An American Knight: A Tank Destroyer Story

This book, by CDR Victor “Tory” Failmezger, is the story of a young Lieutenant, Thomas Peter Welch, in the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion during World War II. The story of the 601st TD BN is told in Tommy’s more than 150 letters from the front and the unpublished memoirs and diaries of the men who were there. The book follows the Battalion from stateside training to North Africa, the withdrawal at the Kasserine Pass, and on to victory over Rommel at El Guetter. The Battalion was part of the invasion of Italy at Salerno and crossed the Volturno on the road to Cassino. Landing at Anzio, they became trapped on the beachhead for four months until the breakout and the liberation of Rome. They were first ashore for the “Forgotten D-Day” in Southern France and were there for the resultant battles against winter and the SS in the Vosges Mountains, and smashing the Colmar Pocket. At the end, they crossed the Siegfried Line and raced across Germany to Hitler’s Eagle Nest.

“An American Knight” contains period maps and hundreds of illustrations, many from private collections and never before published. It is 480 pages, with hundreds of footnotes, 12 appendices and a twenty-plus page bibliography. For more details and ordering information, see the website.

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