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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

How An American Tank Gunner Successfully Dueled with Panzers in World War Two

00:00 01:02:59
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When Clarence Smoyer is assigned to the gunner’s seat of his Sherman tank, his crewmates discover that the gentle giant from Pennsylvania has a hidden talent: He’s a natural born shooter.
At first, Clarence and his fellow crews in the legendary 3rd Armored Division—“Spearhead”—thought their tanks were invincible.
Then they met the German Panther, with a gun so murderous it could shoot through one Sherman and into the next. Soon a pattern emerged: The lead tank always gets hit.
After Clarence sees his friends cut down breaching the West Wall and holding the line in the Battle of the Bulge, he and his crew are given a weapon with the power to avenge their fallen brothers: the Pershing, a state-of-the-art “super tank,” one of twenty in the European theater.
But with it came a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack.
In this episode I'm speaking with Adam Makos, author of “Spearhead.” It's the story of an American tank gunner’s journey into the heart of the Third Reich, where he will meet destiny in an iconic armor duel—and forge an enduring bond with his enemy.
February 27, 2020
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to scottrankphd.com.
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