By Tank into Normandy: A Memoir of the Campaign in North-West Europe from D-Day to VE Day by Stuart Hills

Published by Cassell & Co., 2002, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.

Condition: Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Leans slightly. Previous owners’ inscription to the first blank.

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Illustrated with black and white photographs. From the cover: SECOND LIEUTENANT STUART HILLS of the Nottinghamshire Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry embarked his Sherman DD tank on to a Landing Craft Tanks on the afternoon of Sunday 4 June 1944. A tank commander at only 20, unblooded, fresh from public school, army training and then Sandhurst, his was a sudden transition from the order and security of Tonbridge, cricket, boxing and rugby to a real war. When he landed on Gold beach a day late, and from a rubber dinghy, his tank having sunk between LCT and shore the day before he was faced by two tanks brewed up on the beach, their crews dead inside. But he was not to be deterred; he was young, fit and ready for anything.

This is his account of tank warfare, spearheading an invasion into fiercely held enemy territory, where every gain usually came at terrible cost. Success in tank warfare depends inter alia on swift, accurate fire and quick thinking by the commander. The struggles through the Normandy bocage, engaging the well-armed enemy in a constant round of close encounters, led to a mastering of the art and a remarkable survival through carnage and destruction. Stuart Hills captures the experience of tank warfare with vivid reality, to share both the terror and the triumph with the reader; this is how it was to be under fire one moment, attacking the next, from within the vulnerable protection of a tank. His story of that journey, from Normandy through hell to victory across the Rhine in April 1945, makes for compulsive reading.

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