Infantry Division (United States)
US 5th Infantry Division.png
5th Infantry Division shoulder sleeve insignia
Active December 11, 1917 - unknown
October 2, 1939 - September 20, 1946
July 15, 1947 - November 24, 1992
Country USA
Branch Regular Army (inactive)
Type Division
Role Mechanized Infantry
Garrison/HQ inactive
Nickname Red Diamond
"Red Devils"
Motto We Will
Engagements World War I
World War II
Vietnam War
Operation Just Cause
Bernard W. Rogers
Distinctive Unit Insignia 5th Infantry Division.distinctive unit insignia.jpg
U.S. Infantry Divisions (1939–present)
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4th Infantry Division 6th Infantry Division (Inactive)

The 5th Infantry Division (Mechanized) —nicknamed the Red Diamond, the Red Devils, or die Roten Teufel— was an infantry division of the United States Army that served in World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, and with NATO and the U.S. Army III Corps. Its final deactivation occurred on November 24, 1992.[citation needed]



The 5th Infantry Division was activated on 2 October 1939 under the command of Brigadier General Campbell Hodges. It was sent to Iceland in 1942, under the command of Major General Cortlandt Parker to relieve British troops occupying this vital link on the Atlantic convoy routes.[citation needed]

Now commanded by Major General Stafford L. Irwin the 5th Infantry Division landed on Utah Beach, 9 July 1944 and 4 days later took up defensive positions in the vicinity of Caumont. Launching a successful attack at Vidouville 26 July, the division drove on southeast of Saint-Lô, attacked and captured Angers, 9–10 August, pushed across the Seine at Fontainebleau, 23 August, and across the Marne to seize Reims, 30 August, and positions east of Verdun. The division then prepared for the assault on Metz.[citation needed] In mid-September a bridgehead was secured across the Moselle, south of Metz, at Dornot and Arnaville after two attempts. The first attempt at Dornot by the 11th Regiment failed. German-held Fort Driant played a role in repulsing this crossing. A second crossing by the 10th Regiment at Arnaville was successful.[1] The division continued operations against Metz, 16 September-16 October 1944, withdrew, then returned to the assault on 9 November. Metz finally fell 22 November. The division crossed the German border, 4 December, captured Lauterbach on the 5th, and elements reached the west bank of the Saar River, 6 December, before the division moved to assembly areas. On the 16th of December the Germans launched their winter offensive, and on the 18th the 5th was thrown in against the southern flank of the Bulge, helping to reduce it by the end of January 1945. In February and March, the division drove across and northeast of the Sauer, cracked through the Siegfried Line, reached and crossed the Rhine, 22 March, and continued on to Frankfurt-am-Main, clearing and policing the town and its environs, 27–29 March.[citation needed] In April the division, under Major General Albert E. Brown took part in clearing the Ruhr Pocket and then drove across the Czechoslovak border, 1 May, reaching Volary and Vimperk as the war in Europe ended.[citation needed]

After the war, the division was inactivated on 20 September 1946. However, it was reactivated on 15 July 1947 under Brigadier General John C. Church.[citation needed] The 1950s saw the division in Germany as part of the US contribution to NATO. It sent one brigade to Vietnam, with the unit serving there from 1968 until 1971. Its final assignment was to III Corps, with the mission of reinforcement of Europe in the scenario of a general war breaking out there.[citation needed]

In 1989, units of the Fifth Infantry Division deployed in support of Operation Nimrod Dancer to "protect American interests" in Panama. 1st Battalion, 61st Infantry was one of the first units on the ground and remained there until September when there was a hand off to 4th Battalion, Sixth Infantry (another 5th ID unit).[citation needed] 4/6IN was in country and assisted during Operation Just Cause helping to overthrow Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, and also assisted in an emergency extraction of Delta Force operators engaged in Operation Acid Gambit when their helicopter went down.

The division was deactivated for the final time on 24 November 1992 as part of the post-Cold War rundown of US forces.[citation needed]

In Popular Culture

In the Axis and Allies Miniatures Roleplaying game, a US infantry unit was designated "Red Devil Captain".

External links


  1. ^ MacDonald, Charles B., Three Battles: Arnaville, Altuzzo, and Schmidt (Center of Military History United States Army: Washington, D.C.) 1993 reprint of 1952 edition, p. 35, 95.


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