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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)

Recommended Reading:
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.


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 Line.

  • 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 forces.

  • 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 Margraten.

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