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MACINTOSH (J.C.) Men & Tanks. 1st Ed., [vii]+142pp. Bodley Head (On Active Service series). 1921  #59244
[HLMainPic] James C. "Tosh" Macintosh, a South African & later a circuit judge in SA, until his untimely death in 1943, was commissioned in the Heavy Branch MGC 26/1/1917 & transferred to the Tank Corps. Although he employs pseudonyms & does not state his unit, it is well known that he commanded tank D45 "Destroyer II", in no. 10 Sec., 12 Coy., 'D' Bn., Tank Corps, & most of his brother officers are identifiable. In this work, one of the rarest in Mr. John Lane's "On Active Service" series, he describes the build up to & the Battle of Cambrai & the battle itself, in which his tank was put out of action by a German field gun in their Support Line, near Flesquières communal cemetery. He records some unusual matter, such as the state of the salved tanks they took into battle (in the words of the Workshop Officer): "The engines have all been 'converted' - which means aluminium pistons - & overheat like blazes; the timing is all wrong; a couple have twisted shafts; & some of them have bullet-holes plugged with putty." Accordingly, their tank was difficult to start & the crew resorted to injecting hot petrol into the cylinders: "the first driver collects a small tin & an old Lewis Gun magazine, both of which he fills with petrol. Repairing to the nearest field, he places the tin in the magazine, & drops a match. The petrol immediately flares up; but, as the flames in the magazine die down, he extinguishes the tin by putting his foot over the mouth, picks it up in a pair of pliers, runs across to the Tank, injects the hot petrol with a syringe, & at the fourth turn the engine starts... This is a device not included in any published manual of 'Hints on Easy Starting!'" He also describes the construction & use of fascines - they weighed 1.5 tons - & he used his to good effect to cross the German first line. Orig. brown paper covd. boards, blindstamped & black titles, minor wear, VG with ink ownership inscrip. "Thomas Hope Floyd. 30th August, 1930," also in pencil at end the date "22/10/30" - presumably the date he finished reading it, bookplate & one stamp of Univ. of Salford Library, recording that it was deposited there by the Lancashire Record Office from the Thomas Hope Floyd Bequest. Note Floyd was the author of another work in the same series, "At Ypres with Best-Dunkley" - his recollections of 3rd Ypres with the 2/5th LFs. See illustrations on our website.   £250




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