Catalogue No. 174 “Verdun”
June 2021

I am delighted to offer another catalogue of interesting military history books in most of the customary areas. Notably, there are some excellent examples of Great War literature by both British and German authors, alongside numerous other desirable works. 

We are a leading dealers in rare and second hand books on British military history from around 1800 to 1945. The Great War, 1914-1918, has always been our speciality and we hold extensive stocks of regimental and divisional histories, official histories, standard works, memoirs, Rolls of Honour, Army Lists and so forth. For more information see

History of the 20th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Infantry, Brownlow's Punjabis. From its Formation in 1857 to 1907.
Much NWF inc. Yusufzai Expedition 1858, Umbeyla 1863, Hazara, 2nd Afghan War, Tirah &c. 1897-98; also China in 1860 & 1900. "...detailed accounts of the sixteen campaigns in which it took part... interesting biographies of the regiment's founder..." - Perkins 476. Nominal rolls &c. Orig. qtr. green morocco, gilt, sp. tanned o/w VG indeed, a very nice example as the leather sp. was prone to disintegration & most copies I have encountered have been rebacked. Inscribed: "Col Keyworth from L.C. Dunsterville" (i.e. Maj.Gen. Lionel Charles Dunsterville, or "Stalky," commander of Dunsterforce &c.) & beneath that a later (1961) inscription to an officer from his wife. Rare, especially in this condition. See illustration on our website. 1910 £325

Field-Marshal Sir Henry Wilson: His Life & Diaries.
Wilson was commissioned in the Rifle Bde. 1884; served in Burma, Boer War, &c., & was a famous Francophile intriguer, DMO 1910-14; GOC IV Corps, Supreme War Council, &c. in WW1, CIGS 1918 & 1921-22 when assassinated by Sinn Feiners. "It is pretty evident that these diaries kept by Sir Henry Wilson were not meant to be published in this form. His impulsiveness in his speech he carried into his private journal, & there are many occasions on which it does him less than justice & gives openings to his many detractors. The main importance of the book is first of all in Wilson's relations before the War with French commanders & staff officers, & secondly as regards the period in 1918 when he was Chief of the Imperial General Staff. Orig. green cloth with black cloth spines, gilt, VG in dws (spines of jackets tanned o/w VG). Relatively common but scarce in this condition with jackets. See illustration on our website. 1927 £75

Deductions from the World War.
Prussian Gen. Freytag was QMG then after Verdun Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the German Army: in this book he predicted that when the present war was over Germany must immediately prepare for the next, "a revelation, because he says what Germany thinks." Export from Germany was prohibited but a copy evidently found its way to Messrs. Constable who published it in English, in this sole edition, in 1918. Falls states of the same author's memoirs (Berlin, 1924): "He was at the outbreak attached to the GHQ of the Austrian Armies, next Deputy Chief of the General Staff ion the days of Falkenhayn, & for the rest of the War Hindenburg's representative in Berlin." Orig. red cloth, titled in black, VG in sl. chipped & attractive dw. Scarce original edition, especially in dw & has bold ink ownership inscription of "Lila Abinger 1918 - Rownhams." 1918 £85

Higher Command.
Rare German memoir-novel tracing the slow disintegration of the personality of a German soldier (with a Field Artillery regiment) on the Western & Eastern Fronts, "The names of individuals & regiments contained in this book are imaginary except where they occur in official documents." Published in Germany in 1930 with the title "Heeresbericht" - a military communique or despatch - & highly acclaimed: "A truly mighty work... It describes in almost cruel realism the course of the war & at the same time, behind that, it paints the whole nation"- Jacob Kniep; "Parts of the pure battle scenes - the bombardments, aeroplane & tank attacks - are among the grandest & cruellest of all war literature" - Hermann Kassack (extracts from USA edition sleeve notes [the 1st USA edition was published in the same year]). Additionally, Faber's sleeve note to this English 1st Edition opines that "In tone the book most resembles 'Her Privates We,' yet it contains a more explicit condemnation of the horrors of war... it is an individual, particular account, whose truth & vividness has won it a great success in Germany." Orig. red cloth, gilt, VG in exceptionally rare dw (this a little chipped at extremities). See illustrations on our website. 1931 £275

