The Seventh Army was a United States army created during World War II
that evolved into the United States Army Europe
(USAREUR) during the 1950s and 1960s. It served in North Africa and Italy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations
and France and Germany in the European theater
between 1942 and 1945.
Originally the I Armored Corps
under command of Lieutenant General George S. Patton
, it made landfall at Morocco during Operation Torch
as the Western Task Force
, the first all-U.S. force to enter the European war. Following successful defeat of the Wehrmacht
under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
in North Africa, the I Armored Corps was redesignated the Seventh Army on 10 July 1943 while at sea en route to the Allied
invasion of Sicily
as the spearhead of Operation Husky.
After the conquests of Palermo
the Seventh Army prepared for the invasion of France by its Mediterranean coast as the lead element of Operation Dragoon
in August 1944. It then drove a retreating German army north and then west toward the Alsace
, being absorbed into the newly created Sixth United States Army Group
in mid-September. In January 1945 it repelled a fierce but brief enemy counter-offensive during the German Operation Nordwind
, then completed its reduction of the region by mid-March.
In a lead role in Operation Undertone
launched 15 March, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine
into Germany, capturing Nuremberg
and then Munich
. Elements reached Austria and crossed the Brenner Pass
into Italy by 4 May, followed shortly by war's end on VE-Day
, 8 May 1945.
[Fifth Army History • Race to the Alps, Chapter VI : Conclusio]
"On 3 May the 85th and 88th nfantryDivisions sent task forces north over ice and snow 3 feet deep to seal the Austrian frontier and to gain contact with the American Seventh Army, driving southward from Germany. The 339th Infantry 5th Divisionreached Austrian soil east of Dobbiaco at 0415, 4 May; the Reconnaissance Troop, 349th Infantry 8th Division met troops from 03rd Infantry DivisionVI Corps of Seventh Army at 1051 at Vipiteno, 9 miles south of Brenner."
Shoulder sleeve insignia
The army's shoulder patch was approved on 23 June 1943.
World War II
I Armored Corps
The I Armored Corps
, the predecessor of Seventh Army, was formed on 15 July 1940 as the command element for armored forces of the United States Army. Its first commander was Major General Adna R. Chaffee, Jr.
, followed by Major General Charles L. Scott in November 1940. The United States officially entered World War II
on 7 December 1941, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
. This was followed four days later by the German declaration of war on the United States
With the goal of stopping German expansion in Europe and Africa, it was decided that the first operation for United States Army forces would be to assist the British in driving German forces from North Africa. On 15 January 1942, Major General George S. Patton Jr.
assume command of I Armored Corps and began planning for the invasion of North Africa.
On 8 November 1942, General Patton was in command of the Western Task Force
(a temporary redesignation of I Armored Corps for tactical deception), the only all-American force landing for Operation Torch
, code name for the Allied
invasion of French North Africa
. I Armored Corps then began to drive east which complemented British forces driving from the west. The result was that Axis forces were trapped in Tunisia and were forced to surrender in May 1943.
After succeeding in North Africa, Patton, now promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General
, became commander of the newly formed Seventh Army, which was formed at midnight on 10 July 1943 by the redesignation of the I Armored Corps. The Allied invasion of Sicily
in July 1943, was conducted in conjunction with the British Eighth Army
, commanded by General Sir Bernard Montgomery
, Patton's rival. Patton commanded the Seventh Army until early 1944.
