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Blood of Honour (Jack Tanner 3) [Paperback]

James Holland
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 July 2011 Jack Tanner 3

Crete, May 1941.

In the face of a German invasion, Sergeant Jack Tanner is embroiled in a deadly game of survival that will test his resolve more than ever before. Not only has he fallen out with his commander but he has mortally offended Alopex, a powerful local chieftain.

As if that wasn't enough, Tanner and the rest of his battalion are caught in vicious close-quarter fighting against crack German paratroopers. Before long, they find themselves in bitter retreat to the mountainous interior where only one man can help them - Alopex. Although whether he will come to their rescue or not remains to be seen,,,

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Blood of Honour (Jack Tanner 3) + Darkest Hour (Jack Tanner 2) + Hellfire
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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi; First Thus edition (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552773980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552773980
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 110,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. A member of the British Commission for Military History and the Guild of Battlefield Guides, he also regularly contributes reviews and articles in national newspapers and magazines and appears on national radio. His many books include Fortress Malta, Italy's Sorrow, The Battle of Britain and his fictional WW2 series featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner.

His interviews with veterans of the Second World War are available at the Imperial War Museum and are also archived on He lives near Salisbury with his wife, son and daughter.

Product Description


"Plenty of action... sharp dialogue and swift characterisation. The whole is intelligently structured so that this is absorbing and thoughtful as well as tense and exciting" (Daily Telegraph)

"A good old-fashined action hero makes his appearance in this page-turning thriller... James Holland, a respected military historian, has produced a story authentic in every detail" (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

Sharpe for the Blitz years - the third novel in the highly acclaimed series featuring Sergeant Jack Tanner.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad & the ugly 11 Jun 2010
'Blood of Honour' is the third Jack Tanner adventure (the previous two involving the retreat from Norway and the Retreat through France to Dunkirk). This time its 1941 and Jack and company are retreating through Greece to Crete with Sgt (now CSM) Tanner getting increasingly angry at spending his entire war going backwards. Sadly with Kurt Students Fallschrimjager heading his way this isn't going to change anytime soon. 'Blood of Honour' is a fast paced adventure story in as the Daily Mail quote says 'the style of the old Commando comics' because of this it has some very good features but also some very bad ones:

The Good: I was fortunate enough to be on Crete for the 50th anniversary of the invasion, visited the battlefields and cemeteries and later was very good friends with some Greeks, including one girl who's grandfather was a leader in the Cretan resistance (and still has a barn full of brand new, 60 year old captured weapons in case the Germans come back.... ). As such I'm a good position to judge Hollands accuracy and he does a very, very good job. Crete is unusual in that the Cretans have made a point of not cleaning up much of the debris of WW2 so a bridge dropped by the Royal Engineers over the Travanites river is still lying where it fell, the hotel I stayed in had a German radar dish lying in the long grass near the beach, old Venetian forts still have bleached wooden signs with 'VERBOTTEN!' written on them and in Heraklion harbour there's a sunken freighter occupying some valuable wharf space with obvious cannon holes in the bridge. The Cretans don't want to forget the battle.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pretty Good Third Outing. 5 Aug 2010
Well, after Norway and France, James Holland has Tanner fighting in Crete. I enjoyed the book, taking into account other reviews I think the story telling was out of the pages of the "Victor" I read as a boy and in this day and age, it was no bad thing for that. Granted some of the Cretans were taken from the film "Ill Met By Moonlight" which incidentally was on telly this afternoon, it is no secret the Cretans carried out the most blood-thirsty resistence of all the occupied territories during the Second World War. Germans do not go on holiday to Crete, when I was there 20 years ago the British were accorded great warmth and respect. The book was formulaic in that Tanner had a nasty German officer bent on revenge in general and him in particular, NOTE: Tanner would have killed the b-stard at the first opportunity, and of course a British officer who knew him as a boy, which was pretty much what went on in book two.
A couple of errors which should have been catered for, first in the book he is a Colour Sergeant Major, when in fact he is a Company Sergeant Major. He shows a medal ribbon for gallantry but we never find out what it was awarded for? Norway or France?
In the next book Tanner should be given that Field Commission I keep harping on about, lets face it the men call him sir already. There were segments I found unconvincing but overall a good read, but not the best in the series. The Odin Mission takes the prize, so far!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read. A good series. 7 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy James Holland's approach with this series. As has been said in earlier reviews, the stories are woven into actual events. I think it is very well done and is a good way to learn of these events. I was inspired to read more deeply about Dunkirk after book 2 for instance and will do so with regard to Crete. These early novels are set during the darker days when the Allies were in retreat. Jack Tanner, as the lead character is not so invincible that he can avoid having the proverbial kicked out of him but he always wins through in the end in the platoon level actions he is involved with. I actually think the story lines are improving as the series gets established and look forward to more. I have read most of the Sharpe novels and think the Jack Tanner books compare very favourably.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sgt Tanner gets his feet wet again.... 25 Oct 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Sgt Tanner like the British Army of the Period did a lot of Retreating. I hope by the time Sgt Tanner goes on the offensive this potentially outstanding series improves too!
Mr Holland knows his stuff but something still lacks - he doesn't have the ability to put you there in the story like Bernard Cornwell or John Harris Could.
His Detail regarding Weapons, Equipment and Locales is first rate however does Sgt Tanner really need to get his "Leg Over" with ever tale told?

