Customer Review

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT BOOK, 9 Sep 2010
This review is from: Main Battle Tank (Hardcover)
I first became aware of this book in the 'latest releases' section of a high street bookshop. Being an ex.tankie I was fascinated but the price put me off buying it there and then. Consequently I bought through Amazon where I found the book to be super value for money.
With regards to the book itself i'll review it from two angles, as an ex-tank crewman and as a general public reader.
As an ex.tank crewman I found the content rivetting. For example, on the very first operation into 'enemy territory' there was so much I had difficulty in comprehending. I couldn't believe that a squadron of 12 tanks costing 5m each, plus the 48 lives supported by more back up including infantry, would make a probe along an exposed and ELEVATED road, including the crossing of numerous bridges. It would have been so easy for an organised enemy to blow at least one of those bridges resulting in a critical situation. Yet this is just one of many examples where all the run-of-the-mill training for conventional warfare rulebook is thrown away. For these examples alone, the book makes interesting reading. What I found deeply frustrating for a book costing this much, is the dire lack of illustrations, both photographic and line drawings. I would recommend a separate map of each operation and line drawings of the action where photographs aren't available. I won't spoil your read by giving any more details other than to say, if you are an .ex squaddie, tankie or not, then you will really enjoy this book.
For a member of the general public I offer this review. It was Sir Winston Churchill who once said of the Battle of Britain pilots 'never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few' and rightly so. Most of those pilots were in their late teens and early 20s. How often do you hear people say that there are no young men of their calibre around today? I suggest you read this book and you will see that there are indeed many young men doing exactly that today in Afghanistan as well as in the period covered in this book. You will read of how it feels to take the lives of others who want to take yours. You will discover how the feeling of security gained from going to war in the best tank in the world can also turn into the realisation that your protector could also become your coffin. If you know of someone who served in the Gulf, then I heartily recommend this book. If you don't know anyone who served in Iraq then I still recommend this book because you will discover what the word 'Hero' actually means. As you read the story, put yourself in their position and imagine how you would feel. Then, when these guys come home, go out on the street and applaud their courage and committment to ensuring that you lead a safe and secure life.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2010 19:06:19 BDT
I, too, find it very frustrating that books like this which describe military close action don't include enough maps. It is hard to follow the action from the text alone and I just can't understand why presumably intelligent authors don't understand this very basic requirement.

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Sep 2010 16:16:19 BDT
J. Bolton says:
For what it worth, ditto. A large scale map at the front and, over the page, a more detailed one, but it wasn't detailed enough to really let you know what was happening. I think most of the battles in the second map were over before halway through the book, and the best bits were yet to happen.

Illustrations would have added so much to the story

Posted on 2 Nov 2010 22:43:13 GMT
Abu Hamza says:
If you don't support your local bookshop then it will go under. Buying from Amazon is one thing, but browsing in Waterstone's and then toddling home to order online for the sake of a few quid is a bit niggardly, wouldn't you say?

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2010 17:53:48 GMT
Abu, I agree with your sentiments totally and I do make purchases from my local bookshop. However, i'm not in the fortunate situation whereby I can afford to 'throw away' more than 10, or 20 if you include the opportunity cost, welcome to the real world.
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