- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: The History Press (8 Sept. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0750966238
- ISBN-13: 978-0750966238
- Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 1 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 510,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
War on Wheels: The Mechanisation of the British Army in the Second World War Paperback – 8 Sep 2016
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About the Author
Philip Hamlyn Williams, a historian and biographer, discovered the story of War on Wheels in papers left by his parents. His father, Major General Sir Leslie 'Bill' Williams, commanded the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in the Second World War.
Top Customer Reviews
The book shines light on the dedication of the whole team of people brought together by the man entrusted with the mechanisation of the British Army. That man was the author's father, Leslie Williams (known affectionately and universally as Bill), who, having served as a machine gun officer in the Suffolk Regiment in the First World War, rose to the rank of Major General, commanding the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) in World War II. An intriguing quote from a letter of congratulations on his being awarded a knighthood in 1946 asks whether it was made on account of his work “in Ordnance or as Chief Publicity Officer of the Army” and reflects some of the difficulties constantly encountered during this time of huge change. Managing both military and civilian staff working alongside each other was something entirely new, necessitated by the recruitment of civilians at senior managerial level, notably from the motor industry, who could lend their expertise to the development of the new systems that such a complex military organisation required.
The book features first-hand accounts of those who served in a variety of roles in the RAOC in many of the depots established throughout England and overseas.Read more ›
The book covers the leaving of equipment from WW1 to the re-imagining of how the allies would provide the troops with the vehicles and tools needed to win the War, covering the War in Europe, Africa and the Far East.
I found the book to also have a personal feel as it recounts lots of information regarding who made the decisions and the processes which were then introduced to provide an organised RAOC.
‘Williams has done a wonderful job in unearthing the story of the miracle of mechanisation of the British Army - a double miracle in fact, because the military had to start again virtually from scratch after losing vast amounts of equipment in the defeat at Dunkirk in 1940.
There is great Shropshire interest because one of the most significant developments was the creation of a major stores depot at Donnington amid an atmosphere of crisis and desperate need. The story of those desperate days is an important place in local history.
With many firsthand memories this is a first rate book covering the unglamorous, but vital role of such depots in final victory.