Chris Westhorp is an experienced freelance editor, writer and researcher. Formerly of Arms and Armour Press and Duncan Baird Publishing, he is a specialist interest in military history and aviation. Chris is the author of The Commando Pocket Manual 1950-1945 (Conway, 2012) amongst numerous other titles.
The Wipers Times went through many names from the original Wipers Times to the final Better Times which ended in December 1918. It was a boon to the men of the trenches, irreverent, satirical and often very funny, Lieutenant Samuel Pepys’ diary being a particularly funny running joke. Here you will find reproduced the complete Wipers Times, a sterling reminder of the resilience and perseverance of the editors, Captain F. J Roberts and Lieutenant J.H. Pearson. Like for Like ReadingTrench Talk: Words of the First World War, Peter Doyle & Julian WalkerTommy's Ark: Soldiers and their Animals in the Great War, Richard van Emden
Decades ahead of the amusing but distorting buffoonery of Blackadder Goes Forth, this complete edition of the Wipers Times, the famed trench newspaper of the First World War, is an extraordinary mix of black humour, fake entertainment programmes and pastiche articles, and constitutes a unique record of life on the wartime frontline. From its long-running cartoon pun (Are We Being Offensive Enough?) to its brilliantly subversive column Things We Want to Know (the name of the officer who originated the idea), its hilarious spoof ads to its pastiche fake contributors (Belary Helloc), this complete facsimile edition of the Wipers Times, produced to accompany the BBC dramatization, is a historical masterpiece that enables us to sample the real spirit of the trenches . . . from the safety of our armchairs. If you can drink the beer the Belgians sell you, And pay the price they ask with ne'er a grouse, If you believe the tales that some will tell you, And live in mud with ground sheet for a house, If you can live on bully and a biscuit, And thank your stars that you've a tot of rum, Dodge whizzbangs with a grin, and as you risk it Talk glibly of the pretty way they hum. . .
The Commandos were created by Winston Churchill in 1940 as a 'butcher and bolt' raiding unit to destroy vital targets in German occupied Europe. Recruits for this 'special service' were all volunteers, drawn from the British Army, and later from the Royal Marines and other Allied armies. Commando training was extremely demanding - men had to be physically fit and show initiative, mental toughness and adaptability. The training courses were designed to cultivate these qualities and to simulate real battle experiences, which included the use of live ammunition. Commandos learned a diverse range of skills at dedicated training centres in the remote Scottish Highlands. This pocket-book draws on authentic training manuals, lecture notes, course literature and other material from the commando schools to give a real insight into this highly specialised fighting unit - demonstrating how commandos were taught to live, fight and move on offensive operations, initially as raiding parties, and later as skilled assault infantry. Sections of the book cover survival and fieldcraft skills; night operations; assaulting obstacles; use of equipment - such as the COPPS canoe for beach reconnaissance and sabotage; and weapons training, including the Thompson submachine gun, the Bren gun, and the famous emblem of the commandos - the Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife.
The Special Air Service was the brainchild of Scots Guards' officer Lieutenant David Stirling, serving with No 8 Commando. He advocated a specially organised, specially equipped and specially trained unit dedicated to the 'unrelenting pursuit of excellence' that could act covertly and operate behind enemy lines to gain intelligence, destroy enemy aircraft and attack their supply and reinforcement routes. The 1st SAS Regiment was officially designated after successful raids against enemy airfields in the Middle East in 1941-1942. In May 1943 a 2nd SAS Regiment was raised in Algeria and would also serve in Sicily and Italy. SAS troopers were at the forefront of the action on D-Day, serving behind the enemy lines, assisting the French Resistance in diversionary attacks and in support of Allied armies. The SAS served with great distinction through 42 significant actions in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany until the end of the war in Europe. This new addition to the bestselling Conway pocket-book series is compiled from wartime and post-war memorandums, manuals and documents. They include unit after-action reports and lecture notes from the centres used to train special services soldiers, gathered from the Liddell Hart Military Archive, National Archives, wartime periodicals and post-war memoirs. The book covers: - training methods - weapons handling - fieldcraft - sabotage training - operations in North Africa and the Middle East (1941-1942), Sicily and Italy (1943) and France (1944-1945)