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.

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-425-15307-X

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...


Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


For Howard Zinn, long-time civil rights and anti-war activist, history and ideology have a lot in common. Since he thinks that everything is in someone's interest, the historian—Zinn posits—has to figure out whose interests he or she is defining/defending/reconstructing (hence one of his previous books, The Politics of History). Zinn has no doubts about where he stands in this "people's history": "it is a history disrespectful of governments and respectful of people's movements of resistance." So what we get here, instead of the usual survey of wars, presidents, and institutions, is a survey of the usual rebellions, strikes, and protest movements. Zinn starts out by depicting the arrival of Columbus in North America from the standpoint of the Indians (which amounts to their standpoint as constructed from the observations of the Europeans); and, after easily establishing the cultural disharmony that ensued, he goes on to the importation of slaves into the colonies. Add the laborers and indentured servants that followed, plus women and later immigrants, and you have Zinn's amorphous constituency. To hear Zinn tell it, all anyone did in America at any time was to oppress or be oppressed; and so he obscures as much as his hated mainstream historical foes do—only in Zinn's case there is that absurd presumption that virtually everything that came to pass was the work of ruling-class planning: this amounts to one great indictment for conspiracy. Despite surface similarities, this is not a social history, since we get no sense of the fabric of life. Instead of negating the one-sided histories he detests, Zinn has merely reversed the image; the distortion remains.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1979

ISBN: 0061965588

Page Count: 772

Publisher: Harper & Row

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1979

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet