Tank Action

An Armoured Troop Commander's War 1944 45
Author: David Render,Stuart Tootal
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 1474603297
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 320
View: 1560

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A gripping account of the Second World War, from the perspective of a young tank commander. In 1944 the average life expectancy of a newly commissioned tank troop officer in Normandy was estimated as being less than two weeks. David Render was a nineteen-year-old second lieutenant fresh from Sandhurst when he was sent to France to join a veteran armoured unit that had already spent years fighting with the Desert Rats in North Africa. Joining the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry five days after the D-Day landings, the combat-hardened men he was sent to command did not expect him to last long. However, in the following weeks of ferocious fighting in Normandy, in which more than 90 per cent of his fellow tank commanders became casualties, his ability to emerge unscathed from countless combat engagements defied expectations and earned him his squadron's nickname of the 'Inevitable Mr Render'. In Tank Action David Render tells his remarkable story, spanning every major episode of the last year of the Second World War in Western Europe, from the invasion of Normandy to the fall of Germany. Ultimately it is a story of survival, comradeship and the ability to stand up and be counted as a leader in combat.

Troop Leader

A Tank Commander's Story
Author: Bill Bellamy,Richard Holmes
Publisher: The History Press
ISBN: 0752495615
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 224
View: 2214

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Commissioned out of Sandhurst in 1943, nineteen-year-old Bill Bellamy joined the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars. Following the Normandy landings in June 1944, he was involved in the great tank battles around the town of Caen, the battle of Mont Pincon, and then the Allied breakout into Belgium. There followed the advance into Holland and onwards to the River Maas. In October 1944, during this phase of the fighting, he was awarded an immediate Military Cross for bravery during the battle to secure the Dutch village of Doornhoek. In the spring of 1945, the 8th Hussars thrust into Germany and on towards Hamburg, eventually winding up at the very heart of Hitler's Reich, Berlin. Bill kept diaries and notes of his experiences, and shortly after the war he used them to write up a series of articles recounting his part as a junior officer in the hard-fought battles to free Europe from the Nazis.His accounts of tank fighting in the leafy Normandy bocage at the height of summer, or in the iron-hard fields of Holland in winter, are graphic and compelling. This personal account of a British tank commander in the battles for Normandy and the Low Countries is illustrated with archive and personal photographs, some never previously published.

Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks

The World War II Memoirs of Hero of the Soviet Union, Dmitriy Loza
Author: Dmitri? Fedorovich Loza
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803229204
Category: History
Page: 173
View: 9323

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Hero of the Soviet Union Dmitriy Loza has carefully crafted his World War II experiences with U.S.-provided Sherman tanks into a highly readable memoir. Between the fall of 1943 and August 1945, Loza fought in the Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria. He commanded a tank battalion during much of this period and had three Shermans shot out from under him. Loza's unit participated in such well-known combat actions as the Korsun-Shevchenkovskiy Operation, the Jassy-Kishenev Operation, and the battles for Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. Following the German surrender, Loza's unit was sent to Mongolia, where it participated in the arduous trek across the Gobi Desert to attack the Japanese Kwantung Army in Manchuria. This is the first available detailed examination of the Red Army's exploitation of U.S. war matiriel during World War II and one of the first genuine memoirs available from the Russian front. Loza also provides firsthand testimony on tactical command decisions, group objectives and how they were accomplished, and Soviet use of combat equipment and intelligence. Only after the collapse of the USSR and concomitant relaxing of prohibitions against publication of materials related to the Lend-Lease Program there could this account be made available Dmitriy Loza served as an instructor at the Frunze Academy after the war, retiring in 1967 with the rank of colonel. He resides in Moscow. James F. Gebhardt, now a defense contractor at Fort Leavenworth, is a Vietnam veteran. He is the author of Blood on the Shores: Soviet Naval Commandos in World War II.

D-Day to Victory

The Diaries of a British Tank Commander
Author: Sgt Trevor Greenwood
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1471110699
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 416
View: 1659

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Tank Commander Sgt Trevor Greenwood of C Squadron, the 9th Royal Tank Regiment, sailed for France in June 1944 as part of the Allied invasion of Normandy. From D-Day until April 1945, he kept a daily diary of his experiences of the final push through France and into Germany, often writing in secret and in terrible conditions. Under fire, outgunned and facing a bitter winter, he never loses his moral compass or his sense of humour - finding time to brew tea and maintain morale with characterful British reserve.He writes candidly of his frustration and despair of seeing Bomber Command mistakenly bomb Allied lines near Caen (August 1944), the liberation of Le Havre (September 1944), the fighting around Roosendaal, Holland (October 1944), the reception of soldiers by the Dutch families on whom they were billeted (December 1944), and concludes with 'mopping up' operations in northern Germany (April 1945). His astonishing diary has left us a unique record of the war in Europe from the rarely-seen perspective of an ordinary soldier.An accompanying essay about the tank battles of Normandy by Duxford Museum's tank expert provide added value.

