History of the 81st Tank Battalion
The history of the 81st Tank Battalion begins on a cloudy day in October 1941, at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The times were cloudy, too, as
war had broken out in Europe, and the Axis Nations had been branded as aggressors. The United States was not yet involved in the
war, but because of the situation in Europe, a program of compulsory training had been started so that America would be prepared in
case it became necessary to fight. Because of the type of warfare that was being fought in Europe, the War Department decided to
build an army that laid great emphasis upon the use of its armor, particularly armored divisions
So it was on this cloudy day, 1 October 1941, that the Fifth Armored Division was born. The nucleus
for the division was formed from small cadres from the Third and Fourth Armored Divisions and was put under the command of Major
General Jack W. Heard. The division then consisted of two light armored regiments, one medium regiment, three field artillery regiments,
one engineer battalion, one reconnaisance battalion, and the necessary headquarters and service units.
From the Website of The History of the 81st Tank Battalion
You may read the rest of the story by clicking on the title.
My thanks to Rick Stilley
for permission to use this excerpt from his site.