1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum

1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum The 1st Armored Division & Ft. Bliss Museum is located on historic Ft. Bliss, Texas. The museum presents the history of Ft. Bliss from 1849 to the present, as well as displaying the history of America’s 1st tank division, the 1st Armored Division.

Official page of the 1st Armored Division and Ft. Bliss Museum. Admission is free. Soldiers are on hand to orient and assist visitors. We feature the Combined Arms Heritage Park in front of the museum, with two picnic table areas. There are 3 different spaces available to reserve for functions. Auditorium for up to 180 people Ceremonial area for more than 180 people Reception room for food and drink

Mission: The 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Museum is a public educational institution dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of historical artifacts, art, and archival documents related to the history of the 1st Armored Division from its creation in 1940 in Fort Knox, Kentucky to present day operations and to the history of Fort Bliss, Texas and the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss, Texas from the fort’s creation in 1849 to the present. As such the museum will support all manner of Soldier and civilian research and education and Soldier training related to the history of these two entities, in addition to fostering public visitation and outreach.

Operating as usual

Our final post about Operation Torch is about Medal Of Honor recipient PFC Nicholas MinuePrivate Nicholas Minue, was bor...
11/26/2020

Our final post about Operation Torch is about Medal Of Honor recipient PFC Nicholas Minue

Private Nicholas Minue, was born on Christmas day, 1900 in Sedden, Poland. His family immigrated to the United States early in Nicholas’ life, though the exact date is unknown.

His mother, Mary Minue, had told an interviewer that her son first joined the US Army when he was 18 because of WWI. Not much is known about Nicholas Minue’s WWI military service, as sadly those records were lost in the infamous St. Louis fire at the National Archives. Though it can be assumed it was a short period of time based off of his mother’s statement that “when the war ended he went into business”.

In May, 1927 Nicholas Minue reenlisted in the US Army and served first as a cook and then as an infantry man for the next 16 years. At one point reaching the rank of sergeant, which he gave up to be able to fight on the ground during WWII. It was during this period of service with Company A, 6th Armored Infantry, 1st Armored Division, that PFC Nicholas Minue distinguished himself “by gallantry and intrepidity at the loss of his life above and beyond the call of duty”. For those actions he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. See the memo for publication for the full citation.

Developed by the train company Hanomag in Hanover, the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 (Sd.KFz. 251) was a German Half Track uti...
11/23/2020

Developed by the train company Hanomag in Hanover, the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251 (Sd.KFz. 251) was a German Half Track utilized during WWII to transport the German Mechanized Infantry into Battle. With at least 15,252 examples produced in 4 models, in 22 variants by 7 different manufacturers (Hanomag, Adlerwerke, Horch, Skoda, Borgward), it was the most widely produced German Half Track of WWII and saw service with the famed 1st Panzer Division
The original requirement for the Schutzpanzerwagen (armored infantry vehicle) was a vehicle that could safely transport a single squad of Soldiers to the battlefield protected from enemy direct, and indirect fire, as well as handle the mounting of offensive weapon systems such as the MG34 and MG42 machine guns. The protection package on the SD. Kfz. 251 included non-ballistic armor which were 14.5mm thick in the front, steeply angled on the side, and V-Shaped in some areas. The open top allowed for faster egress, improved situational awareness, and ability to return fire from within cover, however the open top still allowed for the possibility for indirect fire, or for enemy attack from elevated positions.
Powered by a Maybach HL42 6 cylinder gas engine, the Halftrack could reach a max speed of 32 mph, and was equipped with a combination Overlapping torsion bar, and leaf spring suspension system. To aid with steering, the front wheels could be turned left and right, and the tracks would brake similar to a tanks tracks. The overlapping and interleaved main road wheels common to all German tanks and half tracks of the period had the advantage of lowering ground pressure and providing traction, at the cost of tougher maintenance procedures, and the problem of mud freezing between the wheels and getting the vehicle stuck much like the Tiger I and Panther Tanks. Later models saw the vehicle equipped with various weaponry to include anti-aircraft/Tank guns, light howitzers, mortars, and even artillery rockets.
The 1st Armored Division’s Halftrack is an original WW2 German Halftrack that was modified by the Czech Army in the 1950s. The Czech army, desiring an armored personnel carrier utilized captured and abandoned German Sd.Kfz 251s for their post-war armed forces. They modified these vehicles to resemble the Czech OT-810 by enlarging the hood and equipping them with a larger 8 cylinder engine. In the early 1990’s, the now modified halftrack you see here was returned to Germany and rebuilt by a German museum in an attempt to bring it back to its original configuration.
You can see this, and other artifacts detailing the history of the Iron Division and Fort Bliss at the 1st Armored and Fort Bliss Museum once we resume normal Operations.