By Tank Into Normandy


Author: Stuart Hills
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780304366408
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 7153

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'One of the best half-dozen personal accounts of the Normandy campaign' - Richard Holmes Stuart Hills embarked his Sherman DD tank on to an LCT at 6.45 a.m., Sunday 4 June 1944. He was 20 years old, unblooded, fresh from a public-school background and Officer Cadet training. He was going to war. Two days later, his tank sunk, he and his crew landed from a rubber dinghy with just the clothes they stood in. After that, the struggles through the Normandy bocage in a replacement tank (of the non-swimming variety), engaging the enemy in a constant round of close encounters, led to a swift mastering of the art of tank warfare and remarkable survival in the midst of carnage and destruction. His story of that journey through hell to victory makes for compulsive reading.

Death Traps

The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
Author: Belton Y. Cooper
Publisher: Presidio Press
ISBN: 9780307415004
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 6173

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“Cooper saw more of the war than most junior officers, and he writes about it better than almost anyone. . . . His stories are vivid, enlightening, full of life—and of pain, sorrow, horror, and triumph.” —STEPHEN E. AMBROSE From his Foreword “In a down-to-earth style, Death Traps tells the compelling story of one man’s assignment to the famous 3rd Armored Division that spearheaded the American advance from Normandy into Germany. Cooper served as an ordnance officer with the forward elements and was responsible for coordinating the recovery and repair of damaged American tanks. This was a dangerous job that often required him to travel alone through enemy territory, and the author recalls his service with pride, downplaying his role in the vast effort that kept the American forces well equipped and supplied. . . . [Readers] will be left with an indelible impression of the importance of the support troops and how dependent combat forces were on them.” —Library Journal “[DEATH TRAPS] FILLS A CRITICAL GAP IN WW2 LITERATURE. . . . IT’S A TRULY UNIQUE AND VALUABLE WORK.” —G.I. Journal From the Paperback edition.

Days of Battle

Armoured Operations North of the River Danube, Hungary 1944-45
Author: Nortbert Számvéber
Publisher: Helion and Company
ISBN: 1910294209
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 7591

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Days of Battle describes a hitherto neglected part of the military history of Hungary during World War II. Dr Norbert Számvéber the presents detailed accounts of four important clashes of German-Hungarian and Soviet armor north of the river Danube, in the southern territory of the historical Upper Hungary (part of Hungary between 1938 and 1945, at the present time now part of Slovakia) in three separate studies. The first is an account of the battle between the Ipoly and Garam rivers during the second half of December 1944, in which the élite Hungarian Division "Szent László" saw action for the first time. The second study is about the fierce tank battle of Komárom, fought between the 6-22 January 1945. This was an integral part of the Battle for Budapest, parallel in time with Operation "Konrad". The third part of the book describes the combat during the German Operation "Südwind" in February 1945 and the Soviet attack launched in the direction of Bratislava in March 1945. The author, chief of Hungary's military archives, has based his research firmly on files and documentation from German, Hungarian and Soviet sources. The book's authoritative text is supported by photographs and color battle maps. This is a very important new study that throws much-needed light on armored warfare on the Eastern Front during the final months of the war.

US Armored Divisions

The European Theater of Operations, 1944–45
Author: Steven J. Zaloga
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472800001
Category: History
Page: 96
View: 9061

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The armored divisions were the shock force of the US Army's combat formations during the fighting in Northwest Europe in the final year of the war. Of the 16 such divisions formed during the war, all but one served in the European Theater of Operations. This book examines the organizational structure, operational doctrine and combat mission of these divisions from D-Day onwards, describing how doctrines and tactics were changed as the divisions were forced to adapt to the battlefield realities of combat against an experienced foe. The lessons drawn by the armored divisions from the bitter fighting in Northwest Europe from 1944 to 1945 strongly shaped postwar US Army doctrine.

