Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II

By Belton Y. Cooper

“Cooper observed extra of the conflict than so much junior officials, and he writes approximately it larger than nearly an individual. . . . His tales are brilliant, enlightening, packed with life—and of ache, sorrow, horror, and triumph.”
—STEPHEN E. AMBROSE
From his Foreword

“In a down-to-earth kind, Death Traps tells the compelling tale of 1 man’s task to the recognized third Armored department that spearheaded the yankee improve from Normandy into Germany. Cooper served as an ordnance officer with the ahead parts and was once answerable for coordinating the restoration and service of broken American tanks. This was once a perilous activity that regularly required him to commute by myself via enemy territory, and the writer recollects his carrier with satisfaction, downplaying his position within the great attempt that saved the yankee forces good outfitted and provided. . . . [Readers] should be left with an indelible impact of the significance of the aid troops and the way based wrestle forces have been on them.”
Library Journal

“[DEATH TRAPS] FILLS A serious hole IN WW2 LITERATURE. . . . IT’S a very special AND important WORK.”
—G.I. Journal

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The total zone turned super crowded. The warfare in northern Europe, from the touchdown at the shorelines in Normandy to the Siegfried line, have been winning thus far. The expert deployment of infantry, armor, artillery, and airpower made the Saint-Lô leap forward winning and accredited the armored divisions to use the leap forward in deep, slashing columns throughout northern France and Belgium and into the Siegfried line defenses in Germany. The attack throughout northern France turned an instance of armored battle exploited to the last word cutting-edge. yet because the major weapon of the armored columns, the M4 medium tank ended in horrendous losses that threw an additional load at the different palms. in simple terms during the mixed efforts of our armored infantry, self-propelled artillery, tank destroyer devices, and pinpoint bombing by means of the P47s have been our nice tank losses in part offset. the nice irony of worldwide warfare II, so far as the crusade in northern Europe used to be involved, used to be changing into in simple terms too obvious. maybe the main strong flooring strength ever assembled, sponsored up via robust strategic and tactical air forces, used to be being pissed off and taking horrendous losses simply because its major attack weapon, the M4 medium tank, was once greatly not so good as its enemy counterpart. This pressured a uncomplicated swap within the program of our Armored strength Doctrine, which were so brilliantly conceived a few years sooner than. as a result of our inferior major conflict tank lets now not make the most of this doctrine to its fullest potential. Armored strength Doctrine was once in keeping with separate and specific kinds of armored tactical devices. each one unit used to be equipped, outfitted, and deployed within the box to complete a separate venture. The GHQ Tank Battalion used to be as a rule connected to an infantry department and supported it in attacks on fortified positions. the unique pondering used to be to have the GHQ Tank Battalions built with a heavy attack tank with enough frontal armor to let it to withstand enemy antitank fireplace. The Germans had lengthy due to the fact well-known this want and had built turretless models in their Mark IV, Mark V, and Mark VI tanks. with out the additional weight of the turret mechanism, heavier armor can be supplied. The attack model of the PzKw VI, referred to as the Jagdtiger (Hunting Tiger) had a 128mm high-velocity antitank gun and thirteen inches of frontal armor and weighed nearly sixty four lots. This was once two times the burden of our M4 and it was once visible to us that the M4 was once no longer even remotely within the related ballpark as this impressive monster. An American heavy tank were constructed within the early years of the struggle, however it was once quickly deserted and all efforts have been focused on the M26 Pershing. Patton’s advice to pay attention in its place at the M4, simply because we wanted a quick medium tank and since tanks weren't imagined to struggle tanks besides, was once a disastrous choice in keeping with rigid army considering. Patton was once the rating Armored strength commander and had an severe aptitude for buying his means. Patton’s view was once antagonistic via the strive against commanders who had served lower than him in North Africa, and to even the main green moment lieutenant tank platoon chief it was once seen that if our Armored strength Doctrine acknowledged that tanks weren't presupposed to struggle tanks, the Germans might just do the other and oppose our tanks with their heavier tanks each time attainable.

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