Classic Military Vehicle is the UK's best-selling publication dedicated to historic military vehicles. With coverage of the vehicles, people and events that make up this fascinating scene, including authoritative text, superb photography and great archive material, it is the number one publication in its field.
Out of all the books relating to WW1 raining down on us at the moment, here is one that has direct relevance to the military-vehicle enthusiast. Better still, I’m not aware of any existing books on the subject. A welcome double-whammy, you might say.
The author, Tim Gosling, jointly owns with his brother, Stephen, seven trucks of the Great War era – CMV covered some of them back in June 2008 – and has a fund of knowledge both practical and academic relating to motor transport of the period. Tim has also built up a superb collection of photographs and it is they which form the foundation for this, his first book.
Bear in mind that the book isn’t just concerned with British-built trucks, but covers trucks of any origin used by the British Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Flying Corp between 1914 and 1918. So, alongside vehicles from British marques such as the ‘gone but not forgotten’ likes of AEC, Commer and Austin, and from companies many of us knew nothing much about to forget, such as Straker-Squire and McCurd, you’ll find a whole range of foreign types. Again, some you will have heard of – FWD, Willys, SPA, Packard etc – others, you may not… Garford and Kelly Springfield anyone?
If, like me, you have an interest in the history of military transport and you’re fascinated by old photos of proud and stoical servicemen posing in and alongside the vehicles with which they ‘did there bit’, you’ll find this book a delight. It has been produced in a limited edition of 999, and if there is any justice it will sell fast. So don’t delay; get your order in now.
British Military Trucks of World War One, Tim Gosling. Tankograd Publishing, 2014, 9783936519372. Hardback; 315mm x 210mm, 200 pages; 39 euros plus postage direct from www.tankograd.com
The WW2 exploits of the French SAS have perhaps been overshadowed by those of their British colleagues. Maybe the appearance of Henri Pilon’s replica of a 4 SAS Jeep will help change that, suggests John Blackman
The history of the Special Air Service (SAS) dates back to 1941 when Lieutenant David Stirling was promoted to Captain by General Auchinleck, Commander in Chief Middle East, and ordered to raise a force of 65 men that would be parachuted behind enemy lines. The new unit was named L Detachment, Special Air Service Brigade, in order to mislead Axis forces into thinking that there was an entire parachute brigade operating in North Africa.
After a faltering beginning, the Detachment achieved great success attacking enemy airfields and convoys and was expanded in September 1942 and officially designated 1st SAS Regiment, with the newly-promoted Lieutenant Colonel David Stirling DSO in command. The Regiment comprised three squadrons plus a Free French detachmentunder Captain George Bergé and the Greek Sacred Squadron under Christodoulas Tsigantes. Unfortunately, David Stirling was captured in January 1943 during SAS operations in southern Tunisia and, as the North African campaign drew to a close, the depleted 1st SAS Regiment was reorganised into the Special Raiding Squadronunder Major Paddy Mayne and the Special Boat Squadron under Major the Earl Jellicoe