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on 28 August 2017
Being something of an afv buff, I was hoping by the title, for a book with rather more detail of the actual vehicles themselves. Whilst the book give a commendably very detailed account of the role of the 79th. during and after D-Day up to the end of the war, any in depth information on the 'Funnies' is sadly lacking. The plates are all at the end of the book rather than appearing when each type of AVRE is briefly described threough the narrative and even then, they are only photos of them in action rather than a good close up showing detail of their particular equipments. What I also found irritating was the complete absence of maps. The campaign was described in detail, giving the names of a great many French, Dutch, Belgian & German cities, towns & villages, but no indication whasoever as to where they were in relation to the campaign. With a little forethought, this book could have been so much better.
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on 3 September 2014
Hobart was mechanically creative, and single minded in his pursuit of objectives. He spoke his mind and was not always popular with senior staff for this. His 79th Division was the home for various WW2 'funnies' - for example tanks modified for special purposes such as mine clearing, and the bridging of trenches. There are useful descriptions of the various specialist vehicles used by the 79th armoured Division.

However, Hobart did not create all the 'funnies' - in fact tanks modified for special tasks date from the 1st World War - but what he did was to get 79th Division into a state of readiness to provide support where it was needed. He was an excellent trainer of men.

A large part of the book is devoted to detailed descriptions of actions involving units of 79th Division. This level of detail was more than I was looking for, but others may find it interesting - and it does present the complete picture.

The photographs are good, though inconveniently placed at the end of the book. I would have liked to have seen technical diagrams and specifications of the various 'funnies'. There are no maps.
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on 4 May 2017
Very interesting book - I doubt in today's world he would have had the same opportunities
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on 29 June 2017
massive amount of detailed text
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on 9 May 2014
An excellent read if you are more than interested in armoured warfare General Hobart was a very remarkable person with the intelligence to go with his own views
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Brilliant reading very informative and a book that is hard to put down.
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on 3 August 2017
shows the hidden story of 79th Div very well, more to it than just D Day
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on 2 January 2013
I was lucky to, as an older person, talk to my father about his war, some may not. If you are interested and have some relative who was a tank soldier, this book could tell you about their war. It deals with a specific division and its creator, but as they were involved in most of the British armoured action in Europe, it is comprehensive. It pays tribute to the lowest, the highest, friend and foe for their bravery and tenacity. To make it a better read, get a large scale map of France, Holland, Germany and photo copy the maps in the book.

Why not 5X's, well I would have liked a bit more technical detail of the vehicles and some drawings.
Will stay on my re-read list for a while.
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on 1 November 2013
Detailed narrative account of Hobart's career before 79th and of the actions in which the Division took part. My uncle served in the unit and is mentioned in the text so the book has a personal interest which makes it more attractive to me. However I think it would appeal to those with less of a personal interest as it strikes a good balance between the broader themes (of both technology and strategy) and the individual stories of the men of the division and their bravery.
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on 21 February 2013
A well written account of Hobart and his Armoured Div. The first portion of the book is on the man himself. A fascinating account of an officer with all the attributes of a great leader; opinionated, charismatic and able to inspire loyalty in his subordinates. Unfortunately, he also had the ability to rub up his superiors the wrong way. So while he was Monty's brother in law and was highly regarded by Alanbrooke (CIGS) he was never to reach the high command to which he might have aspired. Nevertheless, he did command the largest armoured division in the British army though this was an administrative role as it's sub units were used in a dispersed rather than concentrated role.

I well remember conversations with my father (who served in the 2nd Canadian Div and 1st Canadian Army HQ from Normandy to VE Day) in which he described the effect that the appearance of crocodiles had on the outcome of many an action, the life saving use of Kangaroos and the essential role of the buffaloes in Holland. It does beg the question of how many casualties might have been saved if the Americans had made use of the "Funnies" on D Day.

This book should have a place on the book shelf of any serious student of WW2 in Europe or on the development of armour.
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