Between the Ears of a Horse

Brian Bond

  • Fire-Power: British Army Weapons and Theories of War by Shelford Bidwell and Dominick Graham
    Allen and Unwin, 327 pp, £15.00, August 1982, ISBN 0 04 942176 X
  • The Crucible of War: Year of Alamein 1942 by Barrie Pitt
    Cape, 478 pp, £12.95, October 1982, ISBN 0 224 01827 2

At first glance Fire-Power may seem to be a professional study by gunners about gunners and for gunners, but if readers not privileged to have served in the Royal Regiment can absorb the technical information and diagrams they will learn a lot about the realities of warfare in the first half of the 20th century. In particular, they will appreciate the extent to which fire-power has dominated combat and what techniques have been evolved to exploit it and overcome it. This is not a narrow study of artillery: the authors also discuss the development and tactics of machine-guns, trench mortars, hand-grenades and, most important of all, the radio, which exerted a truly revolutionary influence. Although this work is a joint effort, it is likely that the first part, on the First World War, was written by Professor Graham and the rest by Brigadier Shelford Bidwell.

The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in