Part of the results of my research is bundled into the timeline documents I have created for the companies of the 46th Armored Medical Battalion (AMB). They can be a great source to understand the stories of the men that served in the medical service of the 4th AD. Here I would like to provide you with a guide on how to read them.
The documents are divided into columns:
Date: in this column I have added the dates of events, starting with the activation of the 4th Armored Division (AD) on April 15th 1941. In the Excel documents the different colors of the background indicate different phases of the story of the 4thAD: training, stay in England, France, etc. In the embedded tables this option was unfortunately not available.
Name of the Unit: in the second column are the movements of the company. There are different documents for each of the following units: Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HQ & HQ-co), Company A, Company B, and Company C.
Location: shows the location of the company at the end of a movement.
46th AMB Map Coordinates: shows all the map locations of the company at the end of a movement. Most of these coordinates are found in the Company Morning Reports (for more information on how to read Company Morning Reports use this link: Guide to reading Company Morning Reports). Some are taken from the S-3 Journal or After Action Reports (AAR).
There are quite a few mistakes in these reports. I have corrected them, but also left the original information. This is written in “..”. I have found some corrections by using Google Maps to locate a town. Other corrections I found using the distance traveled, as mentioned in the reports, to locate the correct coordinates. Often this turned out to be a simple typo in the report: two numbers switched, or an incorrect letter at the front of the coordinate.
One location was particularly difficult to find as the name of this German town was changed in the 1950s… Only after discovering this change was I able to find the correct coordinates.
The coordinates that are used in these reports are based on the British Modified System. Click on the link to find more information on this system and to find a translator . This helps you to take the original coordinates and translate them into the current GPS coordinates.
You can click on this link: 46th AMB MAP to see a map of the route taken by the 46th AMB.
Distance traveled: shows the distance a unit moved on that date, in miles.
Morning reports/ Journals/ Battalion History/Messages: in this column, I have presented a synopsis of all the events that are reported on this date in the different reports.
For a complete list of the abbreviations used click here: Abbreviations used. It will often show that men of a different unit (ambulance companies for instance) are attached for rations and administration. This means that the men are to use the mess of the medical company and are therefore added to the company’s strength.
These units were there to evacuate the wounded from the Clearing Stations to the Field Hospitals or Evacuation Hospitals, so from the second echelon to the third echelon in the Chain of Evacuation (for more information on the different echelons click here: The Medical Service in the 4th AD).
Combat Command served: this column is only available in the documents of Companies A, B, and C. It shows us to what Combat Command the medical company was attached. The company would provide second echelon medical service to all combat units attached to the combat command on this date.
You can see that sometimes in this column it mentions Reserve Company /TNS and sometimes it mentions CCR. This is because the 4th AD used its Reserve Command as a combat command only twice during its campaigns. It was then referred to as CCR. Most of the time the medical company that was not attached to a combat command was attached to Division Trains (TNS) as Reserve Medical Company. For more information on this click here: 4th AD Organization.
4th Armored Division: to help you understand the events I have included this column. It shows some information on the “bigger picture” on what happened to the division on this date. If you are interested in learning more about the 4th AD in WW2, I can highly recommend buying the fantastic books written by Don Fox. Use this link to find them: www.pattonsvanguard.com.
One final note: you can see that the documents are not complete. I have included all the information as I have found it. There are still many gaps in the stories. If you have any additional information that you would like to share with me and help me to make the stories more complete, please contact me using this link: CONTACT.