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Citizen Soldiers: 28th Infantry Division

D-Day: American

Keystone
28th Infantry Division

The Keystone division, named for its origins as a Pennsylvania National Guard unit, landed in Normandy on 22 July in the midst of First Army’s preparations for Operation Cobra. The division was committed to the St. Lô battles. Fighting through the hedgerows they saw only modest advances against dug in and determined enemies. Individual heroism, careful planning, and teamwork helped see the Keystone men trough the bloody hedgerow fighting.

Closing the Gap

On 1 August, the division took Percy and closed a key staging point for German counterattack troops. The 109th Infantry Regiment attacked and took Gathemo after four days of bloody fighting. The rest of the division moved south and joined the rapid Allied advance to trap the German army in France.

On 14 August, the Keystone division got a new commander, Brigadier General James Wharton. However, no sooner had he taken command, than he was fatally wounded. In his place Brigadier General Norman Cota, who landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day, took command after returning to duty having been wounded in St. Lô.

After weeks of slow progress through hedgerows and cities, the Keystone men found themselves in a fast advance east, liberating towns as fast as they could move forward. They encountered the occasional German resistance nest and detach a regimental combat team or a battalion to deal with it and kept the rest of the division moving.

By 25 August, the division’s 110th and 112th Infantry Regiments had placed themselves on the Seine River to cut off German forces retreating from the Falaise Pocket. A battalion from the 109th had formed Task Force D with the 107th Field Artillery Battalion, C Company of the 630th Tank Destroyer Battalion, and a small detachment of tanks. The task force took Le Neubourg after several days of fierce combat. The rest of the 109th Infantry Regiment captured Elbeuf on the Seine and cut off the last of the retreat route of the German army in the area and the regiment took 500 prisoners of war.

After helping close the Falaise Pocket, the division joined the procession through the recently liberated streets of Paris before joining the race across France.

The Keystone division reached and crossed the Meuse River on 6 September and prepared for the final assault into the Reich. The battles in the Hürtgen Forest that were in store for them were some of the most difficult the division would face. But they would fight hard and earn the nickname ‘the Bloody Bucket’ by their German adversaries.

28th Infantry Division 
28th Infantry Division 'Keystone'

Fielding the 28th Infantry Division

To field a Rifle Company from the 28th Infantry Division, use the Rifle Company on page 42 of D-Day: American. You can also use the 28th Infantry Division Keystone Command Card allows you to re-roll your die for determining where you Unit arrives from Scattered Reserves for 1 point.


Last Updated On Thursday, May 28, 2020 by Wayne at Battlefront