648th Tank Destroyer Battalion

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648th Tank Destroyer Battalion
Active 1943–1945
Country United States
Branch Army
Part of Independent unit
Equipment 3" anti-tank guns
M18 Hellcat
Campaigns

World War II

Disbanded 1945

The 648th Tank Destroyer Battalion was a tank destroyer battalion of the United States Army active during the Second World War.

The battalion was activated at Camp Bowie on 6 March 1943,[1] formed around a cadre drawn from the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion.[2] After early training on self-propelled tank destroyers, it was converted to a towed battalion equipped with towed 3" anti-tank guns in March 1944. It sailed for the United Kingdom later that year, and was deployed into the European theater in February 1945.[1]

On 20 February, the 648th was attached to the 70th Infantry Division,[3] fighting in the Moselle region on the French-German border. During the next month, the 70th Division captured Saarbrücken and closed off the defending forces in the Saar region in a large pocket.[4]

The battalion was relieved from attachment to the 70th Division on 31 March,[3] and withdrew into reserve to re-equip with self-propelled M18 Hellcat tank destroyers. However, this process was delayed, and was not completed before the end of the war.[5] Elements of the reconnaissance company were attached to the 36th Infantry Division from 11 to 14 April,[6] and the entire battalion returned to combat duties under the command of the 86th Infantry Division on 15 April, operating in Bavaria.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Yeide, p. 266
  2. ^ History of the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion
  3. ^ a b "70th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  4. ^ 70th Infantry Division History
  5. ^ Yeide, p. 266, merely notes that they "began conversion". Nafziger gives a reequipment date of 24 May, and Zaloga suggests the conversion did not happen at all until after the end of the war. The 86th Infantry Division combat record for mid-April confirms this, noting them as the "648th (T) Battalion", the notation for a towed unit. It is not clear if any early-arriving M18s were active before late May.
  6. ^ "36th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "86th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011. 

References[edit]