Tank Action: An Armoured Troop Commander’s War 1944–45 by Captain David Render and Stuart Tootal

Review published on July 3, 2017.

I really have no idea just how many books I have read about the various aspects of the World Wars, many are very good, some are rather mundane to be honest, this book, however, is an exceptional read, especially if you are excited by tank warfare.

David Render was a nineteen-year-old Second Lieutenant, fresh from Sandhurst, in the last year of World War Two. He was propelled into conflict, leading a group of battle-hardened armour crews, of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, in American-built Sherman tanks. His life expectancy was about a fortnight on average, but somehow he survived it all.

We follow him through France, Holland, and into Germany, close quarter fighting all the way. The book is often graphic, never shirking in his descriptions of death and mutilation. It made a man of him within just one year of conflict, and like many others, his exploits were the single most poignant thing to happen to him. He regularly attends the Sherwood Rangers reunions, he has retraced his wartime route over the years with others of a diminishing number, he stood alone on the beach where he saw so many lose their lives, and he brings it all home to us, just how many sacrifices were made for freedom.

The co-author, Stuart Tootal, is a well-known writer of memoirs, and together with David Render he has captured these memories superbly. The book flows along well; interesting vignettes on virtually every page, a few monochrome photographs, plus maps help the reader. I thank both authors for sharing these memoirs with us.

Reg Seward 5/3

Tank Action: An Armoured Troop Commander’s War 1944–45 by Captain David Render and Stuart Tootal
W&N 9781474603287 pbk May 2017

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