Breaking

These color photos capture the newly-recruited tank crews training at Fort Knox, 1942

 

In 1942, Office of War Information photographer Alfred T. Palmer visited Fort Knox and captured these stunning photographs of tank crews in training.

With the outbreak of World War II in Europe, the US Army made preparations with the creation of the Armored Force and its headquarters at Fort Knox in the summer of 1940. It was responsible for establishing armored formations, doctrine and training in the use of armor. Vehicle.

Selective service was enforced and thousands of civilian soldiers were ordered to Fort Knox and introduced into tanks. The post had to undergo massive building booms and land acquisitions to support these troops.


These photographs depict at least four different forms of two different tanks, some of them lacking armament, sewn together for the photographer.

Production of the M4 Sherman began in February 1942, and it was around the time when these photos were taken that the US 1st Armored Division had been removed from its new M4A1 Shermans in order to cover British tank losses. to be shipped to North Africa. Western Desert.

The M3 Lee tanks in the picture represented the largest number of medium tanks in the US Army at the time, but they were essentially 1939 technology, developed as a stopgap that could be manufactured in large numbers very quickly .

The M4 and M4A1 Shermans shown here initially performed well in combat, but instead of continuing to develop more powerful guns and thicker armor, the Army focused on production, the Sherman's initial battles against German tanks in the north. Believed the good reports. Africa's development can wait.

As it turned out, this could not happen, and while Sherman was not a "death trap", some called it, the failure to continually refine and improve the design, especially after the modifications, eventually took the lives of the Allies. . The most common tank in the army at that time was the M3 Stuart, a good design but already behind the times.


In 1931 a small force of mechanized cavalry was assigned to Camp Knox to use as a training site. In January 1932 the camp was converted to a permanent garrison and renamed Fort Knox. The 1st Cavalry Regiment arrived later in the month to become the 1st Cavalry Regiment (Mechanised).

In 1936 the 13th joined to become the 13th Cavalry Brigade (Mechanized). The site quickly became a focus of mechanization strategy and theory. The success of German mechanized units at the beginning of World War II was a major impetus for operations in the fort.

A new armored force was established in July 1940 with the 7th Cavalry Brigade becoming the 1st Armored Division with its headquarters at Fort Knox. By 1943, there were 3,820 buildings on 106,861 acres (43,245 ha).







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