The following is a description of independent tank and tank destroyer battalions
that served with the 70th. Information provided by Harry Yeide, author.
Link: Tank Destroyer.net
191st Tank Battalion
Organized 1 September 1940 out of four National Guard tank companies from New
York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and Connecticut. Assembled at Fort Meade,
Maryland, in February 1941 under Maj. Littleton A. Roberts. Reorganized as
medium tank battalion June 1942. Landed in North Africa but saw first combat in
Italy, landing at Salerno in September 1943. Landed at Anzio January 1944 and
joined attack on Rome, during which battalion suffered high losses. Landed in
southern France 15 August 1944. Usually attached to 45th Infantry Division,
battalion joined drive to the Vosges Mountains. Fought in Lorraine and Alsace in
November 1944. Slashed through Homburg and Kaiserslautern to Rhine with TF
Dolvin March 1945. Company B DD tanks led river crossing on 25 March. Battalion
entered Bamberg and Munich, where it ended war.
735th Tank Battalion
Activated on 10 January 1943 at Fort Lewis, Washington, under Lt. Col. Ralph
Alexander, commanding. Committed on 15 July 1944 in Normandy near Sallen. After
breakout, fought at Angers, Chartres, and Reims. Crossed the Moselle in early
September and became embroiled in fighting around Metz. Joined fruitless assault
on Fort Driant in October 1944. In November, supported 5th Infantry Division's
drive into Metz and reduction of forts still holding out. Relieved elements of
778th Tank Battalion in Saarlautern east of Saar River On 17 December. Deployed
northward to join fighting in Ardennes beginning 21 December. Remained in
Luxembourg until February 1945, during which month the battalion conducted
limited offensive operations against Siegfried Line with the 87th Infantry
Division. Reached Rhine near Koblenz 13 March and crossed 25 March on rafts as
part of the 87th Infantry Division assault. Dashed across Germany, reaching
Saale River on 13 April. Crossed the Weisse Elster near Brockav on 16 April and
went onto defensive.
740th Tank Battalion
Activated on 1 March 1943 at Fort Knox, Kentucky, under command of Maj. Harry C.
Anderson. Reorganized 10 September 1943 as special battalion to be issued CDL
spotlight tanks, but never received equipment despite considerable special
training. Arrived in Belgium November 1944 with no tanks but with order to
convert to standard tank battalion. Clashed with Peiper’s spearhead in December
1944 in first action. Attached to 82d Airborne Division in January 1945,
attacked north side of the Bulge. Assaulted Siegfried Line in February. Crossed
the Roer with 8th Infantry Division on 24 March and joined drive on Cologne.
After reaching the Rhine, transferred 350 miles south and attached to 63d
Infantry Division for another attack through Siegfried Line toward Saarbrucken.
Returned to 8th Infantry Division to hammer at Ruhr Pocket in April 1945, after
which took on occupation duties in Düsseldorf.
749th Tank Battalion
Activated on 2 December 1942 at Camp Bowie, Texas, under command of Maj. Donald
Donaldson. Debarked at Utah Beach from England on 29 June 1944 and joined 79th
Infantry Division. In August, raced across France, passing through Laval to Le
Mans; 79th Infantry Division was first American division to cross the Seine.
Entered Belgium on 2 September, fighting near Neufchateau and vicinity of the
Foret de Parroy. Months of grinding fighting against prepared defenses followed
in drive to Saar River near Sarreguemines. Battled German Nordwind offensive in
January 1945. On 13 March, attached to 71st Infantry Division for Seventh Army
offensive through Siegfried Line to the Rhine. Crossed Rhine on 30 March at
Mainz. Crossed the Weisse River on 13 April near Zeitz and went into defensive
posture near Limbach until V-E Day.
772d Tank Battalion
Activated on 20 September 1943 at Pine Camp, New York, under temporary command
of Maj. L. L. Willard. Disembarked at Le Havre, France, on 8 February 1945.
Crossed Rhine on 27 March and saw first real combat at Mannheim. Marched along
Main River to Werbachhausen and across the Danube to Ulm in April. Operating in
area of Imst, Austria, when hostilities in sector ended on 5 May 1945.
781st Tank Battalion
Activated (originally as light tank battalion) on 2 January 1943 at Fort Knox,
Kentucky, under command of Lt. Col. Harry L. Kinne Jr. Arrived at Marseilles in
October 1944. Entered combat in Alsace on 7 December attached to 100th Infantry
Division, which was attacking toward Maginot Line stronghold of Bitche. From
December 1944 to January 1945, battalion supported five different Infantry
Divisions, entering Germany attached to 79th. Battled Nordwind offensive in
January. Supported 100th Infantry Division attack that finally captured Bitche
in March, then drove to Rhine near Mannheim. Crossed the river on 31 March and
seized Heilbronn in April. Crossed Neckar River and swung toward Munich. Most of
battalion entered Austria near Innsbruck in May, while Company C entered Brenner
Pass with 103d Infantry Division.
648th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Activated on 6 March 1943 at Camp Bowie, Texas. Converted to a towed battalion
in March 1944. Arrived in the United Kingdom by 19 December 1944. Committed to
battle near Luneville, France, in February 1945. Began conversion to M18s in
early April while near Landstuhl, Germany. Ended war in vicinity of Ingolstadt.
Attached to: 36th, 70th, 86th Infantry divisions.
822d Tank Destroyer Battalion
Activated on 25 July 1942 at Camp Carson, Colorado. Arrived at Le Havre, France,
on 23 January 1945 with towed guns. Entered line with 63d Infantry Division near
Sarreguemines on 7 February. Crossed Rhine River on 27 March and reached
Heidelberg on 1 April. Reorganized as self-propelled battalion in mid-April,
although the battalion possessed some M18s as early as late March. Advanced
across Germany, reaching Munsterhausen on 27 April and took up occupation
duties. Attached to: 36th, 63d and 70th Infantry divisions.