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Gunfire! British Artillery in World War II

Gunfire! British Artillery in World War II

Stig Moberg
ARRSE Rating
3 Mushroom Heads
Stig Moberg served for many years as a Reservist artillery officer in Sweden. In the early 2000s he was prompted to choose the Royal Artillery in World War Two as the subject of a book after discovering how many archives were available in the UK. He published the book in Swedish originally and then was encouraged to publish an English version.

This is a truly impressive work: covering both the technical side of gunnery, detail about the equipment used and a decent potted history through the war. As a Gunner, this is a fantastic reference book which will be invaluable to those researching the Second World War.

This is where the problems start... The translation leaves something to be desired; this is a real pity because it detracts from the flow as you read. At the same time, it is difficult to pinpoint whether the issue is with the translation or just the style it is written in. Either way, this results in a book that is really heavy going. As a reference tome this may not be a problem as you are unlikely to try and read it straight through from cover to cover. The price is also a problem - the book weighs in at a hefty £40 (although I did find a new hard-back copy on Amazon for £26.91). This is not something you are going to pick up as a casual buyer or as a birthday present for a Gunner relative; libraries and Adjutants' bookshelves will probably be the only place you'll find a copy. Brig Ken Timbers provides the foreword to this edition as well as the very positive review in the most recent Royal Artillery Journal.

It pains me to be so negative as it is clear that a huge amount of effort has gone into producing this magnificent opus; however it would be remiss of me to recommend it as an easy read. As a reference work, it will be the source for many Duncan Essays; as an enjoyable work of non-fiction, it needs to have its English translation thoroughly scrubbed to make it more readable.

I salute Stig Moberg's industry; I just wish his editor had equalled his efforts.

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