Turner Donovan Military Books - The world’s finest selection of rare and out-of-print books on British military history from 1800 to 1945
  Stock last updated on 30 October 2020

Prison Camps, Escape & Evasion 1939-1945 Prison Camps, Escape & Evasion 1939-1945   8 Books
Tanks Association: Membership Over 7000. 1st Ed., orig. dec. wraps., 123pp. Coxhead & Cooper, Printers. nd [1920s].  #59318
[HLMainPic] Short into. & list of committee members followed by membership list of the Tanks Association, some 7000 former comrades with their home addresses, but "Owing to the large percentage of members having omitted to give rank, etc., it is regretted that it has been necessary in order to maintain uniformity to omit this particulars altogether." Indeed. VG & scarce. See illustration on our website.   £60
Memories: Hazeley Down Camp, Winchester, Jan. 1918-May 1918, 24th (Tank Corps) Cadet Battalion. 1st Ed., 67pp., 27 photos. Winchester: Warren. 1919  #59243
[HLMainPic] Full account of the formation, organisation & training role performed by the bn., with interesting photos. of some of the training facilities including Model Room, Miniature Range, Assault Course & Lecture Theatres, as well as cadets during outdoor training with Hitchkiss gun &c., also named group photos. of instructional staff (with rolls of these, both officers & NCOs) & examples of training programmes. Orig. blue & white cloth with corner bands in the Corps colours & badge in silver gilt to front; VG, attractive & very scarce. See illustration on our website.   £145
CHARTERIS (Evan) H.Q. Tanks 1917-1918. 1st Ed., [ii]+94pp. Privately Printed. 1920  #59261
[HLMainPic] Undoubtedly, & by far, the rarest of the Tank Men's memoirs, most informative on the conduct & course of the Battle of Cambrai as seen from Tank Corps HQ. Hon. Evan Charteris (1864-1940), a younger son of the 10th Earl of Wemyss, was Ed, at Eton, commissioned in the Coldstream Guards but proceeded to Balliol & practiced at the Parliamentary Bar. A man of affairs, he was Chairman of the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery, a Trustee of the National Gallery & of the Wallace Collection. In 1916 he became a Staff Captain in the RFC then GSO III in the Tank Corps from Aug. 1916 to Jan. 1918. He resigned his commission in April 1918. The author of several historical works, he did not, however, include this privately printed volume in the list of published works submitted for his "Who's Who" entry. The book was published privately & anonymously. It covers the period July 1917-January 1918, when the author was GSO3 at Tank HQ with the role of historian of the Tank Corps. J.F.C. Fuller, in the Introduction to 'Tanks in the Great War,' thanks Charteris "for the accurate & careful records of the Corps which he compiled from the earliest days of the tank movement in 1914, to the close of the battle of Cambrai. Many of these were written under, shall I say, far from luxurious circumstances, in his shell-blasted estaminets, less well cared for than the rats of Albert & as much out of place as Alciabeadees in a Peckham parlor." He continues: "The two G.S.O.s3 were Captain the Hon. Evan Charteris & Captain I.M. Stewart, M.C. Charteris was the 'Arbiter Elegantarum' of our Headquarters. He kept the Corps records, as already stated, & without these it would scarcely have been possible to write this history. he was our 'maitre d'hotel'; he gave us beach nut bacon & honey for breakfast, he kept his weather eye open for a one-armed man, elaborated menus which rivalled those of Trimalchio, & gave sparkle to us all by the ripple of his wit." For his part, Charteris offers an illuminating decsription of J.F.C. Fuller (called Evans in this work): "I moved up to the neighbourhood of Ypres... Here I found the whole of the H.Q. Staff, & first made acquaintance with Evans, the G.S.O.1 of the Tank Corps - G.S.O.1 & brain. A little man, with a bald head, & a sharp face & a nose of a Napoleonic cast, his general appearance, stature, & feature earning him the title of Boney. He stood out at once as a totally unconventional soldier, prolific in ideas, fluent in expression, at daggers drawn with received opinion, authority, & tradition. In