Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Tsundoke Tuesday - Tank Killin'

U.S. Armored doctrine in WWII has always fascinated me. As a kid, I had issues reconciling what the History Channel said about how bad the Sherman was with what my Great Uncle Homer told me.

Now, Uncle Homer, as I called him, was Cart's Uncle. And Uncle Homer crossed the Rhine. And was a bow gunner in the fourth Sherman into Bastogne.

Uncle Homer always spoke of how that his guys always sought to engage the German tanks. The Sherman was more mobile, faster, and a better gun platform.

Fighting the guys on the ground with Panzerfausts was what scared him.

So, as I grew older, I spent a lot time reading about our armored push across Europe. And spent a lot of time as a junior Cav Scout trying to explain how, really, I mean really, what we called the Armor Branch should be the Cavalry Branch. But that is a story for another day.

Along that path, I read and heard a lot about tank destroyers. And man, they had some cool branch insignia.

And my G.I. Joes were well equipped with a tank destroying half track.

But, by and large, a tank destroyer isn't something that gets a lot of ink. And with the push to the main battle tank after WWII, the concept simply faded from history.

And the other day I was watching something or other and decided to type "tank destroyer" into the Amazon search bar. And was rewarded with a legit academic study on the matter. At least concerning the ETO; the use of TDs in the PTO being negligible.

So, with a couple of clicks "The Tank Killers" by Harry Yeide arrived.

If you are a serious student of the ETO, I would certainly recommend it. If you are commanding a tank company headed to Poland, I'd recommend it.

If you're just a casual student of history, maybe not so much. Mr. Yeide is great at research and it shows.

However, his narrative is a bit dry and the book drags just a bit. I struggled to finish the book. However, I blame that on the whole end of the world nonsense; reading has become a chore as of late.

That being said, I can't emphasize enough how well researched and cited this book is. Which as a guy with a history degree I really appreciate.

The book is very informative and certainly a labor of love.

So, as Hognose used to say, buy it if you're a scholar.

Thanks for stopping buy.

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