The 761st Tank Battalion: Fighting the Enemy, Beating Stereotypes
"Men, you're the first Negro tankers to ever fight in the American Army. I would never have asked for you if you weren't good. I have nothing but the best in my Army. I don't care what color you are as long as you go up there and kill those Kraut sons of bitches. Everyone has their eyes on you and is expecting great things from you. Most of all, your race is looking forward to you. Don't let them down and damn you, don't let me down!"
Those gruff, yet encouraging words from Third Army Commander Lt. Gen. George Patton in October of 1944 to an all-black tank battalion helped spur them toward their role in the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War.
Nicknamed "the Black Panthers," the Soldiers of the 761st Tank Battalion fought racial stereotypes of the time, but still went on earn the nation's respect and an honored place in military and American history.
For more information about the 761st Tank Battalion visit the U.S. Army Center for Military History at www.army.mil/cmh
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