Tank Hero of Arras

Tim Strickland

The biography of "Strick", the tank hero of Arras who rose to become a general.
Publication date:
May 2021
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Contributor(s) :
Sir Laurence New
Illustration :
50 photographs
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612009858

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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• Strick had a unique military career and unique set of decorations - no other British general rose from private and had a comparable set of achievements
• He commanded no fewer than three armoured regiments in World War II. He inspired, led and developed the art of infantry-tank action
• He is a semi-legendary hero to many who served in the Royal Tank Regiment - serving with distinction in four battalions of the RTR
• He is also a legendary figure in the North Irish Horse, instrumental in their wartime success in Tunisia and commanding them in the battle of the Hitler Line, their foremost battle honour

Major-General Eugene Vincent Michael Strickland CMG, DSO, OBE, MM, CStJ, Star of Jordan - Strick - rose from penniless hardship to great military distinction. He was a tank man, a war hero who fought in France, North Africa and Italy during World War II, and whose name is revered even today among regiments that he commanded.

His is the extraordinary tale of a man who gained a Regular Commission in the Indian Army from Sandhurst, but resigned soon afterwards. After a series of intriguing adventures, he then enlisted as a private soldier in the Royal Tank Corps. In May 1940, he played a major part in the counterattack at Arras in May 1940, where two British infantry tank battalions held up the German advance for three days, enabling the success of the Dunkirk evacuation - and perhaps saving Britain from ultimate defeat in the process.

Strick's outstanding success as a troop-sergeant in France saw him immediately (re-)commissioned, and his rise to high command was then swift. He led the leading Squadron of the North Irish Horse with great distinction in Tunisia 1943, and later commanded North Irish Horse in its greatest battle, the breaking of the Hitler Line in Italy in 1944. This book focuses on his experience during World War II, drawing out the unique qualities required of leaders in close-combat battle; the particular demands of armoured infantry cooperation, and how an individual can make a success of such a rapid rise through the ranks during wartime.

This fine story of adventure and achievement is brought alive by Strick's remarkable correspondence - he wrote home to his family every second or third day throughout the war, except when action was too fierce to write - supplemented by the recollections of his comrades and years of archival research. More than a portrait of a gifted and morally courageous man, this biography also offers an insight into the arts of command and tactical control, and the difficulties of a family life fragmented by war.


As well as being a riveting military history, the well drawn out aspects of his superb style of leadership should give this book a place on the required reading list for commanders at every level in the British Army.
The Iron Duke Regimental Magazine

This is, on a number of counts, a remarkable book. […] This makes the book a valuable social history as well as a good read.
Fortress Study Group

The photos are a sublime bonus to the text as many have never been published before, again, great for the enthusiast with plenty of armour, and plenty showing the family and comrades that made Strick the great man he was. Thoroughly recommended, but beware, you may find yourself trying to read it in one sitting!
Scale Military Modelling International Magazine

It is a book I literally could not put down. It is superbly written, absolutely gripping and most highly recommended and will appeal to a very wide readership and not least those with an interest in the development and conduct of armoured warfare during the Second World War, the brutal reality of close quarter all arms fighting and in the challenges faced by military wives which will be very familiar to generations of servicemen and their families.
Military Historical Society Bulletin

This biography is written by Strick's son, who painstakingly gathered his father's papers and other records to create a detailed and interesting account of his wartime experiences. This book has excellent maps and several personal photos.
WWII History

It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read, and I recommend it strongly.
Pennant Magazine