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on 17 September 2009
The real strength of this volume is that it makes extensive use of the annals and journals of the Tank Corps to tell the lively story of tanks in action in World War I. For here are to be found, between some handy linking information, many of the original reports of tank commanders from the first action at Flers, through to the relatively rapid advances and retreats of 1918 and the new 'Whippets'. If anybody asks what it was like inside the early tanks, this is just about the best answer you can find between covers. My edition is a well produced hard back, this listing refers to a soft back reprint, both have quite a number of b&w illustrations and deserve to be better known and appreciated.

Easily a four star performance - which only leaves one wishing for a bit more analysis, length and detail. Recommended to anybody with an interest in 1914-1918, or the story of the tank, or for general readers who want to get into a little more depth.
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on 14 April 2013
I am reading this book at the moment . I'm a bit disappointed that the impression gained from the cover that this is the first hand accounts of the men who fought in those early tanks is a bit misleading , it's more like extracts from the regimental histories of the units that fought. None the less it's a good read and covers the whole war period with some great illustrations throughout. Highly recommended.
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on 5 April 2012
In my eyes David Fletcher is the supremo when it comes to tanks. This book is amazing First hand accounts of WW1 warfare.
How men coop up in a tin box ovens managered is beyond me, This book says it all each battle told and says what happen with the Tanks.
Anything you want to know about tanks this author is your man.and is now a M.B.E and well deserved too
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on 7 June 2009
A good look at the trial and tribulations of operating tanks during World War One from the men who crewed them. I found only a couple of faults with the book. There is no caption in the book describing the photo on the bottom of the front cover as to where and when it was taken. Also a map showing the battlefields in relation to each other where tanks were used would have been nice.
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on 9 January 2015
The thing about this book is that its often difficult to tell if the author is speaking with his own voice, or if he's quoting one of the original sources, as often theres no punctuation or citation to tell the reader. Also, many of the original sources lack individuality, and are rather dry and factual, and many of them sound very similar: plodded forward in our tank, broke down, missed the start of the battle, finally got going again, shot a few germans, got stuck again, turned around and headed home. There are a few gems in there amongst the first hand accounts but you do have to wade through a lot of mud to find them, unfortunately. The pictures are the real stars - glossy and numerous and well shot.
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on 15 September 2007
This is worth reading to expand ones knowledge of early tank combat and World War 1 combat in general. The text takes the format of officers reports from combat missions. In some cases it can be a bit repetative untill the advances with the newer tanks towards the end of the war. This is because the tanks often got knocked out quickly or became imobilised.

There's plenty of good photographs of Tanks in the field and double page Aerial photos of the areas the officers reports are concerned with. I did think that these could have been usefully annotated. Some maps would of helped explain both the locations, the campaigns and smaller maps for some of the combat engagements. I didn't feel that the aerial photos made clear enough the events in the combat. I don't know if that would be possible to enclude them but the lack of any maps was dissapointing.
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