Item:
ON4192

Original U.S. WWII 2nd Infantry Division M1943 Field Jacket

Regular price $275.00

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Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. The 2nd Infantry Division (Indianhead, 2ID, 2nd ID, or Second D) fought in some of the most famous battles of WW2. After training in Northern Ireland and Wales from October 1943 to June 1944, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the channel to land on Omaha Beach on D plus 1 (7 June 1944) near St. Laurent-sur-Mer. Attacking across the Aure River on 10 June, the division liberated Trévières and proceeded to assault and secure Hill 192, a key enemy strong point on the road to Saint-Lô. After three weeks of fortifying the position and by order of Commanding General Walter M. Robertson the order was given to take Hill 192. On 11 July under the command of Col.Ralph Wise Zwicker the 38th Infantry Regiment and with the 9th and the 23rd by his side the battle began at 5:45am. Using an artillery concept from World War I (rolling barrage) and with the support of 25,000 rounds of HE/WP that were fired by 8 artillery battalions, the hill was taken. Except for three days during the Battle of the Bulge, this was the heaviest expenditure of ammunition by the 38th Field Artillery Battalion; And was the only time during the 11 months of combat that 2nd Division Artillery used a rolling barrage. The division went on the defensive until 26 July. After exploiting the Saint-Lo breakout, the 2nd Division then advanced across the (Vire) to take (Tinhebray) on 15 August 1944. The division then raced toward (Brest/France), the heavily defended port fortress which happened to be a major port for German U-Boats. After 39 days of fighting the battle was won, and was the first place the Army Air Forces used bunker busting bombs.

The division took a brief rest 19–26 September before moving to defensive positions at St. Vith, Belgium on 29 September 1944. The division entered Germany on 3 October 1944, and was ordered, on 11 December 1944, to attack and seize the Roer River dams. The German Ardennes offensive in mid-December forced the division to withdraw to defensive positions near Elsenborn Ridge, where the German drive was halted. In February 1945 the division attacked, recapturing lost ground, and seized Gemund, 4 March. Reaching the Rhine 9 March, the 2ID advanced south to take Breisig, 10–11 March, and to guard the Remagen bridge, 12–20 March.

The division crossed the Rhine on 21 March and advanced to Hadamar and Limburg an der Lahn, relieving elements of the 9th Armored Division, 28 March. Advancing rapidly in the wake of the 9th Armored, the 2nd Infantry Division crossed the Weser at Veckerhagen, 6–7 April, captured Göttingen 8 April, established a bridgehead across the Saale, 14 April, seizing Merseburg on 15 April. On 18 April the division took Leipzig, mopped up in the area, and outposted the Mulde River; elements which had crossed the river were withdrawn 24 April. Relieved on the Mulde, the 2nd moved 200 miles, 1–3 May, to positions along the German-Czech border near Schonsee and Waldmünchen, where 2 ID relieved the 97th and 99th ID's. The division crossed over to Czechoslovakia on 4 May 1945, and attacked in the general direction of Pilsen, attacking that city on VE Day. 2nd ID cooperated with Polish Holy Cross Mountains Brigade on these days. The division lost 3,031 killed in action, 12,785 wounded in action, and 457 died of wounds.

The Jacket, Field, M1943 was standardized field jacket issued to Army soldiers in WWII. It was longer than the M-1941 jacket, coming down to the upper thighs. It was made in a light olive-drab OD7, later a darker OD9 cotton sateen. It also had a detachable hood, drawstring waist, two large breast pockets and two skirt pockets.

The uniform was designed to be warm in winter by use of a separate jacket liner. The jacket liner was a separate cotton-shell jacket with two slash pockets and button and loop fastening, generally in a lighter shade of olive drab (OD3) than the main jacket but in practice rarely issued during World War II. In the ETO this was intended to be replaced by the M-1944 'Ike' jacket, or one of the generic 'ETO' jackets which could come in versions that were either near-identical to the M-1941 jacket, but in rough khaki wool outer, or versions almost identical to British Battledress, both versions being produced locally in the UK in several variations.

This example offered in excellent condition is size 38R. It bears the original label in the neck and a wonderful embroidered Indianhead 2nd Infantry Division patch on the left shoulder. The jacket is not named and is free of any major imperfections, all buttons are present and the condition is excellent. Genuine WW2 issue M43 jackets with patched from famous divisions are hard to come by and this is one of the best we’ve seen in a while from one of the most well known divisions that fought in the European Theatre during WWII.

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