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Tank Men Paperback – 16 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks; 1st Paperback Printing edition (16 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340923490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340923498
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A highly original and valuable piece of military history. It ought to transform our idea of the Second World War, it has mine...a marvellous and origninal book based on the most detailed research. (Sir John Keegan)

I thought TANK MEN was a triumph ... it is a really fine piece of work (Richard Holmes)

Some of the eye witness accounts Kershaw has collected for this comprehensive review of tank warfare have the power to chill the reader to the bone. This is warfare at the sharp end. (Nottingham Evenong Post)

Very well written, with excellent photographs, it's an indispensable addition to the body of knowledge about modern warfare. (South Wales Argus)

Book Description

TANK MEN is the gripping first-hand story of the men and women who fought in tanks by a top military historian


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 19 April 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! This is the book that sees Robert Kershaw take a deserved place at the top table of military historians in the UK. With the publication of 'Tank Men' he fully deserves to sit next to John Keegan, Richard Holmes, etc. 'Tank Men' is an outstanding book - full of interesting stories from men on the front line - from many different nationalities. Concentrating on the two world wars, Mr Kershaw manages to achieve the difficult task of breathing new life into subjects such as, Kursk, The Blitzkrieg in the West and the Desert campaign. Warning! This is not a book full of cliches. Oh no. Instead it is a thought provoking, respectful collection of interviews and concise historical narrative. In short a book that anyone interested in military history should buy. Truly an outstanding read (I finished my copy in three days - it was so good.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Bennett on 21 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Covering both the period from the introduction of tanks during the First World War up to the end of the Second World War the book is a fascinating and well written account of the lives of the men who fought in tanks. This is given by using the history of the tank almost as a backdrop to the experiences of tank men with the use of a many first hand accounts and thoughts of these men. Two of the main themes are how man and machine where either helped or hinder by the tank's design and also the effect on the tank men of being either above of below the technology curve of tank development. This can be dramatically be seen by the Americans crews belief that a Sherman was more than a match for the likes of a Panther or Tiger. This was soon changed when they actually encounted one. As a follow on it is also interesting how the British managed to be left behind in tank design until the end of WWII while the Germans forged ahead from the primitive Panzer I to producing some of the most technically advanced tanks of WWII in just a few short years.

So if you want an insight into the lives of the men who fought in tanks, this is highly recommended. The only warning is that this is the not the history of tanks and so is relatively light on their development and technical aspects.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. M. Knight on 14 Sept. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an ex army man who worked on post war tanks I was fascinated by this book. For anyone who thinks that the tank was a safe haven in war read this book. For all AFV modellers and re-enacters ( God preserve us ! ) who have never been involved with the real thing, read this book. To go into battle with a machine that is fundamentally flawed and inferior to your opponents machine requires a special kind of courage and the book exposes the criminal neglect of British tank design before and during WWII. All major combatants and campaigns are covered and it includes many personal accounts. Several people have criticised the book for its gramatical and typo errors and there are several passages that need re-reading before the meaning is understood but this is down to the poor proof reading ( if it ever took place ! )this is nit picking, the reason to read this book is to get an understanding of the horror of war and its effect on flesh, bone and mind. Read it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David I. Brown on 26 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
I only bought this book on a whim as, although I love history, this wouldn't be the type of book I would normally buy. However what a great buy.

This is one of the best books I have read or bought in a long time. The human stories that unfold are incredable and very moving. This book I feel brought me as close to the horrors of war as I want to get to. To be any closer I think I would actually have to be there.

I would recommend this book to anyone, regardless of whether they are interested in tanks or not. It's not a technical piece of work but a human story of the tragedy of war, anyone who thinks war is glorious should read this - it may change their view. Very well written
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chief. on 23 May 2013
Format: Paperback
Tank Men is simply put one of the most fantastic, well researched and illuminating books relating to WW2 that I have ever read.

As the title suggests, the book concentrates entirely on armoured fighting vehicles - specifically between the debut of the first tanks durning the Battle of the Somme, upto the conclusion of the Second World War - and the men and significant units who rode these steel steeds into combat.

The book has incredible detail, with literally hundreds of eye witness accounts from all of the significant armoured conflicts of the period. These accounts are often revealing, humbling, shocking and even sometimes humerous, and they do an excellent job of accurately representing to the reader the feelings of those present at the time.

From the typically dry English wit of one tankie who when confronted with the fact that a fault in the decrepid A-series of cruiser tanks meant that its reverse gear often refused to operate, commented that they had the first tank that 'refused to retreat', to the macabre trend of describing being burnt to death within your own tank as 'brewing up', to the Americans response to the criticism by the British that they were 'over paid, over sexed, over fed, and over here', that the British were 'under paid, under sexed, under fed, and under Eisenhower', it is like opening a window into the period.

The book exposes many myths about tanks also.
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