Senior Theses

Publication Date


Document Type

Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in History



Subject Categories

European History | History | Military History | Political History | United States History


December 7, 1941, "a day which will live in infamy," was the moment that the United States was plunged into the largest conflict that the world had ever seen. The sovereignty of the United States was being threatened at two ends of the globe by tyrannical leaders on the continent of Europe and the islands of the Pacific. In the years to come, the U.S. would have to fight to stop the spread of Emperor Hirohito's army in the Pacific and Hitler's Nazi Wermacht in Europe. It would take all the resources our mighty country could muster and the fighting spirit of the nation's youth to conquer the enemy that was before us.

The U.S.'s fighting spirit was displayed in battlefields the world over, but no more so than in the European Theatre of Operations by the 756th Tank Battalion. The wide and varied experience of the 756th Tank Battalion in its conquest through the European Theatre can be used as a microcosm that mirrors the experience of the soldiers who fought in the different sectors of that theatre. To trace the 756th from its roots in the Pacific Northwest to its final battle in Salzburg, Germany, helps one to better understand the experience of the American G.I. in the Second World War. To understand how the experience of the 756th Tank Battalion differed over time, location, and unit attachment in each facet of the European Theatre of Operations is to better understand how the characteristic American soldier's experience differed over the same locations.