Band of Brigands by Christy Campbell
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Band of Brigands
By Christy Campbell

Band of Brigands

The First Men in Tanks

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Format: Paperback

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Band of Brigands by Christy Campbell

Book Description

The dramatic story of the men who fought a new and terrifying kind of war amidst the carnage of the trenches in World War I: the British pioneer volunteers who were the first tank-men into battle. Inspired by a visit to northeast France to witness the excavation of a remarkably intact First World War tank from beneath a suburban vegetable plot near the town of Cambrai, Christy Campbell - then defence correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph - began to piece together the little-known story of the young men who formed the British Tank Corps. Very few of them had been professional soldiers; they were motoring enthusiasts and mechanics, plumbers, motorcyclists, circus performers and polar explorers. One officer declared: 'I have never seen such a band of brigands in my life.' They had trained in conditions of great secrecy in the grounds of a mock-oriental stately home in East Anglia and were originally known as the 'Heavy Branch, Machine Gun Corps'. The word 'tank' itself was deliberately chosen to mislead. Men in tanks saw the face of battle at its most brutal. Their task was to crush and burn the enemy out of his fortifications, and to carve a path for the infantry so they could finish the job with bayonet and grenade. Captured tank crews were beaten up or sometimes shot out of hand by the Germans. They fought in their stifling armoured boxes packed with petrol and explosives, aware that at any moment a shell-hit might incinerate them all. Christy Campbell has combed contemporary diaries and letters and later recollections to tell properly for the first time the robust yet harrowing story of how the first men in tanks went to war. The time frame is 1916-18, with a coda on how German blitzkrieg ideas developed from an English root.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780007214600
ISBN-10: 000721460X
Format: Paperback
(197mm x 130mm x 36mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: HarperPerennial
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions...

Books By Author Christy Campbell

Please Take Me Home by Christy Campbell Please Take Me Home, Hardback (October 2016)

In Dogs of Courage, Clare Campbell told the incredible journey of the dogs who conscripted to fight for their country. This time, she examines the plight of the nation's rescue cats, taking us from unsentimental horrors through to joyful happy endings

Mini by Christy Campbell Mini, Paperback (March 2016)

From its birth in 1959, the Mini grew to become a national treasure and huge success: Princess Margaret owned one, as did Steve McQueen, and the Beatles. Its popularity with women marked it out from the crowd, and sales soared as the car was taken up by the new urban elite. Full of fascinating facts and stories, this title tells the story of Mini.

Dogs of Courage by Christy Campbell Dogs of Courage, Paperback (February 2016)

What did the nation's dogs do for the war effort? How did man's best friend prove his loyalty in his master's struggle against the Axis threat?

Eat & Explore Ohio Cookbook & Travel Guide by Christy Campbell Eat & Explore Ohio Cookbook & Travel Guide, Paperback / softback (March 2015)

Author Christy Campbell's mission is to bring her readers a taste of each state by sharing the favorite recipes of hometown cooks throughout the state while sharing information about fun festivals, unique attractions, and fascinating tourist destinations from across the state.

» View all books by Christy Campbell


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Author Biography - Christy Campbell

Christy Campbell is a writer, journalist and former defence correspondent and feature writer for the Sunday Telegraph, which he joined on the eve of the Gulf War. He is the author of The Maharajah's Box, Fenian Fire and Phylloxera.

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