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Histories for 4th Infantry Division

Cold War Era
On 15 July 1947 the 12th Infantry Regiment was reactivated as a training regiment when 4th Infantry Division was given the mission of basic training at Fort Ord, CA. In July 1951 the 4th Division was returned to line status and rotated to Germany as part of Operation Gyroscope. In 1956 the Division returned to the United States and was stationed at Fort Lewis WA. In 1957 the Army decided that in the era of battlefield atomic weapons, tactical infantry regiments were obsolete. To preserve the historic infantry regiments the Army set up the Combat Arms Regimental System (CARS) whereby the line companies of a regiment would form new elements of the regiment. The 12th Infantry was selected as one of the historic regiments to be preserved. On August 1, 1957 Company A was redesignated and activated as Headquarters Company, 1st Battle Group, 12th Infantry (with organic companies of the battle group constituted and activated) and assigned to the 4th Infantry Division. Company B formed the 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry assigned in Germany to the 8th Infantry Division until 1959 when it was reassigned to the 1st Infantry Division also in Germany. Company C was allocated to the Army Reserves and formed the 3rd Battle Group, 12th Infantry assigned to the 79th Infantry Division. By the time the Berlin Wall went up in August, 1961 the 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry along with the rest of the 1st Infantry Division had been transferred back to Fort Riley, Kansas. To reinforce NATO the 1st Division was directed to begin Operation Long Trust whereby the individual battle groups were rotated on temporary duty to West Germany. In July 1962, the 2nd Battle Group,12th Infantry was airlifted to West Germany where it undertook several months of tactical training and testing at Wildflecken, West Germany. It was then ordered to proceed to Berlin overland through East Germany using the Helmstedt-Berlin autobahn to test the Warsaw Pact's willingness to allow NATO forces to continue to use it. Arriving without incident in Berlin to reinforce the U.S. Army's Berlin Brigade, the 2nd Battle Group was quartered at McNair Barracks. Because of the ongoing Cuban missile crisis, the battle group was almost on constant alert in October 1962. The 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry's tour of duty in Berlin contributed significantly to NATO's ability to resist the aggressive stance of the Warsaw Pact and in keeping the Cold War from becoming World War III. In 1963 the Army concluded that the battle group was not the answer and reorganized the infantry and airborne divisions into a quasi-regimental structure of three brigades of three infantry battalions each. Consequently on 1 October 1963, the 2nd Battle Group, 12th Infantry was reorganized and redesignated as the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry and reassigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado where it joined the 1st and 3rd Battalions of the 12th Infantry.

Posted by Scott Elston
May 20 2006 10:40:38:000PM

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