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Praying for Slack: A Marine Corps Tank Commander in Viet Nam Hardcover – December 3, 2004


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; First edition (December 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0760320500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0760320501
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #766,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Upon his return from Vietnam Robert Peavey graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology. For the last 25 years he has worked for Eastman Kodak where he continues today. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the United States Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Association. Peavey now lives outside Atlanta, Georgia. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Bob tells it like is was, warts and all.
John F. Wear
The book begins with the 1968 deployment of elements of the US Marine Corps 5th Division (B Co.
Trial Observer
A few maps and color photos help the reader understand the geography and tanker's life.
cpt matt

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By R. D. Evans on February 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Robert Peavey does a fantastic job of placing you right in the middle of what it was like to be plucked out of a stateside duty station, placed onto a ship, and finally dropped in the middle of the Viet Nam war combat.

At times this book will have you rolling in laughter while other times you will be in tears.

Tanks have not been typically associated with the Viet Nam war; however, the author not only describes the role of tanks, but also exactly how vulnerable tanks were to modern weapons.

I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it. If you are the least bit interested in history or the Marines, you will enjoy this.

Myself, a former Viet Nam era, non-combat Marine experienced plenty of flashbacks to the military slang and methods of the time.

This is a keeper for my collection.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lance K. Mertz on March 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I greatly enjoyed this memoire about Vietnam from the unique perspective of a Marine tanker. There were not too many there and those that were seemed to be misused a lot. It is an interesting part of the history of armor. Having read several other books about and by tankers in Vietnam his stories seemed right on the money and his experiences mirror those of others. As for the tank, his comments, from my perspective as an old M-60 tanker are right on. Great book for those who want to know more. It could have been longer and included more about what was going on around him at the time, but that is my only criticism.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By bujinin on May 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I mean, the crews of the M48a123 Medium 90mm Gun Tanks. Mr Peavey served with one of the more obscure elements of the Marine Corps during Viet Nam. I grew up around Marine tanks and probably have a deviant affection for them. This book was good for me. The anecdotes, sensibilities, sheer astonishment of war are all included. the account of the F4 jet fooling a SAM is fantastic. Watching his bogie wheel passing him had to be a truly strange sight. The use of naval terminology for land tanks is double served by the naval slang of the marine corps, a curious conflation. If you're interested in Tanks, Marines, VietNam, or just a good "This is a no-shirter", you may like this book.

pete saussy
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cpt matt VINE VOICE on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not many people think of tanks in Vietnam. We sent over 600 of these M-48 Patton tanks during the Vietnam War. They were very valued for not only the firepower, but for the protection against RPG's and mines (sound familiar?) and ability for "jungle busting". The Sheridan tanks (M-551) and Armored Personnel Carriers (M-113's) were not so well liked.

Robert Peavey was a gunner, later Tank Commander in 1968-69. His observations and experiences are excellent. The absolute need for infantry & tank coordination are explained here, many tactical lessons that are still invaluable today, whether in urban, forest or open terrain.

There's humor, sorrow, incredible true stories about tankers fighting the heat, enemy and our own government (Johnson's cease fire rightly is criticized). A few maps and color photos help the reader understand the geography and tanker's life.

Anyone who wants a great picture into the Vietnam War, armored history, and infantry should read this. Should be required reading at Armor and Infantry school. Also has a lot of important leader lessons - setting the example being one of the best. Definitely recommended. I've been waiting a long time to pick this one up, very glad I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Trial Observer on December 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As a Marine Corps 1811 (Tanker) veteran I know that only a Marine Corps Vietnam era tanker could write a book such as this. It actualy brings you into the turret of an M-48-A-3 tank during battles and day to day duty during the Vietnam War. The book begins with the 1968 deployment of elements of the US Marine Corps 5th Division (B Co. 5th Tank. Bn, 27th Marines etc.). The deployment was an unplanned response to the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong's Tet offensive. Much good can be said about the book but, what I have been told summarizes it all. I have been told by those who I have loaned the book to that it provided them with a feeling and understanding of what it was like to have been a Marine Corps Tanker serving in the Nam. The book is a must read for anyone interested in military armor, or anyone serving as a tank crewman in the US Armed forces (especialy the Marine Corps). This book should be included on any list of books to be read by Marine Corps officers, especially if serving in tanks. To Peabody I say, well done Marine. Semper Fi.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John F. Wear on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Bob Peavey is not only a great writer, he is my good friend. His historical chronical of his time in what some of us refer as "The Land of Oz" is right up there with some of the classics that have been written about the Vietnam War. The main reason that the book is such a great read is the fact that Bob lived the words. He talks the talk and walks the walk. Reading a book that contains men who fought and bled with me cannot be compared to "just a histroy book." Bob tells it like is was, warts and all.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a book about Vietnam, tanks or the USMC in the big picture, although the reader will learn about all three. It is a memoir of one young man and what he did, saw, thought and felt at the time. The author is a fine writer, and captures the absurdity, frustration, boredom, excitement and horror of his tour of duty in Vietnam. It's an excellent view of combat as seen by a thoughtful and articulate observer/participant.

Some books that complement this one are:
Marine Corps Tank Battle in Vietnam
US Marine Corps Tank Crewman 1965-70: Vietnam (Warrior)
Marines Under Armor: The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000
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