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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36th Infantry Division
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Registered: August 2008
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The 36th was again activated prior to World War II on 25 November 1940. It deployed overseas on 2 April 1943, commanded by Major General Fred Walker.
The 36th Infantry Division landed in North Africa, 13 April 1943, and trained at Arzew and Rabat. It first saw action, 9 September 1943, when it landed by sea at Paestum on the Gulf of Salerno against intense German opposition. The Germans launched counterattacks on September 12-14, but the 36th repulsed them with the aid of air support and naval gunfire, and advanced slowly, securing the area from Agropoli to Altavilla.
After a brief rest the 36th returned to combat, 15 November. It captured Mount Maggiore, Mount Lungo, and the village of San Pietro despite strong enemy positions and severe winter weather. This grueling campaign was marked by futile attempts to establish a secure bridgehead across the Rapido River, 1 January to 8 February 1944. After assisting the 34th Division in the attack on Cassino and fighting defensively along the Rapido River, the severely depleted 36th withdrew, 12 March 1944, for rest and rehabilitation. On 25 May, the Division landed at Anzio, drove north to capture Velletri, 1 June, and entered Rome on the 5th. Pushing up from Rome, the 36th encountered sharp resistance at Magliano, but reached Piombino, 26 June, before moving back to Paestum for rest and rehabilitation.
On 15 August, as part of the American 6th Army Group, the Division made another amphibious assault landing, against light opposition in the Saint-Raphaël-Fréjus area of Southern France as part of Operation Dragoon. A rapid advance opened the Rhone River Valley. Montelimar fell, 28 August, and large German units were trapped. The 36th advanced to the Moselle River at Remiremont and the foothills of the Vosges. In a grinding offensive, the Division crossed the Meurthe River, breached the Ste. Marie Pass and burst into the Alsatian Plains. The enemy counterattacked, 13 December, but the 36th held the perimeter of the Colmar Pocket. The German Army counterattacks out of the Colmar Pocket were so fierce, that at times, the field artillery was forced to fire over open sights, at point blank range to stop them. On the 20th the Division resumed the attack, advancing northward along the Rhine River to Mannheim meeting heavy resistance at Haguenau, Oberhofen, and Wissembourg. In this action Company "G" 143rd Infantry Regiment gained a Presidential Unit Citation (US).
The Division was taken out of the line for the first time since it had landed in the south of France. It returned to the line early March 1945. The 36th moved to the Danube, 22 April 1945, and attacked the "National Redoubt" at Künzelsau on the 30th in its final action.
After 400 days of combat, the 36th Infantry Division returned to the United States in December 1945. It was deactivated on 15 December 1945.
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