Monday, June 04, 2012

Is Rommel's Secret Weapon A Bluff?

I was very impressed by THE TROJAN TANK AFFAIR, Paperback Library's third novel based on ABC's action series THE RAT PATROL. Quickly, THE RAT PATROL was about four Allied soldiers who battled the Afrika Corps during World War II in a pair of jeeps outfitted with machine guns. It was cool to see these jeeps leaping over sand dunes and blasting the enemy.

THE TROJAN TANK AFFAIR isn't just a quickie tie-in. It's a rich, thick 224-page novel by David King that understands the TV show's characters and atmosphere and creates an exciting mission. In fact, since the TV episodes were only thirty minutes long, they tended to concentrate on spectacle and action in lieu of plot and character. THE TROJAN TANK AFFAIR is just the opposite, although it does contain many fun action scenes.

The story finds the Rat Patrol sent on a secret mission to infiltrate a Nazi camp in the desert and find out the enemy's invasion plan. Since it takes the Rat Patrol several days just to reach their target, King provides the journey with much flavor, introducing interesting side characters and establishing a neat secret base for the Rat Patrol hidden beneath a large rock in the desert.

Though Sam Troy (Christopher George in the series) and Jack Moffitt (Gary Raymond) perform the bulk of the heroics, as they did on the show, the characters of Mark Hitchcock (Lawrence Casey) and Tully Pettigrew (Justin Tarr) get their moments in the spotlight too.

And, yes, the Rat Patrol's formidable archrival, Hauptmann Hans Dietrich (Eric Braeden), makes an appearance too!

1 comment:

Jack Badelaire said...

I need to hunt down some of these novels - the African campaigns are some of the most interesting events of WW2, and even fiction such as this is going to be pretty cool.