Men of Armor - The History of B Company, 756th Tank Battalion in World War II

Part One: Beginnings, North Africa, and Italy

Jeff Danby

The story of B Co., 756th Tank Battalion from activation through to the eve of the battle for Monte Cassino, from the tanker's perspective.
Date Published :
July 2021
Publisher :
Casemate
Illustration :
maps and photographs
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781636240138
Pages : 336
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$34.95

Overview
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After the shocking fall of France in June 1940, the U.S. Army embarked on a crash program to establish a new armored force. One of the units formed was the 756th Tank Battalion (Light), activated at Fort Lewis in June 1941. Because of severe equipment shortages, the new battalion trained without tanks for several months, but by early 1942 were equipped with new M3 light tanks. While companies A and C took part in Operation Torch, B was withheld for lack of cargo space in the transport ships and rejoined the battalion two months later in north Africa. The units undertook reconnaissance missions following the landings in Salerno.

In December 1943 the battalion was ordered to upgrade to a medium tank (Sherman) unit. Given less than a month to reorganize and train in M4s, the battalion was sent into the Mignano Gap on January 11, 1944 and supported the 34th Infantry Division in the capture of Cervaro and Monte Trocchio. Later in January, B Company supported the troops of the 100th Battalion on bloody but ill-fated attempts to cross the Rapido river – finally at the third attempt the battalion established a secure bridgehead across the Rapido. During the next two days the nearby town of Caira was also captured, opening a clear avenue for an attack on Cassino.

Based on decades of research, and hours of interviews with veterans of the 756th Tank Battalion, Jeff Danby's vivid narrative puts the reader in the turret of B Company's Shermans as they ride into battle.

About The Author
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Jeff Danby was born in 1963 in Pontiac, Michigan. As the son of a high school history teacher, Jeff grew up in a house full of books—which he read voraciously. He went on to get a B.A. Degree in History (with Honors) from DePaul University with a concentration in 20th Century America. Jeff currently lives in Granville, Ohio, with his wife Melinda and three children. He is an active member of the 756th Tank Battalion Association and maintains the organization's website. He also maintains memberships in the Society of Third Infantry Division, and the 15th Infantry Regiment Association.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The Setting

1: Origins
2: Formation
3: Preparing for a New Kind of War
4: California and a Captaincy
5: North African Foothold
6: Border Watchers
7: Tunisia
8: Bizerte Bystanders
9: Italy
10: Reorganized
11: The Gates of Hell
12: The Rapido River
13: Attack
14: Bridgehead
15: Caira
16: The Barracks

Appendices
Bibliography
Notes
Index

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