All the Way to Berlin

A Paratrooper at War in Europe
Author: James Megellas
Publisher: Presidio Press
ISBN: 0307414485
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 561

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In mid-1943 James Megellas, known as “Maggie” to his fellow paratroopers, joined the 82d Airborne Division, his new “home” for the duration. His first taste of combat was in the rugged mountains outside Naples. In October 1943, when most of the 82d departed Italy to prepare for the D-Day invasion of France, Lt. Gen. Mark Clark, the Fifth Army commander, requested that the division’s 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Maggie’s outfit, stay behind for a daring new operation that would outflank the Nazis’ stubborn defensive lines and open the road to Rome. On 22 January 1944, Megellas and the rest of the 504th landed across the beach at Anzio. Following initial success, Fifth Army’s amphibious assault, Operation Shingle, bogged down in the face of heavy German counterattacks that threatened to drive the Allies into the Tyrrhenian Sea. Anzio turned into a fiasco, one of the bloodiest Allied operations of the war. Not until April were the remnants of the regiment withdrawn and shipped to England to recover, reorganize, refit, and train for their next mission. In September, Megellas parachuted into Holland along with the rest of the 82d Airborne as part of another star-crossed mission, Field Marshal Montgomery’s vainglorious Operation Market Garden. Months of hard combat in Holland were followed by the Battle of the Bulge, and the long hard road across Germany to Berlin. Megellas was the most decorated officer of the 82d Airborne Division and saw more action during the war than most. Yet All the Way to Berlin is more than just Maggie’s World War II memoir. Throughout his narrative, he skillfully interweaves stories of the other paratroopers of H Company, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The result is a remarkable account of men at war. From the Hardcover edition.

Tank Factory

British Military Vehicle Development and the Chobham Establishment
Author: William Suttie
Publisher: The History Press
ISBN: 0750963514
Category: History
Page: 224
View: 9177

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The United Kingdom invented the tank and was responsible for campaign-winning tactics, yet by the start of World War II had fallen well behind other nations in the design and build of armored vehicles. William Suttie tells the history of tank design from a government perspective and the decisions and failures that led to that state of affairs, going on to detail the formation of the Fighting Vehicles Research and Development Establishment at Chertsey. This fascinating book reveals that establishment's history, its groundbreaking research, inventions and designs, and many stories of the people who worked there, and its aim to ensure that the British Army would never be under-protected or outgunned again.

The Tank War

The Men, the Machines and the Long Road to Victory
Author: Mark Urban
Publisher: Little Brown
ISBN: 9781408703632
Category: World War, 1939-1945
Page: 432
View: 4359

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From the evacuation of France in 1940 to the final dash to Hamburg in 1945, the 5th Royal Tank Regiment were on the front line throughout the Second World War. Theirs was a war that saw them serve in Africa as part of the Desert Rats, before returning to Europe for the Normandy landings. Wherever they went, the notoriety of the 'Filthy Fifth' grew - they revelled in their reputation for fighting by their own rules. The Tank War explains how Britain, having lost its advantage in tank warfare by 1939, regained ground through shifts in tactics and leadership methods, as well as the daring and bravery of the crews themselves. Overturning the received wisdom of much Second World War history, Mark Urban shows how the tank regiments' advances were the equal of the feats of the German Panzer divisions. Drawing on a wealth of new material, from interviews with surviving soldiers to rarely seen archive material, this is an unflinchingly honest, unsentimental and often brutal account of the 5th RTR's wartime experiences. Capturing the characters in the crews and exploring the strategy behind their success, The Tank War is not just the story of an battle hardened unit, but something more extraordinary: the triumph of ordinary men, against long odds, in the darkest of times.

By Tank

D to VE Days
Author: Ken Tout
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: 9780709091158
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 240
View: 1117

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‘… a minor classic in battle picture painting. It has an authenticity about it which could only come from deep personal experience, translated by a lucid pen.’ The Times‘Movingly and evocatively written. Tank! surely merits a place on the bookshelf of Second World War classics.’ British Army ReviewNormandy 1944. Like most of his comrades Ken Tout was just 20 years old. Not until many years later did he feel able to gather their memoirs in three Hale books, Tank!, Tanks, Advance! and To Hell with Tanks! Now these adventures are condensed into this one continuous narrative.Follow the ordinary young lads of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry through the massive enemy defences on Bourguebus Ridge, to the snows of the Ardennes, to the night crossing of the River Rhine, and finally to Grote KerkI, where they celebrated with liberated Dutch citizens. They were not professional soldiers but young conscripts willing to ‘do their bit’, knowing that their Shermans were outgunned by the enemy’s much heavier Tiger and Panther tanks.By Tank: D Day to VE Days vividly recalls, in one complete volume, the whole experience of battle with utter authenticity: the fear, confusion, boredom, excitement and grief.

