648th Tank Destroyer Battalion
|648th Tank Destroyer Battalion|
|Part of||Independent unit|
|Equipment||3" anti-tank guns
The battalion was activated at Camp Bowie on 6 March 1943, formed around a cadre drawn from the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion. 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.
On 20 February, the 648th was attached to the 70th Infantry Division, 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.
The battalion was relieved from attachment to the 70th Division on 31 March, 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. Elements of the reconnaissance company were attached to the 36th Infantry Division from 11 to 14 April, and the entire battalion returned to combat duties under the command of the 86th Infantry Division on 15 April, operating in Bavaria.
- Yeide, p. 266
- History of the 628th Tank Destroyer Battalion
- "70th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- 70th Infantry Division History
- 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.
- "36th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- "86th Infantry Division". Order of Battle of the United States Army World War II. United States Army. December 1945. Retrieved 21 April 2011.
- Nafziger, George F. (1991). "American Tank Destroyer Formations 1941–1945" (PDF).
- Yeide, Harry (2007). The tank killers: a history of America's World War II tank destroyer force. Casemate. ISBN 978-1-932033-80-9.
- Zaloga, Steven J (2005). US Tank and Tank Destroyer Battalions in the ETO 1944–45. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-798-0.
- Tankdestroyer.net (Web based United States tank destroyer forces information resource) Tankdestroyer.net