The 701st Tank Battalion
Central Europe Northern France Rhineland
The 701st tank battalion was activated 3/28/43 at Camp Campbell, KY. Here 553 young men and officers began their journey into history. These men began their basic training and for many saw a tank for the first time.
The 701st relocated to Fort Knox, for further training. The battalion received orders on 12/8/43 to relocate to Camp Bouse, the mysterious secret camp. The men were introduced to the Grant Tank, a WW I designed tank which now had a 13 million candlepower light, "The Gizmo" mounted in the turret. Thus began the canal defense light project training.
The 701st left Bouse for Camp Kilmer, N. J. on 3/27/44 and then onto England aboard the R. M. S. Mauretania. The BN arrived at Liverpool on 5/1/44 and trained at Puncheston, Wales.
The 701st landed on Utah Beach, Normandy, France on 8/24/44. Here, most of the CDL Grant Tanks were replaced by Sherman Tanks.
The BN moved north through France and Belgium and on December 21st moved out from its positions at Heerlen, Holland and crossed the Siegfried Line into Germany at Uback. The 701st crossed the Roer River and saw its heaviest combat near Tetz, Hottorf, Viersen and Krefeld beginning on 2/25/45. The BN crossed the Rhine on 3/29/45 and pushed through Munster, Bunde and Bismark. At Gardelegen, the 701st uncovered an atrocity where 1016 prisoners of war and political prisoners had been murdered by the enemy. As the wars end neared, orders were received to halt forward movement, finding the BN on the banks of the Elbe River, 50 miles from Berlin, thus ending the fighting of 701st.
This monument is dedicated to all these young soldiers and officers who gave of themselves, and especially to those 48 members of the BN who lost their lives in battle for the freedom of mankind.