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Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story

Troop Leader: A Tank Commander's Story [Kindle Edition]

Bill Bellamy , Richard Holmes
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Bill Bellamy was a young officer in the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars from 1943 to 1945. He witnessed many of his contemporaries killed in action. This work offers an account of one man's experience of the battle for Europe in 1944 and 1945.

About the Author

Bill Bellamy was a regular officer with the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars from 1943 until 1955, when he was forced to take early retirement on health grounds. He then purued a successful career in industry and was Managing Director of a number of companies. Now retired, he remains busy in a wide range of different activities. He lives in Northamptonshire and this is his first book.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 344 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press; Revised edition (23 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C8X76KO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Troop Leader 18 July 2009
Well written, thoughtful, and readable, - and without bravado. This is (with Stuart Hill`s memoir) one of the better accounts of a young officer`s experience in the NW European 1944 to 1945. I particularly like Bellamy`s description of the occasion when he "ticked off" both his commanding officer (Col Cuthy Goulburn, 8 Hussars) and his brigadier (Brigadier Loonie Hinde 22 Amd Bd) for giving away the position of his camouflaged tank by walking up to it.

He got away with it -both men had a sense of humour, and were quite un-pompous. Also, of course, Bellamy was right. But, he was told by his adjutant "not to do it again!"


Andrew Sanders
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eminently Readable 13 Feb 2012
Bellamy's book is partly an extension of his diary and partly his recollections. His writing style is engaging, faithful and sincere. His recollections of the war and are as good as his recognition that he was a young man with a lot to learn, but knew what was right and what was wrong. He doesn't blow his own trumpet but simply seeks to represent the war as he saw it. I loved reading every word of this book and every page held a story/fact/anecdote - to the extent that I'm giving it 5 stars.

Quite simply, it's brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I wasn't there. 4 Jun 2011
By Mr Shh.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading Bill Bellamy's account of his service during the war. His writing style makes you feel like you would have been friends with him had you known him. His words exude quiet dignity but make you glad that you didn't have to witness some of the terrible events that he did such as the French farmer and his family being butchered by the SS for helping the invading Allied forces.

There are also some funny events that are written with dry wit that made me chuckle and the sense of cameraderie comes through in the words. This book does not glamorise war and is not an account of large scale epic tank battles so if you are after that kind of read you will need to find a different book but if you are interested in the humanity of war then I recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Evocative read 3 Jun 2009
By John M
A story of hopes and fears in tank warfare during the last months of WW2. Very evocative for me as I lost a favourite uncle, also in the Armoured Division, who died just weeks before the end of hostilities.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous read 17 April 2014
I didn't know Bill Bellamy RIP but I served with his son in his father's regiment. We too were tank men, of a different age. Bill's memoir is one of the most honest and down to earth recollections of life inside tanks that I've ever read except for Richard Napier's "From Horse to Chieftain's" also about the 8th Hussars.

The British cavalry are elite but that doesn't lead to any arrogance. On the contrary they adopt a relaxed but professional approach to everything as reading this book will show. It's not a question of how high you can jump when receiving an order, it's all about doing the job to the best of your ability.

As an avid historian I read this book with delight. As an Irish cavalryman myself I was proud of reading about Bill's achievements and those of his crew. For anyone who has ever served in the 8th, QRIH or QRH (Queen's Own and Royal Irish), I would say: get a copy of this book while you can because your bookshelf won't be complete without it - it's part of your history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Written by a soldier - not a natural author so it comes as it is which means you have to imagine the background around this brave mans experiences of life at the sharp end. It works as one mans account the people he endured these trials and tribulations with remain more or less invisible. When death strikes amongst you on a daily basis maybe we all have take care not to identify to much with others because any emotional involvement is a luxury with a very high price!

When a dangerous situation is holding up an advance who do you send into the trap to stick their necks out but those who do not know they are being used as bait. This is a rite of passage and these newcomers have no choice but to prove themselves - don't be a replacement in wars like this because the unsaid truth is that - no-one is on your side! War is Dirty Dirty work..............
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quiet reality 30 Jun 2009
By zama64
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book does not tell of mighty clashes of armour or glamorous dashes across France.It deals with the day to day business of tank men. Sometimes seemingly uneventful days,until the death of a friend is mentioned. Imagine fixing the tracks on a tank in the pouring rain,in the mud and then having to just get back in covered in mud and carry on as usual. If you are interested in tank warfare read this book. It may not 'wow' you, but it will make you think about what men like this quietly endured.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quietly Superb. 2 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One thing I've found in the years I've been studying military history, and in particular World War Two, is that quite often, the very best accounts of life in war which one can hope to find is from those who are not considered heavyweights in this field of expertise.

The weighty tomes which the likes of Holmes, Beevor, and Keegan are wont to turn out are often towering works of collections of individual snapshots of combat collected into a collage of personal experiences which will often leave the reader shocked, appalled, enthralled, or inspired, but rarely all together; Rarely do these books, for me at least, encourage much empathy with the men and women whose experiences they describe; their desire to encompass as much as they can often leaves one cold.

Troop Leader, by dealing with one man's experiences alone, certainly help provide the 'personal' account of war which is so often lacking in the aforementioned styles of authoring. The book rarely deals with combat per se, but concentrates on the minutae of life with an armoured division; the trivia, the boredom, the randomly violent nature of warfare, and very occasionally the gruesomeness of events unfolding around him. Interspersed with humour, narrow escapes, and 'in hindsight' observations, Troop Leader is most certainly a great read, so much so that I read it in 24 hours.

If it lacks anything it is actually that the story stops too early. Bill Bellamy served on past the end of hostilies, and it would have really finished the story off if we could have been treated to his wry observations on the Challenger and Centurion tanks.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any tank enthusiast. Its a ...
A must read for any tank enthusiast. Its a fascinating account of living and fighting a tank in WW II.
Published 27 days ago by David Ian Viccars
4.0 out of 5 stars First hand account of Tank Warfare post D-Day
Nicely written and easy read giving a warts and all insight into the realities of tank warfare in the days following D- Day
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better in russian
The fish that never dies.
Even better in russian.!
Published 2 months ago by Brian Steven
5.0 out of 5 stars Troop Leader
Very good description of tank operations during and after D-day. First hand detail of everyday life and conditions during the invasion.
Published 6 months ago by M J Gater
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tank Commander's Story
The book title says it all as we follow Bill through his ealry days in the army and travails across Africa to the grind of being a troop leader in Normandy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Gondtengwen
5.0 out of 5 stars Modest hero
The word hero is probably one of the most over used in the dictionary when it comes to military matters.
However in this case it is certainly applicable. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Keith F. Massey
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read
The various action passages are well written, and the occupation scenes are very interesting. Overall I would recommend this book to anyone.
Published 18 months ago by Wiggo1
5.0 out of 5 stars Tankers
Enjoyable if sobering read. Glad I was not old enough to have served in tanks during the war.
Published on 9 Feb 2011 by Sqn Ldr Raymond Leach
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