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.
I had read Mark Urban's book "The Fusiliers" on that unit's use during the American Revolutionary war so I was anticipating this book about 5th Royal Tank Regiment and their exploits during world war two. I was not disappointed. I found it interesting and it covered the majority of British involvement on the ground in France, Africa, Italy, back to France and finally into Holland and Germany. It was an interesting look as the use of armour and the tanks themselves evolved during the course of the war and the value of experience and how experience differed among the different tank regiments in world war II.
I am going to seek out Urban's Book "Rifles" which covers the involvement of the 95th Rifle regiment in the Napoleonic wars in Portugal and Spain and on to Waterloo again as he follows the British infantry presence and activity in the Napoleonic wars.
Good book. If you have an interest in the use of armour in WWII or the history of British ground combat in WWII this would be a good book to read.
Tells the story well, with good reliance on interviews and information from those who were there. Also debunks some of the long established myths of tank warfare in WW2. Recommend.