They called us ... The New Evil Memories from Afghanistan 2006–2008
Warrant Officer Marvin MacNeill candidly and accurately recounts in this great book some of the challenges our team had in getting Canadian tanks into the fight alongside a combat-tested battle group. Throughout our tour, he helped to shape employment concepts for the tank squadron and then he and his crew were amongst the first to trial them in successive dust-ups. Marv never let military protocol prevent him from speaking his mind, especially when it related to the safety of his troops; nonetheless he was professional, loyal, courageous and he could strip and assemble a main battle tank. Leaders listened to him. They couldn’t afford not to.
The greatest value of this senior non-commissioned officer’s account is that it reminds us the most important parts of a main battle tank have nothing to do with technology. Rather, the critical assembly of any tank is its crew, the technicians and supporters who work miracles to keep them operating, and the families that back them on the home front. Trevor Cadieu, Brigadier-General
What do you say?
I dedicated time to read They Called Us The New Evil over the past two nights. I've had the pleasure of knowing Marv (the author) for a great number of years when we both served in the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians). I was very fortunate to have had multiple conversations with Marv about his armoured exploits in Afghanistan after both of his safe returns (from tours in Afghanistan).
Marv has told his complete Armoured Corps story exceptionally well and states it as it was with no fluff and provides a view through his personal lens .... the good, bad, and the ugly. I laughed, I nodded, I shook my head, I felt proud, and I felt saddended as I read the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and I expect I will read it over many times in the future. Sometimes fateful things happen and Marv MacNeil and Michael Shackleton (publisher) joining forces from Canada and the UK to make the book a reality is a great accomplishment for both gentlemen who I consider my friends.
Trackpad FaceBook page - personal review from Jason Bobrowich, former Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)
With the trusty Leopard being the common dominator here, it is great that an ex-Canadian tanker and Trackpad have joined forces to produce this personal story. If you enjoy getting a taste of what life was like for a modern tank commander and his crew in such a hostile environment then this will be a great read for you. However, if your interest is solely in the Leopard then this book will still not disappoint. Another excellent book from Trackpad.
Military Modelling magazine, Volume 48 No.2 2018
The prose here is extraordinary; MacNeill really takes you to Afghanistan and all the dangers, humour and comradeship that made up the tankers' experience. For those interested in the reality of modern armoured warfare this is a must read. For modellers it's also an inspiration, a treasure trove of crystal clear images of both the Leopard C2 Mexas and Leopard 2A6 CAN in theatre, as well as Taurus ARV and Badger AEVs. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Military Modelcraft International magazine March 2018 with thanks to David Grummit
If you're a fan of the Leopard MBT, and more precisely Canadian big cats, this new book from Trackpad in association with Leopard Club (Leopard modelling maestros) is an excellent read. Written by an experienced Canadian tanker, he takes us through his memoirs of two tours of Afghanistan from 2006 to 2008 in both Leopard 1 and 2. The author includes the build up preparation and after action reviews not only with his own words but a fantastic selection of photographs also which provide some unique insights and reference of the day-to-day lives of the men and machines. Recommended reading.
AFV Modeller magazine Issue 100 May/June 2018