The Major General Maurice Rose
Armed Forces Reserve Center
Named for 3rd Armored Division's WWII Commander
Dedication and Ribbon-cutting was held on December 10, 2011
|The Reserve Center main building in November,
2011. Major Gen. Rose, of WWII fame in Europe, was born in Middletown
in 1899 in a downtown building that still stands today with
a bronze plaque marking the location. (Photo by Damon of 3AD.com)
||An aerial photo of the full 42-acre site taken
in February, 2011, while obviously still under construction.
The huge main building is at left and motor pool, maintenance,
and storage at right. The Reserve Center is located minutes from
Interstate-91 and halfway between New Haven and Hartford. (Photo
courtesy of Bluebird Aerial Photography)
Major General Maurice Rose
Born: Middletown, CT, 1899
Rose (nearest camera) inside
Germany in November, 1944
About the General and the
3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division
||Of the fifteen U.S. armored divisions in Europe
in World War II, the 3rd Armored Division, under Maj. Gen. Rose's
command, saw the most combat, inflicted the most damage, and
took the most casualties.
Among its many accomplishments, Rose's Division was the first
Allied ground force to invade Germany in WWII (three month's
before Patton's troops) and the first to breach the infamous
Siegfried Line. It was the first to capture a major German city
(Cologne), and, at one point, blitzed 101 miles through enemy
territory in a single day. Then on March 30, 1945, while up front
with his troops, Rose was killed in action. With his death, and
with Germany's surrender only weeks away, the public fame and
honors that would have later surrounded Rose were lost. Fortunately
his own Division and military historians did not forget. Read more.
E-mail Notification to Middletown City Hall
of the Reserve Center naming:
From: Zeitlin, Daniel
Sent: Monday, February 07, 2011
To: Cacciola, Phil. Middletown City Hall
Subject: Connecticut Reserve Center Naming
The language below was included in the Ike Skelton National
Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2011 (P.L. 111-383)
signed into law by the President on 1/7/11.
SEC. 2854. NAMING OF ARMED FORCES RESERVE CENTER, MIDDLETOWN,
The newly constructed Armed Forces Reserve Center in Middletown,
Connecticut, shall be known and designated as the `Major General
Maurice Rose Armed Forces Reserve Center'. Any reference in a
law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other record of the
United States to such Armed Forces Reserve Center shall be deemed
to be a reference to the Major General Maurice Rose Armed Forces
Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3)
2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Rose Birthplace and Plaque
508 Main Street, 2nd floor, front apartment
Photos by Damon of 3AD.com Staff
The Rose Biography
||Originally published in 2003 and entitled "Major
General Maurice Rose - World War II's Greatest Forgotten Commander",
the authors are Steven L. Ossad and Don R. Marsh. The book (below)
is available on Amazon.com and other online book sellers:
Rose gave his life on March 30, 1945.
His memory and his legacy have lived on.
||ABOVE: Memorial Day, May, 1991, at Gen. Rose's
grave site at Margraten American Cemetery, The Netherlands. Participating
in the wreath laying were 3AD Commander Major Gen. Jerry R. Rutherford
(left front) and Div. SGT/MAJ Joe Hill (right front). In civilian
attire (back center), and representing the 3AD Association (WWII
vets), was Harley E. Swenson (B/32 AR).
||ABOVE: Named, of course, in memory of Gen. Rose,
the camp was one of the prime assembly area's for the Division
in the weeks prior to moving out to pre-battle positions and
the start of Operation Desert Storm and the attack inside of
||ABOVE: 3AD WWII veterans and several of their
family members gathered at Gen. Rose's grave site at Margraten,
The Netherlands, in 1994 on the 50th Anniversary of the liberation
of France & Belgium.
More about Major Gen. Rose
and the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division
By 3AD.com Web Staff
The quality of Gen. Rose's leadership in combat during WWII
can best be summed up by what the 3rd Armored Division (the 3AD)
accomplished under his command, which began in August, 1944,
in Normandy, France. But, first, a look at his remarkable experience
prior to that command:
- Rose's U.S. Army career spanned 1916 to 1945. He enlisted
as a private at age 17, later graduated from officer's school,
and saw combat in World War I as a 19-year-old first lieutenant
with the 89th Infantry Div. in the Argonne and at St. Miheil,
France. He was wounded (shrapnel and concussion), spent 3 weeks
in a hospital, but returned to his unit against doctor's orders.
He was promoted to captain in 1920, shortly after war's end.
