Rainbow Division: US Army 42nd Infantry Division ~ 1955 US Army; The Big Picture TV-380

Rainbow Division: US Army 42nd Infantry Division ~ 1955 US Army; The Big Picture TV-380

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History of famed 42nd Rainbow Division told on Army’s “THE BIG PICTURE” — Memories of World War I are recalled in this most unusual documentary film in THE BIG PICTURE weekly TV series. Long hours spent in researching top film have uncovered some of the finest footage from World War I, covering the activities of the famed 42nd Infantry Division. To anyone who was around in those exciting days of the “Great War,” when the victorious troops were coming home to parades up Fifth Avenue and Main Streets throughout the country, the name “42nd Rainbow Division” rings a bell loud and clear. In World War II, as well, the 42nd Division contributed to the victory in Europe and their action is graphically depicted on film. Nowadays the hallowed insignia of the Rainbow is worn by the crack 42nd Division of the New York National Guard. This episode covers an exciting span of eventful years as it looks up at the Men of the Rainbow.

Originally a public domain film, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

The 42nd Infantry Division (42ID) (“Rainbow”) is a division of the United States Army National Guard. The 42nd Infantry Division has served in World War I, World War II and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). The division is currently headquartered at the Glenmore Road Armory in Troy, New York.

The division headquarters is a unit of the New York Army National Guard. The division currently includes Army National Guard units from fourteen different states, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. As of 2007, 67 percent of 42ID soldiers are located in New York and New Jersey…

Rainbow Division

The 42ID came to be known as the “Rainbow Division”. When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, it federalized National Guard divisions to quickly build up an Army. In addition, Douglas MacArthur, then a major, suggested to William A. Mann, the head of the Militia Bureau, that he form another division from the non-divisional units of several states. Secretary of War Newton D. Baker approved the proposal, and recalled Douglas MacArthur saying that such an organization would “stretch over the whole country like a rainbow.”[3] The division was created using units from 26 states and the District of Columbia. The name stuck, and MacArthur was promoted to colonel as the division chief of staff.

The 42nd went overseas to the Western Front of Belgium and France in November 1917, one of the first divisions of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) to do so. The AEF was commanded by General John Joseph Pershing. Upon arrival there the 42nd Division began intensive training with the British and French armies in learning the basics of trench warfare which had, for the past three years, dominated strategy on the Western Front, with neither side advancing much further than they had in 1914. The following year, the division took part in four major operations: the Champagne-Marne, the Aisne-Marne, the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, and the Meuse-Argonne Offensive…

When formed and activated for World War II, the 42ID was a unique unit, as it was a reconstitution of the Rainbow Division from World War I. Except for the division headquarters, none of its earlier elements had reformed in the interwar period, so the Army Ground Forces filled its new units with personnel from every state…

On 14 February 1945, the 42ID as a whole entered combat… After a month of extensive patrolling and active defense, the 42ID went on the offensive…

In the brief period this unit had been in the line, it had come to respect the Rainbow and fear its patrols and raids. “Is your Division a part of Roosevelt’s SS?” asked one German when captured… The 42ID attacked through the Hardt Forest, broke through the Siegfried Line, 15–21 March 1945, cleared Dahn and Busenberg… Moving across the Rhine, 31 March 1945, the 42ID captured Wertheim am Main, 1 April 1945, and Würzburg, 2–6 April 1945, after a fierce battle. Schweinfurt fell next after hand-to-hand engagements, 9–12 April 1945. Fürth, near Nürnberg, put up fanatical resistance, but was taken, 18–19 April 1945, by the 42ID.

On 25 April, the 42ID captured Donauwörth on the Danube, and, on 29 April 1945, liberated some 30,000 inmates at Dachau, a Nazi concentration camp…

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