Reviews of “Tank Commander: From the Cold War to the Gulf and Beyond”

From United Kingdom


Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 5 January 2023

This is a well written insight into soldiering in the British Army from the 80’s onwards. Great that the author does not spare the military “system” their blushes and an enjoyable read. Illuminating for those who would like to know what life was like and how the Army worked in the Cold War/Gulf War and beyond, and entertaining for those who were in or around the Army at the time and remember the (mostly) good times.

Thoroughly recommend.

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Nicolas de Vega

Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 2 January 2023

This book is faithful to the reality of BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) soldiering in the 1980s. Stuart Crawford was one of the brighter stars in the firmament of the British Army’s officer corps of that era. He delivers an honest and, at times coruscating, personal account of his experiences. Anyone interested in what it was like to serve in BAOR in that time should buy it – as should anyone who ever had the privilege to serve in BAOR and pines nostalgically for their younger days. In a sense, it is a pity that Crawford never served in Northern Ireland, which was at the time the staple operational fare for most British soldiers, particularly the infantry. But he joined his regiment at a time when the army top brass stopped sending armoured and artillery regiments to Ulster in the infantry role, mindful of the risk of ‘skills-fade’ inherent in taking the more technical ‘teeth-arm’ units out of the line for a year at a time, when the armies of the Soviet Bloc remained a ‘clear and present danger’ to the West. On the other hand, Crawford was one of the select few to serve in the first Gulf War, which became one of the defining events for the British Army of the time (along with the Falklands campaign). If there is any criticism of the book, it lies in its rather understated style. Crawford might have done better to blow his own trumpet a bit more, as seems to be the fashion these days. It nevertheless provides an invaluable primary source for future historians of the period, much like the other book covering a similar historical waterfront (‘A Soldier in The Sand’) by Crawford’s contemporary, Simon Mayall. Where the latter seems to relish uncritically almost every aspect of his time in the British Army, Crawford strikes a more nuanced and reflective tone.
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Amazon Customer

Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 2 January 2023

Great commentary on an under-recorded period. For those that served in BAOR in the 1980s Stuart provides a light-hearted insight into life in an armoured regiment at a time when the Russians were, as now, very much the guys we worried about. Chieftains, drinking, training, laughing and the formation of some great friendships. A nostalgic gander through the decade and beyond.
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Roger Fisher

Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 7 December 2022

A book from a good officer and gentleman. Informed, accurate. Balancing the truth and politics of it all. Arriving at a superb picture of the efforts and ‘battles’ of those times. Stuart has painted a journey, arriving at the shores of present day. The reasons and the laughter, pain and grind of one Armoured Regiment. A must for all who want to know how we got here. Fear Naught.

Lt Col Stuart Crawford is a Defence Analyst and a former Army officer, author & broadcaster – sign up to his podcast at

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Tank CommanderLt Col Stuart Crawford’s latest book Tank Commander (Hardback) is available for pre-order now

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