Rose, Maurice, born 26-11-1899 in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of Samuel “Sam” Rose and Katy” Bronowitz Rose
, was a soldier’s soldier. Immaculate, ruthless in his calculated destruction of the enemy, he was qualified by his experience, achievements and character to lead the spearhead of the first Americans
Rose was educated in Denver, and graduated from East High School in 1916. He edited the school newspaper, and his desire for a military career became well-known among his classmates; in the school yearbook, a cartoon illustrating the newspaper staff depicted him carrying a rifle.
Rose lied about his age to enlist in the Colorado National Guard as a private after graduating from high school in 1916, hoping to serve in the Pancho Villa Expedition. He was discharged six weeks later when his commander was informed that he was underage.
The Pancho Villa Expedition—now known officially in the United States as the Mexican Expedition, but originally referred to as the “Punitive Expedition, U.S. Army”—was an unsuccessful military operation conducted by the United States Army against the paramilitary forces of Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa from March 14, 1916, to February 7, 1917, during the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920.
He worked for a year in a meatpacking plant where one of his brothers was employed, enlisted again after he was old enough, and was selected for officer training. After graduating from Officer Candidate School at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1917 Rose was commissioned as a second lieutenant of infantry, and served with the 89th Infantry Division under command of General John J. Pershing , in France. Rose was wounded at St. Mihiel, and saw combat in all of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
General Rose came up from the ranks. He joined the United States Army in 1916 as a buck private and served on the Mexican border. Upon graduating from the first officer’s training course at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1917. General Rose was then commissioned in the infantry and sent overseas with the 89th Division. In France, he was wounded at St. Mihiel, but went back to fight through the entire Meuse-Argonne offensive. During World War II, General Rose served with the three greatest of American Armoured Divisions; in Africa and Italy with the 1st “Old Ironsides” under Major General Orlando Ward. Casualties during the war: total battle casualties: 7,096, , killed in action: 1,194, wounded in action: 5,168, missing in action: 216 and prisoner of war: 518. The 2nd “Hell On Wheels” under command of 2* General Major Ernest Nason Harmon. Casualties: Total battle casualties: 5,864, killed in action: 981, wounded in action: 4,557 , missing in action: 60 and prisoner of war: 266. Finally throughout the climactic western European campaigns at the head of his own 3rd Armoured Division, nickname “Spearhead” succeeding commander Major General Leroy Hugh. Watson , the organization he claimed to be the greatest tank force in the world and one worthy of the sobriquet: “SPEARHEAD.” During the war, the 3rd Armored Division participated in 231 days of combat. They had lost more tanks in combat than any other U.S. division. The Division’s casualties included a total of 2.540 killed, 7.331 wounded, 95 missing, and 139 captured. Total battle and non-battle casualties came to 16.122. Rose was over six feet tall, erect, dark haired, and had finely chiseled features.
He was firm and prompt of decision, brooking no interference by man, events or conditions in order to destroy the enemy. No armchair strategist, General Rose directed operations from a jeep, or known in WWII as a “peep”, at the cutting edge of the Spearhead. He travelled with the forward elements of his command, up with the tankers and the blitz dough’s. His military decorations include the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star with two oak leaf clusters, the Legion of Merit with an Oak leaf cluster, The Bronze Star Medal with an oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart with an oak leaf cluster, French Legion of Honour, French Croix de Guerre with palm and the Belgian Croix de Guerre with palm. General Rose was one of two division commanders killed in ETO, the other being a commander of the nickname “Keystone” within hours of taking command.
The 28th Infantry Division had the next casualties in WW2, total battle casualties: 16.762, killed in action: 2.316, wounded in action: 9.609, missing in action: 884 and prisoner of war: 3.953.
Death and burial ground of Rose, Maurice.
The death of General Rose: General Rose went up front and that’s where he was on the dark evening of 30-03-1945 when he and two others rounded a bend in the road and ran into a German tank. The young German tank commander, ordered the 3 men to surrender. Looking at General Rose’s pistol, he excitedly began to bark out orders and pointing to the General’s weapon. General Rose moved his right hand so that he could drop his weapon to the earth but then the German tank commander shot him in the head. The others escaped unharmed and told the story of General Rose’s murder. Maurice Rose here with President Harry Shipp Truman, the son of a rabbi was the first Jewish and first Amis division General to be killed in Germany.
He was mourned as a GI tanker mourns a crew mate, and he was buried at Ittenbach, Germany, beside the men he led.
War correspondent Hal Boyle wrote, at the time: “Rose lived and died as a professional, as a career he loved and followed since he was a boy of 17. He would be the last to regret that he had a soldier’s ending.”
Rose was, age 45, reburied on the American War cemetery of Margraten, Netherlands, Honorary pallbearers at Roosevelt’s funeral include Omar Bradley and Lieutenant General George Smith Patton at the head of the column on the left, and, on the right, Lieutenant General Courtney Hicks Hodges and Harry John Collins. Close by the grave of Lieutenant Colonel of the 101st Airborne Division , Robert Cole, the 502 Company hero, he earned the medal of honour for his bravery in Carentan, France during D-Day. His son of his second wife Virginia Basrringer, colonel Maurice “Mike” Rose a marine for 31 years
died 25-10-2010, aged 84