The 8th Division was reactivated for
WW2 as the 8th Infantry
Division on 1 July 1940. Originally a
it was trimmed down to a triangular one by losing the
Regiment and the 83rd Artillery Regiment
. For a while it was equipped with organic trucks and
known as the
8th Motorized Division.
The division went through a few minor reorganizations, took part in the
Carolina and Tennessee manuvers and spent six months at the desert
training camp . Reverting to a standard Infantry
Division, it sailed for
where it trained for the invasion of France
. Landing on the 4th of
July 1944, the division soon saw action in the
Assistant Division Commander,
General Nelson W. Walker, was lost to enemy fire, and the
William C. McMahon was relieved when the unit failed
to make headway in the first few days.
With a new commander,
Major General Donald Stroh, the division fought down the Cotentin
Peninsula as part of Operation Cobra. Its role in the
Northern France Campaign was to turn
west to help capture the port of Brest. Here the division battered
against German paratroops who had no where to retreat to. It was at the fall of Brest
and capture of the German Commander
Bernhard Hermann Ramcke that the new Assistant Division Commander,
Brigadier Charles Canham, uttered the words that
would become the division motto, "These are my credentials."
At the end of September 1944 the division was sent to Luxembourg to
build up its strength and prepare for the
It was then put into the bitter fighting for
the Hurtgen Forest. There the enemy was not only the Germans, but
the harsh weather as well. The division spent an unhappy
in cold weather and
General Stroh was sent back to the states on 29 November 1944 for a rest after the
emotional stress of losing his son at Brest.  The unit had been
devastated in the fierce cold and fighting, and was given a new
Major General William G. Weaver to
continue the fight. In the German Ardennes Offensive it held a position
on the north flank of the Bulge. In February the division's
command passed to
Maj. Gen. Bryant E. Moore and a tough combat
crossing of the Roer River at Duren was performed on 23 February 1945
In the Spring the 8th broke out onto the
fields of Germany taking part in the
Central Europe Campaign
moving up to, and crossing the Rhine River in March. Here the 8th swung
around to the south of the Ruhr Pocket helping surround and capturing an
estimated 350,00 German troops in the area . At the start of May it crossed the Elbe River and liberated the
Wobbelin sub-concentration camp, which was part of the main
Neuengamme Concentration Camp. This subcamp held an estimated 5,000
prisoners and had been established in February 1945 to house those
evacuated from other camps abut to be over-run. 
At war's end it assumed occupation duties in the area
before retruning back to the States.
On 3 August 1945 the 8th Division departed France and arrived in
New York, NY on 14 August 1945 where the men were eventually discharged
and the unit inactivated.
A number of
general articles about the WW2 Army are available here
Commanding Officers in WW2
Documents on the 8th Infantry Division
Graphics, Photos, Maps and Films
Organization and Specific Unit information
The following chart is a graphic representation of the
structure of the division in WW2. You can find information on the specific
unit by clicking on its box. This includes unit histories, casualty lists,
after action reports,
individual soldier's stories, and much more.
8th Infantry Division 'TIMERIME' Time Line
Interactive map of the 8th Infantry Division
This is a map of various important locations in the WW2 History of the
Yellow markers indicate
This marker denotes a major river crossing.
Blue ones the site of the
Division Headquarters as it moved through Europe.
8th Infantry Division in WW2 in a larger map
Combat History of the 8th I.D., 14.
 Ibid, 15
 Perrin Walker,
Report on the Death of General Walker, 2.
Combat History of the 8th I.D., 14.
 Ibid, 42.
 Ibid, 88
 U.S. Holocaust Museum, What Army units liberated the concentration camps?
(accessed 15 March 2010).
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