Third Armored Division Spearhead
"A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon."
~Napoleon Bonaparte

The Fulda Gap is an area between the Hesse-Thuringian border and Frankfurt am Main in Germany.  The terrain of the Fulda Gap is neither particularly flat nor broad. It is, however, suitable for the advance of mechanized forces on a large enough scale to present a significant threat to the U.S. forces in the context of the Cold War.  The Fulda area is one of only two corridors of lowlands through which Warsaw Pact tanks are able to pass in a surprise attack by the Soviets and their Warsaw Pact allies.  

As the defense of the Fulda Gap terrain feature came to be seen as a key battle location of WW III, so soared the standards and performance of the U.S. Army units assigned to defend it.  We trained constantly, spending six months of every year at Grafenwohr, Hammelburg, Hoenfels, and other Bavarian training areas.  Of the U.S. Army’s forces in Germany, the Third Armored Division (SPEARHEAD) had been chosen to defend this path of attack from East Germany to the Rhine River.  A successful advance by the Soviets to the Rhine River via the Fulda Gap would have essentially split American forces in Europe into two parts.

For forty-five years, the U.S. Army Third Armored Division (SPEARHEAD) was Americas choice to defend the Fulda Gap.  Our assigned mission, should World War III break out, was to hold the Fulda Gap at all costs; to buy the time for Allies to mobilize and arrive.  Whomever held Fulda would most likely be the victor in the battle for Europe.  Military analysts estimated that should World War III kick off, it would take at least 48 hours for American stateside forces and European NATO forces to mobilize and arrive.  The Third Armored Division was Americas largest heavy armored unit, consisting of Artillery, Armor, and Infantry.  Yet we were out numbered by Wasaw Pact forces 10 to 1.  In the event that reinforcements could not be mobilized and arrive within 48 hours, our unspoken mission was to "die in place" defending Fulda if necessary.  There was no retreat from Fulda.

In 1990, the Third Armored Division received a new mission.  On New Years Day, 1990, the main body of the Third Armored Division departed Frankfurt Germany to Saudi Arabia on Air Force C-141 "Starlifters" with two missions:  To defend the Country of Saudi Arabia in Operation Desert Shield, and to liberate the country of Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm.  In 100 hours, the Third Armored Division and other American and allied forces defeated the best war fighters Sadaam Hussein had to offer.   Tactics used by the Third Armored Division at the Battle of 73 Easting, the Battle of Medina Ridge, and the Battle of Norfolk are still taught in the U.S. Armor College.
Third armored Division SPEARHEAD Frankfurt Germany
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Cold Steel Charlie, Hamelburg

KirchGons, Germay

Ayers Kasserne, Germany


Hoenfels, Germay

Snowstorm, Bavaria

Grafenwohr, Bavaria

Snowstorm, Bavaria


Polishing the bullets on Monday morning

Hoenfels, Bavaria

Dinner in Bavaria

"Fasten that chin strap, John Wayne"

Hoenfels, Germany

Hoenfels, Germany

Ping Pong table we built in Kuwait

Fourth Squad in Kuwait

Geico don't cover straffing runs

Satelite uplink so we could call home

Captured Iraqi Army Russian BMP


Kuwait/Iraq border

Safwan, Iraq

Battle Damage in Iraq

Battle damage in Iraq

Iraqi Army jeep

Departing for Saudi Arabia

Cement City, Saudi Arabia

Washing clothes in Kuwait

Kuwait/Iraq border

R&R at an oil refinery  in Kuwait

Checkpoint Charlie on Hwy 1 in Kuwait

Iraqi children in Safwan, Iraq

Dammam Seaport, Saudi Arabia

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