Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front: An Interview with Robert Forczyk

Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1943-1945: Red Steamroller, the follow-up to the 2014 book Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt, hit the bookstores this past week.  We had the opportunity to do a Q&A with author Robert Forczyk, both about his experiences as a US Armor officer and his research on the WWII Eastern front.  Mr Forczyk is a prolific author, having penned 26 historical volumes for publishers such as Osprey and Pen & Sword.  His primary interests are Eastern Front WW2, Napoleonic era, the American Revolution and Roman warfare.  He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, University of Virginia and University of Maryland.  He retired after a 20 year career as an armor and military intelligence officer in the US Army, having served in the 2nd ID, 4th ID and 29th ID(L) and currently works as a consultant in the Washington D.C. area.  He is also a highly rated vine voice reviewer of military history books on Amazon.


How did you end up as an Armor officer? Can you give us a brief description of your career?

I was commissioned from ROTC in 1983. Armor was my second choice, after Military Intelligence. However, in the early 1980s the US Army wanted more armor officers, not MI. When I got to Fort Knox, I took the Cavalry Officer’s Basic Course.


You mention in the intro of “Schwerpunkt” that you commanded an M60 in Korea in 1986. Did you spend your entire career as a tanker in the M60?

I was trained on both M-60A3 TTS and M-1, but spent my whole time as a tanker in battalions equipped with the M60A3 TTS. At Fort Knox, we got to compare both tanks on a daily basis and I came away with the impression that the M1 is better suited to offensive warfare (speed, firepower, protection), but the M60A3 is probably a better defensive tank (better fuel economy with its diesel engine).

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Book Alert: Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1943-1945: Red Steamroller

In two weeks Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1943-1945: Red Steamroller  by Robert Forczyk will be released according to Amazon.  This is the follow-up to his book Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1941-1942: Schwerpunkt which came out in 2014.  Published by Pen and Sword, this new book is hardcover with 288 pages.  Robert Forczyk is a former US Army tanker and author of several books on WW2, a number of Osprey softcover books and also a prolific Amazon reviewer.  For those that don’t mind reading on electronic devices, it’s worth pointing out that the first book of this set is available for Kindle for a mere $1.99.

Publishers Description:

By 1943, after the catastrophic German defeat at Stalingrad, the Wehmacht’s panzer armies gradually lost the initiative on the Eastern Front. The tide of the war had turned. Their combined arms technique, which had swept Soviet forces before it during 1941 and 1942, had lost its edge. Thereafter the war on the Eastern Front was dominated by tank-led offensives and, as Robert Forczyk shows, the Red Army’s mechanized forces gained the upper hand, delivering a sequence of powerful blows that shattered one German defensive line after another.

His incisive study offers fresh insight into how the two most powerful mechanized armies of the Second World War developed their tank tactics and weaponry during this period of growing Soviet dominance. He uses German, Russian and English sources to provide the first comprehensive overview and analysis of armored warfare from the German and Soviet perspectives.

This major study of the greatest tank war in history is compelling reading.

Tank Warfare on the Eastern Front 1943-1945: Red Steamroller is available for pre-order at Amazon.