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Red Army Tank Commander (Hardback)

At War in a T-34 on the Eastern Front

WWII Russia & the Eastern Front Tanks Military

By Vasily Bryukhov
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 218
ISBN: 9781781590232
Published: 8th April 2013

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What was it like to command a T-34 tank on the Eastern Front during the Second World War? How were tank operations organized and carried out, what was the actual experience of combat, and what were the qualities that made the difference between success and failure - and what were the chances of survival? Vasiliy Pavlovich Bryukhov's vivid, detailed and gripping memoir of his wartime service gives a fascinating and authentic insight into these questions. Also it provides an accurate, unsentimental record of the day-to-day life of a tankman whose unit fought in the forefront of the Red Army throughout the conflict across the western Soviet Union and into eastern Europe. His first-hand eyewitness account is a memorable personal story, and it gives a powerful insight into the reality of tank warfare seventy years ago.

Vasiliy Pavlovich Bryukhov was born in 1924 in Osa, In April 1943, after graduation from tank school, he was given command of a T-34 tank, and he took part in the Battle of Kursk. He served continuously until the end of the war, fighting through Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania and Hungary to Austria. In one action his crew destroyed nine German panzers and in another he led the vanguard of his tank brigade through German lines to capture bridges and cut off the German retreat. In 1944 he was promoted to battalion commander. For his actions at the end of 1944 and 1945 he was nominated for the title Hero of the Soviet Union, but this nomination was not fulfilled until 1995 when he was given the title of a Hero of the Russian Federation for the courage and gallantry he displayed in battle during the Great Patriotic War .

This is an excellent book covering the service of a Russian officer who commanded tanks during WW2. In all weather conditions and despite all handicaps the tanks rolled onward toward Berlin. Vasily Bryukhov describes his life as a tank man from training to deadly fighting against the Germans. He was one of the more successful commanders and went on to a post war career as well, but the reader might well wonder how he survived to do so. The training was hard and rather basic to say the least, with Cadets nearly starved for the lack of food. The lack of food is a common story with many of the survivors of WW2 but his problems started even pre-war. Thrown into battle he describes things warts and all. The T34 tank had its problems and he certainly describes them along with its fighting capacity. Bryukhov mentions many of those who were friends or those he was assigned to fight with, and one cannot help but be struck by the fact that so few survived more than a short time at the front. The sheer chaos occurring in the stories leaves one in no doubt that he is giving an accurate description of what he had to endure, because anyone making a story up would certainly have had things run more smoothly. I was impressed that he pulled no punches about the commander, the political officers and how the army ran during the stress of war. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know what it was really like to be in the front lines in battle on the Eastern Front.

Mal Wright Author. British and Commonwealth Warships WW2 Camouflage.

I really enjoyed this book which was translated into English by Vladimir Kroupnik. The way Vasiliy Bryukhov talks frankly about his life as a Russian T-34 tank commander made this book gripping and easy to read. The reader will find themselves forming clear mental images of the well-described characters, this will in-turn carry the reader forward as they push on through the bloody Eastern Front in World War Two.

Stand Easy Blog

An interesting and enlightening story that should be read by any student of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45). Equally, it can be recommended to the more general enthusiast who is interested in tank warfare as the narrative is both detailed and fluent at the same time.

The Armourer

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

Translated from the Russian origional, this is one man's story. Starting from his youth in Osa, one of a fairly large family wh had their own hardshops to get through in the pre-war years, he graduated from tank school in 1943, in time to be a commander of a T-34 during the battle of the Kursk salliet.

A fascinating account, he simply tells what it was like at the time, wiout trying to over-dramatise things, or glorify himsef or any other. An interesting read, giving a good insite to what it ment to be Red Army Tank Commander in WW2, just as the title suggests.

www.militarymodelling.com/

Vasiliy Pavlovich Bryukhov's vivid, detailed and gripping memoir of his wartime service gives a fascinating and authentic insight. An accurate, unsentimental record of the day-to-day life of a tankman. Graphic first-hand account of tank warfare on the Eastern Front. Accurate depiction of small-scale, lethal clashes with enemy tanks and anti-tank guns.

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