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Leakey's Luck: A Tank Commander with Nine Lives Hardcover – 20 May 1999

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sutton Publishing Ltd; 1st ed. edition (20 May 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750917318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750917315
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 336,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Lieutenant Colonel George Forty OBE. FMA is an acclaimed author of many military history books, including The British Army Handbook. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the story of the experiences of a young man from Kenya who joins the Royal Tank Regiment as a Regular Officer in the days before the Second World War. He personally experienced the development of British armoured warfare through the first campaigns in North Africa and ending with him commanding a Regiment at the age of twenty seven in Germany. Always at the sharp end he displayed a reckless dash and daring with such numerous narrow escapes as to stretch credulity. Truth is often stranger than fiction and this is the story of a very brave man. Hard to put down.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In life there are men that always seem to be where the fight is thickest and most is going on. Leakey was one such man. Born to a poor family in Kenya he rises to become a tank regimental commander of the 5RTR of the famous Desert Rats in Northen Europe.

The entire book is interesting because he lived such an interesting and full life. It also shows well how commanders are posted to various units as they climb the ranks of promotion. For those with interst in WW2 military history both the personal account and successful introduction into each chapter by George Forty will show you how flawed the British Army's conduct of tank warfare could be to the end, since many of the tanks superior commanders had no real experience and were before Cavalry Officers.

But it is the personal account that shines, even in "peaceful" postings Leakey finds his way to high adventure and once on leave he managed to get back to his old unit and became a turret gunner in a Grant tank during the battles of Gazala. During the siege of Tobruk he had himself reassigned to the Australian infantry and during one of his perimiter exploits won the Military Cross. In fact it seems he was everywhere worthy of note and it reads really well. It has been some time since I finished a book so fast.

It comes with my best recommendations - but for those interested I also recommend you look up Tanks Across The Desert - a book based on the diary of Jake Wardrop also edited by George Forty as I find these two books compliment each other very well, Leaky was a officer but Jake was a common soldier. Both make for excellent reading. Also since both are unavialble through amazon I suggest you try other sellers through amazon so far they have worked very well for me.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book was a tad disappointing- the protagonist came across as being just too good to be true (if he really did all that as described then I take my hat off to the fella). I found the format a little odd- instead of two different versions of the same events, one a 'precis' to set the scene and the other Leekey's own words- I'd have preferred closer collaboration between the two contributors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable adventure story , true life by a guy who was yes, lucky to survive it. I read it with pleasure. It does not I think teach one much about luck and how to get it, ... but part of striking lucky is definitely having a good book to read, and this is one
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A first class read, old Leakey's was some leader of men. I wonder if he ever knew his son would follow in his footsteps and eventually become the present day governments Black Rod. Quite a family.
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