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Panzer Killers (Hardback)

Anti-tank Warfare on the Eastern Front

Military WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front

By Artem Drabkin, Translated by Stuart Britton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 214
ISBN: 9781781590508
Published: 8th April 2013



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From the cold and hunger of the Leningrad front to the clinging mud of the Korsun operation, from the gates of Moscow in 1941 to Vienna and Berlin in 1945, the recollections of these anti-tank gunners cover the vast expanses of the Eastern Front. The vivid personal narratives selected for this book give a fascinating insight into the firsthand experience of anti-tank warfare seventy years ago.

Their testimony reveals how lethal, rapid, small–scale actions – gun against tank – were fought, and it shows how such isolated actions determined the outcome of the massive offensives and counter-offensives that characterized the struggle on the Eastern Front.

They recall the hazards, confusion and speed of combat, but they also provide details of the day-to-day routines of campaign life as part of a small, tightly knit team of men whose task was to take on the most feared tank armies of the day. Panzer Killers is a valuable addition to the series of graphic eyewitness accounts of every aspect of the Red Army's war on the Eastern Front published by Pen & Sword. It records the contribution of one of the neglected branches of the Soviet armed forces – the anti-tank men – who played a vital role in the complex military machine that stemmed the Germans' advance, then forced them back to Berlin.

This book is a great introduction to Russian anti-tank artillery operations. Panzer Killers is skilfully written and combines many historical military events which took place on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945, along with reminiscences' from the very men who were there. Like the veterans who are no longer with us from World War One, the experiences of Russian soldiers on the Eastern Front in World War Two should be documented for future generations before it's too late.

Stand Easy blog

An interesting title this one, tackling a particular subject by using each chapter to carry the story of a different veteran of the Soviet anti-tank units in WW2.  The author is a keeper of a Russian website called I Remember, dedicated to recording the oral history of WW2 veterans.  The book contains material recorded between 2001 and 2006, covering 11 veterans, all of whom served in the Soviet Anti-tank units of WW2. These stories make for some fascinating reading. 

I found this a very interesting read, and learnt more about the veterans experiences.  In battle or close by, they went through a life changing time, and we are lucky to be able to read their stories, as clearly many who were with them did not survive to be able to recount the events.


This excellent book deals with the real life stories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). This account is not a 'flag waving' stories of how great the Soviet Union was, but to the point, gritty and realistic. If the Eastern Front and the Soviet Army is your interest, this book will speak volumes.

Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy

A wonderful book, helping us understand the daily lives of soldiers at the front of the Red Army. Goes away from the bluster of most books from the Western view of the Eastern Front. It is written from the PoV of the survivors, and so the skilful and lucky ones, but their dry realism gives an inkling of what and why they Soviet soldier fought.

I am lucky enough to have been in Ukraine in the late 1960s and met veterans but Drabkin has got more narrative from them than I did.

A must read.

Mike Knight

About Artem Drabkin

Artem Drabkin is a Russian author and historian who has written widely about the Second World War, focusing on the experiences of Russian soldiers and snipers. His published works include Panzer Killers: Anti-Tank Warfare on the Eastern FrontBarbarossa andThe Retreat to Moscow and T-34 in Action. He is also the creator of I Remember, a website devoted to recording the oral history of the soldiers and airmen who fought on the Eastern Front.

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