Treat 'Em Rough

The Birth of American Armor 1917–20

Dale E. Wilson

A detailed account of the first use of armor in the U.S. Army during World War I, from the training of crews and building of tanks to the first great tank battles.
Date Published :
August 2018
Publisher :
Illustration :
16 photos and 10 diagrams and maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612006673
Pages : 232
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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Tanks caused havoc among the Germans when they first appeared on the battlefields of Europe in 1917. These metal monsters broke up the trench warfare stalemate and thus hastened the armistice. This is the first full study of the U.S. Army's World War I Tank Corps.

Because of production delays and political maneuvering, no American tanks made it into the war, and American tankers had to use French machines instead. But a new breed of army oficers, of which Eisenhower and Patton are the most famous, saw the promise of this new technology and staked their careers on it. Ike trained the first generation of tankers at Camp Colt at Gettysburg, and Patton led them into battle in France.

The author brings these early days of the Tank Corps to life. Using eyewitness accounts from the archives at the Army War College and elsewhere, he details the design and building of the first tanks, the training of crews, the monstrous problem of transport in an age when roads were built for horse-drawn carriages, the evolution of armored combat doctrine, and the three great battles in which tanks revolutionized modern warfare: St Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne, and St. Quentin.

About The Author

Dale E. Wilson served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, serving in Vietnam as an infantryman and combat correspondent, then becoming an armor officer. He holds a doctorate in history from Temple University in Philadelphia, and served as an assistant professor in the department of history at the United States Military Academy. Dale lives in Hawaii.


"Wilson’s discussion of the formation, procurement, and tactics still stand as lessons that can be applied today. But it is his comprehensive discussion of the combat actions of the fledgling American Tank Corps that make this book essential to any historian of armor or the U.S. in WWI."

- Vulcan: The International Journal of the Social History of Military Technology

"...the strongest single DOTMLPF and tactical military history book on the birth of Armor in the U.S. Army."


“Wilson breathes life into the early days of the Tank Corps by drawing from extensive research, including firsthand accounts, to examine crew training, transport headaches and the evolution of armored combat doctrine. Metal monsters’ roles in the Battles of St. Mihiel, Meuse-Argonne and St. Quentin are examined.”

- Toy Soldier & Model Figure

"...well written, organized, and very informative. A definite recommendation is in order."

- Roads to the Great War

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