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12th Army Group Headquarters Movements

This book is Vol .IX of the 12th Army Groups Report of Operations (final after-action report). It describes the actions of the Headquarters Commandant Section and Special Troops.

You can download The Report of Operations: 12th Army Group vol. IX here.

What I find neat about the report is that it describes units typically attached to higher-echelon units and outlines (briefly) what they did. It’s a lot of units you would never think about but would be needed to help make the 1.3 million men in the group function.

For example, the 18th Finance Disbursing Section made between Feb 3rd, 1944 to June 30th, 1945 140,751 payments totaling $7,887,428.59. Also noted…they never had a case of VD or court martial.

And the 114th Signal Radio Intelligence Company which listened for lower-level German Army radio traffic and was able to locate a gas dump that US Army tanks were able to capture and use to gas up.

Of course, they also had the Office of the Chaplain who oversaw religious services for the men. It looks like the Chaplains were mostly Catholic or Protestant but also gave sermons to those of the Hebrew Faith, Mormon, and Christian Science faiths. It’s noted that:

“A listing of all the locations in which services were held would in itself give some insight into the variety which belongs to the experiences of Special Troops Chaplains. Apple orchards, world famous cathedrals and well known
shrines garages, moving picture houses, and stables, historic court churches, day rooms, and mess halls: magnificent private chapels, dingy billets, and in the bombed out ruins of what had once been churches, are just half the story of where our men knelt or stood with their heads bowed. The services were held in times of fair weather and bitter cold, in times of quiet and in times when gunfire could be plainly heard.”

And the 585th Army Postal Unit which was bombed on March 14th and the men worked through the night fixing and salvaging so they could be open for business the next day.

The book also contains a neat map of their movement. You can download it as a pdf here or look at the image below.