Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

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Sturmwind
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Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Sturmwind »

Which books do you recommend for full What a Tanker! immersion?
Specifically, we are probably looking for books that take the tank crew's perspective, rather than general books on armour in WWII.

My humble start:
  • Brazen Chariots by Robert Crisp - Has been mentioned in another thread as compulsory, I believe. In print.
  • Tank Men by Robert Kershaw - My current read. It feels like it was specifically written to accompany What a Tanker!. Print status unclear, but ebook available and plenty of used copies.
  • Panzer Tactics by Wolfgang Schneider - Perhaps the authoritative work on how German tankers fought at small unit level. Looks to be in print and ebook available.
  • Tigers in the Mud by Otto Carius - "From the turret" perspective of a German Über-Tanker (over 150 kill rings). Also in print.

SteveW
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by SteveW »

I've read:

'By Tank into Normandy' by Stuart Hills, which is well worth a read. In fact for anyone gaming from Overlord onwards it's almost all necessity. Hills and his crew end up ashore after their tank sinks and they get thrown in to some very up close encounters with their replacement.

There's also

'Blitzkrieg - In their own words' translated by Alan Bance. It's a series of first hand accounts of German soldiers in 1939 and 1940. Although it's not exclusively from a tanker perspective it's a worthwhile read for anyone looking at early war stuff.

Peter
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Peter »

"Leakey's Luck" (edited by George Forty) is pretty good. Fought through the desert, and in Normandy and Western Europe. At one point he had a very accurate gunner, so long as he had a cigarette in his mouth. Passing him a ciggie became a standard part of the firing sequence.

Corktip100
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Corktip100 »

Tank Action by David Render and Stuart Tootal. Subtitled "An Armoured Troop Commander's War 1944-45." A very good account of a young Second Lieutenant who was sent to Normandy as a battle casualty replacement. Pitched at just the right level for WAT.

Brew Up
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Brew Up »

Mailed Fist by John Foley, out of print but second hand copies do appear on Amazon and Ebay.
John Foley was a Churchill Troop leader and fought through Normandy into Germany. It tells the story of his troop of tanks and the men he commanded. A very easy read, full of funny anecdotes, cant recommend this one enough if you can get hold of a copy.

Troop Leader by Bill Bellamy
An officer with the 8th Kings Royal Hussars, 7th Arm. Div. commanding a Cromwell. This is taken from Bills diary and notes that he kept. Some very good stories in this.

Have a look at these Vids for extracts from both of these books,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmqqrtChc40&t=60s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrauBQf7FpI


The Tank War by Mark Urban. This is about the "Filthy Fifth" 5RTR in the 7th Arm. Div. It tells the story of the regiment from their evacuation from France, through the desert and back into Normandy. It features some great characters and great overview of what one regiment went through. There was A TV programme hosted by the author also telling the story of 5RTR.

Nick B
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Nick B »

I really like Troop Leader - especially when the crew finds out their Cromwell is an under armoured training tank they were given by accident but keep it because of the extra speed the lighter weight allows. Great read.

siggian
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by siggian »

D-Day to Victory is a daily diary written (against regulations) by SGT Trevor Greenwood. What is really good about this book is it really highlights the non-fighting grind of tanking and the complete and utter mystery of what is happening when shells are flying. Because Trevor is writing about events as they are happening or immediately thereafter, there's no sense of perspective or hindsight, just observations.

https://www.amazon.ca/D-Day-Victory-Dia ... 1471110680

Tank Warfare by George Forty is a collection of verbal stories from tankers from a number of nations.

https://www.amazon.com/Tank-Warfare-Sec ... 0094780102

Now I'm going to put them back into the rotation to read again.

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Sturmwind
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Sturmwind »

Wow, what a beautiful can of books we have opened here. Fantastic recommendations for titles I had not come across - and which all seem spot on.

The list is making however me poor. I have lost track of the number of these recommendations that I have placed purchase orders for today. :geek:

I did remember one other book that I would highly recommend:

Panzer Gunner: From My Native Canada to the German Ostfront and Back by Bruno Friesen. He grew up in Canada, but his parents were politically horrendously confused and moved the family to Germany in 1939(!). Bruno ends up as gunner in a Pz IV and later a Jagdpanzer IV (L70), all on the Eastern Front in 1944 to 1945. Excellent hands on perspective from inside the turret. Available in print and as ebook.

P.S.:I may have just been lucky to find Mailed Fist for 60 Turkish Lira (about 20 USD) plus shipping from Izmir. (More likely, I am a complete tanker and have just proven the point by falling prey to an elaborate internet scam, selectively targeting armour fanatics.

SteveW
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by SteveW »

If you're in the UK 'The Works' have 'By Tank Into Normandy' for £3 at the moment.

Groupe_Franc
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Re: Book Recommendations for What a Tanker!

Post by Groupe_Franc »

Let me add my thumbs up for *Brazen Chariots*. Although Crisp's assessment of the Italians and DAK tanks is old-fashioned, the book captures the flavor of tank combat-especially the chaos that was Operation Crusader. I read it in 1960 but recognized the quote after the second sentence-that's how it affected me.
Another suggestion I offer is *Tank-Fighter Team by Robert Gerard. Gerard wrote the book in 1942 about his experiences as 2IC of a Groupe Franc in June 1940. It certainly shows that the French went down swinging in June 1940 and contains several descriptions of engagements.

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