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The Infantry's Armor: The U.S. Army's Separate Tank Battalions in World War II Hardcover – February 17, 2010


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The Infantry's Armor: The U.S. Army's Separate Tank Battalions in World War II + The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books; First Edition edition (February 17, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811705951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811705950
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 5.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #540,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A useful resource and reference text that is entertaining to read as well." (The Armor Modeling and Preservation Society 2011-10-12)

From the Inside Flap

The U.S. Army's separate armored battalions fought in obscurity by comparison with the flashy armored divisions, but they carried the heavier burden in the grim struggle against the Axis in World War II, argues Harry Yeide in this engaging new study of American armor. Equipped with tanks, amphibian tanks, and amphibian tractors, these units went everywhere the Army went, from the beginning of the war to its very end, from Bataan to Salerno, Omaha Beach to Okinawa. During the campaigns in the Mediterranean and Europe, the separate armored battalions landed in North Africa in November 1942 and battled across the desert before invading Sicily in July 1943 and Italy in September. Other battalions ploughed into Hitler's Atlantic Wall on D-Day and fought through the hedgerows of Normandy until breaking out and racing across France. They endured the futile hell of the Hürtgen Forest that fall, braved snow and German panzers during the Battle of the Bulge that winter, and rolled into Germany for the war's final clashes in 1945. Thousands of miles away, separate tank battalions were among the first Americans to defend against the Japanese tide that swept across the Pacific in late 1941 and early 1942. Following their tenacious but unsuccessful stand in the Philippines, they participated in every amphibious assault the Army conducted during the bloody campaign from New Guinea and the Solomons toward Japan. On islands like Saipan and Peleliu, they fought on sandy beaches entrenched with pillboxes and in dank jungles infested with a fanatical foe. In the war's last year, the battalions returned with MacArthur to the Philippines. Frequently relying on the words of the tankers themselves, Yeide describes the battles, large and small, of the separate tank battalions. Victory was anything but certain, but through grit and guts and experience gained in the welter of combat, the tank troops became a top-notch fighting force and a vital component of the U.S. Army's effort to win World War II. HARRY YEIDE is a world-renowned military historian specializing in World War II and armored warfare. His other works include Steeds of Steel, First to the Rhine, The Longest Battle, and Steel Victory.

More About the Author

I am a foreign affairs analyst with the federal government in Washington, DC, and I write military history because the subject has fascinated me since I was a kid. I live with my lovely wife, Nancy, in Hyattsville, Maryland.

My aim and motto is "good books about good stories." My first book, Steel Victory, was published in December 2003 and tells the story of the separate tank battalions in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). The Tank Killers, the remarkable tale of the Tank Destroyer Force, followed in early 2005. This book covers the action in North Africa, Italy, and the ETO. The Longest Battle also hit the shelves about the same time; it is the first history devoted solely to the grinding, bloody battle from Aachen to and across the Roer River between September 1944 and February 1945. Weapons of the Tankers covers not only the divisional and separate tank battalions in all theaters, but also the amphibian tank and tractor battalions in the Pacific. First to the Rhine, a history of the 6th Army Group I wrote with my Francophone friend, Mr. Mark Stout, was published in August 2007. Steeds of Steel, the story of the mechanized cavalry in World War II in all theaters of operations, came out in early 2008, and The Infantry's Armor, the history of the separate armored battalions in all theaters, was published in March 2010. Now available: Fighting Patton: George S. Patton Jr. and His Battles Through the Eyes of His Enemies!

Customer Reviews

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That is a very minor nit.
Bruce Galton
If you are particularly interested in the subject, this is a good book to enhance your knowledge.
J. Warner
His books are very readable.
Gary E. Binder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dog of War on March 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Yeide wrote a previous book on independent tank battalions in WWII and it was not really good, but he makes up for that effort with this latest book.

This book is probably one of the best books on the independent tank battalions I have ever read. Mr. Yeide quickly paints the "big picture" for the reader, but then quickly shifts the reader into the trenches and turrets of the fighting men. There are numerous first person accounts from the tankers who fought in the different theaters where independent tank battalions fought. These first person accounts are riveting and give the reader an excellent view of what battle was like for these brave men.

