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Bastogne, Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division
Detail of Bastogne from “Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division.” United States Army, 1945. Robert S. Bond World War II map collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

The Advance of 6th Armored Division in World War II: Maps Donated by Veteran Robert S. Bond

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Robert S. Bond was a forward artillery observer for the 6th Armored Division in World War II. He landed with the division in Normandy, France, and advanced into Germany. Along the way, he participated in the fighting in France, Belgium, and Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. In 1945, while in a single-propeller reconnaissance plane, he and the pilot spotted a prison-like place he later learned was Buchenwald concentration camp. Bond and the pilot landed and became witnesses to the grisly Nazi holocaust. Much later, after the war, he donated to the Library of Congress a collection of road maps and celebratory map of the 6th Division’s advance through Europe.

The highlight of the collection is the map “Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division.” It contains a large map of the campaign from France to Germany. Emblems of the American fighting forces in Europe adorn the top of the map. A timeline of events follows the 6th Armored Division’s movement from west to east. On the bottom is list and description of the 52 points noted. An undamaged version may be viewed at the division’s commemorative site.

Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division
“Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division.” United States Army, 1945. Robert S. Bond World War II map collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Three inset maps detail combat actions in Brest, Bastogne-Schnoenecken, and Nancy-Sarreguemines. Of particular interest is the inset map for Bastogne, Belgium, that illustrates the 6th Armored Division’s movement during the Battle of the Bulge. Responding to the German surprise offense that had the goal of reaching Antwerp, the division raced to help relieve the 101st Airborne Division and other units that were desperately holding the town of Bastogne. The battle’s turning point, illustrated by point 31, occurred on January 9 and 10, when the 6th Armored Division assaulted over snowclad hills and destroyed numerous German armored vehicles and positions. The last major German offensive on the Western Front was stopped cold.

Bastogne, Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division
Detail of Bastogne from “Campaigns of the Super Sixth Armored Division.” United States Army, 1945. Robert S. Bond World War II map collection, Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress.

Two sets of road maps are also part of the collection. The European Road maps, scaled at 1:200,000, and maps of France, scaled at 1:50,000, were likely used for navigation during the campaign. As Bond operated at the forefront of the division’s advance, he relied on his strong mathematical skills to plot the location of enemy forces, obstacles, roads, bridges, and other relevant tactical information. The maps bear place names well known to those familiar with the history of the Normandy landings and subsequent battles in France – Cherbourg, Brest, Avranches, and others.

For his conduct in the war, Bond’s family has informed the Library of Congress that he won the Silver Star for Bravery, three air medals, and a battlefield ribbon from a Belgium town during the Battle of the Bulge. He came home to Haynesville, Louisiana, in 1945, and met Wadean, whom he married on April 15, 1947. They were married for 54 years and had four children. Robert S. Bond died March 27, 2002.

The Library of Congress Geography and Map Division thanks Mr. Bob Bond for assisting with this blog.

Comments (12)

  1. What a treasure. We learn so much about what seem to be ordinary people after they are gone! Shirley’s legacy will live forever thanks to his love for his country and his bravery! He saw much! God bless!

  2. Thank you for your kind comments, Cynthia. Daddy (Robert Shirly Bond) loved God, his country and his family dearly. He did not talk much about his time during the war, but he maintained his close relationships with his army buddies throughout his life.

  3. My uncle Louis Lisak drove a tank along that route until being flamed out of three tanks and eventually captured. He was among the tortured thousands that spent time in a POW camp on the Russian front and returned home a different man. We can never thank them enough.

    • Louis,
      Thank you for sharing this story.
      Ryan Moore
      Library of Congress

  4. Shirly was a great guy. Never talked about the war. He was my Sunday School teacher.

  5. Can I buy any of these maps!
    Thanks
    Greg Beveridge

  6. My father was in the 6th. I believe he landed at Utah Beach and was at Bastogne. He told me stories as I grew up on Audie Murphy movies, but they didn’t impress me as a child. Years later “Band of Brothers” came out and all my father’s stories were in the movie. I now understand the impact of those stories, but it’s too late to tell him.

  7. Dear Reader,
    Please accept my apology for not addressing you properly, but your site doesn’t appear to identify the one charged with answering e-mails.
    I am the son of Albert Louis Franklin an armored infantryman of the 6th Armored Div. during the last 5 months of the war. I know there were 3 infantry bins.,the Ninth, the forty-fourth and the fiftieth serving with the 6th A.D., but if dad ever told us which one he served with, I do not now recall. Would you happen to know whether anyone associated with this site would know how to access battalion rosters for the early months of 1945?
    Thanks in advance for your attention. Very truly yours, Bruce Franklin

    • Dear Bruce,

      Greetings. I am the author of the blog. I suggest that you visit the division’s historical society webpage and review the section called “Doing Your Own Research”

      For the sake of clarity and helping to set expectations, I do not have access to any of those personnel rosters.

      The National Archives is where one would research that information: Veterans’ Service Records

      Sincerely,

      Ryan Moore, MA, MLS

  8. I have this map. My grandfather was a sergeant in the super 6th armored division and operated a tank throughout all of these battles. He built a frame for this map as he was a master union carpenter after he returned home. I have just refurbished the frame and I hang this proudly along with other momentos he had. I’m curious to know if the map has any value. Not that I intend to sell it, just curious.

  9. My uncle,George A.Igou dies in Stuttgart,Germany late March 1945.
    My father told me he was with the 6th armored division and would have freed Buchenwald if he would have survived.He was a tech.driving a recon.tank.I wonder if anyone could give me more information regarding the fight near Stuttgart.
    Thank you.

  10. My uncle, whose name I proudly carry, was in the 50th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. He drove a fuel truck as part of the Service Company. I am reading about the “Super Sixth” and all that they accomplished. I have a question that I’m hoping someone can help me with. I found that the 6th was part of the “Normandy Bridgehead” campaign, but I am not sure what that means with respect to D-Day and the famous battles that took place on the beaches. Did the Bridgehead campaign follow on the heels of D-Day as part of Operation Overlord?

    Thanks of any clarity that can be offered!

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