This second volume follows on from the first in recounting the WWII history of B Company, 756th Tank Battalion in vivid detail. The outfit, since upgraded from M5 light tanks to M4 ‘Sherman’ mediums, claws through some of the toughest battles of WWII—from a horrific stalemate at Cassino in February 1944, through the bloody Operation Diadem May breakout, to the stunning capture of Rome on 4 June 1944.
This unique multi-volume history covers the full spectrum of experiences of the men in one tank company from inception in June 1941 through the occupation of Germany in 1945. An American tank company in WWII consisted of only five officers and approximately 100 enlisted men—all living, traveling and fighting in seventeen tanks, two jeeps, one truck, one half-track and one tank retriever. Uniting the official record with the rich, personal accounts of the participants, the reader is swept along a highly detailed and shocking journey chronicling the evolution of American armor doctrine and tank design from June 1941 through VE Day.
The B Company tankers often fought at a disadvantage—struggling to survive a myriad of battlefield challenges and triumph against enemy armor better armed and better protected. What was once envisioned as a warfare of sweeping armored formations managed by West Point lieutenant colonels and ROTC captains quickly devolved into small unit street fights relying more and more on the initiative, resourcefulness and cunning of lowly OCS lieutenants and combat-seasoned sergeants. The journey is long, unforgiving and brutal, and 47 tankers would be lost along the way.