The Seventh Army landed on several beaches in southern Sicily on 10 July 1943 and captured the Sicilian capital of Palermo
on 22 July and, along with the British Eighth Army, captured Messina
on 16 August. During the fighting, the elements of the Seventh Army killed or captured thousands of enemy soldiers, mainly Italians. During the operation the Seventh and Eighth Armies came under the command of the 15th Army Group
, under General Sir Harold Alexander
. The headquarters of the Seventh Army remained relatively inactive at Palermo, Sicily, and Algiers
until January 1944, when Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark
, then commanding the U.S. Fifth Army
on the Italian Front
, was assigned as commander and the Seventh Army began planning for the invasion of southern France
The invasion was originally given the code name of "Operation Anvil", but was changed to "Operation Dragoon
" before the landing. In March 1944, Major General Alexander Patch
, a highly experienced and competent commander, was assigned to command the Seventh Army, which moved to Naples
, the following July. On 15 August 1944, elements of the Seventh Army assaulted the beaches of southern France
in the St. Tropez
and St. Raphael
area. (Patch was promoted to Lieutenant General three days later.) On 15 September, the Seventh was put under the field control of the 6th Army Group
, under Lieutenant General Jacob L. Devers
. The 6th Army Group also included the French First Army
. Within one month, the Seventh Army, which by then employed three American divisions
, five French divisions and the 1st Airborne Task Force
, had advanced 400 miles and joined with the Allied forces coming south from Normandy
. In the process, the Seventh Army had liberated Marseilles
and all of Southern France.
The Seventh Army then assaulted the German forces in the Vosges Mountains
and broke into the Alsatian Plain
. During the Battle of the Bulge
in late December, it extended its flanks to take over much of the area that had been the responsibility of U.S. Third Army
, then commanded by Patton who had previously commanded the Seventh, which allowed the Third to relieve surrounded American forces besieged at Bastogne
. In mid-January 1945, the Seventh engaged in pitched battle seeking to regain ground lost to Germany's Operation Nordwind
New Year's offensive. Along with the French First Army, the Seventh went on the offensive in February 1945 and eliminated the Colmar Pocket
. After capturing the city of Strasbourg
, the Seventh went into the Saar
, assaulted the Siegfried Line
, and reached the River Rhine
during the first week of March, 1945.
In a lead role in Operation Undertone
, the Seventh Army fought its way across the Rhine into Germany, captured Nuremberg
and then Munich
. Finally it crossed the Brenner Pass
and made contact with Lieutenant General Lucian Truscott
's U.S. Fifth Army at Vipiteno
[ – once again on Italian soil.
In less than nine months of continuous fighting, the Seventh Army had advanced over 1,000 miles and for varying times had commanded 24 U.S. and Allied divisions, including the 3rd, 36th, 42nd, 44th, 45th, 63rd, 70th, 100th, and 103rd Infantry Divisions.
The Seventh Army was inactivated in March 1946, in Germany, reactivated for a short time at Atlanta, Georgia, then inactivated again. It was reactivated by the United States European Command (EUCOM) with headquarters at Patch Barracks, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, on 24 November 1950 and assigned to command the ground and service forces of United States Army Europe (USAREUR). For over a decade contained the Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra founded by the conductor Samuel Adler in support of the United States Army's cultural diplomacy initiatives throughout Germany and Europe in the aftermath of World War II (1952–1962).''Uncle Sam's Orchestra: Memories of the Seventh Army Orchestra''
John Canaria, University of Rochester Press 1998 Seventh Army Symphony on books.google.com]
On 30 November 1966, the Seventh Army was relocated from Patch Barracks to Heidelberg
. Following French disagreements with certain NATO
policies, United States European Command
relocated from Paris the following year. From that time forward the Seventh Army has been the headquarters for all Army units under the European Command
. Its major subordinate elements were the V Corps
and VII Corps
(Inactivated 1992.) From 1 December 1966 to present, the commander of Seventh Army has been "dual hatted" as Commanding General, United States Army Europe
* Seventh Army Symphony Orchestra
Lineage and Honors Information
at the U.S. Army Center of Military History
; General information
7th Army Symphony
Category:1943 establishments in Italy
Category:1946 disestablishments in Germany
Category:1946 establishments in Georgia (U.S. state)
Category:1947 disestablishments in Georgia (U.S. state)
Category:1950 establishments in Germany
Category:2010 disestablishments in Germany
Category:Field armies of the United States
Category:Mediterranean theatre of World War II
Category:Military units and formations established in 1943
Category:Military units and formations disestablished in 1946
Category:Military units and formations established in 1946
Category:Military units and formations disestablished in 1947
Category:Military units and formations established in 1950
Category:Military units and formations disestablished in 2010
Category:Military units and formations of the United States in the Cold War
Category:Military units and formations of the United States Army in World War II
Category:United States military in Germany
Category:Western European theatre of World War II