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Armoured Warfare in the British Army, 1914-1939 (Hardback)

WWII WWI Photographic Books Colour Books Military

By Lt Col Dick Taylor
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Find, Fix and Strike
Pages: 248
Illustrations: 150 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781399001182
Published: 7th March 2022


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This is the first volume in a three-volume illustrated history of the evolution of armoured manoeuvre warfare in the British army, covering the period from 1914 until 1939. Author Dick Taylor’s tour de force covers the evolution of the tank and armoured cars in response to the specific conditions created by trench warfare, the history of the use of tanks during the war, as well as the critical period between the wars in which the tank was both refined and neglected. He also looks in detail at the amalgamations and mechanization of the horsed cavalry which led to the formation of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939.

His detailed and absorbing narrative covers the social and human aspects of the story as well as the technology, and explains how the nation that invented and first fielded the tank in 1916 struggled to maintain the lead after the Armistice.

Alongside the compelling story of the tank development, the reader gets a real feel to other vital components of armoured warfare development. This includes various areas such as the Armoured car development, and the structure of the Royal Armoured Corps in 1939. An overview of major armoured car units, 1914-1939, breaks down more details service information, from the Unit, when formed, Service and Equipment, as well as when disbanded; all this and more, reflective of an extremely well researched piece of work. I look forward to reading the next volume.

Jon Sandison

With a foreword from the curator of the Tank Museum and written by the official historian of the Royal Armoured Corps, a man who worked his way up from Junior Trooper to Lt Col with much service with both 1 and 3 RTR, this book promised a great deal. I’m glad to say that it delivers - describing the well known history of the tank’s difficult birth and development in WW1 and it’s even more challenging inter-war period in fascinating detail... an excellent read and I look forward to the next instalment!

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ARRSE (Army Rumour Service)

Review as featured in

Britain at War

This book or small book series takes a look at tanks during the Great War and up until the Second World War. Unfortunately, the British tank was never a going to be the best in the world, but it was the first. This book explains the reasons for this from political in-fighting, to there no being group thinking to improve on the original tanks and therefore not enough money put into the weapon in the inter-war period. This book should be commended for the very comprehensive information and detail within, the author Dick Taylor has done a fantastic job I feel I have learnt so much from this book. The book contains a lot of information tables and some really good photographs of the process and design.

If I wanted to learn about the British tank, I would most certainly recommend this one and this is just the first in a series of three. This is a highly commendable book, very well written and well done.

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The History Fella

The fly leaf note calls this book a tour de force and so it is. It very thoroughly covers the very beginning of British armoured vehicles through to 1939. The first fumbling attempts towards mechanized warfare gave Britain world leader status by the end of the First World war. The internal politics of the army plus the financial constraints of the depression lost us that leadership by the start of the Second World war. Naturally there is a lot about the use and misuse of the first tanks and some dramatic description of conditions inside them. This book ranges from battlefield heroism to Whitehall shenanigans and tells both stories well.
There are a lot of photographs scattered through the book, the appendices are a mini reference book in themselves and the bibliography is extensive.
This is the first of a three volume work and the next volume cannot come too soon. We very highly recommend it.

Read the full review here

Clash of Steel

About Lt Col Dick Taylor

Dick Taylor started his service in the British army at the tender age of sixteen as a Junior Trooper at the Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps in Bovington. After completing training he served with 3RTR and 2RTR. As well as being a tank commander, he was a specialist in tank gunnery. He was commissioned as a captain in 2000 into 1RTRand left the regular army as a lieutenant colonel in 2013, although he has since been mobilized for operational service three times for tours overseas. During his long career he completed fifteen operational deployments to various hot spots including three tours of Afghanistan, two to Iraq, as well as Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and South Sudan. He remains in the Army Reserve. He is the official historian of the Royal Armoured Corps, has an avid interest in modern and military history and writes military history books for a hobby.

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