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The Tennessee Maneuver Area was a training area in Middle Tennessee, comprising the following counties: Bedford, Cannon, Clay, Coffee, Davidson, DeKalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Moore, Putnam, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Warren, White, Williamson, and Wilson. The area was selected because the terrain resembled France, Belgium and Germany.

In June 1941, Major General George S. Patton conducted maneuvers with the 2nd Armored Division in the Manchester, Tennessee vicinity, where he soundly defeated the opposing forces, proving large-scale armored fighting based on Bedford Forrest’s cavalry doctrine. As a result of these maneuvers lead to the creation of the Tennessee Maneuver Area.

On 24 Jun 1942, Governor Prentice Cooper, announced that nine counties would be used as a maneuver area by the Second Army, and was eventually expanded to twenty counties by the time of closure in 1944. By 25 Jul 1942, the War Department selected Cumberland University, in Lebanon, Tennessee as the location of the Headquarters for the Army Ground Forces field problems, commonly known as the Tennessee Maneuvers.

Between 1942 and 1944, in seven large scale training exercises, more than 850,000 soldiers from 25 US Army divisions were trained in the Tennessee Maneuver Area.


  • McMillin, Woody, In the Presence of Soldiers, The 2nd Army Maneuvers & Other World War II Activity in Tennessee. Horton Heights Press, 2010, Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN 978-0-9827770-0-8
  • Sloan, Eugene, "With Second Army, Somewhere in Tennessee", 1995.

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