Our Liberators: The Combat History of the 746th Tank Battalion during World War II recounts the combat history of one of four independent tank battalions of the U.S. Army armored forces to land in Normandy on D-day. Overlooked in other accounts of the war, their story is finally told in day-by-day detail from the battalion records and personal interviews compiled by the author. The battalion's history in combat starts with their close support during D-day of the 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions to clear the Normandy peninsula of German occupation. This is a revealing story of brave young men in their Sherman tanks thrust into combat against a stubborn foe. Their bravery and fighting skills, developed during the first few days of the invasion, guided them through the rest of the war and forged the unit into a decorated fighting tank independent battalion.
Shortly after D-day, they partnered with the Ninth Infanry Division and supported elements of the V and VII Corps of the First Army. They then proceeded through France, Belgium, and finally Germany. They engaged in combat against their foe with the First Infantry Division during the campaign for the Roer River dams. They were part of the rapid-pace drive across France with the Ninth Infantry Division. In the Rhineland Campaign, they helped pierce the West Wall, and then, with the Ninth Armored Division, they became the first independent tank battalion to cross the Rhine River at Remagen and establish a bridgehead. They helped seal the Ruhr Pocket, and then proceeded across Central Germany to clear a path so that the Allied forces could come together at the Elbe River to end the war.
The author takes the reader through combat with the battalion, using maps and pictures to capture the many faces of the tanker-soldiers of World War II in the European Theater of Operations.
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W. J. Blanchard, Jr. received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge in 1971. Since August 1971, he has worked on missile and space programs for both government and private industry.
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