Turner Donovan Military Books - The world’s finest selection of rare and out-of-print books on British military history from 1800 to 1945
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Official History 1914-1918 Official History 1914-1918   59 Books
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Osterreich-Ungarns Letzter Krieg 1914-1918. Herausgegeben vom Osterreichischen Bundeministerium fr Heereswesen und vom Kriegsarchiv. 1st Eds., 7 text volumes & 7 mapcases: around 6000pp. in all with in excess of 400 maps & sketch maps, many fldg. & all contained in the mapcases. Wien: Verlag der Militarwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen. 1930-1938  #61440
[HLMainPic] Complete set of the Austro-Hungarian official history of the First World War on land: seven text volumes + seven accompanying map volumes + the rare Registerband (or index volume), 15 volumes in all. Orig. blue cloth, gilt, VG or better throughout (but for Vol. V text, covers little stained) & all but Vol. I text/maps complete with dustwrappers. Rare complete set, especially in dws. Neil Wells ('Official Histories of the Great War 1914-1918') informs us that: "The Austrian Federal Ministry for Army Affairs & of the War Archives employed mainly ex-members of the Austrian General Staff... under the general editorship of Genereale de Infanterie Doktor Edmund von Glaise-Horstenau... Each volume was written by a team of historians, each specialising in various aspects of the individual history... With so many ex-members of the General Staff writing the histories there was to some degree a corruption... to show the Austrian General Staff, or individuals (in some cases the author himself) in a more favourable light. Certainly the former Chief of the General Staff... FM Franz Graf Conrad von Hotzendorf's reputation was defended to the utmost by the official historians." In an interesting note about the general editor, Wells adds: "Glaise-Horstenau became one of the first Austrian Nazis... second in command of the Austrian Nazi Party... After the Anschluss he joined the Wehrmacht and... took a leading military-administrative role in the occupation of Yugoslavia... in 1946 whilst being being held at Langwasser Military Camp, Nurnberg he committed suicide." See illustrations on our website.   £2250
Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918. Bildermappe. Portfolio, 26x18cm, containing 36 finely printed photos. on 35 plates (one has two images). [Berlin: Reicharchiv/Mittler & Sohn. nd (c.1920)].  #61278
[HLMainPic] Rare photographic supplement to the German OH, containing 36 photos. on 35 plates, all captioned in Gothic script, being fine scenes illustrative of operations in France, Flanders & the Eastern Front. Neil Wells states (in Official Histories of the Great War 1914-1918): "The Bildermappe... is a special picture folder... it was not given a 'Band' number, & the date of publication or copyright was not shown on the folder or any of the plates." Plates fine in VG orig. dec. blue cloth portfolio. See illustrations on our website.   £125
The Official Names of the Battles & Other Engagements Fought By the Military Forces of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914-1919, the Third Afghan War, 1919. Report of The Battles Nomenclature Committee as Approved by the Army Council. Facsimile reprint of 1922 official Ed., [ii]+ii+63pp., 4to. VG in dw. N&MP. 1992  #63971
[HLMainPic] Hardback reprint of exceedingly rare & valuable original edition tabulating all the main engagements on all fronts in the Great War, complete with dates, salient features of the events, geographical notes, official nomenclature, &c. VG in dw. See illustration on our website.   £30
Narrative of the Battle of Jutland. 1st Ed., iv+121pp., 45 diagrams (many fldg.). HMSO. 1924  #63790
[HLMainPic] A shorter (but still detailed) official account with many excellent diagrams. 1000 copies printed. Orig. blue cloth, gilt, VG, very nice copy. See illustration on our website.   £30
Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918. Die Militarischen Operationen zu Lande. Bearbeitet im Reichsarchiv. Vols. 1-12, all substantial volumes, each around 400-700pp., with lge. fldg. maps in end-pockets & further maps in text. Berlin: Reichsarchiv/Mittler & Sohn. 192539  #60727
[HLMainPic] Like the British, the German OH was incomplete when the Second World War broke out. The 12 volumes then published (& here offered) covered operations on Western & Eastern Fronts, the Balkans & Italy, down to June 1917 (including the British Messines offensive). The final two volumes were issued in a limited form during WW2 & are virtually unobtainable. All vols. are handsome, good quality productions with excellent maps &c., produced to a high standard. Very few volumes are offered for sale & a set such as this, as complete as one is likely to encounter, is rare. Orig. maroon cloth, gilt, VG throughout. See illustrations on our website.   £850
