Overshadowed by the United States Army's armored divisions, the separate tank and tank destroyer battalions had the difficult mission of providing armored support for US infantry divisions in the 1944-45 campaigns. This book details the organizational structures and deployment of these units: the standard tank battalions, tank battalions (light), tank battalions (mine exploder) and tank battalions (special), self-propelled and towed tank destroyer battalions. It also covers the tactics used by these units in their attempts to assist the infantry, as well as providing a listing of all the battalions that took part in the Northwest Europe campaign.
Reviews forUS Tank and Tank Destroyer Battalions in the ETO 1944-45
The story of this typically insightful work by Zaloga is the failure of American mechanized doctrine in the European Theatre of Operations, and how pragmatism on the ground overcame impracticality. Particularly, this relates to the notion that tank and tank destroyer battalions could be rotated in and out of assignment to assorted infantry divisions, especially as there was a lack of a good doctrine of infantry cooperation.As for the fixation of Leslie McNair (the man most responsible for the structure of the U.S. Army's field force) on tank destroyer units with towed weapons, that appears to have been a dead end and a waste of effort; particularly when the main 76mm gun was a mediocre product.I will say that while this booklet is worth your time, you're probably better off owning Zaloga's more recent work "Armored Thunderbolt" if you can just have one.read more
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