The Tank Lords - Baen Books
The Tank Lords
THE SAGA OF THE SLAMMERS BEGINS!
COLONEL ALOIS HAMMER: He welded five thousand individual killers into a weapon more deadly than any other in the human universe. When a planetary government faces unfriendly natives, guerrilla insurgents, or ruthless terrorists, they do the only thing that might save them— they hire Hammer's Slammers, the toughest, meanest bunch of mercs who ever wrecked a world for pay. Known throughout the galaxy for their cold, ruthless ferocity, the men of Colonel Hammer's indomitable armored brigade routinely accept impossible missions. Again and again, they go up against overwhelming forces, or fight a two-front war against ferocious opposition, all without atomizing their civilian employers. Can they keep doing it? Not if they abide by the rules of civilized warfare...but nobody ever said the Hammers were nice. Even when their chances are not good—those who oppose them have no chance at all!
Publisher's Note: THE TANK LORDS contains two full volume's worth of the Hammer's Slammer's saga, for the first time presented in chronological story sequence as determined by the author.
Cover Art by Larry Elmore
First printing, July 1999
Distributed by Simon & Schuster
Typeset by Windhaven Press, Auburn, NH
Copyright © 1997 by David Drake. "Under the Hammer" © 1979, "Rolling Hot" © 1989, "Night March" © 1997, "Code-Name Feirefitz" © 1985, "The Tank Lords" © 1987, "We Happy Few" © 1997, all by David Drake.
THEY WERE THE MEANEST, TOUGHEST BUNCH OF MERCS WHO EVER KILLED FOR A DOLLAR, OR WRECKED A WORLD FOR PAY—AND THEY WERE ONE BOY'S SALVATION....
My Lady Miriam and her entourage rushed back from the barred windows of the women's apartments on the second floor, squealing for effect. The tanks were so huge that the mirror-helmeted men watching from turret hatches were nearly on a level with the upper story of the palace.
The Baron's soldiers had boasted that they were better men than the mercenaries if it ever came down to cases. The fear that the women had mimed from behind stone walls seemed real enough now to the soldiers whose bluster and assault rifles were insignificant against the iridium titans which entered the courtyard.
Even at idle speed, the tanks roared as their fans maintained the cushions of air that slid them over the ground. Three of the Baron's men dodged back through the palace doorway, their curses inaudible over the intake whine of the approaching vehicles.
They did not need to respect us. They were
THE TANK LORDS