Tank Hero of Arras

Tim Strickland

The biography of "Strick," the tank hero of Arras who rose to become a general.
Date Published :
June 2021
Publisher :
Contributor(s) :
Major-General, Sir Laurence New CB, CBE, CCMI
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781612009858
Pages : 512
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock
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A biography on the unique military career and decorations of the British general Strick. He commanded no fewer than three armored regiments in World War II.

Major-General Eugene Vincent Michael Strickland CMG, DSO, OBE, MM, CStJ, Star of Jordan – Strick – rose from penniless hardship to great military distinction. He was a tank man, a war hero who fought in France, North Africa and Italy during World War II, and whose name is revered even today among regiments that he commanded.

His is the extraordinary tale of a man who gained a Regular Commission in the Indian Army from Sandhurst, but resigned soon afterwards. After a series of intriguing adventures, he then enlisted as a private soldier in the Royal Tank Corps. In May 1940, he played a major part in the counterattack at Arras, where two British infantry tank battalions held up the German advance for three days, enabling the success of the Dunkirk evacuation – and perhaps saving Britain from ultimate defeat in the process.

Strick's outstanding success as a troop-sergeant in France saw him immediately (re-)commissioned, and his rise to high command was then swift. He commanded the leading Squadron of North Irish Horse in Tunisia 1943, and then commanded the North Irish Horse in its greatest battle, the breaking of the Hitler Line, in Italy in 1944. He served in seven regiments and had four regimental commands. This book focuses on his experience during World War II, drawing out the unique qualities required of leaders in close-combat battle, the particular demands of armored infantry cooperation, and how an individual can make a success of such a rapid rise through the ranks during wartime.

This fine story of adventure and achievement is brought alive by Strick’s remarkable correspondence – he wrote home to his family every second or third day throughout the war, except when action was too fierce to write – supplemented by the recollections of his comrades and years of archival research. More than a portrait of a gifted and morally courageous man, this biography also offers an insight into the arts of command and tactical control, and the difficulties of a family life fragmented by war.

About The Author

Tim Strickland studied at University College, Oxford and became a professional archaeologist and historian. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, has published a series of research papers and books and in 2003 was made MBE for services to archaeology. In retirement he has turned his mind to researching and writing about his father’s life, in the course of which he has walked over and studied all the sites of his father’s actions in World War II.


1 India
2 England
3 To Follow the Drum
4 The Royal Tank Corps
5 Peace Before the Storm
6 Unto the Breach
7 Striking Back
8 Rearguard Actions
9 Escape to Dunkirk
10 Re-Commissioned
11 25 Army Tank Brigade
12 Return to Action
13 Longstop to Victory
14 Marking Time
15 Regimental Command
16 Entr'acte
17 To Italy
18 Prelude to Battle
19 Breaking the Hitler Line
20 Aftermath
21 Italian Scenarios
22 Advance to the Gothic Line
23 Through the Gothic Line
24 Impasse
25 Battle for San Martino
26 The Last Ridge
27 Winter in the Romagna
28 Intermezzo
29 Monty's Foxhounds
30 Home Again


"This biography is written by Strick's son, who painstakingly gathered his father's papers and other records to create a detailed and interesting account of his wartime experiences. This book has excellent maps and several personal photos."

- WWII History Magazine

"As well as being a riveting military history, the well drawn out aspects of his superb style of leadership should give this book a place on the required reading list for commanders at every level in the British Army."

- The Iron Duke Regiment

"It is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read, and I recommend it strongly."

- Pennant Magazine

"The photos are a sublime bonus to the text as many have never been published before, again, great for the enthusiast with plenty of armour, and plenty showing the family and comrades that made Strick the great man he was. Thoroughly recommended, but beware, you may find yourself trying to read it in one sitting!"

- Scale Military Modelling International

"It is a book I literally could not put down. It is superbly written, absolutely gripping and most highly recommended and will appeal to a very wide readership and not least those with an interest in the development and conduct of armoured warfare during the Second World War, the brutal reality of close quarter all arms fighting and in the challenges faced by military wives which will be very familiar to generations of servicemen and their families."

- Military Historical Society

"This is, on a number of counts, a remarkable book. […] This makes the book a valuable social history as well as a good read."

- Fortress Studies Group

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