In this story of men, machines and missions, Kenneth Estes tells how the U.S. Marine Corps came to acquire the armored fighting vehicle and what it tried to do with it. The longtime Marine tank officer and noted military historian offers an insider's view of the Corps's acquisition and use of armored fighting vehicles over the course of several generations, a view that illustrates the characteristics of the Corps as a military institution and of the men who have guided its development. His book examines the planning, acquisition, and employment of tanks, amphibian tractors, and armored cars and explores the ideas that led to the fielding of these weapons systems along with the doctrines and tactics intended for them, and their actual use in combat.
Drawing on archival resources previously untouched by researchers and interviews of both past and serving crewmen, Estes presents a unique and unheralded story that is filled with new information and analysis of the armored vehicles, their leaders, and the men who drove these steel chariots into battle. Such authoritative detail and documentation of the decisions to acquire, develop, and organize armored units in the U.S. Marine Corps assures the book's acknowledgement as a definitive reference.