The technology that separates the lumbering Heavy Mk I tank of 1916 from the Challenger main battle tank of 1994 may be aeons apart, but the basic skills of the tank commander have remained unchanged. Whether the scenario is the first tank-versus-tank engagement at Villers-Bretonneux in 1918, or the decimation of Iraqi armour by Allied tanks in the Gulf War of 1991, the perennial qualities of efficiency, bravery, quick-wittedness and initiative still shine through. In Tank Action the author looks in detail at forty-two individual low-level battles spanning eighty years of armoured warfare. He has chosen from as many different scenarios as possible so that details of less well-known actions are not overshadowed by the more famous. Emphasis is given to the individual tank commanders involved, but the author is ever mindful of the fact that a tank commander is only as good as his crew, without whom he would be unable to engage and destroy the enemy. Supported by a vast array of photographs, maps and line drawings, Tank Action is a comprehensive and carefully crafted evocation of life at the sharp end of tank warfare, as seen from the dramatic perspective of the tank crews themselves.
George Forty is the author of more than 30 books on military subjects, including Germany at War, Modern Tanks, Special Forces, and Tank Warfare in the Second World War.