Mr. Yeide also corrected a flaw he had in his previous book, numerous maps and diagrams are in each chapter of this book so the reader can follow along where the tank battalions are and to see what tactics they used.

Overall this book is worth every penny and should be on the bookshelf of any tank enthusist.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gary E. Binder on June 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume continues Mr. Yeide's look at various aspects of American armored forces in WW2. Here he updates one of his earlier work "Steel Victory" with new information. "The Infantry's Armor" is a compliment to "Steel Victory" not really a replacement. The story concerns the tank battalions assigned to support the infantry divisions. This task did not have the publicity or "dash" associated with the units assigned to the armored divisions. Infantry tanks have to move at the pace of the rifleman, they provide mobile fire support to assist with the advance of the infantry, they engage bunkers, machine guns, and other blockades. The tanks endured artillery, mortars, antitank guns, bazooka-type weapons, and other fires. The infantry's tanks all too often had to teach the infantry about their capabilities and limitations. The rapid expansion of the US Army along with rapid deployments meant that tank-infantry training was either minimal or omitted entirely, so both parties had to do "on the job training" while in combat. The fact that they forged a strong team is a tribute to the American soldier. Yeide draws on many official documents, but most importantly on the soldiers' stories to give a complete picture. His books are very readable. I regard this book as a valuable addition to my collection of books on WW2 combat.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Danby on March 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Independent U.S. Army tank battalions (those not organic to armored divisions) bore a terrible burden in the Second World War. This I knew. However, I did not realize how vast and extreme those experiences ranged from one unit to the next until I read this wonderfully detailed book by Mr. Yeide.

Did you ever wonder how, when, and why independent tank battalions were first created? It's all explained clearly in the first chapter. What was the U.S Army's "Armor Doctrine" in 1940? Basically, there wasn't much of one at all. Successful tank tactics were learned primarily "on the job" through tough trial and error battlefield experiences, and those experiences ranged wildly from Fall of the Philippines, to the deserts of Tunisia, the jungles of Bougainville, the mountainous roads of Italy, and the hedgerows of Normandy. Yeide explains this well by providing example after example throughout the remainder of the book. As a reader, you are transported from light tanks to M4s to amphibious tractors in every setting. Not a major battle or "lesson learned" is missed. Remarkably written for such a sweeping subject!
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By W. W. Turnbow on February 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yeide varies a tad from his usual format, but includes "lessons learned" along the way. I enjoyed the read and found this to be more information about a normally neglected subject.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The US's entry into WWII found the Army without suitable tanks and without a working doctrine for infantry-amour teams. Relatively detailed discussions of the sucessess and failures of American Infantry Divisions where each had one Armoured battalion. Learning curves are presented for Europe, north Africa, sicily, Italy as well as the SW Pacific and the Central Pacific island campaigns. Well worth the cost.
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By Brad Rice on January 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Some portions of the book are a little hard to read, but the majority is insightful and gives the reader a great account of World War Ii
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The separate or GHQ battalions of the Army and the Marine Tank battalions were charged with support of infantry operations as well as conducting anti-tank operations with the anti-tank battalions.

These hard fighting operations, often against dedicated and well dug in opposition, tend to have been neglected compared to those conducted by the armored divisions during the second world war. This recent (2010) work by Harry Yeide attempts to redress this by looking at the battlefields of North Africa, Italy, France, Germany and selected ones of the Pacific.

In the short beginning chapter the author touches on the training and tactics first developed for these battalions using the light M3(Stuart), the medium M3 (Grant/Lee) and the M4 (Sherman). I would recommend, however, that for indepth information about both material and tactical development of these WWII tanks that the reader see Steven Zaloga's "Armored Thunderbolt" (2008 Stackpole).

The author uses an effective literary technique, which may cause some dislocation to the reader, where he first gives a narative of a battle and then follows with one or more examples that are drawn from the after action reports. The analysis of a battle and its tactics is generally given after these examples.

The author gives chapters on Saipan, New Guinea and The Philippines and again his focus is on US Army operations with brief mention to Marine Corps operations. I would again recommend Steven Zaloga's monograph "US Marine Corps Tanks of WWII" (Osprey) for a brief but surprisingly detailed work on Marine armored operations.

Overall I found this work excellent and do not hesitate to recommend it to anyone with interest in WWII armor operations.
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