A Short History of the Royal Air Force. For Official Use. Air Publication 125. New Ed. (revised from 1920 1st Ed), iv+489pp. Air Ministry. 1929  #63632
[HLMainPic] Prepared by the Air Historical Branch as a shorter official history & intended as an introduction to 'The War in the Air,' the official history of the RAF in the Great War. 1500 copies printed. Orig. printed paper covd. boards with red cloth sp. strip, somewhat worn. generally VG. See illustration on our website.   £60
History of the Great War based on Official Documents: Principal Events 1914-1918. 1st Ed., 394pp., 4to, 14 lge. fldg. tables. HMSO. 1922  #63398
[HLMainPic] Very useful reference arranged in three parts: (i) General Chronological List of all events of Naval, Military of Political importance, (ii) Sub-divided version of the same, printed in parallel columns to show the synchronisation of events, with extra notes, (iii) alphabetical reference to events. Scarce official history, only 1000 copies printed. Orig. blue cloth, VG ex-Foreign Office Library & scarce. See illustration on our website.   £250
Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War. 1914-1920. 1st Ed., 880pp., foolscap, several fldg. tables & charts. HMSO. 1923  #63713
[HLMainPic] Superb, weighty, invaluable & essential compendium of facts & figures including recruiting, casualties (monthly figures for all fronts), expenditure of gun ammunition, contribution of the dominions, expenditure, chronology of events, Enemy PoW, Discipline & Courts-Martial, & much much more. Very rare orig. edition, VG ex-lib. in later blue cloth binding. See illustration on our website.   £325
ASPINALL-OGLANDER (Brig. C.F., CB, CMG, DSO) Military Operations Gallipoli: Volume I: Inception of the Campaign to May 1915. Maps & Appendices 1st Ed., viii+77pp., 5 fldg. maps. VG in sl. chipped dw. Heinemann. 1929  #61087
[HLMainPic] Maps & appendices to Part I: Includes reproductions of Hamilton's, Birdwood's & other subordinate commanders' orders for the original landings, Battle of Krithia &c. Excellent & widely acclaimed history of which Falls states "No serious student of the War can avoid reading this book... he will find this no imposition, for the book is easily & attractively written." Orig. red cloth, gilt, VG in sl. chipped & marked bur scarce dw with bold ink presentation inscription from the author: "Alan Moorehead with all good wishes from Cecil Aspinall-Oglander. These maps were prepared by - though not actually drawn by - Major A.F. Becke, I'm ashamed to see his name does not appear. Vol. II also." Note: Doubtless given to Moorehead by Aspinall-Oglander while the former was writing his classic account of the campaign published in 1956. His regret at the absence of Becke's name on his volume affirms the value placed upon the latter's work. It should be added that Becke's name did appear on the title pages of both the text volumes. Interesting copy. See illustration on our website.   £225
ASPINALL-OGLANDER (Brig. C.F., CB, CMG, DSO) Military Operations: Gallipoli. 1st Eds., complete in 2 text Vols. + 2 Vols. of maps/appendices: xvii+380pp., 20 photos., 19 sketch maps; xiv+517pp., 19 photos., 4 sketch maps; viii+77pp., 5 fldg. maps & vii+85pp., 6 fldg. maps. Heinemann. 1929/1932.  #61079
[HLMainPic] Major Archibald F. Becke's set with his bookplate & neat ink ownership inscription in all four volumes, Vol. I text additionally signed by the author "C.F. Aspinall-Oglander" on title page & Vol. II text warmly inscribed "In memory of our happy association during seven years at Audit House - amongst the happiest years of my life. C.F. Aspinall-Oglander. 