I’ve loved tanks since I was a little kid. I’ve never been a true tank geek, but I can recognize a lot of tanks and have my favourites. Like most kids (aged 4-90) I have always held the Tiger Tank in awe. So much so that I had to eventually make the pilgrimage to the Bovington Tank Museum with a good friend of mine. It was a five hour drive in each direction but the journey home seemed to take about an hour. That’s how much we were buzzing after a day looking at some of the most beautiful pieces of heavy metal ever made. T131 is the jewel in the crown of Bovington. Standing there and comparing it to the other WW2 tanks really lets you imagine how scary it must have been to face. Needless to say I was looking forward to reading this book about how it got there.
Like most audacious British plans in WW2 this one was the brainchild of Winston Churchill. Send a small group of engineers to Africa to steal a Tiger from the most elite tank crews in the world. I’m not going to spoil it for you but in you have ever read Commando War Stories in Pictures then this part of the book will really appeal to you.
This is not a work of fictional work, it is based on official documents and the journals of the soldiers involved. There are some really interesting references to both Bletchley Park and the Intelligence services during the war. Getting a sixty tonne tank back to London with every German u-boat and plane in the mediterranean north atlantic proved to be an adventure in it’s own right.
There were a couple of times when I got a tad bored of the back story elements of a personal nature but generally I found this a fascinating read. The parts where the British tank drivers compare how the Tiger runs to the Allied tanks they are used to were amazing to read. If you are a tank geek and have not read this then you must go out and buy it now.