The Ninth United States Army
was one of the main
commands used during the campaign in Northwest Europe
in 1944 and 1945. It was commanded from its
inception by Lieutenant General William Simpson
. It had been designated
Eighth Army, but on arrival in the United Kingdom it was renamed to avoid confusion with the famous
British formation of the same designation.
responsibility for Ninth Army, upon its arrival on 5 September was to take part in the final
reduction of the German forces holding out in the French port of
After the surrender of the town fifteen days later, Ninth Army was
sent east to take its place in the line. It came into the line in
between Third Army and First Army.
In November, Ninth Army was shifted to the very left flank of
12th Army Group
. It undertook
operations to close the front up to the Roer River. December 16
the opening of the last great German offensive of the war, the
Battle of the Bulge
. Ninth Army
was isolated from the headquarters of 12th Army Group, and it was
thus placed (on December 20
) under the
command of General Bernard
's 21st Army
along with First Army, despite opposition from General
. Simpson reoriented his
command quickly to help in the reduction of the salient that the
Germans had created. Many of Ninth Army's units passed to the
command of First Army, which was doing the main work of reducing
the German salient from the north. In the meantime, the remainder
of Ninth Army continued to hold the line along the Roer. When First
Army and Third Army had finished reducing the salient, First Army
returned to the command of 12th Army Group, but Ninth Army remained
under the command of 21st Army Group for the remainder of the
February and Ninth Army launched Operation Grenade, which was the southern
prong of a pincer attack coordinated with Canadian First Army's Operation Veritable, with the purpose of
closing the front up to the Rhine.
, the Rhine had been reached in all
sectors of Ninth Army's front. It was not until after 20 March
that Ninth Army units first crossed the
Rhine itself. However, after doing so, the Army quickly
struck east around the north of the Ruhr.
enormous pocket soon formed containing the German Army Group B
under Model. By
, Ninth Army had reached the Weser
and was switched back to 12th Army Group.
The end was now clearly in sight, and as part of Ninth Army, along
with the newly arrived Fifteenth
, reduced the enormous Ruhr
, other elements reached the Elbe on 18 April
. 2 May
saw the whole
of Ninth Army's front reached the agreed demarcation point with the
Russians, and the advance ceased.
- Ardennes-Alsace, Sullivan, Gordon R.
- The Struggle for Europe; Chester Wilmot