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D-Day: American

Tough ’Ombres
90th Infantry Division

The 90th Infantry Division’s insignia dates back to World War I when the division drew its members from Texas and Oklahoma. The ‘T’ and ‘O’ stood for these two states, but quickly took on the meaning ‘Tough ’Ombres’ in WWII.

The 359th Regimental Combat Team of the 90th Infantry Division saw action on 6 June at Utah Beach in support of the 4th Infantry Division. The rest of the division saw action on 10 June as part of the effort to cut the Cotentin Peninsula.

Meredet River

During the operations on the Cotentin Peninsula, the 90th Infantry Division was charged with attacking west. The 357th and 358th regiments led the assault but recoiled when the Germans opened fire on the green troops. The assault stalled and couldn’t get it moving again.
US VII Corps’ commander, Major General Lawton Collins relieved the division’s commander, Brigadier General Jay MacKelvie, and replaced him with Major General Eugene Landrum. 

The regimental commanders of the 357th and 358th were also replaced. The division had to be sheparded by the 82nd Airborne Division for the rest of the campaign and fought reasonably well. However, serious damage had been done to gain division an unenviable poor reputation.


In late July, the Tough ’Ombres joined the fighting in the Normandy hedgerows. At Saint-Germain-sur-Sèves they ran into a counterattack by the German 6. Fallschirmjägerregiment (6th Parachute Regiment) on 18 July. In the surprise attack, the Germans took 265 of the Tough ’Ombres prisoner, killing or wounding another 400. The result was devastating and it stalled the US Army’s advance in the area for nine more days.
General George Patton was furious and sacked Landrum and replaced him with Brigadier General Raymond McLain. The division was removed from the line as the ‘top brass’ debated about what to do. The 90th Infantry Division faced the possibility of being dismantled and used for replacements. Fortunately for the Tough ’Ombres, this was never done.

Back on Track

Brigadier General Raymond McLain’s leadership and a desire to clear the record gave the ’Ombres a reason to live up to their name and they’re fortunes soon improved. The 90th made an impressive stand at Sees and Bourg-Saint-Leonard on 15 August. They met up with the 10th Polish Dragoons in Chambois, effectively closing the Falaise Gap.

More on the Falaise Gap...

90th Infantry Division 
90th Infantry Division 'Tough 'Ombres'

Fielding the 90th Infantry Division

To field a Rifle Company from the 90th Infantry Division, use the Rifle Company on page 42 of D-Day: American. You can also use the 90th Infantry Division Tough ‘Ombres Command Card to reduce the cost of Rifle Platoon by -1 point and other Units by -1 point. All units lose Blood ‘n Guts and have Motivation Reluctant 5+.

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