The story of XX Corps is one that I’ve only recently become aware of. I love history, but I haven’t been a good student of WWII. The experience of researching my uncle’s life has turned out to be a real eye opener.
The following is from the Foreward of Ghost Corps: Thru Hell and High Water
XX Corps played a major role in the destruction of German armed might. Their story is about an organization of officers and men selected from all branches of the United States Army, and the establishment of highly qualified personnel that once put into motion, directed one of the most powerful fighting teams of military history.
Activated by General Walton H. Walker in the Desert Theater of Operations in California on September 5, 1942, each officer and enlisted man became imbued with a consciousness of the mission of the Corps, an awareness that grew more pronounced as the organization began to temper and acquire character.
The XX Corps battle unit accomplished an extraordinary amount in a short period of time, particularly given their precedent-setting drive against a seasoned enemy in its first engagement. Even before landing on French soil, the XX Corps had already established a track record that promised to be a great deal of trouble for German Strategists. The unit was formidable; over 90 percent of the personnel of the XX Corps HQ staff had served in an armored unit.
Assuming an outfit’s esprit de corps can be judged by its combat efficiency, the manner of its personnel, its pride and confidence, then XX Corps should have been satisfied with nothing but top position on the roster of U.S. Army units serving anywhere in the world.