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Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II

Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II
Autor: Belton Cooper, Stephen E. Ambrose
Data publikacji: 2003-07-00
ISBN: 9780891418146
Język: angielski
Wymiary: 17.5 x 10.7 x 2.7 cm
Oprawa: miękka
Liczba stron: 394
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Opis produktu:

As American tanks raced across France, one fact became immediately clear: One-on-one, the Sherman tank with its 75 mm main gun was no match for the more heavily armored and heavily-gunned German tanks that it faced across the battlefield.

YA-In a down-to-earth style, Death Traps tells the compelling story of one man's assignment to the famous 3rd Armored Division that spearheaded the American advance from Normandy into Germany. Cooper served as an ordinance officer with the forward elements and was responsible for coordinating the recovery and repair of damaged American tanks. This was a dangerous job that often required him to travel alone through enemy territory, and the author modestly recalls his service with pride, downplaying his role in the vast effort that kept the American forces well equipped and supplied. Readers will not gain any great insights on the causes of the war or the reasons why a campaign went the way it did; however, they will be left with an indelible impression of the importance of the support troops and how dependent combat forces were on them.-Robert Burnham, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA


Death Traps: The Survival of an American Armored Division in World War II is an unusual addition to the growing pile of memoirs being published as WW II veterans age and then die. It is not written by a soldier who was in the thick of combat and has brave tales to tell, nor is it the story of someone in command, explaining and justifying his decisions. Instead, Cooper was a junior officer in charge of vehicle maintenance for the 3rd Armored Division as it fought its way from Normandy to Central Germany. He was always right behind the front lines, but seldom in combat, though frequently exposed to sniper and artillery fire. The main revelation of Death Traps is obvious from its title: the famous M4 Sherman tank which was the mainstay of American armor during the war was completely inadequate when facing German tanks. American commanders, especially Gen. Patton, chose to continue producing the Sherman even when they knew it could not face German tanks and antitank guns, and American tank crews paid a heavy price for this mistake. Cooper has done his homework. Unlike many war memoirs, he has spent time reading the general histories in recent years, and gets the background information right when he discusses the pursuit across France, the invasion of Germany, and the Battle of the Bulge. But the most important thing here is the details: how the Sherman worked, how maintenance was carried out under harsh conditions, and, especially, what happened when a high-velocity 75 mm or 88 mm shell hit an M4.


Belton Y. Cooper is president of the Herman Williams Company in Birmingham, Alabama, where he lives with his wife, Rebecca.


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