Battle in and around Berlin 1945. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you… Don’t let them down and damn you, don’t let me down!”. universe bringing new creative narratives of hidden and underappreciated history like the men of the 761st Tank Battalion to war games created by Gaddis Gaming. Well, let’s see how many patriots we can make out of those German sonsofbitches. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American collegiate and professional basketball player who dominated the game in the 1970s and early ’80s. Jackie Robinson: A Biography. Linge, Mary Kay (2007). The tank featured the welded hull and Ford GAA carburetor engine. On returning to headquarters following the review, he remarked, "They gave a good first impression, but I have no faith in the inherent fighting ability of the race. Germany’s defeat in this battle is widely credited with turning the tide of the war towards an Allied victory. As the 761st was about to enter combat, General George S. Patton reviewed the battalion and made a speech to the men which offered a guarded vote of confidence in their abilities: Men, you're the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. "[19], Patton biographer Carlo D'Este explained that "on the one hand he could and did admire the toughness and courage" of some black soldiers, but his writings can also be frequently read as "disdaining them and their officers because they were not part of his social order. During the Battle of the Bulge, the 761st was up against the troops of the 13th SS Panzer Division, but by January 1945, the German forces had retreated and abandoned the road, which had been a supply corridor for the Nazi army. In October of 1944, the 761st tank battalion became the first African American tank squad to see combat in World War II. Even after the war, Patton was not inclined to reform his perception of black soldiers. Final training was at Fort Hood, Texas, where they were upgraded to the M4 Sherman medium tank, which had a 75 mm main gun, two .30 caliber machine guns, a .50 caliber machine gun, and a two-inch smoke mortar. Floyd Dade Jr. described the contradictions for black soldiers coming back to the United States in an oral history, saying “we didn’t have equal rights…democracy was against us. 1001 W 761st Tank Battalion Ave. Services. In the science fiction novel, The Light of Men (2008) by Andrew Salmon, the 761st liberate the fictional concentration camp of Gutundbose in which the story is set. [31] His heroic actions earned him the title "Baddest Man in the 761st" from his comrades. The 761st were known as the Black Panthers after their unit's distinctive insignia, which featured a black panther’s head; their motto was "Come out fighting". The vehicle is also known as M4A3(76)W. It took part in many after-war conflicts up to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. [9], Black soldiers of that time and place were subject to many racist crimes perpetrated by white soldiers, including a bloody riot between members of a neighboring segregated tank battalion and white military policemen in Alexandria, Louisiana on 10 January 1942. DPW Safety Office. The 761st smashed through dozens of German cities and towns in their rapid advance through the Reich. At dawn, Company A's tanks began to advance towards Bougaktroff [sic, correct name is Bourgaltroff], but were stopped by enemy fire. Actor Morgan Freeman and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar are co-producing a new movie about the 761st, based on Jabbar's and co-writer Anthony Walton's 2004 book, Brothers in Arms. They have been called "one of the most effective tank battalions in World War II." During 183 days of continuous combat, the mostly black 761st Tank Battalion of World War II fought all over Europe - from the Battle of the Bulge to the Battle of the Rhine - eventually making it all the way to Austria. Among the units diverted was the 761st Tank Battalion, the first Black tank battalion to see World War II action. His men reportedly experienced difficulty getting the machine gun away from him after the action. January Jan. 1. Tank commander Sergeant Warren G. H. Crecy came to the aid of his men on 10 November 1944, and fought through enemy positions until his tank was destroyed; he eliminated the enemy position that had knocked out his tank by commandeering a vehicle armed with only a .30-caliber machine gun. Those African Americans that did see combat displayed great courage and bravery under fire, such as the famed 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War, the 369th Infantry “Harlem Hellfighters” in World War I, and the 761st Tank Battalion in World War II. 761st Tank Battalion Another famous group of African American soldiers was the 761st Tank Battalion. Texas native Staff Sgt. [12][13][14] Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel Paul L. Bates refused to consider the court-martial charges put forward by the arresting military policemen. Col. Paul L. Bates, U.S. Army (1908-1995) — During World War II, Bates (a white officer) commanded the predominantly African American 761st Tank Battalion, the first black tank battalion to enter combat in World War II. After manning a replacement tank, Crecy's new vehicle lost traction in heavy mud and he was forced to exit the tank under fierce machine gun, antitank, and artillery fire to free it. As the years passed, the achievements of the Black Panthers began to receive more recognition. The United States Army in World War II Special Studies The Employment of Negro Troops Center of Military History United States Army Washington, D.C. 1966 pg 660, The Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II, tensions between the Jewish and African-American communities, The story of 'Patton's Panthers,' the black WWII tank unit that crushed Nazi forces on the Western front, "Negroes at War: All They Want Now is a Fair Chance to Fight", National Archives and Records Administration, United States Army Center of Military History, Joseph Wilson’s article @ The History Net.com, Morgan Freeman’s comments from BBC News.com, First to Fight--Black Tankers of WWII - History Channel Program telling the story of the 761st Tk Bn with veterans' comments, Video of Lorraine American Cemetery with footage honoring 761st Tank Battalion Medal of Honor recipient SSG Ruben Rivers, THE MEN THAT SERVED WITH DISTINCTION "THE 761ST TANK BATTALION" A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE by CRAIG A. TRICE, MAJ, USA B.S., Winston-Salem State University, Winston-Salem, NC, 1983, https://www.wired.com/story/netflix-mudbound-review/, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=761st_Tank_Battalion_(United_States)&oldid=1000899447, African-American history of the United States military, Battalions of the United States Army in World War II, Military units and formations established in 1942, Tank battalions of the United States Army, All Wikipedia articles written in American English, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2013, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2014, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The documentary depicted the battalion's liberation of concentration camps during 1945, but was criticized for misidentifying the units and camps involved. Fort Hood's Great Big Podcast. The EMPIRES FALL Kickstarter is part of G.U.A.R.D.S. In December, the battalion was rushed to the aid of the 101st Airborne Division at Bastogne. General Ben Lear, commander of the U.S. Second Army, rated the unit "superior"[16] after a special review and deemed the unit "combat ready." [22], During the Battle of the Bulge, German soldiers who had raided American warehouses were reported to have disguised themselves as Americans guarding checkpoints in order to ambush American soldiers. In the 1981 police mystery Chiefs, written by Stuart Woods, and the CBS mini-series of the same name, the 761st is mentioned as the unit of the ill-fated black mechanic Marshall Parker, killed after being arrested on false pretenses by Sonny Butts and Charley Ward, beaten and shot. [34], In 2007, executive producer Steven A. Tigers in Tunisia 1942-43. s.Pz.Abt. Marianas 1944 Fultz, M. (2006). Although the U.S. military would remain heavily segregated until 1948, men of all races around the country volunteered for service when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. Immediately before and during World War II, U.S. military leaders had reservations about using African American soldiers in combat. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. "Black Public Libraries in the South in the Era of De Jure Segregation.". By the end of the Battle of The Bulge, three officers and 31 enlisted men of the 761st had been killed in action. By all accounts, they didn’t. The 761st was constituted on 15 March 1942, and activated 1 April 1942, at Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. In the days before the civil rights advances made in the 1960s, black people were still treated harshly in the South and often considered an inferior race there. Colonel Paul L. Bates, was well aware of the prevalent racist attitudes towards black soldiers, and so he pushed the battalion to achieve excellence. 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