Cumberland Goes To War
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Cumberland Goes To War is a community heritage project coordinated and promoted by Allegany County Tourism in partnership with the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, the City of Cumberland, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and the Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. Funded in part by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, the Allegany County Commissioners and the City of Cumberland. More information about the project and/or the images in the archive can be obtained by emailing info@cumberlandgoestowar.com.


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[ John McClarran ]
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[ William L Reed ]
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63rd Infantry Division
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Registered: August 2008
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Three regiments of the 63rd Infantry Division arrived in Marseille, France, 8 December 1944, trained at Haguenau and, under the designation Task Force Harris, protected the east flank of the Seventh Army along the Rhine River. The task force fought defensively from 22 to 31 December 1944. The rest of the division arrived at Marseilles, 14 January 1945, and moved to Willerwald on 2 February, where it was joined by the advance elements on 6 February. On the 7th, the 63d conducted local raids and patrols, then pushed forward, crossing the Saar River on 17 February, and mopping up the enemy in Muhlen Woods. After bitter fighting at Güdingen early in March, the division smashed at the Siegfried Line on the 15th at Saarbrucken, Germany, taking Ormesheim and finally breaching the line at Sankt Ingbert and Hassel on 20 March. Hard still fighting lay ahead, but the Siegfried Line was Germany's last attempt to defend its prewar boundaries along the western front; this was a significant moment in the 63rd Infantry's history. Before resting on 23 March, the 63d took Spiesen-Elversberg, Neunkirchen and Erbach. From then until the end of the war, the 63rd Division carved a path of “blood and fire” from Sarreguemines through Germany. On 28 March, the division crossed the Rhine at Neuschloss, moved to Viernheim and captured Heidelberg on the 30th. Continuing the advance, the 63d crossed the Neckar River near Mosbach and the Jagst River. Heavy resistance slowed the attack on Adelsheim, Mockmuhl, and Bad Wimpfen.
The Division switched to the southeast, capturing Lampoldshausen and clearing the Hardthauser Woods on 7 April. A bridgehead was secured over the Kocher River near Weissbach on 8 April, and Schwabisch Hall fell on 17 April. Advance elements crossed the Rems River and rused to the Danube. That river was crossed on 25 April, and Leipheim fell before the division was withdrawn from the line on 28 April, and assigned security duty from the Rhine to Darmstadt and Wursburg on a line to Stuttgart and Speyer. The 63d began leaving for home on 21 August 1945, and was deactivated on 27 September 1945.
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