Spearhead : the World War II odyssey of an American tank gunner

by Makos, Adam,

Format: Print Book [2019]
Availability: On Order 6 copies
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Summary
From the New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call comes the riveting World War II story of an American tank gunner's journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel--and forge an enduring bond with his enemy.

When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner's seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He's a natural-born shooter.

At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division--"Spearhead"--thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit.

After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art "super tank," one of twenty in the European theater.

But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That's how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the U.S. Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the "Fortress City" of Germany.

Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans.

As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time.

Advance praise for Spearhead

"The tension, death, and courage that were everyday experiences for American tankers fill the pages of Makos's book. This moving story of bravery and comradeship is an important contribution to WWII history that will inform and fascinate both the general reader and the military historian." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[ Spearhead is] a compelling, exciting adventure . . . An in-the-moment re-creation of the Allied breakthrough of the West Wall into Nazi Germany by a remarkable cadre of tank crewmen of the 3rd Armored Division." --Kirkus Reviews
Contents
The gentle giant
Baptism
"Bubi"
The fields
The foray
Beyond the wall
Respite
The fourth tank
Hope
Something bigger
America's tiger
Two miles
Hunting
The fire department of the west
Going first
Victory or Siberia
The monster
The conquerors
The breakout
The American blitz
The fatherless
Family
The giant
The duel
Getting home
The last battle.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Historian Makos (A Higher Call) draws on correspondence, secondary sources, and first-person testimony to tell the story of Cpl. Clarence Smoyer and his tank crew as they fought across Europe in the U.S. Army's 3rd Armored Division, nicknamed "Spearhead," in WWII. Losses in the division were so high that tankers stopped naming their vehicles because they were destroyed so quickly. Stroyer's crew was one of only 20 to be selected to man the new, top-secret M-26 Pershing tanks, and it was in an M-26 that the most famous of Smoyer's exploits took place during the 1945 battle for Cologne: a one-on-one showdown against a formidable Panther tank, reminiscent of an American West gunfight, on the streets-all caught on film. Makos also includes the experience of the Panther's German crewman Gustav Schafer-and Smoyer and Schafer's latter-day meeting in the city square in Cologne; they walk the street where their tanks faced each other 70 years before. The tension, death, and courage that were everyday experiences for American tankers fill the pages of Makos's book. This moving story of bravery and comradeship is an important contribution to WWII history that will inform and fascinate both the general reader and the military historian. Agent: David Vigliano, AGI Vigliano Literary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Smoyer, Clarence, -- 1923-
United States. -- Army. -- Armored Regiment, 32nd -- Biography.
United States. -- Army -- Officers -- Biography.
United States. -- Army.
World War (1939-1945)
Tank crews -- Biography.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Western Front.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany -- Tank warfare.
M26 (Tank) -- History.
Panther (Tank) -- History.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Germany -- Cologne.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental histories -- United States.
Armed Forces -- Officers.
M26 (Tank)
Military campaigns.
Panther (Tank)
Regimental histories.
Tank crews.
Tank warfare.
Germany.
Germany -- Cologne.
United States.
Western Front (World War (1939-1945))
Biography.
History.
Publisher New York :[2019]
Other Titles World War II odyssey of an American tank gunner
Language English
Description pages cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 9780804176729
0804176728
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