Major General Maurice Rose
- A Varied Look at His Career -
Photo Below: Gen. Eisenhower & Maj. Gen. Rose
inside the Third Reich
||Above: Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Dwight
Eisenhower (left) confers with Maj. Gen. Rose at the 3rd Armored
Command Post (a confiscated mansion) near Stolberg, Germany,
in November, 1944, with German forces less than ten miles away.
In September Rose's troops had become the first Allied force
to enter Germany. (Army Signal Corps photo)
Click: The Death of Gen. Rose
An article by Paul Leopold, Website Staff
The article below appeared in The New York Times
five days after the death of Gen. Rose on 3/30/45.
"BELOVED BY HIS TROOPS"
By Harold Denny, War Correspondent
By wireless to The New York Times
LONDON, April 3, 1945 - The death in action of Maj.
Gen. Maurice Rose, announced in Washington yesterday, has deprived
the American Army of one of its most skilled and gallant officers.
He was a man of rare personal charm besides.
General Rose was young for his rank, and war correspondents,
including this writer, who accompanied him when he spearheaded
the First Army's drive across Belgium and in Germany, felt that
he was marked for an even more brilliant future.
General Rose was a driver, as every successful general must
be, but he was also a leader in the literal sense and he was
customarily in the thick of battle - in an open jeep equipped
with a two-way radio. He required the utmost effort from his
men but he never asked them to do anything that he was unwilling
to do and they loved him as well as respected him.
He took command of the Third Armored Division in the midst
of the Normandy break-through and galvanized it into a striking
force that certainly had no superior anywhere.
He was an exceptionally handsome man, with a fine military
bearing and polished manner, unusual in this rough and ready
time. He could fling his forces at the enemy with incredible
speed yet he never seemed to be hurried and was never rattled
even when his division was fighting for its very survival in
last winter's Ardennes break-through by the Germans.
He added a strong force of fighting vehicles to his division
headquarters and led it into action as a combat element. He always
placed his headquarters close to the front line so that he could
visit his units without wasting time. Often the fighting swirled
around his very headquarters.
This writer witnessed one such occasion when General Rose
came back in a few minutes and instructed his subordinates, and
then his tanks advanced, knocked out the enemy strong-point,
and forged on to the center of the city.
In exposing himself, as he so frequently did, General Rose
not only knew that he was encouraging his men, but he felt that
by seeing the actual fighting himself, the could make decisions
more quickly and correctly and thus keep down his casualties.
Gen. Rose & the 3AD in Combat
By Website Staff
The quality of Gen. Rose's leadership in combat can best be
summed up by what the 3rd Armored "Spearhead" Division
accomplished under his command, which began on 8/7/44 in Normandy.
The high points included the following, in chronological order:
- The 3rd Armored Division, together with British forces, closed
the Argentan-Falaise Gap on 8/19/44, putting an end to the Third
Reich's last great counter-offensive in France. The U.S. VII
Corps, with the 3AD normally in lead positions, then began a
relentless advance across northern France.
- Together with the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One), Spearhead
defeated a German Corps in the area of Mons, Belgium, in one
of the most decisive battles of the Western Front.
- The Division liberated Liege, Belgium, and a number of small
towns in western Belgium, while continuing to advance toward
the German border as the lead force of the U.S. First Army.
- On 9/12/44, Spearhead became the first Allied force to enter
Germany, the first to capture a German town (Roetgen), and, on
the following day, the first to breech the infamous Siegfried
- The 3AD was 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
- The Division achieved the first Allied capture of a major
German city - Cologne on the Rhine River on 3/5/45.
- The Division performed the longest one-day advance through
enemy territory in the history of mechanized warfare - 101 miles
through central Germany on 3/29/45.
- Spearhead forged more than half of the ring in the encirclement
of the Ruhr Pocket in Central Germany, which resulted in the
largest single capture of enemy forces in all of WWII (Europe
& Pacific) - 374,000 German Army soldiers.
- And it was at this point that Gen. Rose was killed on 3/30/45,
while the 3AD carried on under the able leadership of Brigadier
General Doyle Hickey. Major combat lay ahead, but the war in
Europe would soon end with Germany's formal surrender on 5/8/45.
- Gen. Rose had commanded the 3AD for seven months and three
weeks. His final resting place would be the American Military
Cemetery in Margraten, The Netherlands.
Brief Sketch of
Gen. Rose's Military Career
By Website Staff
In his U.S. Army career, which spanned 1916 to 1945, Maurice
Rose served in both World War I & II. In France in WW I he
saw combat as a 19-year-old first lieutenant with the 89th Infantry
Div. in the Argonne and at St. Miheil. He was wounded (scrapnel
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 served with the 1st and 2nd Armored Divisions in
North Africa, including combat with the 1st in the battle for
Tunisia in 1943, where he earned his first Silver Star. Back
with the 2nd Armored Div., he was promoted to Brigadier General
just before the invasion of Sicily, where his unit was the first
to enter the island's capital, Palermo. With the 2nd Armored
in Normandy in June, 1944, Gen. Rose's unit beat back a major
German force near Carentan. As captured documents later revealed,
this action may have saved the whole Normandy beachhead.
On August 7, 1944, Gen. Rose was given command of the 3rd
Armored Division, receiving his second general's star several
weeks later. What then followed was his daring and legendary
leadership of the "Spearhead" Division, as its troops
aggressively advanced and engaged German forces in northern France,
Belgium, Germany, in the Battle of the Bulge, and finally in
the heart of Germany itself. In the course of that action, the
3rd Armored achieved a remarkable string of "Firsts"
(described in section above).
On March 29, 1945, in central Germany, Rose's troops made
the longest one-day advance by any Allied Division during the
war. Tragically, the next day, Rose was killed in action while
trying to locate a forward 3rd Armored unit that had been cut
off by German tanks. He was only 45 years old. WWII in Europe
was to end five weeks later.
Cheated by his untimely death of the national fame he deserved,
Gen. Rose was buried in the American Military Cemetery in Margraten,
The Netherlands. In this large and majestic cemetery, the remains
of over 8,300 U.S. servicemen fallen in WWII rest in peace. To
this day, the grounds are lovingly cared for by the people of