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"Good book about tankers" Topic

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donlowry30 Aug 2023 3:33 p.m. PST

I just finished a book titled Spearhead, by Adam Makos. It's about WW2 tankers, mostly American, but a bit about Germans. The main focus is on the GI who was the gunner in the Pershing that killed the Panther in front of Cologne cathedral.

It's basically a human-interest story, about these various GIs and one German who was on the other end of some of their battles. He and the GI gunner eventually met, long after the war.

Quite a few b&w photos in the book, as well as some maps. I highly recommend it. You could get several interesting scenarios out of the battles it describes.

John Armatys30 Aug 2023 3:46 p.m. PST

I read it a couple of months ago, and second donlowery's high recommendation. I was particularly interested by the details on the introduction of the T26 Pershing.

Wolfhag30 Aug 2023 6:05 p.m. PST

Yes, great book. A few years ago I was in Cologne and walked the streets and took pictures of where the Panther and Pershing engagement took place.


Tgerritsen Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2023 6:11 p.m. PST

Third recommendation here. Read it cover to cover in a couple of days- gripping read.

Andrew Walters30 Aug 2023 7:53 p.m. PST

Added to my wish list. Too much of a backlog to buy it now, but 4.8 starts with 4200 reviews, phew.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP31 Aug 2023 6:29 a.m. PST

My favourite tankers book is the novel Sands of Valour by Geoffrey Wagner, which is a novel about a British armoured regiment in North Africa – long read with lots of slow space between moments of furious action, helpful to know a bit of British slang – but an excellent study of the effect of prolonged combat, and given the author's experience as an officer in the Guards armoured brigade in North Africa, Sicily and Italy it has gritty realism

batesmotel3431 Aug 2023 9:07 a.m. PST

I'll also add my recommendation. It's a good book and is interesting for following the life of an American tanker in Europe and some of his feelings about the inadequacies of the Sherman late in the war. The ironic thing about destroying the Panther in Cologne is that given that the Panther was apparently taken unaware from the flank, a Sherman with the 76mm gun (and possibly even a 75mm) would have been equally effective.

The subject of the book died a couple years ago which I hadn't realized until I saw a small memorial for him at the American Heritage Museum in Hudson, MA, next the their Pershing on display. He had gone on tour when the book was released and that included a visit to the Museum I gather.

donlowry01 Sep 2023 3:13 p.m. PST

The real irony of the battle by the cathedral is [SPOILER ALERT] that the Panther could have fired first and won, but the German gunner didn't recognize the Pershing as an American tank and thought it must be German -- while he hesitated, the Pershing fired.

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