16th Armored Division Memorial

In Pilsen, a glass pyramid commemorates the determination and courage of the 16th American Armored Division. It features the division's emblem: a triangle with black outlines filled with yellow, blue and red, with the number 16 inscribed in black and, at its centre, a tank track and a cannon with a red lightning bolt running through it.

The 16th American Armoured Division was one of the youngest divisions created during the Second World War. Founded in July 1943 and based at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, it remained there until it entered the European fighting in January 1945, landing at Le Havre, France, in February. At the time of its creation, the Division was commanded by General D. T. Greene. In September 194 he was succeeded by Brigadier General J. L. Pierce, and part of the Division took part in the fighting in Germany alongside the 86th Infantry Division. At the end of April 1945, Pierce's men crossed the River Isar and advanced towards Wasserburg. During this mission, they attacked and occupied various towns. At the end of the operation, the soldiers rejoined the rest of the Division, which was then carrying out exercises and maintaining order in Nuremberg.

The Division's campaign in Pilsen was launched on 5 May 1945. The men of the 16th Division, nicknamed the "Armadillo", liberated this town in western Bohemia the very next day, after a brief spell of fighting. They then dispersed to several other towns in the region. The 16th Armoured Division was finally demobilised in October 1945. Although they only fought one campaign, for three days, the people of Pilsen consider Pierce's soldiers to have played the greatest role in their liberation from the occupying Nazi forces. Despite fighting for only a few days, the division lost five members and suffered 28 casualties.

Husova, 301 00 Plzeň 3