The Major General Maurice Rose
Armed Forces Reserve Center
Middletown, Connecticut

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

  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

aaSS   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.

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 Reserve Center.

Daniel Zeitlin
Legislative Director
Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3)

2413 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Rose Birthplace and Plaque
Middletown, Connecticut

508 Main Street, 2nd floor, front apartment

Photos by Damon of 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 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 Iraq.


  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 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 toward Belgium.

  • 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 Artillery.

  • 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 German forces.

  • 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 Army soldiers.

  • 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 ..."

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