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Praying for Slack: A Marine Corps Tank Commander in Vietnam (Fills Military History Placeholder) [Illustrated] [Hardcover]

Robert E. Peavey
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Motorbooks International (18 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760320500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760320501
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 572,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Zenith Press continues to turn out some great material at very affordable prices! In this title, they bring us Robert Peavey who tells us the story of being a Marine Corps tank commander in Vietnam. The title, 'Praying For Slack' was the crews' wish of not having to deal with too much 'stuff' and was appropriately the name of their M48A3 Patton tank. Despite the name, these Marines would see some of the hottest tank battles in that war. Corporal Robert Peavey and his crew were assigned to the First and Third Marine Divisions at different times and were able to experience the lunacy of fighting a war led by Washington bureaucrats. The coverage of this title is presented as follows:. How It All Began Crossing The Pond The Debut Welcome to Eye Corps First Rites Time Allen Brook Angles Flying Too Close to the Ground Friendly Fire Not So Tough Movin' North The Night the War Was Lost Life's Certain Flavor The Steel Ghost Apricots With the Doggies on the DMZ Tiger! Twenty-nine and a Wake-up "Too Sort for This Shit" Many folks don't realize that the Marines fought the war with tanks as well as with helicopters. The author states that the book was originally conceived as a series of short stories that told how it was to get into the hot stuff near a fire base or patrolling along the DMZ during one of LBJ's famous cease fires. The author provides a well-written description of the action from one of the best views in Vietnam, saddled up in the commander's seat of the Patton tank. With the roaring successes that tankers have experienced in the years since Vietnam, this is an excellent glimpse of life in the 'trenches' before Washington returned operational control of the battlefield to its military commanders. This is a great read for treadheads and military historians alike. If you're wanting to get into your Tamiya M48A3 project, settle down and enjoy this great title, you'll be ready to tackle that project with renewed energy! This title is highly recommended! --CyberModelerOnline


Two different wars were fought in Vietnam, the jungle-and-body-trap one down south, and the WWII-like one up on the DMZ "I was one of a handful whose Vietnam tour was evenly split between the First and Third Marine Divisions, and saw, firsthand, the difference 170 miles could make during the war's bloodiest year." Corporal Robert Peavey was a tank commander in I Corps (Eye Corps) on the DMZ when LBJ ordered a bombing halt over the North. His compelling first-hand account chronicles operations just south of the 'Z, operations that most Vietnam War histories have completely ignored. Peavey offers detailed, understandable explanations of combat strategy, strengths and shortcomings of standard-issue armament, and inter-service rivalries. This Marine veteran's account is special for two other reasons. He served as an M48A3 Patton tank commander. Tanks were not common-place in Vietnam. Many readers will be surprised to learn that there were quite a few tanks in Vietnam, the geography of which is characterized in the popular mind as being triple-canopy jungle and rice paddies.

In fact, much of Vietnam was "good tank country, particularly northern I Corps along the DMZ, Marine Corps territory, and due to the Marines' combined arms organization, with a tank company assigned to each infantry regiment, tanks were involved in every major engagement the Corps was involved in.

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First Sentence
It was a pitch-black night on the northernmost outpost in all of South Vietnam. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Praying For Slack by Robert E Peavey 20 April 2012
By Alan
Robert served as an M48A3 Patton tank commander in Vietnam and for his sins he saw combat up close while he supported the Marine grunts on the ground. This book tells his story and the story of Operation Allen Brook which took place in the May of 1968 in Quang Nam Province. This was a period after the Tet Offensive of '68 and the Marines in Quang Nam Province were hunting down the NVA and Viet-Cong. Allen Brook was a long operation and many good Marines gave their lives while fighting a well disciplined adversary in the An Hoa Basin and infamous Go Noi Island . Outstanding read for the Vietnam buff!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Behind the Scenes Account 15 Feb 2005
By R. D. Evans - Published on
Robert Peavey does a fantastic job of placing you right in the middle of what it was like to be plucked out of a stateside duty station, placed onto a ship, and finally dropped in the middle of the Viet Nam war combat.