25 April 1932." Audit House was the home of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence and there - alongside Edmonds toiling on the Western Front - Aspinall-Oglander & his team worked on the Gallipoli volumes, Cyril Falls on Macedonia, & others including Major Becke who compiled the maps & sketches for Western Front, Gallipoli, Egypt & Palestine & Macedonia volumes, as well as compiling the monumentally meticulous Orders of Battle, 1914-1918, published in six volumes. Becke was a highly regarded historian who, apart from his work on the Official Histories wrote 'Napoleon & Waterloo' (1914), 'The Royal Artillery at Le Cateau' (1919) & other works, as well as contributing to professional journals. He had been commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1893, served in Sierra Leone 1898-99 & South Africa in 1900, from where he was invalided with a damaged lung resulting from enteric fever. Edmonds recalled (in his memoirs, published by Tom Donovan in 2013) him as "a most valuable coadjudicator; he compiled the maps, checking my narrative in the process..." Quite apart from the self-evident historical interest of this set belonging to a long-serving official historian, it is unique in that Becke augmented it considerably. Volume I (Text) benefits from 19 extra photo. illustrations neatly mounted & captioned in ink on 15 card interleaves (plus additional interleaf adjacent to Contents which lists these) : 7 being photographic reproductions & 12 being real photos. of various coastal scenes, geographical features &c. Volume II (Text) benefits from 24 extra photo. illustrations neatly mounted & captioned in ink on 20 card interleaves (plus additional interleaf adjacent to Contents which lists these) : 3 being photographic reproductions & 21 being real photos. of various coastal scenes, geographical features &c. All the photographs are crisp & clear with some interesting captions. Also tipped-in is a 3pp. ms. list in Becke's hand of "Some Gallipoli Place Names & Their Meanings" & of considerable interest two hand written letters to Becke from Harry Pirie-Gordon, on The Times notepaper: (i) On the publication of the second volume, a single-page note: "I like your maps - bleak austerity has given way to an almost Assyrian opulence in the matter of mountains which now loom so formidable as to be likely to scare even members of the Alpine Club, & remind me how I used to sweat going up them. Please suggest to the proper quarter that in the next edition CHUNK BAIR and SARI BAIR might be mentioned in the index... Best salaams Harry Pirie-Gordon. Atabeg (ret.) (ii) A 3pp. note regarding draft chapters of the Palestine OH (Vol. II): "May I acknowledge to you receipt of the Palestine Chapters and Maps? The latter, to a cursory glance seem to have so far abated the austerity of their predecessors as to be in peril of being considered almost profligate - I suppose it is now too late to make a change, but I always think it a pity to use the French spelling for Turkish names. The poor Frog's mouth is so arranged that the J of the more omnivorous Turk and Briton cannot be given the correctly robust sound unless to be prefixed with a D... [and so forth: Becke has written against this passage: "This only applied to the text. Not to the maps. A.F.B." - thereby distancing himself from the supposed infelicity]. HP-G rambles on in a similarly delightful fashion fro two more pages, including some amusing anecdotal recollections of Palestine, & concludes: "Do you ever leave Audit House long enough to go to a Club for lunch? If so you might like to take advantage of the new rules about entertaining at the Athenaeum after Easter.... Best salaams, Harry Pirie-Gordon." Note: There are parallels with T.E. Lawrence in the life & career of Pirie-Gordon (1883-1969): he studied Crusader Castles in Syria in 1908 (& TEL used his maps in his own visit the following year), took part in ostensibly historical but to a degree military intelligence related surveys in the Middle East & was a foreign correspondent for The Times. In WW1 he was initially commissioned in the RNVR, did intelligence work at Gallipoli & worked in the Arab Bureau (a section of the Intelligence Dept. at Cairo, established in 1916 officially to co-ordinate British policy but in fact to act in support of the Arab Revolt, at which TEL also worked); later given an Army commission he became editor of the Palestine News & was one of the compilers of the standard work on the Palestine campaign, "The Advance of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force." Most likely the most interesting set of this excellent & widely acclaimed history (of which Falls states "No serious student of the War can avoid reading this book... he will find this no imposition, for the book is easily & attractively written.") to be offered on the market now or in the future. Orig. red cloth, gilt, sps. a little sunned & self-evidently read, the text volumes a little 'bulked out' by the addition of tipped-in material, but still entirely sound & firm, presented in a modern purpose-made slipcase with gilt titles, accompanied by a small file of newsclippings re Gallipoli retained by Becke & including reviews of the Official History. See illustration on our website.   £5000

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