Max Tag and his supertank XM-F4 No Slack Too is assigned to Saudi Arabia to stop a terrorist named al-Burka. Burka was a terrorist that was behind the Iranian-Yemen invasion of Oman that Tag managed to stop before WWIII. After that Burka flew into the Saudi desert where he found a gold mine. He lived as a hermit mining the gold. With enough he used the new Palestinian Mandate which was granted to the Palestinians and consists of the useless desert territory of Jordan and Iraq. He uses the gold to buy a few hundred APCs and tanks. Then he has them smuggled into Saudi Arabia. He also has kidnapped a revered Muslim cleric named al-Kabah. Kabah wants peace but is being used by Burka to deliver a message of Jihad. Burka also plans to attack Mecca and destroy the Kaaba which will inflame the Muslim world. Max must hunt down this terrorist to stop him.
A year later they released the final book in the series. I thought the series was over but apparently the author had a contract to write one more. So he crapped this waste of paper out. As the cover says this is the conclusion to the Tankwar series and I couldn’t agree more. This was just a mess of a book. Nothing exciting happens. They just wander around the desert and talk a bunch. Once in a while there is a fight but it was extremely dull. At a mere 167 pages it was the shortest book but sadly not short enough.
So the series ends and not on a high note. It was a decent attempt to cash in on the big success techno-thriller war books being done by Larry Bond, Harold Coyle and Tom Clancy. Unfortunately events were moving too fast and it became obsolete very quickly. If you think about it the whole concept didn’t really have a long shelf live. After the war in Europe was over then what? As this book shows making it into some type of elite international force going around the world wasn’t going to work. Which is why the big announcement of its conclusion on the cover. A fairly entertaining series that just went one book too long.
World War III is over and Captain Max Tag and his crew of the XM-F3 No Slack Too take a much needed vacation. Max and his girlfriend go to Hawaii before heading on a leisurely trip home to Montana. Yet this must come to an end and they report back for duty. They get assigned to go to Mongolia to train Mongol troops in the new Terrapin a new two man tank. The Chinese have decided to try and take Mongolia with the Russians now so weakened. Max finds himself now allied with his former enemy Colonel Yeshov and the First Guard Tank Army. While Max is only supposed to be an observer him and his crew are decisive in defeating the Chinese invasion and exposing their plan to use chemical and biological weapons.
I though the last book was the end of this series what with the Soviets being defeated. Yet the author had a few more books in him. I actually think this is the best of the series. It takes us out of the small part of Bavaria that the last four books took place in. It really needed a change of scenery for it was getting dull with the same battles being fought. Naturally at the beginning of 1992 the Soviet Union was finished and they were now America’s friends. Similarly the Chinese had just had the brutal Tiananmen Square massacre so they were the bad guys. I found the story interesting with these colorful Mongol characters and a new and exotic location. It ends with Max and his crew going to join this new international brigade to police trouble spots around the world. They really should have just stopped here while they were ahead as we will see in the concluding book.
It is several days into WWIII and there is a tenuous truce. The First Guards Tank Corp has failed to successfully withdraw to a more tenable position thanks to Captain Max Tag and his supertank Xm-F4 No Slack Too. This didn’t come without a cost. Their driver Wheels Latta was killed. Fortunately they find a replacement in Tag’s girlfriend Lt. Giesla Ruther. Yet they still have their orders to continue to harass the trapped unit. So with his supertank, two advanced Bradleys and some Rangers he continues his attacks against the Soviets. They manage to destroy a recon battalion before the Soviets surrender.
So this book sees the war in Europe come to an end. The Soviets due to internal rebellion see the hardline government overthrown and a new democratic one take it’s place. You can tell that this series was already running out of steam. It has this supertank very overpowering and it is endless skirmishes with the Soviets. Naturally they achieve an overwhelming victory each time. Yet you get this sense reading this that it is pointless. The Soviets are clearly defeated so why bother? The book came out literally two months before the Soviet Union actually collapsed so it was already becoming highly improbable for this scenario to happen, I actually thought this was the last but I found out that there were two more books for this series future.
The Soviets have resorted to a tactical nuclear strike on NATO forces in southern Germany. NATO responds and devastates the Soviet divisions. A truce is called for units to withdraw from contaminated areas. General Kettle though wants to punish the First Guards Tank Army which was the unit that launched the strike. The army is trapped between lake Constance and contaminated fallout areas. So Captain Max Tag with his supertank XM-F4 No Slack Too is given the job of harassing them. Because of the truce he will be operating without any support. Although he gets two super enhanced Bradley APCs and a company of Rangers to help him out. So begins a series of hit and run attacks against the army. Yet the commander a Colonel Yeshev has his own formidable tanks in the new T-80B.
