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AS GOOD AS ANY GERMAN TANK MEMOIR,
This review is from: Panzer Destroyer: Memoirs of a Red Army Tank Commander (Hardcover)
This was excellent. It is well translated, and never gets slow or dull. It reads just like the best of German tanker stories, which is rare for a soviet account. It totally negates the old view of the soviet soldiers; as Carius and many others would try to make us believe, the Soviets were a mass of unthinking robots who only beat the Germans by weight of numbers. More recent analysis by Glantz and especially Citino show this Nazi superiority myth to be just the sour grapes of a military machine that was outfought at its own game.
What impressed me about this account: each battle is well described with detailed in-running accounts. Hi-light is his 3 day rampage behind the lines of the SS-LAH div during the German Zhitomir offensive in Nov 43. His unit was surrounded and to aid their breakout, his lone SU85 was sent on a flanking attack to draw away the opposition. He was successful, but got stuck behind the German lines for 3 days; hiding in woods during the day, helped by local civilians who even replaced wounded crew members, then rampaging thru German rear areas, crushing trucks and causing havoc. Textbook Blitzkrieg, against "the best" German panzer div!
To counter the soviet robot image, these soviet crews approached each battle with good recon and pre-planning; they coordinated with infantry & artillery; during the battle they used fire & manoveur tactics, zig-zagging to show slanting armour; every crewman using their periscopes, while the commander peeked out of the open hatch; radio control to initiate flanking attacks. In fact, every trick that i've heard the likes of Carius claim were German tactics are used by these Soviet SPG crews. The book shows them to be top quality tankers.....good job they were our allies!!