A military/historical question for a story I’m working on, that hits a blind spot in my knowledge…what and how many tanks (the armored military vehicles) would have been in Louisiana—or the New Orleans metropolitan area in particular, if possible—in the late 1920s?
My interest is primarily in operational vehicles, but on consideration, any tanks that were serving as museum pieces or park displays would count, too.
With the state of the US military at the time, it actually wouldn’t surprise me if the answer was “none,” but I just don’t know for sure. Can anyone better informed fill me in?
You might want to try asking the National Armor and Cavalry Heritage Foundation.They are the group working on creating a new museum at Fort Benning after the move of the Armor/Cavalry branch to the Maneuver Center of Excellence. There’s still a museum located at Knox. It’s no longer the Patton Museum of Armor and Cavalry. The gave up the history of the branch piece, lost some knowledgeable people, and became exclusively about Patton. It still might be worth asking them for help.
Overall it’s an ugly period for armored vehicles. The National Defense Act of 1920 put all armor forces under the infantry. It was a support weapon distributed among infantry formations. The Cavalry was still mostly thinking horse. It wasn’t till late in the decade, 1928, that the Cavalry created the Provisional Platoon, First Armored Car Troop (not in LA) to experiment with mechanizing the Cavalry. 1928 also saw the creation of a short lived experimental mechanized brigade.
To start digging on your own look for infantry units assigned in LA during the period. That will neck down the units to check for the existence of armor within their equipment. I’d still start by asking the museums.
Not even close. Most armories in the early part of the 20th century were in big cities. Later the National Guard spread units out into smaller armories. I know in my state the big armories date from around the 20s and 30s and a lot of the smaller ones were built in the 70s. Armories are where National Guard units are stationed. The National Guard isn’t big enough for that.
And there wouldn’t be any tanks at the armory unless it was a tank unit. I doubt there were any NAtional Guard tank units in the 20s. There were barely any on active duty. Fort Polk wasn’t opened until 1941 and Camp Beauregard was in transition in the 20s after being an active duty post in WWI. I would be surprised if there were any tanks there in the 20s. I actually have some resources to check so let me make sure. A little background and context might help. Stationed there? In transit through the state? On display?