The General.
A superbly observant novel by a master of his craft. "The General" is a character study of the British regular army, its construct & its officer class, covering the period 1899-1918. The hero is Herbert Curzon, whose father has made his money in Mincing Lane. We meet him as a subaltern in a Lancer regiment during the early stages of the Boer War, when he quite inadvertently distinguishes himself & receives the DSO. Scarce 1st Edition, original red cloth, gilt, in sl. chipped but VG & rare dw. See illustrations on our website. 1936 £250


Quatre de l'Infanterie Front Ouest 1918.
Fine German novel (original 1929 German title: Vier Von der Infanterie; 1930 English title: Four Infantrymen on the Western Front 1918) novel that became the basis for Pabst's notable war film Westfront. This French language edition consisted of 25,000 unnumbered copies for general sale, 325 copies on superior paper not for sale & 350 copies, numbered from 1 to 350, printed on "pure Vincent Montgolfier thread" of which this copy is example number 348. This copy bears a superb presentation inscription from the author: "Kriege sind fast immer schlechte Geschäfte. Diese Tatsache ist die beste Reklame für eine Europa der Vernunft. Monsieur Joseph van Melle, Vom Verfasser gewidmet, Ernst Johansson April 1931" which translates as: "Wars are almost always a bad business. This fact is the best advertisement for a Europe of common sense. Monsieur Joseph van Melle, Dedicated by the author, Ernst Johansson April 1931." The recipient was Joseph van Melle (1884-1970 [Paris]), Belgian-born publisher who worked for the Belgian government during WW1 & was a director of the French publishing house Berger-Levrault, and other publishing interests. Loosely inserted is a printed slip "Messageries & Biblioteques Hachette" which records Nom du Visiteur, Objet de la Visite &c. The 'Nom' is written in pencil "Ernst Johannsen" with ink-stamp date 22 Avril 1931. It is quite obvious that the novelist met van Melle at Hachette on this occasion, when he presented him with one of the later-numbered books. It is equally obvious that van Melle never read it, because it remains uncut. Slightly aged/tanned, very slight chips at foot of sp., generally very presentable & a most interesting copy of a work that remains scarce in any form in any language. See illustrations on our website. 1930 £275

Classic French novel based on personal experience, sequel to Le Feu/Under Fire, being the story of an office worker who, while serving in the Army, begins to realise that imperialist wars are crimes. When published in France it was censored, but the excised passages have been restored in this English edition. Orig. red cloth, gilt, VG in sl. chipped but rare dw. See illustrations on our website. 1919 £145

Chelsea CD Warden Service Souvenir Magazine.
A fine record, in prose, verse & art forms, of the nine Wardens' Posts of the Chelsea Civil Defence, inc. much of interest on their serious work as well as more light-hearted cartoons &c. (these by Theyre Lee-Elliott [who also designed the cover] & Hans Tisdall), with four artworks by Lee-Elliott, Norma Bull, Eliot Hodgkin & Stephen Chapman: all being prominent artists as well as ARP Wardens. Lee-Elliott is best known for Art Deco & Modernist design, including book covers & posters; several of the Australian Norma Bull's renditions of bomb damage are in the IWM collection while Eliot Hodgkin was a prominent still-life artist who worked for the Ministry of Information during the war. Attractive & rare survival. See illustrations on our website. 1945 £225

Continuation of the History of the 5th Battalion (Pathans) 14th Punjab Regiment from 1937 to its disbandment subsequent to the conclusion of the campaign in Malaya on Februray 15th, 1942.
The Malaya campaign 1941-42 followed by some records of the Bn. & its personnel in captivity. "All of this is covered in clear & interesting details" - Perkins. Rolls of British & Indian officers, &c. Orig. green printed card wraps., small but detailed, VG & very rare, with related newspaper clipping & several loosely inserted photos. of war memorials. See illustration on our website. £225

Life of General Sir Hope Grant, With Selections from His Correspondence.
Hope Grant's 'voluminous' campaign journals inc. China War 1842-44, Sikh Wars, Indian Mutiny (Siege of Delhi), China 1860 (C.-in-C.), edited & compiled by his ADC. Orig. brown cloth, gilt, VG & rare & a rather interesting copy with unusual decorative memorial bookplate: "Crockhamhill Book Club In Memory of Alexander Innes Shand" together with several newspaper clippings paste-in re death of Charles Napier, alongside ink 1967 ownership inscrip. of the late Marquis of Anglesey, historian of the British Cavalry. See illustration on our website. 1894 £275



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