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).