5 in stock (can be backordered)
“To my knowledge, no one has ever taken such investigative extremes to reconstruct a small unit action in World War II. I’m also convinced that this is the only small unit profile ever written on the 1944 Campaign for Southern France. With the sands of time running very low for those few remaining veterans of the fight, this book may prove to be the last of its’ kind…” Jeff Danby
Fight with the American Tankers!
The 756th Tank Battalion (Light) was activated at Fort Lewis, Washington State, on 1 June 1941 as part of a new, ambitious, and rapidly expanding U.S. Armored Force. B Company was one of three tank companies forming this new “independent” tank battalion. At the time, American tanks were so scarce that the crews field trained for several months by carrying around wooden frames as surrogates. Eventually, the outfit was equipped with M3 lights, then M5 lights before upgrading to M-4 “Sherman” medium tanks. This unique multi-volume history covers the full spectrum of experiences of the men in one company—B Company of the 756th Tank Battalion—from inception in June 1941 through the occupation of Germany in 1945. An American tank company in WWII consisted of only five officers and approximately 100 enlisted men—all living, traveling, and fighting in seventeen tanks, two jeeps, one truck, one half-track, and one tank retriever. Uniting the official record with the rich, personal accounts of the participants, the reader is swept along a highly detailed and shocking journey chronicling the evolution of American armor doctrine and tank design from June 1941 through VE-Day. The B Company tankers often fought at a disadvantage—struggling to survive a myriad of battlefield challenges and triumph against enemy armor better armed and better protected. What was once envisioned as a warfare of sweeping armored formations managed by West Point lieutenant colonels and ROTC captains quickly devolved into small unit street fights relying more and more on the initiative, resourcefulness, and cunning of lowly OCS lieutenants and combat-seasoned sergeants. The journey is long, unforgiving, and brutal. Forty-seven fellow tankers will be lost along the way…
The most comprehensive history of an American World War II tank company ever written.
Follow of the ambitions, trials, and destinies of Charles M. Wilkinson, David D. Redle, and fellow tankers of B Company, 756th Tank Battalion in World War II—a Sherman tank outfit comprised of seventeen tanks, five officers, and roughly 100 enlisted men. Learn how these newly-trained “Men of Armor” struggle, fight and adapt—first in light tanks, and later, medium tanks—upon everchanging, ever-challenging, and often brutal battlefields across North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. In the course of nearly two years of combat, forty-seven company members will be lost—with survivors left forever scarred and altered. Their history is stark, honest, and personal—sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic—while delivering timeless human lessons in sacrifice, resourcefulness, practicality, the fickleness of fate—and above all, the power of perseverance.
World War II – told from the unique perspective of the American tanker.
6.5″ x 9.25″, 392 pages, b/w photos, maps