The Years of Defeat: Europe and North Africa 1939-1941 - Martin FarndaleLondon: Brassey's, 1996, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good+ Dust Wrapper. Top edge of the text block a little age-tanned, a decent copy otherwise.
Number 5 in the series. Includes: Order of battle; Further reading list; Black & white photographs; Chronological tables (1); Maps (some colour); List of abbreviations; References; Glossary;
From the cover: “Guns have been used by the English since at least the Battle of Crecy in 1346 and ever since they have played an important and ever increasing role in war. Henry VII formed the first force of artillery in England in 1486 when he established a permanent body of gunners in the royal fortresses. Master Gunners were appointed to look after the guns and the first Master Gunner of Whitehall and St James’s Park was appointed in 1678. Then in 1716 two companies of Regular artillery formed at Woolwich and the title ‘Royal’ was added in 1722. The Royal Horse Artillery was founded in 1793.
Because gunners rallied to the guns in battle the guns became the colours of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. Since 1756 the Royal Artillery, when on parade with guns, has taken precedence over all regiments of the Army except the cavalry. Since 1793, when on parade with their guns, the Royal Horse Artillery has taken precedence over all regiments of the Army. At Woolwich the Regiment possesses one of the world’s greatest collections of historic guns, books and archives on the subject of artillery. Its museums tell the story of the guns from Crecy to the present day. However, the official history of the Regiment down to the late 1980’s only existed as far as 1914. In the 1960s the Royal Artillery Historical Affairs Committee embarked on a major project to bring the history up to date.
This book, the fifth in the New Series, is concerned with the Regiment’s part in the first two years of the Second World War, at home, in Europe and in Africa. It covers the relatively small Regular element existing in peacetime and the massive growth brought about by the urgent need to to expand for war. Armed at the outset mostly with guns which differed little from those employed in the First World War, the Regiment was ill-equipped in the quality and quantity of its equipments and in the standard of training of most of its men. These deficiencies were eventually overcome. During the first two years of war, however, the Regiment had to improvise and did so magnificently. Battles were won even in the course of losing campaigns. The dire results of the campaigns in Norway and France were followed by the magnificent part played in the defence of the homeland. Early success in the Western Desert was followed by defeat there and in Greece and Crete offset only by victory in East Africa. This book shows how a greater artillery strength and a wider knowledge of how it should be employed could have made all the difference in many of these campaigns.”