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Tank Rider (Paperback)

Into The Reich With the Red Army

WWII All Frontline Books Tanks Types of Warfare

By Evgeni Bessonov
Frontline Books
Pages: 254
ISBN: 9781473897885
Published: 15th May 2017

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The climax of Operation Citadel, the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 involved as many as 6,000 tanks, 4,000 aircraft and 2 million fighting men. The largest tank battle of the Second World War, it had major consequences for Germany, being the last major offensive its forces launched in Russia. Hitler’s hopes of victory on the Eastern Front were brought crashing down, and from that moment on the Axis armies faced retreat in the face of the onslaught from Stalin’s Red Army.

One of the men in the vanguard of that Soviet offensive was Evgeni Bessonov – who had seen action for the first time at Kursk. A platoon leader and junior officer in an elite guards unit of the Red Army, Bessonov rode tanks from Kursk, through a western Russia and Poland devastated by the Germans, and right into the heart of the Third Reich – a journey that ended in the ruins of Berlin in 1945.

Honest and irrepressibly frank, in Tank Rider Bessonov dramatically his years of service at the vanguard of the Red Army and daily encounters with the German foe. He brings large-scale battles to life, recounts the sniping and skirmishing that tried and tested soldiers on both sides, and narrates the overwhelming tragedy and horror of apocalyptic warfare on the Eastern Front.

So much of the Soviet experience of the Second World War remains untold, but this memoir provides an important glimpse into some of the most decisive moments of this part of the world’s history.

These are the memoirs of a Red Army officer describing his experiences in the 4th Tank Army from Kursk to the fall of Berlin. – This is an honest account of soldiers at war, a unique view of the Russian soldier in WWII – Highly Recommended.

Read the complete review here.

Firetrench

About Evgeni Bessonov

Born in Moscow in 1923, Evgeni Bessonov spent almost a year in training before he was sent to the Bryansk Front in July 1943 to serve as a Platoon Commander in an infantry unit within the Soviet 4th Tank Army. His journey to the front was a challenge in itself as transport shortages forced him and his comrades to hitchhike and walk much of the distance between Moscow and the battle lines. He would survive the months of bitter fighting that lay ahead, including being wounded in the Battle for Berlin, to retell his experiences in Tank Rider.

Perfect Partner

Race for the Reichstag The 1945 Battle for Berlin (Paperback)

Tony Le Tissier's classic account of the battle for Berlin dispels the myths created by Soviet propaganda and describes in graphic detail the Red Army's final offensive against Nazi Germany – the race for the Reichstag. Among the soldiers of the Red Army, Berlin – and the Reichstag in particular - was seen as the victor's prize. Stalin had promised Berlin to Marshal Zhukov, but the latter's blundering in the preliminary battle forced a dramatic change of plan. Stalin chastened his subordinates, then allowed Marshal Koniev, Zhukov's rival, to launch one of his powerful tank armies at the city.…

By Tony Le Tissier

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