M3 Tanks. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

By Mark McConville

SPECTACULAR behind the scenes pictures show the United States’ first armoured division preparing for battle in their new tanks during World War Two.

M3 tank and crew using small arms. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

The incredible images show soldiers taking part in drills at Fort Knox, Kentucky involving the M3 and M4 tanks.

 

M3 tanks in action. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

Other stunning shots show the tank crews using small arms, posing on top of their tanks and relaxing in between exercises despite being caked in dirt and mud.

 

An M3 Stuart light tank drives through a water obstacle. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

The rare colour photographs were taken in 1942 by Office of War Information photographer Alfred T. Palmer as he visited Fort Knox and were likely used for propaganda.

A young soldier of the armored forces holds and sights his Garand rifle like an old timer. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

The soldiers pictured were originally members of the 7th Cavalry Brigade which was reorganised and activated as the 1st Armoured Division in 1940.

The crew of an M$ tank standing in front of it. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

America quickly realised the need for a strong armoured force after witnessing the Nazis dominate the early years of the war in Europe thanks in part to the Panzerwaffe and their Panzer tank.

 

M4 and M3 tanks on maneuvers. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

Fort Knox is perhaps best known as the site of the United States Bullion Depository where a large portion of the country’s gold reserves is stored.

Tank Driver. FORT KNOX, USA: Library of Congress / mediadrumworld.com

It was also the home of the U.S. Army Armor Center and the U.S. Army Armor School for sixty years before the Armor School moved to Fort Benning in 2010.

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