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Only the Enemy in Front (every Other Beggar Behind...): The Recce

Only the Enemy in Front (every Other Beggar Behind...): The Recce Corps at War, 1940-1946 - Richard Doherty

London: Tom Donovan, 1994, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Top edge of the text block lightly spotted.

Includes: Black & white photographs; Maps; Tables;

From the cover: “Only the Enemy in Front (the title is taken from the unofficial motto of the Recce Corps) is the first comprehensive history of this spearhead fighting Corps formed in 1941 to replace the divisional cavalry regiments which had traditionally performed this role but which were transferred to the Royal Armoured Corps after Dunkirk.

The standard reconnaissance battalion carried twice as much firepower as its infantry counterpart: it was designed to move quickly in armoured recce cars, universal carriers and trucks; and it was to send its information back by wireless. Sir Arthur Bryant summarised the role as that of the cat’s whiskers — armoured, mechanised transmitting whiskers. Those who served had to be intelligent, enterprising, brave, enduring and highly skilled.

Using War Diaries, personal reminiscences and published material Richard Doherty tells the stories of all the reconnaissance regiments that saw active service. All the important theatres of war and battles are represented here: Singapore (where the Corps first saw action); Egypt and the Western Desert; Tunisia; Sicily; Italy; Burma (including one regiment with Wingate’s Chindits); North-West Europe (which includes a squadron at Arnhem) through to Germany.

Starting with a study of the background and formation of the Corps as a result of the deliberations of the Bartholomew Committee in June 1940, Only the Enemy… looks at the early days, the need to improvise in equipment and training, the lack of understanding among divisional commanders of the role of a recce battalion, and even the quest for a cap badge for the Corps.

Throughout the book the theme of the importance of reconnaissance is developed and the unique ethos of the Corps that made them an elite force in their day is given due credit. Many actions are covered in some detail to illustrate the special nature of the work of a reconnaissance regiment in the field.”


Size: 9½" x 6¼". Green boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 286 pages.
£48.30
Only the Enemy in Front (every Other Beggar Behind...): The Recce