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Review for Supplying the British Army in the Second World War

Author/Director : Janet Macdonald

Format : Book

Supplying the British army in the Second World war was such an enormous logistical task that writing a single volume about it can only ever touch the surface of the subject. In this book Janet Macdonald has made a valiant effort with limited success. The information swings from strategic to tactical, from overview to minutiae. There is no padding and in many places facts and figures fill the pages to such a degree that it is only digestible in small portions. Taken a little at a time the numbers are both informative and fascinating and indicate a great deal of in depth research.
Sadly it is bound to be the case that there are errors of omission. For example the section on Insignia fails to mention cap badges, originally made of metal but many later made of plastic. And although both Humber and Daimler scout cars are mentioned their ‘big-brother’ versions, the armoured cars armed with 37mm or 2 lb. guns, are missed.
The rhythm of the whole book is in tune with what it is trying to describe a Herculean task which went right most of the time. Here is simply a case of trying to do too much and failing and thereby bringing home to the reader the enormous complexity of supplying the British army. Supporting the text is an interesting set of photographs and useful bibliography.
This book can only serve as an introduction and only as such it is recommended.

Published by : Pen & Sword Military, 2020
ISBN : 978 1 52672 533 2

Review last updated : 2020-05-01 19:53:27

See also : other "World War 2" reviews