Palomino

Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
316 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

Palomino: Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town by Tank Gunner is a unique achievement, a book that combines several different genres to bring entertainment to readers. German prisoners of war come to live in an American city, following the decree by the president that they replace the laborers who’ve gone off to war. Twig is one of the people who easily gets local support and is appointed Constable of the town of Palomino. How does he get involved in crimes -- robberies, murders, and other sinister games -- in the city? Readers are introduced to an impressive cast of characters that get caught up in a well-crafted drama.

The writing style is unique and it showcases the author’s literary acumen, his skill for storytelling, and the easy ability to entertain readers, to introduce them to the worldview of the characters. What grabbed me is the writing — it’s clean, it’s crisp, it flows easily. I love it when an author knows the value of words and uses it in their writing and Tank Gunner does just that. The attention to sentence structure, the dramatic, underlying force that defines his phraseology hits the reader right off the bat. The characters are real and well developed. They are thrust into situations that are complex. The novel has good, strong plot lines with a lot of action and the emotional intensity that keeps readers focused. Palomino: Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town is a work of great entertainment. I enjoyed every bit of it.

K.C. Finn

Palomino: Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town is a work of interesting historical fiction written by author Tank Gunner. When faced with the problem of what to do with a huge surplus of German prisoners of war during World War Two, part of the solution was to send 370,000 of them to America to solve the labor crisis taking place there. This novel centers on the town of Palomino, where a promising sergeant’s life changes forever when he’s tasked with monitoring these POWs instead of shipping out for Normandy as planned. The story goes on to reveal the incredible incidents which happen in the town and the lives of three particular laborers under the jurisdiction of Sergeant Twig Chestnutt.

I found this to be a truly fascinating tale which was clearly written by a man who has first-hand experience of combat and the conflict that any soldier has within themselves and their connection to the wider world. Author Tank Gunner writes with precision and compassion, bringing the town of Palomino to life as the culture shock of so many workers arriving hits it full force. I found the characterization of the Germans to be particularly sensitive and well crafted, and the sense of history was firmly in place in the accuracy with which Gunner describes the daily lives and work habits of the POWs in their new situation. It’s a part of war history often forgotten, and this version is very well told. Overall, I’d definitely recommend Palomino to history fans looking for an interesting new perspective.

Deborah Lloyd

An unexpected consequence of United States’ troops capturing so many German soldiers during World War II was finding places to house them. President Franklin Roosevelt found a solution – bringing over 370,000 of them to America to utilize their needed labor, as men had left many jobs open when they were called away to fight in the war. Camp Maxey would become home to a few thousand POWs and the nearby town, Palomino, Texas, would become home for three German prisoners. Sergeant Willow “Twig” Chestnutt was assigned to be their supervisor and guardian; he also was named Constable of the town at the same time. His wife Teresa and young daughter Tina were able to be with Twig; the family and the German POWs lived in the same boarding house. At the same time, Palomino and other towns in the area had experienced bank robberies and murders. In Palomino: Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town, written by Tank Gunner, the exciting and sometimes grim realities of the 1940s come to life.

This book is engaging from the first page to the last, as various military personnel, townspeople, and young German men pulled into a losing battle intermingle in a small Texas town. The realistic portrayal of life during this turbulent decade, through the everyday lives of small-town America, is fascinating. The author includes many wonderful details – buying ice cream sodas at the local café; everyone attending a cakewalk in the local school gym; boys having newspaper routes; the list goes on. The story is fast paced and entertaining. Author Tank Gunner has written an enjoyable novel in Palomino: Afrika Korps P-O-Ws Come to Town – an intriguing read.