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Tank Rider

Into the Reich with the Red Army
Narrated by: P.J. Ochlan
Length: 9 hrs and 42 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Honest and irrepressibly frank, these are the dramatic memoirs of a Russian officer on the Eastern Front, where he played his part in a clash of titans and witnessed the shuddering collapse of the Third Reich.  

The cataclysmic battle of Kursk in 1943 put an end to Hitler's hopes of victory on the Eastern Front, and it was Evgeni Bessonov's first battle. From then on the Germans were forced into a long, bitter retreat that ended in the ruins of Berlin in 1945. An officer in an elite guards unit of the Red Army, Bessonov rode tanks from Kursk, through a Western Russia and Poland devastated by the Germans, and right into the heart of Nazi Germany.  

Tank Rider is the riveting memoir of Evgeni Bessonov telling of his years of service at the vanguard of the Red Army and daily encounters with the German foe. He brings large-scale battles to life, recounts the sniping and skirmishing that tried and tested soldiers on both sides, and narrates the overwhelming tragedy and horror of apocalyptic warfare on the Eastern Front.  

So much of the Soviet experience of World War II remains untold, but this memoir provides an important glimpse into some of the most decisive moments of this overlooked history.

©2003 Evgeni Bessonov (P)2018 Tantor

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  • brian
  • 07-10-18

Wish more about the Soviet POV was written.

Very well done. Makes me wish more audio books were made about the Soviet soldiers in the war.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-18

This guy was lucky.

It was amazing hearing first hand accounts of a frontline Russian infantry soldier. All the close calls kept me wondering if he was going to be able to go on. The only thing is he droned on a little too much about the boring stuff: troop movement, soldier names etc...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 23-10-18

Different

I did not know entirely what to expect from this book. My initial interest came from the fact that while I've read and seen countless memoirs from American, British, and German Soldiers from WWII, I hadn't read or really even seen any memoirs by Soviet Soldiers. In that sense, this book is valuable for the different perspective it brings.

The books author admits at the beginning of the book that he is no great writer - this is true - but I cannot help but feel that the translator has done him a disservice by not polishing some of the rougher pieces of writing. While I suspect it may be a more literal translation, it loses it's appeal by not being transformed rather than just translated to english.

I would hesitate to wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone simply looking for a light entertaining read or even a student of history. This book definitely fills a gap in memoirs of the second world war but is best read and understood that way - as a counternarrative to german eastern front memoirs.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Fredrik
  • 23-01-20

Decent book, not very well read.

interesting story but to many names. And the reader is very robotic, but I still recommend it.

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  • Adrian Carey
  • 03-01-20

Amazing 1st hand account of the russian front

Inspiring stories of leadership and determination. My only complaint is the narrator. The way he speaks sound more like a dry college lecture, rather than an amazing true story of wwII combat.

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  • federico
  • 17-12-19

Narrator put me off

The staccato rhythm, random pauses mid sentence and robot like monotone voice made the book very hard to listen to.

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  • Jeremy
  • 22-07-19

Disappointed

I have listened to a few World War 2 memoirs on Audible and both of them were very different than this one. The previous memoirs that I have listened/read came off more like a book that game accounts from time to time on a day to day basis.

This memoir just summarizes his combat experience and life history. I also didn't like that anyone that was introduced, it would tell if they did die in combat or when they eventually passed away.

I couldn't finish this and had to return it.

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  • Suburbanite Couple
  • 15-07-19

Really great history of Soviet WW2

I really enjoyed this I’m a fan of World War II history especially from Soviet side. You get a lot of up close and personal information about many famous engagements. The author doesn’t write with much detail, hardly any adjectives or adverbs are used. but I do think that makes the authenticity of his accounts stand out he’s just an average soldier.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-03-19

A very interesting, if rough, story

The account that Bessonov gives is quite interesting and focuses mostly on the front.

The writing quality is not the best(Bessonov admits this himself) but the content of this memoir more than makes up for it.

The reader is adequate, although not great.

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  • wbiro
  • 12-03-19

What Can You Do?

The book kept my interest all the way through. Somewhat amusing was the author's retort whe faced with minor injustices, command incompetence, and suicidal orders, "What can you do?"

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  • Mr Q.
  • 02-09-19

Great Story of Heroism

Evgeni Bessonov tells a great story of fighting hunger and the Germans in WWII. I enjoyed it alot and at the end you do feel you know his character.