United States Tank Corps
The Tank Corps of the American Expeditionary Force
American Expeditionary Force
The American Expeditionary Forces or AEF were the United States Armed Forces sent to Europe in World War I. During the United States campaigns in World War I the AEF fought in France alongside British and French allied forces in the last year of the war, against Imperial German forces...

was the mechanized unit that conducted American tank combat in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. An initial plan for 2,000 light Renault FT-17
Renault FT-17
The Renault FT, frequently referred to in post-WWI literature as the "FT-17" or "FT17" , was a French light tank; it is among the most revolutionary and influential tank designs in history...

 tanks and 200 heavy British Mark VI
Mark VI (tank)
The Mark VI was a British heavy tank project from the First World War.After having made plans for the continued development of the Mark I into the Mark IV, the Tank Supply Committee in December 1916 ordered the design of two new types: the Mark V and the Mark VI...

 tanks was changed to 20 battalions of 77 light tanks each and 10 battalions of 45 heavy tanks each. A total of eight heavy battalions (the 301st to 308th) and 21 light battalions (the 326th to 346th) were raised, but only four (the 301st, 331st, 344th and 345th) saw combat. Captain George S. Patton
George S. Patton
George Smith Patton, Jr. was a United States Army officer best known for his leadership while commanding corps and armies as a general during World War II. He was also well known for his eccentricity and controversial outspokenness.Patton was commissioned in the U.S. Army after his graduation from...

 was the 1st officer assigned to the unit and setup a light tank school at Bourg
Bourg, Haute-Marne
Bourg is a commune in the Haute-Marne department in north-eastern France....

, France. The 326th and 327th Tank Battalions were organized at Patton's school, while the 301st Heavy Tank Battalion was raised at Camp Meade, Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

, and transported to the British Tank School
Bovington Camp
Bovington Camp is a British Army base in Dorset, England.It is home to The Armour Centre, formerly the Royal Armoured Corps Centre and includes Allenby Barracks and Stanley Barracks. Bovington Tank Museum is adjoining....

 in Bovington, England, for training.

Combat operations

The 326th and 327th Tank Battalions (later renamed the 344th and 345th and organized into the 304th Tank Brigade), were the first into combat, beginning with the Battle of St. Mihiel (as part of the US IV Corps
IV Corps (United States)
The IV Corps replaced the VI Corps in the Fifth United States Army's order of battle in Italy after Allied forces liberated Rome in the summer of 1944 when VI Corps was withdrawn to take part in Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France. Initially the Corps had two divisions, U.S...

) on 12 September 1918, followed by the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.-Overview:...

 (as part of the US V Corps) on 26 September. The small French tanks they were equipped with found the going hard and many were lost or ran out of fuel crossing the battlefield – the Germans forewarned had largely retreated from the salient.

The 331st Tank Battalion (organised into the 306th Tank Brigade) first saw action in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive
Meuse-Argonne Offensive
The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, or Maas-Argonne Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I that stretched along the entire western front.-Overview:...

 (as part of V Corps) in November.

The 301st, equipped with British Mark Vs, suffered large casualties in the Battle of St. Quentin Canal on 29 September as part of the British 4th Tank Brigade, under the control of the Australian Corps
Australian Corps
The Australian Corps was a World War I army corps that contained all five Australian infantry divisions serving on the Western Front. It was the largest corps fielded by the British Empire army in France...

. Some tanks were hit by shelling before the start line, others lost when crossing an unreported British minefield. Of their 34 tanks participating only 10 made rallying.

The 301st then seized the village of Brancourt on 8 October, fought in the Battle of the Selle on 18 October, and participated in a night attack on 22–23 October in the vicinity of the Sambre Canal.

The AEF Tank Corps was disbanded after the November 11, 1918, armistice and remaining tank corps personnel transferred to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where the Tank Corps, National Army
Tank Corps, National Army
The Tank Corps, National Army, was the stateside tank unit of the United States during and after World War I. Preceded by the Tank Service of the National Army of 15 February 1918 in the 65th Engineers at Camp Meade, the service was removed from the Engineer Corps and organized as the Tank Corps,...

 was disbanded with the National Army
National Army
The term national army has many meanings around the world, and is used typically, but not necessarily, to mean the lawful army of the state as distinct from rebel armies or private armies that may operate there.National Army may also refer to:...

in 1920.
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