Tank Rider: Into the Reich with the Red Army

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The dramatic memoirs of a Russian officer on the Eastern Front.

The defeat of Germany from the perspective of the Red Army.

Honest and irrepressibly frank, Bessonov's dramatic memoirs reveal just what it was like to fight on the Eastern Front. There he played a part in this clash of titans and he witnessed the shuddering collapse of the Third Reich.

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Overview

Now in paperback!

The dramatic memoirs of a Russian officer on the Eastern Front.

The defeat of Germany from the perspective of the Red Army.

Honest and irrepressibly frank, Bessonov's dramatic memoirs reveal just what it was like to fight on the Eastern Front. There he played a part in this clash of titans and he witnessed the shuddering collapse of the Third Reich.

The cataclysmic battle of Kursk in 1943 put an end to Hitler's hopes of victory on the Eastern Front and it was Bessonov's first battle. From then on the Germans were forced into a long, bitter retreat that ended in the ruins of Berlin in 1945. At the forefront of the drive to expel the Germans from the Soviet Union, and push on to the gates of the Reich's capital, were men like Evgeni Bessonov. A tank rider, and 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 Nazi Germany.

Tank Rider is the atmospheric memoir of Evgeni Bessonov telling of his years of service in the vanguard of the Red Army and daily encounters with the German foe. He brings large-scale battles alive, recounts the sniping and skirmishing which tried and tested soldiers on both sides and narrates the overwhelming tragedy and horror of apocalyptic warfare on the Eastern Front.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781932033489
  • Publisher: Casemate Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    a Russian officer's spare account of the invasion of Germany in WWII

    These memoirs written a few years after the author's 50-year career in the Russian Army 'are a look back at the life of a typical member of the Red Army' in World War II. Bessonov was an officer in a tank detachment but lower-ranking field officers such as he was at the time were out in front of their men in advances and engagements. The memoir is shorn of any heroics or sentimentality. Nor does its author focus on himself any more than necessary to make for a sense of continuity or set the scene for the reader. The style is like an officer's 'after-action report'--in this case one long report--going little beyond what happened to be read by others for purposes of intelligence-gathering or a comprehensive military history. 'We came under fire from three German assault guns, which turned out to be some 50 metres from us. We had to take cover behind trees, as the assault guns fired at almost very single soldier.' For the reader, such spareness makes in seem he is almost participating in the action. In battle, there's no time or occasion to think or feel really--only sheer action and reaction, the way the former officer writes. Bessonov joined the Red Army at the climatic 1943 battle of Kursk dooming Nazi Germany to eventual defeat on the Eastern Front. But it wasn't until two years later that the author and his tank crews and accompanying infantrymen victoriously enterered Berlin. In his plainly-written, though gripping war memoir, Bessonov brings the reader every step of the conflict-filled way.

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