-1/30/33 Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.
- 8/19/34 Adolf Hitler becomes Fuhrer of Germany.
- 3/15/39 Nazis take Czechoslovakia.
- 9/1/39 Nazis invade Poland.
- 9/3/39 Britian, France, Australia and New Zealand declare war on Germany.
- 5/10/40 Nazis invade France, Belgium,
Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
- 12/29/40 Massive German air raid on London.
The following is from the original Unit History of the 85th Engineer:
85TH ENGINEER HEAVY PONTON BATTALION
The 85th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion was originally constituted as an Organized Reserve Unit, September 5, 1928 as the 958th Engineer
Battalion (Heavy Ponton); on October 1, 1933 it was withdrawn from the Organized Reserves and became an inactive unit of the Regular Army. On December 16, 1940 the 958th Engineer Battalion (Heavy Ponton) was redesignated the 85th Engineer Heavy Ponton Battalion
and was concurrently ordered to be made active.
The coat of arms of the 85th Engr Hv Pon Battalion is a shield gules on a bend wavy argent, a cable ferry gules in the bend of the field. The motto is “No River Too Swift”. The cable ferry
which was usually operated by hand by taking advantage of the current was used throughout the southern section particularly Virginia and the Carolinas are symbolical of the functions of the organization. Being ingenious in that it could be moved at will to
any point where needed, it approximates the solution of the ponton problems presented to the battalion.
6/22/41 Germany attacks the Soviet Union.
- 7/3/41 Stalin calls for scorched earth policy.
The battalion was activated June 3, 1941 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The commanding officer, Major Carl W. Meyer, was formerly Commanding Officer of the 70th Engineer Company (Light Ponton); the cadre was furnished for the most part by the 5th Engineer
Regiment(Combat). On July 3, 1941 the remainder of the men required to bring the battalion to full strength were received from the Engineer Replacement Training Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, after they had completed their basic training.