Return to Home Page

(continued from home page)

Major General Creighton Abrams
3rd Armored Division Commander, 1960-62
(for whom today's Abrams M1 battle tank is named)

"... [the 3AD] ready to fight with gunpowder or tactical nukes."
(TIME magazine sub-headline)

In the varied and illustrious career of Gen. Abrams, the 3rd Armored Division was the only tank division he ever commanded. He was also the Division's assistant commander in 1959-60. Comments by the General about the Cold War and his time with Spearhead appeared in the October 13, 1961 TIME magazine Cover Story entitled "The Growing U.S. Army In Germany and Around the World".

As an update to the 1961 story,
Abrams' major assignments after the 3AD

Commander, V Corps, Frankfurt, 1963-64

Commander of U.S. Forces in Vietnam, 1968-1972
(succeeding Gen. Wm. Westmoreland in Vietnam)

Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, 1972-1974

Selected excerpts from the Cover Story:

"Abrams makes no bones about his pride in commanding U.S. soldiers at a critical point in Western defenses. 'If there's going to be trouble,' says Abrams, 'I prefer to be right here and right in this division [the 3rd Armored]. This is the job I want.'"

"Abrams: 'We're ready in 'atomics' [tactical nukes], but a lot of things could happen without having to use them. If I thought only in terms of 'atomics,' and I couldn't use them for ten days or so, then, by God, I couldn't get the job done right.'"

"Since taking command of the division a year ago, Abrams has weeded out 200 officers and men who did not shape up to his standards."

"Says Lieut. General Garrison ('Gar') Davidson, 57, commander of the Seventh Army: 'The 3rd Armored will give the Reds their first bloody nose.'"

"Abrams [of his WWII experiences with the 4th Armored Div., when he was Gen. George Patton's favorite Third Army battalion commander]: 'I like to be out on the point where there's nothing but me and the goddamn Germans and we can fight by ourselves.' and 'There's too much stress on taking prisoners. Our job is to annihilate the enemy.'"

Research by Vic Damon of staff