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“Everything worked like clockwork”

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The mechanisation of British Regular and Household Cavalry 1918-1942
Roger Salmon, Helion, 321pp, 235 x 160mm, RRP £29.95, ISBN: 9781910777961.

Dedicating his work to his father, a former cavalryman, Roger Salmon has conducted exhaustive research to produce an excellent book. By using actual documents, interviews with veterans and comparing them with previous published works, he puts the record straight about various myths concerning the slowness of mechanisation of the Cavalry arm of the British Army.
By looking at many sources, including the memories of those who were there, he compares and rightly puts it into context with the prevailing political and economic situation. As we find so frequently, ‘stories’ published as fact have been accepted and copied in subsequent books, till it taken as gospel. This book corrects this.
Each page has the sources used in the text listed at the bottom to allow easy cross-reference that which speeds things up, rather than checking to references at the back of the book.  We are fortunate that the effort has been made to record the memories of our veterans, as exemplified in this work.
The crux of the research shows that there were many factors which affected procurement of AFV’s, and delayed mechanisation greatly, rather than the unwillingness of the soldiers to adapt.  Appropriatly, the coloured cover is  “Victory at Beda Fomm” with Vickers Mk VI Light Tanks of 3rd Hussars, February 1941 by David Pentland.  Numerous photos of vehicles, horses and men illustrate the book, some are well known, others from private collections. Well worth the read.
Available from Casemate UK www.casemate.co.uk                                        Paul Middleton 01-10-2016

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