A Fine Night for Tanks

The Road to Falaise
Author: Ken Tout
Publisher: Haynes Publications
ISBN: 9780750931892
Category: Transportation
Page: 236
View: 2140

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Operation 'Totalize I' was arguably the finest feat of Allied armored action in two world wars; at the same time it is arguably the least studied and publicized. On 7 August 1944, the Canadian Army, reinforced with British Army units, sent four armored columns south of Caen to close the Falaise gap. Driving through the night, the British tanks reached their objectives behind German lines and linked up with their Canadian compatriots. In the German counter-attack that followed, the British smashed the elite Tiger-equipped Wittman Troop. Operation 'Totalize I' was a complete success and sealed the fate of the German forces now trapped in the Falaise Pocket. Using eyewitness accounts from tank crews and infantry, Ken Tout reveals how 'Totalize' was the finest feat of Allied armored action.Paperback - 7-3/4" x 5" - 192 pages - 50 b/w

Steel Victory

The Heroic Story of America's Independent Tank Battalions at War in Europe
Author: Harry Yeide
Publisher: Presidio Press
ISBN: N.A
Category: History
Page: 316
View: 466

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Advancing at the speed of the infantry, the U.S. Army independent tank battalions ground slowly across the continent during World War II, from the bloody beaches of Normandy; through forests, villages, and cities in France, Belgium, and Germany; and into Czechoslovakia at the war’s end. Greater in number than the battalions in the vaunted armor divisions, the infantry tanks were doled out to a platoon here and a company there to undertake the war’s dirtiest mission–prying enemy troops from every position across the breadth of the great Allied offensive line of 1944-45. The bold American tank infantry teams of WWII’s European theater have become the stuff of legend. But the true details of their amazing missions have never been revealed in one comprehensive work of popular history . . . until now. Using the words of the tank soldiers themselves, and the radio logs of their real-time communications, Harry Yeide vividly brings back all the men and machines of this crucial method of combat–one that, in the end, may have won the war. Here are startling revelations of the treacherous fighting, and the challenges and dangers of battling a better-equipped enemy in outmoded, slow-moving “death traps.” Inside you will discover: • Tank commanders were often trained only for invasion–and were given no tactical training for what to do after penetrating the maze of hedgerows • Tankers learned to fear their own air force in friendly fire from the “American Luftwaffe” • Due to inadequate periscopes, commanders often entered battles with their heads stuck out of the turrets, becoming “priority targets” for German snipers • Many tanks sank 1,000 to 5,000 feet away from the Normandy shore on D day. Steel Victory recounts how tank planning, expertise, and accuracy grew as the war roared on–and reveals the inside story of how tank battalions turned the tide in the Battle of the Bulge and other major encounters of the European war. Here is an honest, painstakingly researched history of these man-driven vehicles that, in the words of one soldier, “saved the day, shot the hell out of the Germans, and had the hell shot out of them.”

The Tank Commander Pocket Manual

1939-1945
Author: R. Sheppard
Publisher: Pool of London Press
ISBN: 1910860271
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 2411

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From the pioneering tactics and terror of the Blitzkrieg assault, through the carnage of Barbarossa, Kursk, the Desert War, and the Normandy Bocage and the Battle of the Bulge, there were perhaps no more unsettling and merciless positions to occupy in the Second World War than that of a tank commander. This new book puts the reader at the very heart of this “hell on wheels” and presents all of the original information required to perform this most dangerous of wartime battlefield roles. From training manuals and war office memorandums to combat reports and first-hand accounts, The Tank Commander Pocket Manual sits you in the turret position of commander of some of the most fearsome land vehicles. These include the Soviet T-34, the German Panther and its nemesis the American Sherman, the terrifying Tiger I as well as tank variants including flamethrowers and tank destroyers such as the Allied M10 and the StuG III. Original documents, diagrams, technical drawings and reports have been collated and compiled from archives and collections to include original Russian, German and English angles on the commander’s many roles including how to ‘run’ the rest of the crew of this most decisive weapon of the Second World War. • Published to mark the centenary of the tank • Rare, previously unpublished documents • Attractively produced in cloth-bound retro-styled case R Shepherd has worked for many years in military publishing for leading companies such as Casemate and Osprey, and has compiled a number of books. Pool of London Pocket Manuals The new Pocket-Manual series from the Pool of London Press presents some of the most iconic military, naval and transport machines from the last 100 years by means of compiling the original documents, confidential memos, plans and artworks that contributed to their celebrated history. This approach allows the modern reader both to have an excellent understanding of the development of these extremely influential aircraft, AFVs, ships, automobiles and trains, but also provides the unique opportunity for further interpretation through the study of many previously unpublished original documents, diagrams and illustrations. Every volume in the series is skillfully compiled and researched by the leading experts in their field who also provide a lengthy contextualizing introduction. Superbly priced, retro-styled to their historical period, and beautifully hard-bound in debossed cloth, the Pool of London Pockets sell as self-purchase, gift and are excellently suited to book trade as well as to museum stores and heritage outlets across the world.

