Tuesday, 7 January 2014

December 2013 - January 2014: Published Elsewhere

I've been doing some more writing elsewhere, another book review on the Second World War Military Research Group (http://secondworldwaroperationsresearchgroup.wordpress.com/) this time on Richard Doherty's book on British Armour of the Second World War.

Richard Doherty, British Armoured Divisions and their Commanders, 1939-1945. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2013. Index. Bibliography. Illustrations. Appendix. Hbk 270 pp.
Reviewed by Alexander Clarke, PhD Candidate, King’s College London
armoured divisions
While ostensibly characterised as a naval historian, I could have specialised in two alternative areas. Firstly, the Roman Empire with a specific focus on the pre-Marian Republican Legions, their battles, campaigns and commanders, or second, the history of Armoured Warfare. Therefore, it should be no surprise that Liddell Hart’s A Greater than Napoleon: Scipio Africanus is a very well-thumbed member of my bookshelves and as such provides an interesting counterpoint to this work although it does not feature in Doherty’s bibliography – a not unexpected occurrence but something noticeable.[1]
Whilst not always an indicator of content, it is nice when a book is visually attractive; in this case it really is. The front cover is taken from an excellently atmospheric painting, by David Rowlands, of the 1St Royal Tank Regiment’s Cruiser Mk I and II tanks fighting the Italian’s at Beda Fomm. Within the covers, Doherty sets out a bold thesis, to re-write a common misconception as to the quality, capability and culpability of British Armour in the Second World War as exemplified by Beale’s Death by Design.[2] Doherty does this well providing a clear guide through a very complex part of history with a writing style that is naturally authoritative and factual, in a way that does not overwhelm or force conclusions but instead carries them along through a thought process. Whilst like any thought process there are eddies, and currents which do not always take the quickest or most straightforward route, the reader is never bored and if like me will not be able to put it down.

p.s. apologies I have been having computer troubles and am currently awaiting new parts to fix my own, I had all my worked backed up baring this months blog posts, so they are going to be delayed...although I sincerely doubt anyone was waiting with baited breath. Happy to New to everyone, I hope the resolutions that will benefit you come to fruition and the ones that won't fall by the wayside.