Russell Peter Hartle

Major General Russell P. Hartle first arrived at Belfast Docks in Northern Ireland on 26th January 1942 in command of 34th (Red Bull) Infantry Division.

Major General

Russell Peter Hartle

Major General Russell Peter Hartle served in the United States Army during the Second World War. Born on 26th June 1889, he was one of six children of Barry M. Hartle and Emma Harp Hartle of Chewsville, Washington County, Maryland, U.S.A.

In 1910, Hartle graduated from St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A., receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. His first posting was to the Philippines with an American infantry unit. By 1912, he served in 10th Infantry Regiment at Fort Douglas, Utah, U.S.A. before joining 20th Infantry Regiment from 1913 – 1916 during the Mexican Border War. Having served in the border wars, Hartle returned to the state of Utah where he married Lucille Clark in Salt Lake City in 1917.

First World War

On the event of the United States of America entering The Great War, Hartle joined 13th Infantry Division where he served as a Captain, leaving for France in 1919.

In the interwar years, Hartle rose through the ranks of the United States Army. He also served as a professor of Military Science and Tactics at Utah Agricultural College. He graduated from Army Infantry School in 1924, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School in 1925, and the U.S. Army War College in 1930. Later that year, promoted to Major, he returned to the Philippines, before moving on Shanghai in China in 1932. There he was a battalion commander with 31st Infantry, protecting American citizens and property as Japanese forces invaded.

In 1934, Hartle graduated from the Naval War College making him the first person to graduate from both the Naval and Army War Colleges. He received a further promotion to Lieutenant COlonel on 13th July 1935, and served in the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff. On 15th August 1939, further promotion to Colonel took place and Hartle commanded 65th Infantry Regiment in Puerto Rico until August 1941. In October 1940, he received a promotion to Brigadier General in Puerto Rico.

Second World War

By November 1941, Hartle was with 34th Infantry Division. While taking part in the Louisiana Manoeuvres. He had gained promotion to Major General on 5th Aigist 1941. On 26th January 1942, Major General Russell P. Hartle landed in Northern Ireland in command of 34th (Red Bull) Infantry Division.

Arrival in Ulster

On 26th January 1942, the first elements of the United States Army landed in Northern Ireland. Among the first to disembark was Major General Russell P. Hartle.

In May 1942, authorised by General George Marshal, Hartle recommended his aide-de-camp Captain William Orlando Darby as the man to organise and train the 1st Battalion U.S. Rangers. The outfit formed at Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim on 17th June 1942. During this time, Hartle was the Commanding General of V Corps, serving under Major General James E. Chaney. From 15th June 1942 – 24th October 1942, he continued to serve in the same capacity under Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

On 2nd November 1942, Major General Hartle became Deputy Commander of American Troops in the European Theater of Operations. With Eisenhower’s relocation to North Africa in October 1942, Hartle set up office in London, England. He continued to command V Corps until 17th July 1943. At that time, reassignment brought him back to the United States of America. He then undertook a role training replacement troops at Camp Fannin, Texas, U.S.A. until retiring on 30th June 1946 and returning to Washington County, Maryland, U.S.A.

Hartle in Northern Ireland

Throughout 1942 and 1943, Major General Hartle was a familiar figure alongside soldiers, officers, and dignitaries at a range of events across Northern Ireland.

Following the Second World War, Hartle was awarded the 33rd Degree Rank of Freemasonry at the Sottish Rite Temple in Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A. Military honours followed with a Legion of Merit in 1946, and the Distinguished Service Medal in 1947. In 1950, he made an unsuccessful run as a Democrat, running for the 6th Congressional District of Maryland.

Major General Hartle died on 23rd November 1961 aged 72 years old at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A. His grave is in Rose Hill Cemetery, Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.A.

1. Mrs. Sinclair 2. Mr. John Edmund Warnock 3. Unknown 4. Duchess of Abercorn 5. Major General Russell P. Hartle 6. Duke of Abercorn (Governor of Northern Ireland) 7. Mrs. Archeson 8. Major General Vivian Henry Bruce Majendie 9. Mr. Douglas.

© 2024 WartimeNI | Design & Development: Scott Edgar | Hosted by: Big Wet Fish