By Gina M. DiNicolo
In a Segregated army, the African American Armored Unit That Helped Patton payment the German develop, shut the Rhine Ring, and Spearhead a brand new Postwar Army
Known essentially for being the 1st African American armored unit to determine strive against in international struggle II and as destiny baseball megastar Jackie Robinson’s onetime outfit, the 761st Tank Battalion was once cast in a devil’s cauldron of warmth and prejudice at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. right here, such a lot considered the tankers as tokens in a racial scan, instead of as fellow American squaddies who would truly be deployed to struggle a standard enemy. Led by means of a small cadre of white and black officials, the 761st informed to the top of its craft. The Black Panthers, as they quickly have been known as, proved their conflict prowess opposed to different devices certain for strive against at the parched Texas education fields. For this, they earned a coveted project to struggle less than normal George S. Patton and cross head-to-head with the simplest of Hitler’s arsenal. relocating to front in November 1944, trial via fireplace quickly shook the unit to its middle. Ambushed via a veteran German strength, the 761st suffered heavy casualties within the confusion as they minimize their means out of the seize. however the males rallied to beat self-doubt and vindicate their losses. fast conflict hardened, the tankers observed excessive strive against via November and whilst Germany introduced its last-ditch offensive in the course of the Ardennes in December, the 761st fought side-by-side with Patton’s 3rd military. relocating quickly, the unit helped money the German enhance, reduce resupply routes to the forces surrounding beleaguered Bastogne, and drove the enemy again, recapturing cities an important to the ultimate defeat of Germany.
In The Black Panthers: a narrative of Race, battle, and Courage—the 761st Tank Battalion in international struggle II, historian Gina M. DiNicolo tells the total and unvarnished heritage of this crucial American battling strength. hoping on wide archival examine, together with records that had no longer been consulted in prior debts, and interviews with surviving squaddies and kin, the writer describes the unit’s education, deployment, strive against, and members, comparable to Sgt. Ruben Rivers, one in every of in basic terms seven African American males offered the Medal of Honor for global warfare II heroism. The professionalism, commitment, and braveness of the 761st and different non-white devices made transparent that the power of the yank military sooner or later lay with integration—one of the long-lasting accomplishments of those servicemen.