Still all said and done I will be saving my 'Hard Earned Gelt' to Pre-Order Mr Holland's Next Jack Tanner Novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Boys Own stuff 8 July 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third novel by James Holland to feature his WW2 hero, Jack Tanner. A blend of those old war comics that some of us read as kids, Bernard Cornwell style stories and the author's historical knowledge. Cornwell comparisons are inevitable, but the author rightly identified a cap in the market for Sharpe like stories set in the Second World War. In general the series is fun and does exactly what is says on the tin, a fast moving action story laced with slightly over the top bad guys, incompetent officers and good old British fighting spirit.

Here we have Tanner in Crete helping fend off the German invasion. In fairness to the author, he tries to flesh out Tanner a little more. Our hero arrives on the Island a bit grumpy about the way the allied forces are retreating and it does not take long for him to upset a new officer and the leader of the local partisans. We also learn a few more snippets about his background which helps add to the character.

As German paratroopers drop onto Crete, Tanner and his men are involved in fierce fighting, but after initial success the situation changes and Tanner and co end up retreating towards the mountains and needing the support of the partisans that he has made enemies of. So it has pace and drama a plenty, it sometimes lacks a bit of the atmosphere of the time, the culture and the climate. It's an place and aspect of WW2 that I knew little about and perhaps could have done with more atmospheric background but this is still boys own stuff and an easy fun read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Still good the second time around
It was only when I was 20 pages in to my Kindle edition I realised I'd read this before. But it was certainly good enough to be worth a second reading even though some of the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. M. Otter
5.0 out of 5 stars review
would recommend this author for a great read,based on ww2 reality not to far fetched the seargent tanner is a great character in these books,part of a series
Published 1 month ago by norman havard
3.0 out of 5 stars Lack of experience spoils story
Although James Holland is a very good historian his lack of service experience lets him down. There are a number of inconsistencies that add up to spoil what is a laudable attempt... Read more
Published 1 month ago by weapons pedant
Published 2 months ago by mhpmichael
5.0 out of 5 stars Jolly good show!
James has matured with this novel. The storyline is good but what makes it a fine read is the pace of the tale. There is always something happening.
Published 8 months ago by Rl Holmes-ievers
4.0 out of 5 stars more boys own stuff
I know what I am getting with these Jack tanned stories, a good story told well and a bit of escapism. That's exactly what is delivered. Read more
Published 8 months ago by JimmyG
4.0 out of 5 stars Blood of Honour
A cracking story.
A little familiar to the cheap comic books of the '70s but really good escapism. Worth a read.
Published 10 months ago by PSH
3.0 out of 5 stars Boy's Own Stuff
Read one - you've readed them all - formula plots - tedious. Eight more words required hopefully I'm almost there - yep thats it.........
Published 11 months ago by M. Stowe
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST LIKE SHARPE
Very good story, one of the series with Sgt Jack Tanner If you have read or seen any Richard Sharpe books of films you will enjoy Jack Tanner and his experiences and challenges in... Read more
Published 13 months ago by A. W. Pattinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharpe for the '40s
Good to see a Sharpe/Aubrey type hero in this period. Poor fella seems to have been kicked out of every country so far - hope his luck changes soon !
Published 17 months ago by DUGALD BRUCE
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