“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The Tank School and Tank Corps

Fort George G. Meade

— United States Army —

The Tank School and Tank Corps Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, June 7, 2008
1. The Tank School and Tank Corps Marker
Inscription.  When Great Britain introduced tank warfare to the battlefields of World War I, the face of battle changed forever. By providing support to infantry attacks, the usefulness of tanks was proven. For this reason, on January 26, 1918, Brigadier General Samuel Rockenbach was named commander of the newly formed U.S. Tank Corps.

General Rockenbach remained with the Tank Corps when it returned from Europe and took up residence at the old Franklin Cantonment at Camp Meade as commander of the Tank Corps and the new created Tank School. By July 1919, 154 officers and 2,508 enlisted men were training here.

Unfortunately, due to the erroneous belief that tanks could never play more than a support role to infantry, the National Defense Act of 1920 abolished the Tank Corps. However, the Tank School remained at Camp Meade, still under the command of BG Rockenbach. Both General Of The Army (then Major) Dwight D. Eisenhower and General (then Major) George S. Patton, Jr., served on BG Rockenbach's staff. Despite the pleas of the advocates of tank warfare, the Chief of Infantry and other high-ranking Army officials remained skeptical. In
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1932, this lack of support resulted in the closing of the Tank School and the transfer of a few remaining functions to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA. So little emphasis was placed on armored warfare that the Army's tank inventory was warehoused at Camp Meade.

The U.S. Army's experiment with tanks, begun in battle and developed at Camp Meade, was all but over. In a few years American interest in tanks would be revived after German Blitzkrieg's again demonstrated the effectiveness of tanks.

This plaque erected in 1996 by the Fort Meade Museum.
Erected 1996 by Fort Meade Museum.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EducationForts and CastlesRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World IWar, World II. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #34 Dwight D. Eisenhower series list. A significant historical month for this entry is January 1697.
Location. 39° 5.714′ N, 76° 43.312′ W. Marker is in Fort Meade, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker is at the intersection of Chamberlin Avenue and 4th Street, on the right when traveling south on Chamberlin Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Fort George G Meade MD 20755, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Patton's Headquarters (about 600 feet away, measured
The Tank School and Tank Corps Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, June 7, 2008
2. The Tank School and Tank Corps Marker
in a direct line); Eisenhower's Quarters (about 700 feet away); 85th Medical Battalion Avenue (approx. ¼ mile away); School for Bakers and Cooks (approx. ¼ mile away); The Franklin Cantonment (approx. 0.3 miles away); Post Hospital (approx. 0.7 miles away); Hodges Hall (approx. 0.9 miles away); Epiphany Episcopal Chapel and Church House (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Meade.
Tank Corps Parade Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By F. Robby, June 7, 2008
3. Tank Corps Parade Marker
This marker is located next to The Tank School and Tank Corps marker, and reads: "Tank Corps Parade. Franklin Cantonment Area. 1919-1924."
Credits. This page was last revised on November 21, 2019. It was originally submitted on June 5, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,363 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 5, 2009, by F. Robby of Baltimore, Maryland.

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Apr. 20, 2024