TANK WARFARE: A History of Tanks in Battle by Kenneth Macksey

TANK WARFARE: A History of Tanks in Battle

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KIRKUS REVIEW

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. A British authority who has written several other books on tank warfare including a biography of the early advocate Sir Percy Hobart, Macksey competently reviews 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. Macksey is at his best describing the critical tank battles of both wars; his account, however, almost completely ignores concurrent military phenomena (e.g., the paramountcy of air power during World War II) and the reader is left with the erroneous impression that both wars were simply a matter of tank superiority. Likewise, Macksey's enthusiastic speculations on the future of the tank (which include a rather shabby defense of the American failure in Vietnam) are marked more by the wishful thinking of a zealot than objective sense.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1972
Publisher: Stein & Day