History of the
212th Armored Field Artillery Battalion
During WWII

Also check out the 6th Armored Home page, and Louie Whitlow's 212th Field Artillery Battalion, post WW II, and Howland Chapter pages

Introduction to the 212th

The 212th Field Artillery Battalion was a Massachusetts National Guard unit with roots dating back to the 17th century. Federalized in World War II, this unit was assigned to the Sixth Armored Division, one of General George S. Patton's famous Third Army divisions.

This web site reproduces the text and the photographs of The History of the 212th AFA in the E.T.O. , a battalion history compiled by Lt. Elmer Gruber in Germany during the occupation, and published in Cincinnati  shortly after he returned home. ( Louie Whitlow's site covers the 212th's post WW II history.)

The 212th is noteworthy because its story is so representative of what our parents and grandparents experienced between 1941 and 1945. The men of the 212th were not gung-ho professional army types: when Pearl Harbor was attacked, most were civilians trying to live their lives the best they could, going to school, getting jobs, paying bills, raising families, or raising hell. The last thing most of them wanted or expected was to be thrown into the middle of a war. But that's where they ended up when their National Guard unit was assigned to Federal service. During their 10 months of almost continuous action in campaigns like Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, they earned unit citations and medals for valor, some posthumously, and helped bring the war in Europe to an end. They were common guys who, by fate, ended up contributing to one of the most uncommon military actions in history: Patton's race across Europe.

M-7 Howitzer
The M-7 "Priest" 105mm Howitzer: Chief Spokesman of the 212th in WWII
( Photo courtesy IPMS/Houston Scale Model Forum.)

A note about terminology: These pages reflect some World War II terms that contemporary readers may find confusing. First is the word "peep", which was one of several names used in World War II for what later became standardized as the "Jeep". Second is the prefix "Armored" used in battalion designations. While serving with the 6th Armored Division, the 212th was known as an "Armored Field Artillery Battalion", and the title of the battalion's official history is "History of the 212th AFA". At other times, the battalion was simply referred to as the "212th FA". Both styles are used interchangeably throughout these pages.  

Table of Contents

bulletHistory of the 212th AFA in the ETO (European Theatre of Operations).

bulletColor campaign map of the 6th Armored. Hi-res copies available for downloading.

bullet6th Armored Division Assoc. Home Page.

bulletInformation about the 212th FA and 6th Armored Division veterans' associations.

bulletPersonal notes about this web site

bulletLinks to related sites.updated!

NOTE: Remove question mark from email address below when sending mail.

This page is maintained by Bruce Frederick
son of Lt. Arthur Frederick (deceased), battalion communications officer.
Last updated:
April 28, 2007 -- Updated Louie's info
April 10, 2003 -- Added Louis Whitlow's pages.
December 8, 1998 -- Joined the Artillery Web Ring.
May 17, 1998 -- Removed copyright notices. The History of the 212th is in the public domain.
March 21, 1998 -- New links; reorganized directories to handle more data.
November 5 - 11, 1997 -- Fixed background (swatch scan from History's leather cover); learned how to spell "Cincinnati".
August 9 -- Reorganized AOL screen name accounts to gain more space
April 23 -- Added new links; terminology note.
April 15 -- Added personal notes page.
April 7 -- Streamlined the 6th AD campaign map pages.
March 18 - April 6 -- Added M-7 photo; added links; added navigation aids; began work on 6th AD pages
March 17, 1997 -- Reprocessed graphics in main chapters
March 14, 1997 -- Added final content: Officer photos; changed to new background scanned from leather cover of hardbound 212th history
March 13, 1997 -- Added HQ Battery photos
March 12, 1997 -- Added A and B Battery photo sections; added link to 102nd FA Mass NG. Invisible gif