- In WWII, he first served with the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions
in North Africa. In 1943 then Colonel Rose served as Chief of
Staff of the 1st Armored Division (1AD) during fighting in Tunisia,
North Africa. On May 9, 1943, he left the Division's Command
Post near Ferryville, Tunisia, and began a trip by a 2-vehicle
U.S. convoy into German lines where Rose would personally negotiate
the unconditional surrender of a sizable portion of the Afrika
Korps. One historian has written that Col. Rose "was instrumental
as the principal negotiator of the first major surrender of Axis
forces to Americans in World War II."
- He was reassigned to the 2nd Armored Division (2AD) and promoted
to Brigadier General just before the invasion of Sicily, where
his unit within the 2AD was the first to enter the island's capital,
Palermo. In June of 1944 with the 2AD then in Normandy, Rose's
"Combat Command A" beat back a major German force near
Carentan. As captured documents later revealed, this action may
have saved the whole Normandy beachhead.
- On 8/7/44 Rose was promoted to Commanding General of the
3AD and two weeks later, together with other Allied forces, the
Division played a major role in fighting at the Argentan-Falaise
Gap in August, 1944, putting an end to the Third Reich's last
great counter-offensive in France. The U.S. VII Corps, with Rose
and the 3AD out in front, then began a relentless advance across
northern France toward Germany, with the 3AD abruptly shifting
- The 3AD then became the first Allied force to enter eastern
Belgium, that part closest to Germany. Together with the 1st
Infantry Division (Big Red One), the 3AD defeated a German Corps
in the area of Mons, Belgium, in one of the most decisive battles
of the Western Front. More than 25,000 German troops were captured,
with an estimated 4,000 killed in a 3-day battle. It was after
that victory that Rose was promoted to Major General.
- The Division then liberated Liege, Belgium, and a number
of small towns in eastern Belgium, while continuing to advance
toward the German border as the lead force or the "Spearhead"
of the U.S. First Army under Lt. Gen. Courtney Hodges.
- From a position inside Belgium, artillery of the 3AD was
the first Allied artillery in the war to fire onto German soil.
These were the 155mm self-propelled big guns of the 991st Field
- On 9/12/44, Rose's Division became the first Allied ground
force to invade Germany in WWII, the first to capture a German
town (Roetgen), and, on the following day, the first to breach
the infamous Siegfried Line.
- The 3AD was later a key force in the severe fighting of the
Battle of the Bulge counteroffensive, first in checking and then
in destroying or forcing the surrender of pockets of sizable
- The Division achieved the first Allied capture and control
of a major German city - Cologne on the west side of the Rhine
River on 3/6/45. Only a last-minute successful demolition of
the Cologne bridge over the Rhine that day prevented 3AD tanks
and troops from possibly crossing, and that was the day before
the famous capture of the Remagen Bridge by another First Army
division further down the river.
- The 3AD performed the longest one-day advance through enemy
territory in the history of mechanized warfare - 101 miles through
central Germany on 3/29/45.
- In so doing, the Division forged almost half of the ring
in the encirclement of the Ruhr Pocket in Central Germany, that
would ultimately result in the largest single capture of enemy
forces in all of WWII (Europe & Pacific) - 374,000 German
- Tragically, on 3/30/45, Rose was killed in action while trying
to locate a forward 3AD task force that had been cut off by German
tanks and infantry near Paderborn. He was only 45 years old.
WWII in Europe was to end five weeks later. The Division carried
on under the most able leadership of Brig. Gen. Doyle Hickey,
who had been Assistant Division Commander.
- Cheated by his untimely death of the national fame he so
richly deserved, Rose would be buried in the American Military
Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands. In this large and majestic
cemetery, over 8,300 fallen U.S. servicemen from WWII rest in
peace. To this day, the grounds are lovingly cared for by the
people of Margraten and nearby towns.
- Gen. Rose was a favorite of Supreme Allied Commander Gen.
Dwight Eisenhower, who telegramed Rose's wife Virginia three
days after his death: (in part) "My admiration, respect,
and affection for your late husband were so profound that I feel
compelled to send you some word of sympathy in your tragic loss
... He was not only one of our bravest and best but was a leader
who inspired his men to speedy accomplishment of tasks that to
a lesser man would have appeared almost impossible. He was out
in front of his Division leading it in one of his famous actions
when he met his death ..."
| Presented by the
3rd Armored Division History Website (3AD.com).