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Remembered Today:

History of the Royal Regt of Artillery. Western Front 1914-18


auchonvillerssomme

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I have just started the 'History of the Royal Regt of Artillery. Western Front 1914-18' by General Sir Martin Farndale. KCB. It has occurred to me that it was published in 1986, I know relatively little about the RA so can any of the RA experts out there tell me if it is a reasonable history or are there better, should I be looking elsewhere?

Mick

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As far as I know, there is no later overall history of the RA than Farndale's, which was one volume of a series he wrote covering the Royal Artillery in both World Wars.

I read the book some while ago, and it seemed to be a workmanlike production, though if I recall correctly, there was an overuse of exclamation marks!

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In that case I will read on with more than the usual expressions of surprise.

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Mick

I can remember Farndale toting this around the Regiments when it was first published.

The book provides a comprehensive history of the Royal Regiment by following the battles of the RA from mobilisation to the armistice. There are some very good annexes which detail technical developments (sound ranging, meteor), command and control and organisation. There is also an order of battle for the RA on the Western Front as at the armistice. I find the maps give a good overview of the battles and actions involved.

It is also very partisan to the Gunners !.My own viewpoint is a more general account of a battle, or possibly the Official History should be read first to understand the battle, then the gunner aspect can be viewed in that context. I am currently researching the battle of Mons for a trip and following Frandale one gets the impression that the infantry did not do much apart from withdraw.

There are some glaring errors. Farndale has the first round fired on the wrong date (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=181730&hl=), which is disappointing.

As Paul outlined ! it is full of exclamation marks !, Chapter 2 is actually titled "Into Battle - Mons !". The points he emphasises may be relevant to people who have spent a number of years firing guns, but loose it for the non Gunner reader.

Overall, given the paucity of books on the RA it is a valuable contribution.

Ian

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Compare with Sanders Marble's 'British artillery on the Western Front in the First World War' from 2013.

or his co-authored (with Paul Strong) 'Artillery in the Great War'.

The former is an excellent book, but hardback only from Ashgate makes it expensive. Borrow from a library?

Simon.

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