Popskis Private Army.

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Effendi, Mar 6, 2013.

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  1. Vladimir Peniakof, other wise known as Popski, wrote about his own and his units adventures in WW2. I enjoyed the read and would recommend it to any student of early contemporary'ish military history.
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  2. Further to...

    Sean Rayment's (ex Para defence blunt for the papers) latest book, 'Tales from the SF Club' includes an interview with one of the last surviving members of Popski's army.

    I haven't actually read the book but will soon and hopefully he will submit a copy to Auld_Yin for a review.

    Witchcraft! An advert for it on Amazon has just popped up next this>
  3. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Big eye, I have a proof copy to review for another site, but don't tell SR as i will be looking for a final copy to be reviewed for ARRSE. I have started and only read 1st two tales but so far they are good reading. If SR would like to get in touch with me so I can arrange the full review, I think it will be worth it.

    Did you know that Sean was an ex Para officer? Well if not don't worry he makes sure we know at the start of the book ! ;P
  4. I did know that he was - I've spent a couple of days hanging around watching somewhere waiting for something to happen with him (it didn't) It was his snapper that mentioned Sean's background to be fair and he's seemed like a decent chap and considering his position at the rag, fairly modest.

    - as far as not telling him is concerned he's probably read this already.
  5. I have a 1950s copy of Popski's Private Army that my father had from his national service days; it is a very interesting book. On the same subject "Fighting With Popski's Private Army" by Bob Park Yunnie is worth reading as well. I got a copy for Christmas and it makes a good read.
  6. There's an ex member living in Lowestoft, not too far from me, iirc. I think he published his memoirs a few years back. I'll try and find out his name and name of the book.
  7. I was lent a book called Going to the Wars by John Verney (Penguin c.1958) that seems to be a thinly disguised account of an officer with Popski's or an outfit very much like it. Often quite shambolic.
    There's also quite a bit about the authors TA experiences with the Yeomanry division in Palestine and Syria.

    Edit: Looked him up, it's Sir John Verney MC Bt.

  8. I have the same book somewhere. I agree it's a great read.
  9. Yes. Bought the book back in the 70's. An excellent read and much recommended.

  10. Tales From the SF: Should be an interesting read. I spoke with a bloke a few times who re-counted some marvelous stories, including a few involving "The Count".

    Had the pleasure of shaking the hands of a couple of Popskis blokes at The War & Peace event, they were looking lustfully at a re-creation of a WW2 desert jeep.
  11. I've got a copy of it. Cracking read and Popski seems a humble bloke - telling people when he cocked up. Deserves being published on kindle and/or a reprint.
  12. I have my 1953 edition with me today. I used to read it as a kid when I stayed with my Grandmother and was fascinated by the seemingly amateurish way we set up special forces units in WW2.
    The PPA went on to forge a decent name for themselves. Popski was someone who had a 'sterile' life, as he put it, up to the start of the war. The war let him find himself and he probably counted the war years as true contentment despite the losses and hardships. Hugely interesting character and a great read.
  13. As an aside, when I was a tiny tot, I read a book called 'Keeping up with the Jonses' written in the late 50s iy was a handbook on how to be at the top of the social whirl. It mentioned that driving licences should have been obtained in the forces, and that military service should have been with a small outfit like Popski's. As a sprog I thought it was a made up name.

    The book was by Pan.
  14. I also have a 1950s copy of Popski's Private Army, but I stole mine from the bookcase in the Fleece in Richmond while I was at Catterick in basic.
  15. There is a fleeting reference in that book to an officer who was an excellent mechanic but whom Peniakoff had to sack because of his love of the bottle. One of the abiding mysteries of Popski's Private Army is what that officer managed to do to make the jeeps, to paraphrase the author, virtually un-boggable.