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Tank Driver

With the 11th Armored from the Battle of the Bulge to VE Day
Narrated by: J. Scott Bennett
Length: 6 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (15 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tank Driver is the story of a young man’s combat initiation in World War II. Based on letters home, the sparse narrative has the immediacy of on-the-spot reporting. Ted Hartman was a teenager when he was sent overseas to drive a Sherman tank into combat to face the desperate German counterattack known as the Battle of the Bulge. Hartman gives a riveting account of the shifting tides of battle and the final Allied breakout. He tells about the concentration camps, the spectacle of the defeated Germans, and the dramatic encounter with Russian soldiers in Austria that marked combat’s end. This is a vivid, personal account of some of the most dramatic fighting of World War II. 

The book is published by Indiana University Press. The audiobook is published by University Press Audiobooks. 

"A well-balanced, often moving look at one man’s war and every man’s war." (World War II)

©2003 J. Ted Hartman (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

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World War 2 from the eyes of a soldier

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

For the most, I have only read and seen documentaries that cover World War 2 on a large scale. Tank Driver is purely the experiences of Ted Hartman at 19, and gives you the perspective of how a single soldier saw the war. This is a great first hand account of the end of the war from an Americans perspective. The audio book not only covers the battle of the bulge to VE day, but also the training Hartman went through and some time after the war. For me the most interesting part was Hartman's accounts of postwar Germany and revisiting locations years later. If your looking for a audio book specifically about the battle of the bulge as a whole or World War 2 major event, this might not be for you. However if you are looking for an individuals perspective, and what they went through in the war, this is a great listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding First Person Narrative on War

I received this audiobook free at my request and am leaving this review voluntarily.

Amazing memoir on war by J. Ted Hartman and his experiences as a tank driver near the end of WWII. I enjoy first person experiences, and I feel nothing gives us a clearer picture of the war experience short of being there than the words of the men and women who served. It's very interesting hearing the author's take on his experience. J. Scott Bennett did an excellent job on the narration of Tank Driver, giving voice to Hartman's memoir, and holding the listener's interest throughout the duration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great WW2 Story

This book was an interesting account of a tank driver in World War II. I could only imagine the traumas that he witnessed and just what it would be like for just one hour in his shoes!

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Great documentation, Lacks appeal of flowing story

The details and recording of dates are outstanding. I enjoy military history, and this account filled a gap of what tank platoons were feeling and experiencing. Overall, I could not listen to it for long periods of time because it is not really laid out like a story, but rather like a text book with some of the authors feelings injected throughout. I am grateful to have listened for the information, but I don't think I would turn to this book for entertainment the way I do with other military biographies.

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A riveting tale told from the perspective Of a tank driver

There are tons of books about the history of the world wars...what makes this one stand out? The viewpoint. It’s not an overview of the war told from the outside looking in. Theo is told from the viewpoint of the man behind the wheel of the tank. The view is refreshing and the images will be etched into your mind through the frank yet vivid descriptions of what he saw. From burning men leaping from vehicles to bodies in concentration camps stacked like cordwood. These are things men should never have to see especially men so young. While I enjoy history especially that of the great wars. I recommend this not just for the enjoyment of learning more of the war but for the imagery and viewpoint...well written and well narrated. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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a interesting book on a personal story during WW2

This is a book written by a member of the greatest generation. I would not characterise it as a war story but more along the lines of a autobiographical novel based of a young man's experiences going through the second world war from 1943 until the end

The author as A 18 year old young man enlisted in the United States Army right out of High school. He was I initially trained as a clerk but soon after was trained as the Driver in the tank crew

I found the depictions of the people the most interesting; especially the post war. From late 1945. The author travels quite a bit it seems in this period and I found his perceptions of the German people and the French interesting as well as his depiction of the devastation in Europe

I was given this book to review by the author. And these are my impressions of the book after listening to it twice..

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A good ground level perspective on the war

*I received this Audiobook for free for the purpose of review*

I enjoy a good history book, especially one with a new perspective, and this was one of those books.

For people looking to get into WWII history, this is a fairly down to earth perspective from a soldier in that war. It doesn't get into major politics or grand strategies, but it does show what the day to day could be like, and touches on some of the major points in the war.

For those who have studied WWII history quite a bit, it still offers a fairly unique look at the war when most books tend to focus on grand strategy and movements of whole groups across the continents.

The author also does a decent job (as far as I know) of offering both positive and negative stories, and doesn't make themselves out to be glorious heroes, but shares some of the less laudable actions of their unit.

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Nice

Very enjoyable....great story and great narration! Would recommend to all. Give it a listen!

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A 19 year old’s experiences in WW II

Tank Driver: With the 11th Armored from the Battle of the Bulge to VE Day – June 4, 2003, by J. Ted Hartman.

This slim volume (6+ hours audio or about 200 pages) is the story of J. Ted Hartman, a 19 year old in the U.S. Army during the last months of the Allied push into Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. The writer is not a polished historian like Rick Atkinson or Stephen Ambrose, but that’s the charm of this book: an almost folksy and relatively unpolished story of this one young man’s experience in the war. It mostly spans the short period between his post-high school enlistment to a short post-war stint as a member of the occupying Army in Europe before his rotation home. It also includes remembrances of the war and fallen comrades from the author’s later years. The book’s minimal humor came from the author’s resigned attitude to the Army’s repeated breaking of promises to Hartman and his fellow soldiers: the military’s shifting needs meant that no matter what had been promised, the Army repeatedly changed its mind, not to mention the lives of young enlisted men. Having read many historical accounts of warfare, including several dozen about various aspects of World War II, this account is refreshing in its total lack of pretense about providing anything other than one person’s experiences. There’s no broad historical context, no 30,000 foot perspective on the war or its meaning, and no broad conclusions about mankind. The closest the author gets to universal truths are his reflections about the brutality of war (and those who perpetuate it), the horror of seeing friends killed, and the kindness of strangers. Hartman’s story reads like a diary, albeit one that has been tidied up a bit before publication. And that’s its strength: one man’s experiences uncluttered by extraneous detail or faux-intellectual drivel. His raw focus is almost exclusively on what he did, what he saw, and what he experienced—the mundane, the savage, and the simple joys of living day to day while others died around him. This book, if sandwiched between weightier chronicles of war, provides a pleasant respite, helping the reader understand an individual’s experience that is often lost or missing when reading about military battles and campaigns. NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • Helen
  • 08-09-19

great book

Tank Driver is the story of a young man’s combat initiation in World War II.
I nearly give up on this book at the start a bit boring abut stay with it gets so much better

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  • J Smith
  • 08-02-19

“So much for the word of the army”

I struggled with the first 30 minute introduction as it’s just a list of facts and I started to worry, but get past that and it soon turns into a really interesting memoir. I really enjoyed hearing his story and Scott does a great job telling it for us.
This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.