American Knights: The Untold Story of the Men of the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion (General Military) - Victor Failmezger


Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley.


                This is better than the movie Fury.


                It isn’t Hollywood.


                This is a good complete book.  The bits at the end are bits that many authors would leave out.  Failmezger includes not only brief information about the men but also a Roll of Honor and a poem written by one of the men.  Furthermore, there is detail technical information about the Battalion.


                The story of the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion is told though flat out historical writing but incorporates letters and interviews.  The use of the personal letters gives a level of detail that is at once touching and funny.  There are letters about loss, but there are also letters with humor, like re-decorating the tank.


                I didn’t know anything about the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion before reading this book, and Failmezger does an excellent job of guiding a newbie to tank information though the book.  Which is good, I have seen quite a few tank battalion histories on my brother’s bookshelf that are very technical.  While this does have a technical side, Failmezger doesn’t presume that everyone is tech-head.  Failmezger takes the reader from the beginning up until the end of the war.  There is a different view of D-Day and the push into France.  There is Africa and Italy.  It is comprehensive.


                Failmezger is able to keep the follow going, and if the history isn’t nail biting gripping, it is a compelling and somewhat engrossing read.