Against the backdrop of the sweeping conquest of Western Europe by Hitler's mighty Panzer Divisions in WWII, Australia produced 66 cruiser tanks - the Sentinel tank - but none ever took the field of battle. The story of Australian tanks in WWII portrays governments under pressure and bureaucratic bungles that saw opportunities lost and precious resources squandered when the nation was under greatest threat. This careful dissection of government process in the crucible of war is a rare gem in an age when most wartime histories focus on the front-line soldier.
Peter Beale served as a troop leader in the 9th Royal Tank Regiment in Normandy and the north-west Europe campaign in 1944-45, during which he was wounded twice. After demobilisation he obtained a degree in electrical engineering at University College, London. He emigrated to Australia in 1956, where he worked as a management consultant. Peter Beale has written three books on tanks in World War II: Tank Tracks, Death by Design, and The Great Mistake. His wife Shirley has assisted with the research for all of these titles as well as this latest release. Peter and his wife, Shirley, live in Valentine, NSW.