The Spectrum has published a review of the new book by Oscar Gilbert and Romain Cansiere, Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa. This book was published earlier this year by Casemate. Oscar Gilbert is the author of several books, with a focus on US Marine Corps armor.
Book Review excerpt:
Charlie Mason’s tank was inching its way toward a Japanese pillbox when incoming machine-gun fire sprayed his M4A2 Sherman, he remembered, “like hail on a tin roof.”
Mason’s tank, the CONGA, was part of Charlie Company, 1st Corps Medium Tank Battalion. Its job was to silence enemy strongpoints that acted as scythes against the lightly armed Marines invading the beaches of Tarawa.
After a bit of cat and mouse, CONGA fired and obliterated the Japanese pillbox. The victory, however, was short-lived. Later that day, CONGA was knocked out of action.
So it went for armor on Tarawa during World War II.
In the new book Tanks in Hell: A Marine Corps Tank Company on Tarawa(Casemate, $34.95), authors Oscar E. Gilbert and Romain Cansiere paint a vivid description of combat inside what was often referred to as “steel coffins.” And while writing about the fighting in the Gilbert Islands is not uncommon, focusing a book specifically on a single tank company on Tarawa is.