For the third book the author ups the stakes by going nuclear. This seems to have hurt the Soviets more than NATO. After this we have units deserting. We are also introduced to the Soviet perspective in this book. Colonel Yeshev gives up a look at how hardliners took over. He is someone who is a sympathetic character and not some cartoon caricature that sometimes populate these type of books. We get plenty of over the top action as the No Slack Too causes mayhem with the Soviets. Needless to say the T-80Bs do not live up the the hype that the book hints at. It ends with them successful in preventing the Tank army from withdrawing but they do lose the driver Wheels Latta.
World War III has started with a Warsaw Pact invasion of western Europe. Sgt. Max Tag has managed to get the experimental tank back to NATO lines. Now he finds out his new mission from General Ross Kettle the commander of NATO. First he gets promoted to captain. Then with the newer XM-F4 No Slack Too he is to go back behind enemy lines to gather intelligence and hit rear area command and supply. They are also to go after units that are bringing up tactical nukes. So Tag and his tank are reunited with the Jagd Commandos and American supply company. Operating from an old mine and working with the local resistance they manage to take out a rear area HQ and many of the units bringing up tactical nukes. Only they don’t succeed in getting them all and a nuclear attack is launched against the NATO armies in southern Germany at the end of the book.
So the second has Tag and his supertank going behind enemy lines. They reunite with the units that helped them including his girlfriend Giesla. It must be great to be in a combat unit and have your girlfriend along for the occasional sex during those rest periods. Somehow I don’t think the real world works that way but this series was not set in the real world. You also get a new character introduced in Sgt. N. Sain. A hashish smoking rock musician who was visiting during a USO tour and now commands a Bradley. He was in the reserve Army and has his two keepers Mad Dog and Rabies. He spouts all this goofy new age mumbo-jumbo. This came out in December of 1990 which by then it was obvious that the Warsaw Pact was a Humpty-Dumpty that wasn’t getting put back together again. Still it was an enjoyable action series that you just suspended belief to enjoy. Ends with a big cliffhanger of a nuclear strike to give the reader a sense of much more serious stuff to come.
It is the near future and hardliners in the Soviet Union have taken over. They have reasserted themselves in Eastern Europe and tensions are about to break out in open war. Sgt. Max Tag is testing out a new prototype of tank. The XM-F3 No Slack is on maneuvers near the Czech border when the war starts. They find themselves trapped behind enemy lines. Luckily they hook up with some Jagd Commandos a specialized unit of West Germans in light attack vehicles that are to harass the Soviets rear lines. They also pick up some American rear echelon supply company also trapped behind the lines. This motley group has to fight its way through the Warsaw Pact forces to the NATO lines.
This series just came out one month before the Berlin Wall came down so the idea soon became a bit dated. Yet this is a pretty solid little military action series based on what seemed like a very credible scenario. It had a decent run in the early nineties. You have this super-dooper advanced tank with anti-air missiles, monopolar carbide armor, advanced computers, laser targeting and radar. Not the mention it can go 80mph. The crew is your typical stereotypes that you get in these type of series. Fruits Tutti the loader who is an Italian from the Bronx that’s also a genius with computers. Wheels Latta a hillbilly that was a moonshine runner in his civilian life is the driver. Naturally he uses his driving perfected from evading revenuers to evade the Soviets. Then there is Ham Jefferson the gunner who is your token black guy.
You also like many men’s adventure series the romantic hot girl for the main protagonist. This this case a Lt. in the Jagd Kommandos who is the sister of his best friend. Naturally they have the obligatory very graphic detail sex scene during one of the lulls in fighting. We find out that Max Tag’s manhood is so big she has to use both hands to lift it. Yes it is that big. The story gives everything from the groups perspective and we don’t get a big perspective on the war in general which I think was a good idea. Gives a more intimate feel to the story. We do get some flashbacks to show Tag’s past. Like his time growing up in Montana and a fight with the local biker gang that leads to him finding out about his father’s service in Vietnam. His past experiences in fighting off an Yemeni-Iranian invasion of Oman and another in Honduras fighting a Communist coalition. Naturally they make it back to fight WWIII another day.