Spectacular color photos capture WWII tank crews in training

As the mechanized German Army swept through Europe in the early years of World War II, American military brass recognized the need to develop a strong armored force.

In 1940, the former 7th Cavalry Brigade was reorganized and activated as the 1st Armored Division.

For the next two years, as engineers and factories rushed to design and manufacture new tanks, the men of the 1st Armored trained at Fort Knox, Kentucky (also home to the famous gold depository).

Thousands of recruits were introduced to hulking tanks, half-tracks and armored vehicles, and trained in newly developed tactics and doctrines for a modern kind of warfare.

In 1942, Office of War Information photographer Alfred T. Palmer visited Fort Knox, shooting in exquisitely detailed 4x5 color film to lend the images a monumental, intimidating power.

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