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