<Book Review> "The Tank Killers: A History of America's World War II Tank Destroyer Force" by Harry Yeide


FGM Major
May 11, 2013
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Heart of America
When Germany unleashed the Blitzkrieg on its neighbors at the start of World War 2, the US Army was as unprepared for mobile combined arms warfare as any nation could be. Faced with the imminent need to vastly increase the size of the army, the USA moved its divisional composition from a square division (4 regiments) to a triangular structure (3 regiments), created an armored force and its doctrine, and created the Tank Destroyer branch and its doctrine as well. What better way to deal with an armored breakthrough than to race fast, heavily gunned tank destroyer units to defeat an enemy armor, right? Or at least that's what the army thought at the time.

Yeide has written a couple of good books on US Army independent tank battalions and tank battalions attached to US Infantry divisions and this book will not disappoint you World War 2 buffs anxious to learn the ins and outs of the Tank Destroyer branch. Yeide writes in clear precise language, his research is top notch and he liberally sprinkles veteran accounts throughout the text. He details how the concept came into being, the major personalities that drove the concept, how the doctrine was supposed to work and how the tank destroyers were actually used in combat. You'll learn that the M-10 3-inch gun was pretty good, that over time the US Army created an ad hoc tactical doctrine that integrated the TD with tanks to form stronger armored units, you'll learn how difficult World War 2 radio communications could be and you'll learn that the 2 battles that the TD units actually fought applying their doctrine they had success.

If you have an interest in the tank destroyers like I do, this book is a must-read, if you are a World War 2 buff just wanting to expand your knowledge, this book is well worth your time.
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