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                                                           Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle     The historical fiction genre is not...

Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle

Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle

Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle

                                                           Team Yankee by Harold W. Coyle


 The historical fiction genre is not one that I am well versed in. I usually like my history dry and full of actual facts, and not filled in with extras. However, there are a few historical fiction books that have really had a grip on me, and that I still reread from time to time. Allan Eckert's series of books on the colonial era are one example. Another was a book released in 1985 and is called 'Team Yankee'. It is a fictionalized account of World War III through the eyes of U.S. tankers in Germany trying to stop the Soviet onslaught. This is a review of the revised and updated version just released by Casemate Publishing. The book uses the strategic scenario from Gen. Sir John Hackett's book 'The Third World War'. 'The Third World War'  is another excellent historical fiction book.

 I will start with one caveat: this is a review of the physical book. There seems to be a lot of problems with the Kindle release of the book and its transcribing. Amazon has been working on trying to correct the issue.

  In this book you will see the war through the eyes of Captain Sean Bannon, and what he and his team experience through the first two weeks of WWIII. Bannon is in charge of Team Yankee, which is a tank company attached to the 3d battalion of the 78th Infantry. 

  The book starts with a Soviet attack in Europe. It really doesn't go into the background at all, but it doesn't need to. This book is really about low level combat, not sweeping strategic plans and options. It even goes into the effect the Soviet attack has on the wives and families of the American troops stationed in Germany. It was written by an actual VMI graduate who attended staff college and served with the tanks in Germany in the 1970s. 

  Captain Bannon is faced with the Soviet and Warsaw Pact invasion of Germany that loomed over the US forces in West Germany for forty-five years. It is a tale of military muscle versus finesse. The Soviets would have a much larger force to use in their invasion, while Nato's available forces were much smaller. It shows (as do non-fiction books) that the US equipment and training was very advanced compared to the Soviet of the time. The different real wars around the world have always shown this when Nato and Soviet tanks, etc. have been matched up by other countries. The book provides maps of the different engagements to help the reader get his bearings on what is happening in the story.

  It is not only about warfare, but also shows the human side of war. The book shows the casualties, and sometimes the human frailties, that may not show up until put under a mountain of stress. You actually care about the characters and are proud of their exploits and saddened by their losses. The book has a few moments of seeing the war from the other side. You will not see many, but the book is really about the lives, battles, and sacrifices that the US company goes through.

  This book has been updated and re-released, with attention given to the historical plans and strategies that are now available to the author after the fall of the Soviet Union.

  Join me in reading about Captain Bannon and his troops' exploits during this 'what if' moment in time. Thankfully, most of us were completely unaware of how many times during this era that the ball  did almost fall. 

 The book is a product of the 1980s and shows it. It was a time that the people in the US started to have pride in the nation and the armed forces again. Therefore, the book might be a little 'gung ho' for some peoples' tastes. It is not meant to be a blueprint for history, but a plausible outcome for what might have been. In this the author succeeds wonderfully, and actually makes you care about Team Yankee and its soldiers.


Author: Harold W. Coyle
Publisher: Casemate
Date of Review: 9/1/2016


1 comment :

  1. If you are a fan of the book, I'd invite you to take a look at Battlefront's Team Yankee miniatures game which brings the events of the book onto the table top.