This week we continue our discussion of Operation Torch with the end of the North Africa Campaign.Three months of fierce...
11/19/2020

This week we continue our discussion of Operation Torch with the end of the North Africa Campaign.

Three months of fierce fight followed the losses of Kasserine Pass. In March the 1st Armored Division conducted attacks to draw enemy forces away from British forces attacking from the south. The plan was to force the Germans to withdraw toward Tunis and Bizerte. With the division attacks successful, plans shifted to close in on the German forces in those cities. Beginning in April, the 1st Armored Division again conducted a series of attacks against the Germans, taking Mateur. It was during this series of attacks that one Division Soldier, PFC Nicholas Minue, distinguished himself in battle and became the first and only 1AD Medal of Honor recipient. Division elements continued to press the enemy hard towards the Mediterranean Sea until 9 May at 1100 hours when they finally received a cease-fire order. The War in North Africa had ended.

The camera you see here was seized from a German POW after the battle for Hill 609 in Tunisia, by a Soldier in the 13th Armored Regiment of the 1st Armored Division.
The Battle of Hill 609 took place in April 1943, at Djebel Tahent in northwestern Tunisia between forces of the US II Corps, primarily the 34th Infantry Division, and units of the Afrika Korps. It was deemed one of the most difficult objectives in Tunisia.

This map was purchase by Howard Shaft, 1st Armored Regiment, 1st Armored Division, in Oran and used throughout the entire North African campaign.

A design that lived on for decades in the Army inventory, the CCKW GMC 2 ½ Ton 6x6 truck was a highly successful series ...
11/16/2020

A design that lived on for decades in the Army inventory, the CCKW GMC 2 ½ Ton 6x6 truck was a highly successful series of off-road trucks developed for the Army during the years encompassing both WWII and the Korean Wars. Nicknamed the “Deuce and a Half”, or “The Deuce”, they would serve primarily in cargo transport roles, many becoming the backbone of the mighty “Red Ball Express” that kept supplies moving to the front lines for the Allies after the D-Day invasion.
Making up nearly 1/3 of the 2.4million trucks purchased by the Army between 1939 and 1945, the mighty Deuce would come in many variants, including open and closed cabs, short and long wheel-bases, with and without winches, and scores upon scores of specialty variants including anti-aircraft, Chemical Decon, Dump Truck, Fire Engine, Radio Van, Dental Operating Van, Map Repro Van, Pipeline Equipment van, and Water purification van.
Powered by a straight 6cyl 104hp gas powered engine, the CCKW was capable of achieving a max speed of 45mph, and had a 40 gallon gas tank giving it a range of approximately 300 miles. The suspension was comprised of beam axles on standard leaf springs, and the transmission was a standard Warner 5 Speed with overdrive.
The CCKW Deuce and a Half would serve the Army with over 500,000 examples produced, eventually being replaced by M35 Series Truck developed by REO motors in the mid-1960s.
Not much is known about this particular artifact. You can see this, and other artifacts detailing the history of the Iron Division and Fort Bliss at the 1st Armored and Fort Bliss Museum once we resume normal Operations.

We will continue our exploration of Operation Torch with TunisiaPart 2On to Tunisa: Shortly after the seizer of Oran, th...
11/12/2020

We will continue our exploration of Operation Torch with Tunisia

Part 2

On to Tunisa: Shortly after the seizer of Oran, the remainder of the 1st Armored Division arrived from England to join Combat Command B and the entire division moved to Tunisia to join the British forces. The Allied attempt to capture Tunisia in December failed and with it the hope of cutting off Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s supply line in Libya.
On 14 February 1943, two Panzer Divisions of Rommel’s Afrika Korps attacked at Sid Bou Zid, toward Kasserine Pass. Within two days the U.S. suffered significant losses. Ultimately, the division and its allies were pushed back eighty-five miles through Kasserine Pass where they hastily entrenched, in an attempt slow Rommel’s advance. Oddly, the Germans failed to follow up on their success. Even though they clearly had the upper hand, they withdrew.
II Corps lost 6,000 men in that battle, along with numerous pieces of equipment, the Germans lost fewer than 1,000 men. The division and its allies learned some hard lessons during those battles and sustained significant loses, but they did learn and were better prepared for the battles yet to come.

