In World War, my great grandfather Edward and his close friend and commander George were sent to England and then France under General Pershing to create a new form of mechanized Calvary. Edward and George were both cavalrymen who loved equestrian sport, so this new mechanized cavalry using armor and in some cases, tractor tracks to loosen up infantry trench encampments was quite a change.
While over there, Great Gramps met Great Grandma - a quiet french girl from Lorraine - and George solidified his reputation as a bold commander but got his thigh torn up by German machine guns while fighting in Meuse-Argonne. Their use of the French Renault tank was successful enough for the United States to start developing their own tank program. After the war, Edward went back to Minnesota and ran the biggest stockyard in the world. George, well, he continued on with his military career and became somewhat well known by the nickname old "blood and guts."
By WW2, German panzer divisions were the most feared of the time. The incredibly powerful Tiger and Panthers of the Nazis could rip through American M4s, and tear through entire platoons of infantry. America hadn't caught up to the German's heavy tank production as the soviets had. So in their stead self propelled anti-tank forces became instrumental in thwarting enemy armored advances and hunting German armor during the battle of the bulge. Light, but agile, fast ATs like the M-10 and M-18 Hellcat saved many allied butts, able to reposition while fighting off both infantry and armored attacks.
There was almost nothing better than seeing a couple of Hellcats show up to the fight when pinned down by a Tiger. This emblem was developed for Camp Hood, Texas tank destroyer program, and could be seen on the sign driving into the facility. It shows a German panzer chewed up in the jaws of a black cat and is one of the most badass insignias of the war.
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