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General Terry de la Mesa Allen

May 7, 2018

On October 9, 1943, one of my father’s entries in his journal reports: “We have a new Division Comdr, General Terry Allen, who recently fought in Sicily.”  General Terry Allen was a well respected and admired commander of the 104th Infantry during World War II.  Indeed, while in France my father wrote another entry on September 20, 1944: “We were highly honored tonight and had as guests at the dinner table Major General Terry Allen, the Division Commander, and Brigadier General Moore, the Assistant Division Commander.”



What were some of the factors that led to such admiration of General Terry Allen?  As recounted in TIMBERWOLF TRACKS, when General Allen took command, he stressed “discipline, technique, physical toughness and a belief in your units.”  He also emphasized night attack, which put the enemy at a disadvantage.  He believed in “unit integrity,” the idea that you don’t break up units of men who train and bond together.  General Allen had fought in World War I and emerged with combat command experience.  At the same time, he was complex with regard to his personality.  In TERRIBLE TERRY ALLEN, Gerald Astor describes him as “mercurial, a maverick” who was “a master of strategy, tactics, and ordnance.”  General Terry Allen was colorful, outspoken, and willing to take risks.  Perhaps these characteristics were only some of the reasons why the 104th Infantry Division was successful in its combat operations and was able to live up to their battle slogan, NOTHING IN HELL CAN STOP THE TIMBERWOLVES.





Astor, Gerald (2003). Terrible Terry Allen. New York: Presidio Press.


Hoegh, Leo A., & Doyle, Howard J. (1946). Timberwolf Tracks (2004 ed.). Washington, DC: Infantry Journal, Inc.


Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 7, 2018, from



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© 2017 by Anne McCully Dorre.