The M3A1 you see is an improved variant with input from the British. First seeing combat in Guadalcanal with the Marines, the most extensive use came with the 1st Armored Division during the North Africa Campaign. First to land at Oran with the lighter and smaller M3A1s, the 1st and 13th Armored Regiments quickly knocked out Vichy French tanks covering airstrips in the area. Soon afterwards, they were sent south to Tunisia where they encountered both German and Italian troops. The M3s would prove inadequate against the German Panzer divisions however and would be replaced by the M5 Stuarts which were quieter and easier to operate.

11/11/2020

The 11th hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, 102 years ago the guns fell silent. Upon cessation of hostilities nearly 40 million lay dead across the European and African Continents. The Allied Expeditionary Forces rose triumphant, and the Central Powers returned to their territories, defeated. The “War to end all Wars” ended with the following deaths:

9:30 George Edwin Ellison was the last Brit
10:45 Augustin Trébuchon was the last Frenchman
10:58 Private George Lawrence Price, was the last Canadian
10:59 Henry Gunther, an American, is generally recognized as the last soldier killed in action in World War I. He was killed 60 seconds before the armistice came into force while charging astonished German troops who were aware the Armistice was nearly upon them. He had been despondent over his recent reduction in rank and was apparently trying to redeem his reputation.

Armistice day came into existence in 1919 under President Woodrow Wilson and was expanded after WWII to include all Veterans, officially becoming Veterans Day in 1954. We will always remember where it started.

They shall never grow old

Tune in for the unveiling of this great tribute to the Story of the American Soldier
11/11/2020

Tune in for the unveiling of this great tribute to the Story of the American Soldier

Celebrating together while apart. Join us for the Grand Opening Ceremony livestream on November 11, 2020, at 2 pm EST: dvidshub.net/webcast/25129 #WorthTheWait #USArmyMuseum

Biv·ou·acnoun: a temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by Soldiers or MountaineersBivouacing has been a...
11/09/2020

Biv·ou·ac
noun: a temporary camp without tents or cover, used especially by Soldiers or Mountaineers
Bivouacing has been a common practice for a military unit on maneuvers dating back to wars long forgotten. Army’s set up camp for their weary troops to return to at the end of the days fighting to regroup, resupply, get a few winks, see a doctor, and maybe get a bite to eat. As the years have gone on, the only change to this practice has been the equipment with what has been utilized. The scene created here is typical of what Iron Soldiers would have experienced during WWII. The tent is created by two shelter-halfs, each half issued to a Soldier, then joined to together to provide cover and warmth for the time period in which they were stopped. The mess kit at the bottom shows a Canteen Cup, canteen, and aluminum plates and silverware. The other items include their military gear, and meal rations. This individual sleeping area can be broken down in minutes and slung on each Soldier’s back, minus the wooden case which would be thrown into a vehicle.
You can see this, and other artifacts detailing the history of the Iron Division and Fort Bliss at the 1st Armored and Fort Bliss Museum once we resume normal Operations.

11/07/2020
1st Armored Division

1st Armored Division

On this day in 1942, #IronSoldiers prepared to land at Oran, Algeria as the first action taken in #Operation_Torch. Tomorrow marks the beginning of what would be "eight days of fighting" across North Africa before claiming victory against the Axis powers. Allied forces would then move into Italy to set the stage for total victory during World War II.

1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Commanding General Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe discusses the events of OPERATION TORCH and its significance in earning 1AD the title of #AmericasTankDivision. We stand with him in saluting the brave service of the Soldiers who have come before us. #HonorTheLegacy #1AD80

11/06/2020
1st Armored Division

1st Armored Division

Paying tribute to the past is how we find purpose in the present. Are we earning our name, "America's Tank Division"?
The courage, selfless service, and sacrifice of so many has helped #OldIronsides earn the title of #AmericasTankDivision, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Our Command Team, Maj. Gen. Sean C. Bernabe, Commanding General, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael C. Williams, Senior Enlisted Leader, 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss, paid tribute to the valiant #IronSoldiers of the 1AD who gave their all during #Operation_Torch in World War II with a wreath-laying ceremony at Fort Bliss National Cemetery this morning.

