Tank Warfare A History of Tanks in Battle
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Military men-and military historians-have not ceased to debate whether tanks are effective, efficient machines of war. Those best kinown in the history of tank warfare-General Fuller, sir Basil Liddell Hart, Patton, Guderian-changed their minds often.
Kenneth Macksey's Tank Warfare is the definitive history of the policy-makers and the strategists who talked tanks. Perhaps even more important, it is the story of tank warfare itself - the split-second decisions, the battle-weary tank crews, the mud.
Although use of tank-like vehicles was envisioned long before World War I (in 1903, for example, H. G. Wells published an article entitled "The Land Ironclad"), it was during that war to end all wars that tanks became a fact of modern military life and strategy.
Macksey gives the reader of Tank Warfare a sense of being a part of the tank crews fighting for their lives. He also provides a clear understanding of the technical and tactical development of these "ungainly monsters" which were originally seen as armored horses (Liddell Hart wrote in 1926, "The tank attack is the modern revival of the cavalry charge") but which later, as the spearhead of the German blitzkrieg, came to be recognized as the key component in the mechanized land army's need for mobility and strategic flexibility.
The book has 284 pages and is illustrated with photos and maps. Published in 1972.
regardless of the losses accruing from mines, anti-tank guns and tanks, for the Egyptians by no means gave up without shooting back – at first. This, for the Egyptian command, was the rub: their men habitually gave way after making a mere gesture. Had they held fast to key positions the outcome might have more nearly resembled the stalemate at Kursk in 1943 when the Russians had stuck it out. As it was, Tal’s division in the north, having advanced 60 miles and made a series of breakthroughs,
losses in the act of achieving a closer co-operation with tanks than the Luftwaffe ever achieved with the Panzer divisions. Nearby, to lend intimate support to the tanks, are the armoured personnel carriers, bristling with machine-guns which rake the undergrowth to flush out enemy snipers. Inside crouch the infantry, ready to leap out yet anxious to enjoy the protection of armour plate until the last possible moment. Fuller might have recognized in the modern armoured personnel carrier the true
when threatened’, infantry could evade tanks by taking cover and waiting until the passing monsters could be taken in rear. He seems to have overlooked French doctrine demanding that tanks ought to be closely accompanied by infantry who, in attack, could claw the mice out of their holes. When Chauvineau claimed that ‘strong nerves and good discipline’ were good anti-tank weapons he certainly came closer to a solution, providing he equated it with Ludendorff’s unavailing exhortations of a similar
existence of untried powerful tank forces was a contributory cause of war. CHAPTER 10 THE DESTRUCTION OF POLAND The strategy shaping the German invasion of Poland epitomized the mixed feelings of their General Staff by making both conventional and unconventional approaches to battle. The direction of the main thrusts were entirely conventional in principle: in the north convergent thrusts from Germany and East Prussia to eliminate the Polish Corridor; in the centre the preponderant lunge by
suffocate their economy and destroy all internal communications. The last great tank battles could not be long delayed. CHAPTER 23 A DYING FALL Hopping from island to island across the Pacific in the winter of 1944 amphibious forces, strong in naval and air power and led, inland, by tanks closed in on their ultimate objective – Japan. In the meantime, in Burma, an army carefully moulded of a preponderant proportion of infantry and artillery to tanks and liberally helped by air power, began the