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By Tank: D to VE Days [Paperback]

Ken Tout
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

29 Oct 2010
Normandy 1944. Like most of his comrades Ken Tout was just 20 years old. Not until many years later did he feel able to gather their memoirs in three Hale books, "Tank!", "Tanks, Advance!" and "To Hell with Tanks!". Now these adventures are condensed into this one continuous narrative. Follow the ordinary young lads of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry through the massive enemy defences on Bourguebus Ridge, to the snows of the Ardennes, to the night crossing of the River Rhine, and finally to Grote KerkI, where they celebrated with liberated Dutch citizens. They were not professional soldiers but young conscripts willing to 'do their bit', knowing that their Shermans were outgunned by the enemy's much heavier Tiger and Panther tanks. "By Tank: D Day to VE Days" vividly recalls, in one complete volume, the whole experience of battle with utter authenticity: the fear, confusion, boredom, excitement and grief.

Frequently Bought Together

By Tank: D to VE Days + D-Day to Victory: The Diaries of a British Tank Commander + Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story
Price For All Three: 25.27

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd (29 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 070909115X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0709091158
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 223,662 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


... a minor classic in battle-picture painting. It has an authenticity about it which could only come from deep personal experience, translated by a lucid pen. --The Times

Movingly and evocatively written. Tank! surely merits a place on the bookshelf of Second World War classics. --British Army Review

About the Author

After theological college Ken Tout worked for many years overseas with voluntary organizations, including Oxfam, HelpAge International and the Salvation Army, and latterly as a consultant to the United Nations Unit on ageing. He has a PhD in gerontology and in 1994 was awarded the OBE for services to the elderly mainly in developing countries.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By Tank- Ken Tout. 6 April 2009
By S.
An excellent book, chronicling the authors experiences as a gunner in the notoriously inadequate sherman tank. Unlike other similar books, this puts you firmly in the hot seat. Battles are vividly described- from the gunners point of view. The sounds, smells, limited sight and above all the mindbending terror that gripped all tank crews. Undoubtedly the best book i have read on the subjet, so good i wrote a review- i can't recommend it highly enough.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest WWII Combat Memoirs! 24 April 2009
I was very happy to discover this memoir - one of the few truly detailed accounts of tank warfare in Europe. It is moved into a league of its own by the poetic soul of the author, who writes with rare perception and insight. For me it ranks with the very best of the Second World War memoirs (e.g. Sajer's Forgotten Soldier and Stiles' Serenade to the Big Bird).
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This author paints pictures with words 4 Feb 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
By Tank - D to VE Days
This author really does paint pictures with words! When specific battle sequences are happening he builds up the picture, little by little, until the full drama hits you between the eyes. When describing day to day events, his writing is every bit as interesting (and not, as in many of today's war memoirs, filled with foul language!). To feel as though you are actually there, you must buy this book. Once started, it's difficult to put it down again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read! 8 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As a Military Historian that hadn't read many personal accounts of 'Tankies' during WW2, I couldnt wait to read this book.
It was very well written and I couldn't put it down. Highly recommended account of a true hero's journey during WW2.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a true classic 24 Jan 2010
one of the best combat books of WW2. The level of detail is amazing.One other reviewer compared this to the Forgotten Soldier in terms of quality and I'm inclined to agree.By Tank into Normandy by Stuart Hills who was in the Sherwood Foresters is well worth a read if you enjoy this, which you will
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable history 13 Feb 2011
By Rokkit
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is by far easily the best account of the fighting in Normandy and onwards that I have read to date.(And I've read more than a few!). The style of writing is more like a novel told from the point of view of the men taking part,and creates the atmosphere that these events are happening now as the story is told.OK,so at one point the author perpetuates the myth that the Sherman burst into flames due to hits in its engine (instead of its ammunition). Most tankers even today,although highly trained in the operation of their vehicle remain mostly ignorant of its technical details. I have spoken to an Isreali tank commander who was convinced that the chains hanging from his tank turret were to deflect high velocity AP,whereas in fact they were intended to predetonate RPG rounds and would have little or no effect on AP shells. So although the author gets this bit wrong, he is still giving a true account as this would have been his opinion at the time,and witnesses to the ammunition fires that caused the most losses would have been few and far between for obvious reasons. With this in mind,I would say that this book is the most accurate portrayal of the fighting "at the sharp end" that I have ever come across. I can't recommend this book strongly enough. Excellent.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life And Death Of Tank Crews 20 Mar 2011
By Wingate
I have read many books about the war at and under the sea,in the air and on the ground but this is the first book that i can remember written by a member of a tank crew.you would think that life must be a bit safer going to war surrounded by steel.however this is not the case.Bearing in mind that 5 Sherman tanks were destroyed for every Tiger.The tanks were also subject to attack by the lethal 88mm self propelling guns,and at the same time by their own air forces.If you were a tank commander you risked being killed by a sniper as soon as you put your head out of the turret.If a shell landed in the wrong case the tank became a tommy cooker as the Germans called them.Tout describes the grim fate of many of his commrades and enemy in graphic detail.You can but marvel at the courage of the crews that manned the tanks knowing that at any minute they might be incinerated.People today take their freedom too lightly forgetting about the sacrifices made by these brave men.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 21 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you want to understand what it was like to be part of a crew of a Sherman tank, then this excellent descriptive diary account will certainly help. A vivid and eloquent portrayal of tank warfare.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings
From the word go I had very mixed feelings about this book. I found the author's style of writing to be very flowery and over descriptive. Read more
Published 3 months ago by GDD
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best autobiographies you'll ever read
Wow, what a book. I've read many aviation autobiographies, but never anything on tanks. What a revelation. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Andrew James
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping
very factual book well written true to life.. makes you feel humble to these men who put their lives on the line for future generations
Published 10 months ago by Mr. W. J. D. Murphy
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't cover the major battles of the campaign
The two main battles of this campaign were the Normandy bocarge fighting & the "battle of the bulge"
The books about a british tank, so it obviously was not engaged during the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by XAos
4.0 out of 5 stars Very well written account
A funny, shocking and strikingly well written account from someone who was incredibly young during the events he witnessed. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zigerastica
4.0 out of 5 stars Tout Sweet
This is a great book. It tails off a bit at the end (spoiler) but it tells us it was like (and kind of still is like) to sit in a tin box full of explosives and fuel waiting for... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Dermie X
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow.
2/3rds into the book, and I cant put it down. Like the accounts from both the British and German side and how they started their training, development and deployment into battle... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mr J Stanley
3.0 out of 5 stars By Tank: D to VE Days
I have an extensive collection of war autobiographies so when I saw this highly recommended book with only 5* reviews I was quite enthusiastic about its arrival. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Next to Arch Stanton
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, realistic WWII memoir
I am a big fan of wartime memoirs and I can't believe I have let this one pass me by until now. In my humble opinion, this ranks as one of the best. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Heavenly Body II
5.0 out of 5 stars Northamptonshire Yeomanry In World War Two.
Ken Tout's book 'By Tank; D to VE Days' is a most graphic account of the horrors of tank warfare with The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC). Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2012 by Tony S/F.
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