#HonorTheLegacy #1AD80
(US Army video by Staff Sgt. Nicholas Brown-Bell)

In honor of the mighty Iron Divisions participation in the Africa Campaign, we will be discussing Operation TorchPart IO...
11/05/2020

In honor of the mighty Iron Divisions participation in the Africa Campaign, we will be discussing Operation Torch

Part I
Oran Harbor: On 8 November 1942 the Allied invasion force approached the North African coast near the city of Oran. Primarily using American ground forces and British shipping, Operation Torch would ultimately gain Casablanca, Oran, and Algiers and set the stage for the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia. The Central Task Force, landing at Oran, commanded by Maj. Gen. Lloyd Fredendall, came from Great Britain. As part of the Central Task Force, the 1st Infantry Division and Combat Command B, 1st Armored Division, with their M3 Stuart light tanks, landed east and west of Oran. While the 3rd Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division were a part of a special ship-borne operation to land directly in Oran harbor to prevent the docks and wharves from being sabotaged. While the landings east and west of the city were largely successful, 3-6’s operation to seize the harbor was not. Vichy French forces quickly detected and opened fire on the two converted coast guard cutters, and in no time the ships were reduced to burning hulks. Of the 393 soldiers of the 6th Infantry, only 47 emerged unhurt. Despite this, on November 15th Oran, along with Algeria and Morocco, was under Allied control and units would begin to orient towards Tunisia.

The flag you see flew over one of the two Coast Guard cutters that participated in the assault on Oran harbor. HMS Hartland and HMS Walney had been given to the British as part of the Lend-Lease program and were used to transport the entirety of 3rd Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division—a small group of English commandos; thirty-five U.S. seamen; and a six man group of U.S. Marines. The ships sustained withering fire from the Vichy French forces on shore and within moments were reduced to sinking, burning husks.

The flag was pulled from the harbor waters by an unknown person and eventually made its way to the governor of Kentucky, Happy Chandler, who sent it to the National Archives, where it was selected to be one of twenty-four flags flown over the U.S. Capitol on V-E (Victory in Europe) Day. Chandler received the flag back and later gave it to the senior surviving member of Company H, 3rd Battalion, 6th Armored Infantry Regiment, Jack Hanson, who donated it to the 1st Armored Division Museum in the name of the four remaining survivors—himself, Marion Ruppert, Ed Farrington, and Leon Campbell—in memory of all of their fallen comrades.

#ironsoldiers #OperationTorch

Leading up to the shown pages: CPL Meikle is onboard the HMS Walney when it begins to take fire. He manages to get off the ship and out of the harbor with one other individual from his unit. They stumble upon a civilian shelter with a few Vichy French and German Soldiers and are taken prisoner. The following morning they moved to an old fortress where about 20 American POW’s are being held.

Produced from 1939 until 1948, the Zundap KS750 was a Second World War motorcycle-sidecar combo that saw service with th...
11/02/2020

Produced from 1939 until 1948, the Zundap KS750 was a Second World War motorcycle-sidecar combo that saw service with the German Armed Forces.
With nearly 20,000 units produced, the KS750 was created based on 5 requirements from German Commandos:
1. A Payload of 500kg (1,102lbs) with 3 fully equipped Soldiers
2. A cruise speed of 80KM/h (50M/h) on the Autobahn and max speed of 95km/h (60M/h) fully loaded
3. Capable of fielding 4.5 x 16’ Cross country tires
4. Minimum clearance of 150mm (5.9in) and enough clearance for mudguards and snow chains
5. Substantial off-road capabilities including fording shallow waters and steep inclines
Prior to the fielding of the KS750, all motorcycles used by the military were simple modified civilian models. But the changing face of warfare, and the increasing speed with which the German military was moving its forces on the battlefield required new equipment. First attempts to supply the Wehrmacht with the needed motorcycles involved modifications to existing KS models such as the KS600. This however proved insufficient and was scrapped. As Zundap developed the new model at their Nuremburg plant, BMW was also tapped to develop a model for the military, creating the R75. Ultimately the R75 would fall short, and the KS750 would be fielded to units across the country. The series was discontinued for the German military officially in 1944, but would see limited production for the Finnish Army and Civilian Markets until completely cancelled four years later.
Not much is known about this particular artifact, but based on Zündapp manufacturing records, the serial number of this motorcycle (636) indicates that it was produced sometime in 1943. You can see this, and other artifacts detailing the history of the Iron Division and Fort Bliss at the 1st Armored and Fort Bliss Museum once we resume normal Operations.

Address

1735 Marshall Rd
Fort Bliss, TX
79916

DoD ID card holders may access the installation through any open gate. Non-ID card holders must get a pass at a visitor center, located at either Chaffee or Buffalo Soldier Gates.

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