The Tank Lords (Hammer's Slammers Series)by David Drake
COLONEL ALOIS HAMMER. He welded five thousand individual killers into a weapon more deadly than any other in the human universe. When a planetary government faces unfriendly natives, guerrilla insurgents, or ruthless terrorists, they do the only thing that might save them -- the hire Hammer's Slammers, the toughest, meanest bunch of mercs who ever wrecked a world… See more details below
COLONEL ALOIS HAMMER. He welded five thousand individual killers into a weapon more deadly than any other in the human universe. When a planetary government faces unfriendly natives, guerrilla insurgents, or ruthless terrorists, they do the only thing that might save them -- the hire Hammer's Slammers, the toughest, meanest bunch of mercs who ever wrecked a world for pay. Known throught the galaxy for their cold, ruthless ferocity, the men of Colonel Hammer's indomitable armored brigade routinely accept impossible missions. Again and again, they go up against overwhelming forces, or fight a two-front war against ferocious opposition, all without atomizing their civilian employers. Can they keep doing it? Not if they abide byt he rules of civilized warfare...but nobody ever said the Hammers were nice. Even when their chances are not good -- those who oppose them have no chance at all!
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I love this book, one of the stories "Rolling Hot" is my favorite Hammer's Slammer yarn. This isn't your typical Space Opera, but real, gritty, high tech description of future warfare. Some authors would like us to believe war will be sanitized in the future, nice and tidy. Well compare the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan with conflict 1000 years ago and you'll see the weapons might have gotten better, but the men and women wielding those weapons haven't! Drake's first hand experience of war and knowledge of history combine to create fiction that demonstrates the truth of mankind's fighting spirit (good and bad), and the tools we create to fight with.
This book is another in the genre of 'Future Warriors'. It is not even close to the quality of the Dorsai books by Gordon R. Dickson and the Bolo books by Keith Laumer. Apparently Drake has written with S.M. Stirling on some other, (better?) books. He can't seem to do it by himself, here. The stories within were clearly not edited, but were run through a spell-checker, as there are correctly spelled words that are clearly out of place. For example, 'cloud' was used where 'could' should have been. If that were the only problem, I might like the book. The writing is a little confusing, especially when he takes 3 pages to describe the layout of a battle. Either give us a picture or leave out some detail! The first two stories in the book are entertaining, but it goes steeply downhill from there.