Hard Fighting

A History of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry 1900-1946
Author: Jonathan Hunt
Publisher: Pen and Sword
ISBN: 1473856744
Category: History
Page: 352
View: 6853

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This account, following on from Unicorns - The History of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry 1794- 1899, covers the Regiment’s war service between 1900 and 1945. During the Boer War the SRY formed part of the first volunteer unit to see active service overseas fighting the Boer Commandos as cavalry. For its role in the ill-fated 1915 Gallipoli campaign, the Regiment was awarded the King’s Colour and then fought Allenby’s victorious campaign against the Turks. During the Second World War the Regiment initially saw service in Palestine, at the siege of Tobruk and the fall of Crete. After acting as Special Forces in Ethiopia, they were converted to armour and fought through from Alamein to Tripoli before returning to North-west Europe for D-Day and the advance to Germany. In so doing they won thirty Battle Honours and 159 awards including eighty-three for gallantry. General Sir Brian Horrocks later wrote ‘no armoured regiment can show a finer record of hard fighting.’ Hence the title of this invaluable regimental history.

Devil's Own Luck

Pegasus Bridge to the Baltic 1944-45
Author: Denis Edwards
Publisher: Pen and Sword
ISBN: 0850528690
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 2495

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Although strictly forbidden to keep diaries, Denis Edwards managed to record his experiences throughout nearly all his time in Europe in 1944-45. He brilliantly conveys what it was like to be facing death, day after day, night after night, with never a bed to sleep in nor a hot meal to go home to. This is warfare in the raw ' brutal, yet humorous, immensely tragic, but sadly, all true.

Tank Commander

From the Fall of France to the Defeat of Germany: The Memoirs of Bill Close
Author: Bill Close
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 9781781591871
Category: History
Page: 164
View: 3829

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German, American and British tanks come to mind first whenever the military vehicles of the Second World War are considered - they get all the historical attention. The tanks, self-propelled guns and armored cars built and deployed by the secondary nations in the conflict, in particular by Hitler's Axis allies, have been almost forgotten. The rarity of these armored fighting vehicles makes them especially interesting, and that is why Anthony Tucker-Jones's photographic history is of such value.

The Black Bull

From Normandy to the Baltic with the 11th Armoured Division
Author: Patrick Delaforce
Publisher: Stackpole Books
ISBN: 0811708977
Category: History
Page: 252
View: 2648

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From-the-turret story of a British tank division in World War II Follows the division through the Normandy campaign, the liberation of Amiens and Antwerp, flank protection during Operation Market Garden, and the final drive into Germany Raw firsthand accounts from commanders, riflemen, bombardiers, and tank crews Reveals what life was like at the sharp end of the Allies' war effort

British Tank Crewman 1939-45


Author: Neil Grant
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1472816978
Category: History
Page: 64
View: 1600

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Great Britain had introduced the tank to the world during World War I, and maintained its lead in armoured warfare with the 'Experimental Mechanised Force' during the late 1920s, watched with interest by German advocates of Blitzkrieg. Despite these successes, the Experimental Mechanised Force was disbanded in the 1930s, making Britain relatively unprepared for World War II, both in terms of armoured doctrine and equipment. This fully illustrated new study examines the men who crewed the tanks of Britain's armoured force during World War II, which was only four battalions large in 1939. It looks at the recruitment and training of the vast numbers of men required, their equipment, appearance and combat experience in every theatre of the war as the British armoured division sought to catch up with the German Panzers.