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  • Spearhead

  • An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II
  • Written by: Adam Makos
  • Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
  • Length: 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (124 ratings)

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Spearhead

Written by: Adam Makos
Narrated by: Johnathan McClain
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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today Best Seller

“A band of brothers in an American tank...Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury.” (The Wall Street Journal)

From the author of the international best seller A Higher Call comes the riveting World War II 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.

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 20 in the European theater.

But with it comes a harrowing new responsibility: Now they will spearhead every attack. That’s how Clarence, the corporal from coal country, finds himself leading the US Army into its largest urban battle of the European war, the fight for Cologne, the “Fortress City” of Germany.

Battling through the ruins, Clarence will engage the fearsome Panther in a duel immortalized by an army cameraman. And he will square off with Gustav Schaefer, a teenager behind the trigger in a Panzer IV tank, whose crew has been sent on a suicide mission to stop the Americans.

As Clarence and Gustav trade fire down a long boulevard, they are taken by surprise by a tragic mistake of war. What happens next will haunt Clarence to the modern day, drawing him back to Cologne to do the unthinkable: to face his enemy, one last time.

“A detailed, gripping account...the remarkable story of two tank crewmen, from opposite sides of the conflict, who endure the grisly nature of tank warfare.” (USA Today, four out of four stars)

©2019 Random House Audio (P)2019 Adam Makos

What the critics say

“A band of brothers in an American tank.... [Adam] Makos drops the reader back into the Pershing’s turret and dials up a battle scene to rival the peak moments of Fury.... Brilliant...[a] gripping action narrative...a thoroughly enjoyable battle story, and a tribute to the everyman warrior.” (The Wall Street Journal)

“[Spearhead is] a compelling, exciting adventure.... An in-the-moment re-creation of the Allied breakthrough of the West Wall into Nazi Germany by a remarkable cadre of tank crewmen of the 3rd Armored Division.” (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Spearhead

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SACRIFICE 😥

Our freedom was to costly. You all sacrifice so much, to many senseless death's... THANK YOU 🙏🙏 even that is not enough for what you've all endured....everyone in WW2

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Wow just Wow

I found the footage of that Pershing and the Panther years ago I couldn't even imagine the luck of running into the hole story!!! Mastepiece

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Superb storytelling AND it's true!

Real young men in a very real war. This book will give you an appreciation of tank warfare better than any other way. Graphic tragic and awe inspiring...all at the same time!

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Inspiring story of how we can work though our differences

I happily listened to this book. Learning about the trauma and turmoil that the poor young men suffered on both side of the catastrophe we call WW2. And as enthralling as it was, I can not speak enough about the last 1.5 hours of the book. In a time when all wear masks I had to work to keep myself from smiling as the characters were turned into human men who delighted in the small things offered to them in times of turmoil. And listening to the ending and the bonding that 2 enemies can have decades after conflict shows that all men are human and what they suffer through and be looked aside when presented with the other men who suffered on the other side of their conflict.

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Riveting Account

This book will undoubtedly come to be regarded as one of the most engaging, interesting, heart-rending and eloquent accounts of the lives of two soldiers in World War II ever to be written.

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best book yet

I love this book how it was written and how it was read. I also love the fact that I could find videos that were mentioned 10 out of 10 would recommend

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Excellent performance and book. A very enjoyable experience.

I worried that this would be a ‘fluffy’ experience, but I feel it had the great style and emotion, giving me a view of what soldier went through in WWII.

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Fantastic, powerful story

Great story, I really liked how the author brought all the storeies together of these brave men. This book has given me a different perspective of how I thought WW2 might have been.

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Great story

I’ve listened to.quite a few first person accounts of WW2 and Vietnam war veterans. This is one of the best. The inclusion of the stories of other veterans from those same battles including German soldiers is unique. A lot of investigation went into writing this book. A touching narration of the meeting between combatants almost 70 years after the fact was a great way to conclude the book. My other favorite from this genre is The Forgotten Soldier, by Guy Sajer.

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  • MEW
  • 2021-04-17

Another good book from Adam Makos

Excellent, similar in some ways to Higher Call (my favourite from Adam Makos). Narrator was quite good.

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