Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

New book on the Cathedral Duel due out in Feb 2019

Discussion in 'WWII Books & Publications' started by TD-Tommy776, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    My cousin, who's father was in E/32AR with Clarence Smoyer but was WIA prior to the battle at Cologne, informed me earlier today that this book is now available for pre-sale on Amazon. Hard cover will cost $28 and will be 400 pages. The following is from Amazon:

    Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, a German Tank Gunner, and the World War II Encounter That Linked Them Forever

    Clarence Schmoyer (sic) began the war as a gentle giant, a factory worker from Pennsylvania coal country reluctant to unleash the power of the Sherman tank he crewed. But as his tank platoon fought its way from Normandy to the Rhine and beyond, and he watched his friends cut down one by one, he learned to kill with deadly accuracy and efficiency. His fight would climax in Cologne, in the shadow of the great cathedral, where he took a shot immortalized by a chance photograph--and where he would later forge a friendship with the German tanker he tragically dueled soon after.​
     
    Otto and JJWilson like this.
  2. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    I forgot to mention that the author of this book is Adam Makos who also wrote, "A Higher Call" and "Voices of the Pacific".
     
  3. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Since my last post, I was contacted by Clarence's daughter who informed me that the cover art (over which there was some disagreement between the author and publisher) has been finalized. Here is the books webpage on the Penguin Random House website, where it indicates "cover coming soon".

    She also shared with me the following Instagram post by author Adam Makos:

    Adam Makos on Instagram: “Honored to escort the hero of the new book back to Cologne...”

    In the photo (from R to L) are: Adam Makos, Clarence Smoyer, Adam's father Bob Makos, and their interpreter in Germany. She made sure to mention that the wheelchair was only so Clarence could keep up with the younger guys. :)

    (EDIT: Names are R to L, not L to R)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  4. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    The front cover has been released. A high res version is available for download on the publisher's website. Just hover over the book cover and click in the bottom right corner where the 'expand' arrows appear.

    Spearhead_Smoyer_Book-FM.jpg

    The crew is, from left to right:

    Homer Davis, Asst. Driver
    Robert Early, Tank Commander
    William McVey, Driver
    Clarence Smoyer, Gunner
    John Deriggi, Asst. Gunner
     
    gtblackwell likes this.
  5. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    558
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama, US
    Tommy, thank you, how nice to read this. Made me appreciate the WW2 vets all the more. As soon as I can get a large scale print or Kindle edition I will.

    Gaines
     
    TD-Tommy776 likes this.
  6. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    383
    Location:
    Arizona U.S.A
    Is this the same tank duel that was captured on a newsreel where the Panther was hit, caught fire and one of the crew members got out under tracer fire. While the Sherman was hit, caught on fire, and a crew member emerged with his leg blown off?
     
  7. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    7,305
    Likes Received:
    1,469
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    gtblackwell, TD-Tommy776 and JJWilson like this.
  8. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    558
    Location:
    Auburn, Alabama, US
    Takao, wonderful overview of that now well documented dual. I had seen some stills and the film but nothing as complete as this, especially with the links. Tanks are not at their best in urban fighting but the effects of the Panther's HV 75MM and the Pershing's 90MM are evident. I cannot see how anyone survived either tank.. Gaines
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
    JJWilson likes this.
  9. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Actually, the battle was between a Mark V and Early's T26 Pershing. The Mark V had previously knocked out a Sherman (where there is footage of the TC exiting and falling to the ground with his lower leg missing -- he died shortly after). The Pershing went to hunt down the Mk V culminating in the knocking out and burning of the Mk V shown in the film footage.
     
    JJWilson likes this.
  10. JJWilson

    JJWilson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Likes Received:
    383
    Location:
    Arizona U.S.A
    I never knew that, thank you Tommy. I remember first seeing the footage when I was 7 or 8 years old in a VCR documentary that I have not been able to find for more than a decade. It impacted me greatly as a child, it was one of those, "those are real people, getting shot at and dying" moments you rarely see from old footage, it made the war real too me in a painful way......
     
  11. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
  12. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Here's the 3rd AD video culminating in the battle at the Cathedral

     
    Half Track likes this.
  13. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    The Pershing shows up at the 2:30 mark in the video. On the way toward the Cathedral, they spotted another German tank which backed up behind the corner of a building. Clarence said he fired a couple AP rounds into the building which caused the corner of the building to collapse on top of the German tank (I'm not sure if he said that was what he was trying to do, or if he was just trying to shoot through the building to hit the tank). The rubble rendered the turret inoperable and the crew bailed out and were later captured. They then moved on to engage the Mark V. Clarence fired the first shot on the move and scored a hit. Then fired two more rounds to ensure the tank was burning and permanently out of action. He said he never saw the crew of the Mk V exiting the tank until he saw the film. Between the dust and smoke of battle and his limited visibility and low angle view, he had to assume that the Mk V could fire back at them until he knocked it out permanently.
     
    JJWilson likes this.
  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Here's another video which also shows the footage stabilized and in slo-mo:

     
    JJWilson likes this.
  15. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Clarence Smoyer was recently interviewed by Nicolas Moran. The part 1 of the interview has been posted on YouTube. Clarence shares a couple anecdotes I have not heard before. Moran does a good job interviewing him.

     
    Takao and KodiakBeer like this.
  16. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Part 2 of the interview has been posted:

     
    Takao likes this.
  17. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow Patron  

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2011
    Messages:
    6,667
    Likes Received:
    980
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Loons
    Here is the 3rd and final part of the interview with Clarence Smoyer.

     
    Takao likes this.

Share This Page