Spearhead

An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II
Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
5 out of 5 stars (2,230 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today Best Seller

“A band of brothers in an American tank...Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury.” (The Wall Street Journal) 

From the author of the international best seller A Higher Call comes the riveting World War II story of an American tank gunner’s journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel - and forge an enduring bond with his enemy.

When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner’s seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He’s a natural-born shooter. 

At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division - “Spearhead” - thought their tanks were invincible. Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit. 

After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art “super tank”, one of 20 in the European theater. 

But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That’s how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the US Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the “Fortress City” of Germany. 

Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans. 

As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time. 

“A detailed, gripping account...the remarkable story of two tank crewmen, from opposite sides of the conflict, who endure the grisly nature of tank warfare.” (USA Today, four out of four stars) 

©2019 Random House Audio (P)2019 Adam Makos

Critic Reviews

“A band of brothers in an American tank.... [Adam] Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury.... Brilliant...[a] gripping action narrative...a thoroughly enjoyable battle story, and a tribute to the everyman warrior.” (The Wall Street Journal

“[Spearhead is] a compelling, exciting adventure.... An in-the-moment re-creation of the Allied breakthrough of the West Wall into Nazi Germany by a remarkable cadre of tank crewmen of the 3rd Armored Division.” (Kirkus Reviews

“The tension, death, and courage that were everyday experiences for American tankers fill the pages of Makos’s book. This moving story of bravery and comradeship is an important contribution to WWII history that will inform and fascinate both the general reader and the military historian.” (Publishers Weekly

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An Exceptional Story

This Book was amazing, Adam Makos is an amazing author. At points in this book it made me almost want to cry thinking of what our soldiers went through defending liberty in a place far from home. Clarence Smoyer and his tank crew as well as the other characters in this book deserve our undying gratitude for all that they gave for us. This is an amazing book that is definitely a must read/ listen.

13 people found this helpful

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Excellent

Spearhead is the best historical story of WW II I have heard and recommend it with out hesitation.

18 people found this helpful

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Powerful, different and captivating

Yes, the Fury-like battle sequences are riveting (and, unlike in Fury, 100% true), but the tender examination of war and its effects on absolutely everyone in the last third of the book is some of the most powerful work I've ever read on any subject.

One last thing to mention, I listened to the book on Audible and the narration by Johnathan McClain is captivating. Listen to it in your car and you'll find yourself parked somewhere unable to turn it off.

3 people found this helpful

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the greatest book

never have I been so moved by a story what these brave men went through and survived is truly unbelievable. that the story is true makes it even better. great flow by the author and if this book isnt made into movie, Hollywood is missing out.

3 people found this helpful

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Phenomenal !!

Couldn’t quit listening. One of the best world war two books out there. I highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent WW2 History Lesson

This is the type of story I love to hear. It’s a tale of machines, the troops that operate them and men who support and are protected by them working as a team.

3 people found this helpful

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Highly recommended

Perhaps the best firsthand account of a common WWII soldier I’ve listened to since “The Old Breed”.

2 people found this helpful

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Well documented

Like band of brothers in a tank. So awesome to get these true stories and remember those that sacrificed so much. And you’re not left hanging at the end.

2 people found this helpful

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Best book I ever read

fantastic book. I really enjoyed the narrator so much so I'm trying to find books that Jonathan McClain has narrated. I will buy every book Adam makos rights absolutely wonderful

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

The story itself was great and the narrator did a wonderful job presenting it to us.

2 people found this helpful