At times this book will have you rolling in laughter while other times you will be in tears.

Tanks have not been typically associated with the Viet Nam war; however, the author not only describes the role of tanks, but also exactly how vulnerable tanks were to modern weapons.

I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it. If you are the least bit interested in history or the Marines, you will enjoy this.

Myself, a former Viet Nam era, non-combat Marine experienced plenty of flashbacks to the military slang and methods of the time.

This is a keeper for my collection.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From an old tanker 17 Mar 2006
By Lance K. Mertz - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed this memoire about Vietnam from the unique perspective of a Marine tanker. There were not too many there and those that were seemed to be misused a lot. It is an interesting part of the history of armor. Having read several other books about and by tankers in Vietnam his stories seemed right on the money and his experiences mirror those of others. As for the tank, his comments, from my perspective as an old M-60 tanker are right on. Great book for those who want to know more. It could have been longer and included more about what was going on around him at the time, but that is my only criticism.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marine Tankers? no, not the oil carriers... 29 May 2007
By bujinin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I mean, the crews of the M48a123 Medium 90mm Gun Tanks. Mr Peavey served with one of the more obscure elements of the Marine Corps during Viet Nam. I grew up around Marine tanks and probably have a deviant affection for them. This book was good for me. The anecdotes, sensibilities, sheer astonishment of war are all included. the account of the F4 jet fooling a SAM is fantastic. Watching his bogie wheel passing him had to be a truly strange sight. The use of naval terminology for land tanks is double served by the naval slang of the marine corps, a curious conflation. If you're interested in Tanks, Marines, VietNam, or just a good "This is a no-shirter", you may like this book.

pete saussy
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vietnam Tanker 15 Feb 2010
By cpt matt - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Not many people think of tanks in Vietnam. We sent over 600 of these M-48 Patton tanks during the Vietnam War. They were very valued for not only the firepower, but for the protection against RPG's and mines (sound familiar?) and ability for "jungle busting". The Sheridan tanks (M-551) and Armored Personnel Carriers (M-113's) were not so well liked.

Robert Peavey was a gunner, later Tank Commander in 1968-69. His observations and experiences are excellent. The absolute need for infantry & tank coordination are explained here, many tactical lessons that are still invaluable today, whether in urban, forest or open terrain.

There's humor, sorrow, incredible true stories about tankers fighting the heat, enemy and our own government (Johnson's cease fire rightly is criticized). A few maps and color photos help the reader understand the geography and tanker's life.

Anyone who wants a great picture into the Vietnam War, armored history, and infantry should read this. Should be required reading at Armor and Infantry school. Also has a lot of important leader lessons - setting the example being one of the best. Definitely recommended. I've been waiting a long time to pick this one up, very glad I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peabody Gets it Right 3 Dec 2008
By Trial Observer - Published on
As a Marine Corps 1811 (Tanker) veteran I know that only a Marine Corps Vietnam era tanker could write a book such as this. It actualy brings you into the turret of an M-48-A-3 tank during battles and day to day duty during the Vietnam War. The book begins with the 1968 deployment of elements of the US Marine Corps 5th Division (B Co. 5th Tank. Bn, 27th Marines etc.). The deployment was an unplanned response to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong's Tet offensive. Much good can be said about the book but, what I have been told summarizes it all. I have been told by those who I have loaned the book to that it provided them with a feeling and understanding of what it was like to have been a Marine Corps Tanker serving in the Nam. The book is a must read for anyone interested in military armor, or anyone serving as a tank crewman in the US Armed forces (especialy the Marine Corps). This book should be included on any list of books to be read by Marine Corps officers, especially if serving in tanks. To Peabody I say, well done Marine. Semper Fi.
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