New book on the 25-pdr

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Michael Cecil
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New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Michael Cecil »

Shameless self promotion of my new book on the 25-pdr in Australian service. Hard cover, 239 A4-size pages, 550 images, including walk-arounds in full colour of two restored guns and a No.27 Mk.1 ammunition trailer.
Available from Trackpad Publishing in the UK. The Trackpad page also includes sample images of pages, and the contents list. https://www.trackpadpublishing.com/fire-the25-pounder

CVR_TP015_HB P2D.jpeg
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Last edited by Michael Cecil on Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Marcus Kwa
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Marcus Kwa »

Whaat? Sold out already........ :cry:

Stephen White
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Stephen White »

Chang, it's flying off the shelves. Available here:

https://www.bookworldws.co.uk/product/f ... n-service/

Stephen

Stephen White
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Stephen White »

Few pieces of military hardware are remembered with affection and respect by their users. The 25-pdr is a rare exception. It stands with such as the Spitfire, the Jeep and the Dakota as equipment whose form, function, performance and reliability outlasted the competition and cemented an enduing reputation as one of the greats of military technology. Artillerymen regard their guns with the respect due to a colour or standard. The 25-pdr stands in a league of its own.

Gunners celebrated the 25-pdr for “Reliability, sturdiness, steadiness and accuracy”. From the perspective of the supported arms, it's not the size of the bang which matters, it's the confidence that when you call for fire, it's going to land where you intend and not kill you. The 25-pdr was able to deliver rounds at "Danger Close" reliably and with confidence.

Amongst users of the 25-pdr, perhaps the Australians made the most extensive, innovative and effective use. Their record of operational service in many theatres spanning WW2 in the Western Desert, Malaya, SW Pacific and again in Malaya during the Emergency. Mike Cecil describes in detail the British built guns in Australian service, the industrial and technical challenges of setting up indigenous production and goes on to provide a unique account of Australian development of the "Stubbie", the 25-pdr Short, a 25-pdr Lite, optimised for use in the jungles of the SW Pacific. The "Stubbie" sacrificed some of the 25-pdr's legendary accuracy and range but was used to considerable effect, even being parachuted, into the jungles of New Guinea. One of the most striking and emotive photos in the book shows a 25-pdr Short being manhandled up the Kokoda Trail, a precursor to one of Australia's defining military victories.

He also covers the fascinating story of the adaptation of the weapon as a tank gun, in the Australian AC3 Sentinel Cruiser tank. The bulky carriage of the gun limited gun depression, vital to shooting from a hull-down position and he describes how the overhead carriage was developed to overcome this handicap.

Australia mirrored a number of Imperial and Commonwealth armament programmes, with local adaptations. Mike covers the 17/25-pdr anti-tank gun (a parallel development of the Pheasant in British service) and the Yeramba Self-Propelled 25-pdr, otherwise known to Army Quartermasters as the ‘Ordnance QF 25-pounder Mark 2/1 on Mounting Self-Propelled 25-pounder (Aust) Mark 1 on Carrier, Grant, SP 25-pounder (Aust) Mark1’. You couldn't make it up. Based on the M3 Grant/Lee, this development was inspired by the successful Canadian Sexton.

Mike's book touches on three of the Armortek range, the M3, the 17-pdr and the 25-pdr itself. Plenty to inspire some new models.

The price of the book reflects the many years of research Mike has put into it and the very high production values the publisher has delivered. The book is printed on high quality paper and the illustrations and technical illustrations are crystal clear and well colour balanced. Mike has researched and captioned all the photos in great detail and it makes for a book which is a delight to handle, browse and read. It's worth it for the illustrations alone.

The author is a former Head of Military Heraldry and Collections at the Australian War Memorial and has a long and successful record of research and authorship. He has delivered a definitive book on one of the most significant weapons to be developed, one which reveals why the 25-pdr achieved such an outstanding reputation.

In the end, weight of fire did for the 25-pdr. In many respects, it was better than its 105mm successors but the need for longer ranges and bigger bangs lead to standardisation on 155mm as the benchmark for field artillery.

On 17th July 1992, a veteran Gunner called for fire from a 25-pdr manned by the Honourable Artillery Company on the UK training area on Salisbury Plain. His previous fire order had opened the barrage at Alamein, 50 years earlier. It was fitting that on this final live firing of the 25 Pdr, he was airborne in a WW2 Air Observation Post Auster aircraft. I was fortunate to be the pilot on that occasion and could see how much the gun meant to those who operated it. The Austers were picketed for the night on the Plain - the wake for the 25 Pdr lasted long into the night.

Michael Cecil
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Michael Cecil »

Thanks, Stephen, for such a glowing review. You are right, lots of work over many years, dedicated, as you may have noticed, to my 'gunner father' and many 'gunner uncles' I knew as a child. All that playing on 25-pdrs in the regimental gun park evidently rubbed off ... or was that rubbed in?

Marcus, the publisher, Trackpad in the UK, has done a second print run so will be back in stock very shortly. You can pre-order, so you shouldn't have any problems obtaining a copy.

Regards

Mike
Last edited by Michael Cecil on Wed Aug 04, 2021 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Stephen White
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Stephen White »

Stephen White wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:20 am
Chang, sorry, Marcus it's flying off the shelves. Available here:

https://www.bookworldws.co.uk/product/f ... n-service/

Stephen

Marcus Kwa
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Re: New book on the 25-pdr

Post by Marcus Kwa »

Ordered!! Happy the book is such a success!!

Marcus

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