the mess his attacks on the red-tabbed hierarchy were viewed in the spirit of a rat hunt; a spirit he responded to with much vivacity & no little wit. But he could talk amusingly & paradoxically on any subject. His specialities were Eastern religions, about which he could be bewildering, spiritualism, occultism, military history & the theory of war... He was an inexhaustible writer, & from his office issued reams on reams about training, plans of campaign, organisation, & schemes for the use of tanks. He was an invaluable element from a military & social point of view, but his brains would have been better utilised at G.H.Q. galvanising that conservative centre with advanced ideas..." Orig. wheat cloth, titled in black to front & sp., little worn, overall VG, with a small piece of paper pasted to the title page bearing inscription: "From the Writer Evan Charteris 76A Mount Street July 16 1921." This piece is pasted over a one-inch square hole made for reasons unknown. See illustrations on our website.   £1200
CROMPTON (Col. R.E.) Reminiscences. 1st Ed., xv+238pp., 8 plates. Constable. 1928  #59262
[HLMainPic] Crompton was a regular officer in the Rifle Brigade from 1864-78, also an engineering genius & inventor who enjoyed great success in business after leaving the army. Most of the book concerns his career up to 1914 then a chapter details his role on the Landship Committee: "...Mr Churchill asking me to design a landship or armoured vehicle to carry a trench-taking detachment of seventy men... It was most important that this design should be hurried forward... The armour plate was the first immediate problem...&c." Crompton's work in devising the very first tank is discussed in some detail. Fine contemp. full black morocco, gilt, presentation binding of the Institution of Electrical Engineers with 'The Crompton Premium' proze bookplate. VG.   £75
DIXON (Alec) Tinned Soldier: A Personal Record, 1919-1926. 1st Ed., 314pp. VG in chipped dw. Jonathan Cape. 1941  #59288
[HLMainPic] Peacetime soldiering in the ranks of the Royal Tank Regt., "with all its miseries & benefits." Author enlisted for seven years in June 1919: T.E. Lawrence served in the ranks alongside him & became a good friend. A useful account of the army winding down after WW1 & the public's attitude towards soldiers. Orig. cloth, VG in chipped dw. See illustration on our website.   £75
MUHLHAUSER (G.H.P., Lt., RNR) Small Craft. 1st Ed., xv+268pp., 44 photos. Bodley Head (On Active Service series). 1920  #59646
[HLMainPic] Service on minesweepers & "Q" Ships from 1914 onwards, & commanding a hydroplane trawler in 1918. Orig. brown cloth, blindstamped & titled in black, VG. See illustration on our website.   £60
MURRAY WILSON (G.) Ed. Fighting Tanks: An Account of the Tank Corps in Action 1914-1919. 1st Ed., 250pp., 24 photos. VG in dw. Seeley. 1929  #59255
[HLMainPic] Collaborative account edited by the former Senior Chaplain to the Royal Tank Corps, including contributions by Maj.-Gen. Sir Hugh Elles, J.F.C. Fuller, Cdr. Locker-Lampson, Lt.-Col. Elliott Hotblack, DSO, MC, & many other officers & NCOs of the regiment, including the Battles of the Somme, Passchendaele, Cambrai, Amiens & other 1918 battles, & more. Orig. blue cloth, gilt, near fine in VG, attractive & scarce dw. See illustration on our website.   £245
WILLIAMS-ELLIS (Major Clough, MC, & A.) The Tank Corps. Intro. by Maj.-Gen. H.J. Elles, CB, DSO. 1st USA Ed. 421pp., portrait frontis. (Hugh Elles), 35 photos., several diagrams, fldg. map. VG in dw. NY: Doran. 1919  #59260
[HLMainPic] Valuable early history of the Corps: "...a short but clear history of the tank from the time of its conception in the minds of numerous inventors to the end of the War. Major Williams-Ellis reacches the conclusion that, 'every other factor being cancelled out, the fact that the French & the English possessed tanks & the Germans did not was just enough to win the last war for the Allies." - Falls. Neatly complements other contemp. histories & memoirs. Orig. red cloth, titled in red to front & sp., VG in neatly repaired & scarce dw. See illustration on our website.   £125


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