Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes

by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anthony Walton
4.7 10

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Overview

Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Anthony Walton

A powerful wartime saga in the bestselling tradition of Flags of Our Fathers, BROTHERS IN ARMS recounts the extraordinary story of the 761st “Black Panthers,” the first all-black armored unit to see combat in World War II.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar first learned about the battalion from family friend Leonard “Smitty” Smith, a veteran of the battalion. Working with acclaimed writer Anthony Walton, Abdul-Jabbar interviewed the surviving members of the battalion and their descendants to weave together a page-turning narrative based on their memories and stories, from basic training through the horrors on the battlefield to their postwar experiences in a racially divided America.

Trained essentially as a public relations gesture to maintain the support of the black community for the war, the battalion was never intended to see battle. In fact, General Patton originally opposed their deployment, claiming African Americans couldn’t think quickly enough to operate tanks in combat conditions. But the Allies were so desperate for trained tank personnel in the summer of 1944, following heavy casualties in the fields of France, that the battalion was called up.

While most combat troops fought on the front for a week or two before being rotated back, the men of the 761st served for more than six months, fighting heroically under Patton’s Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge and in the Allies’ final drive across France and Germany. Despite a casualty rate that approached 50 percent and an extreme shortage of personnel and equipment, the 761st would ultimately help liberate some thirty towns and villages, as well as the Gunskirchen Lager concentration camp.

The racism that shadowed them during the war and the prejudice they faced upon their return home is an indelible part of their story. What shines through most of all, however, are the lasting bonds that united them as soldiers and brothers, the bravery they exhibited on the battlefield, and the quiet dignity and patriotism that defined their lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780767918923
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 05/04/2004
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 173,755
File size: 397 KB

About the Author

KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR, six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, is the author of the New York Times bestseller Giant Steps, as well as Kareem and A Season on the Reservation. ANTHONY WALTON is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Mississippi, as well as the coauthor of Reverend Al Sharpton’s book Go and Tell the Pharoah.

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Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's Forgotten Heroes 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
When I picked this up I was a little worried the author would focus on the discrimination against blacks during WWII. While this fact is recognized and discussed in the book, my worries were quickly put to rest as the author focuses more on the heroics and accomplishments of this unit in war. These brave men fought hard for our country and were often unappreciated. As a unit they accomplished far more than was expected of them and far more than they were given credit for (until much later). Many of these brave men were killed in action fighting for our freedom and should never be forgotten. The only reason I gave it 4 rather than 5 stars is because there are a few spots in the book where the author could have gotten into more detail. However, that being said this is a very good book and I recommend it for any reader of WWII literature.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Brothers in Arms presented a compelling story about men in combat. The book was well written & researched & presentation was enthralling. THese men had it tough in trainging but even tougher in combat. Story demonstrates heroism has no color barrier. THe soldiers were brave 'brothers' fighting a common foe-the Nazis. Presents a compelling reason for integration of blacks in military, better late than never.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm going to purchase this book. My father was a member of the 761st Tank Battlion and I'm very proud of my father's military service. It takes a hell of a man to indure the horrors of war and my father did it!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You dont have one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We have 24 tanks. Please go to your assigned tank when alarm sounds.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once again unwritten history is addressed by persons of color. Unfortunatly the racism of this country prevails to overlook the contributions of blacks during a World War aimed at granting freedom to all, except to the race of Blacks living in the United States