A powerful study of armored warfare, from the introduction of the tank by the British army at the Battle of Cambrai in 1917 through Desert Storm in 1991. Donnelly (Operation Just Cause, 1991), Naylor (a staff writer for the Army Times), and editor Boyne (Clash of Wings, 1994) combine their efforts in a study of the tank and its primary features—mobility, firepower, and shock value in combat—as applied in armored warfare by the armies of Britain, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, the US, and Israel. While the tank is a fearsome weapon, unsupported tanks are vulnerable. The authors illustrate both the effectiveness and vulnerability of tanks with several examples of their use by and against Nazi forces: The first masters of tank warfare, Guderian and Rommel, perfected the ``blitzkrieg'' (lightning war), which integrated air power, artillery, and infantry with tanks in a technique that combined speed and force to overwhelm enemy forces at their weakest points. In the Battle of France (1940), an outnumbered panzer force conquered France in six weeks. Rommel's use of supported tanks in his Africa campaigns (194142) was similarly successful, until his forces ran out of fuel and tank parts and had to face a more powerful British force. At the battle of Kursk (1943), overconfident German forces were stopped by an enormous number of heavy Soviet tanks in the greatest tank battle in history. The authors argue that Israeli tank commanders copied Rommel's tactics successfully in the 1967 and 1973 wars, crushing their opponents. Armored warfare reached its zenith in the Gulf War in 1991, when US and British armor, with cutting-edge technology, made scrap metal out of Iraqi tanks, proving that the tank remains a crucial element in military strategy. An effective study of one of modern warfare's most awesome weapons.
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