Crete, May 1941. In the face of a German invasion, Sergeant Jack Tanner is embroiled in a deadly game of survival that will test his resolve more than ever before. Not only has he fallen out with his commander but he has mortally offended Alopex, a powerful local chieftain. As if that wasn't enough, Tanner and the rest of his battalion are caught in vicious close-quarter fighting against crack German paratroopers. Before long, they find themselves in bitter retreat to the mountainous interior where only one man can help them - Alopex. Although whether he will come to their rescue or not remains to be seen...
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A book that fails to deliver
I could not recommend this book
The ending was rather silly, but in keeping with the image of an invincible CSM Tanner that we are presented all through the book.
This was not the narrators finest hour I am afraid
Tanner, the unluckiest solider in the British Army finds himself in the middle of the Battle for Crete.
After retreating in France and Norway Tanner’s mood is not conducive to making friends and allies but getting into a bar fight with a powerful Cretan partisan leader might be considered silly. It’s difficult to take Tanner seriously though because the narrators Wilshire accent makes Tanner sound like an angry and dispirited Postman Pat.
Well CSM Tanner does it again managing to be discredited and misunderstood by Officers and other allies. While being the only capable soldier on the island, he has to deal with them as well as the Germans. If it sounds similar to the last two Tanner books, its because it is.
The book is basically a repeat of the last one; we have the German Fallschirmjäger Officer as the generic nasty German in the place of the SS officer, the Cretan Partisan in the place of CSM Blackstaff and the new Lieutenant in the role of bumbling idiot who has it in for him.
The new Lieutenant even knows Tanner from Wilshire, the same tired stick that we had in the second book.
Why Tanner fighting with the Germans is not the primary purpose of these books I don’t know. The story would be much stronger if the focus was on fighting the Germans rather than petty bickering with his Lieutenant and the Cretans
The main problem in this book is that nearly all the characters in this book are two dimensional and the story shallow. We have the same plot in a different book with Tanner's sidekick gleefully finding loads of Nobel’s Gelignite and the battles are all generic and could have taken place anywhere
In reviews the Jack Tanner Books are sometimes referred to as Richard Sharpe in WW2 but Tanner lacks the depth of Cornwall’s Sharpe. Postman Tanner does not deliver in this book I am afraid