Gun Fire (Number 47), edited by A.J. Peacock
A5 size booklet, 52 pages. (N6351X2)
Some German Postcards
Notes And Queries
From the first inside page, titled 'Cambrai 1917 - The Tanks at Flesquieres on the 20th November': Since the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, in March 1915, the front selected for assault in each of the big battles had been subjected to prolonged artillery wire-cutting operations, spread over many days, and all idea of effecting an absolute surprise had been abandoned. During the second half of 1917 the idea gradually developed that tanks might be employed to clear paths through the German wire for the British infantry to use in the opening stage of a general assault. The employment of tanks to cut the wire at zero hour would allow the paramount essential of surprise to enter once more into the delivery of an attack in trench warfare. Heretofore used in driblets, and in the Battles of Ypres employed amidst the insurmountable difficulties of the mud wastes of Flanders, the performance of the tank in its first twelve months was generally a disappointing one. To use the new weapon so that it should be given an opportunity to open the way for and co-operate in a general assault, it was essential there should be facilities for a mass of tanks to assemble in secrecy close behind the British line, and that good firm ground should exist beyond the German front line on which the tanks could operate freely, preferably rather hilly country from which the wet would drain off rapidly. These conditions were present on the Cambrai front in 1917: Havrincourt Wood, numerous ruined villages, and small woods could all be used to conceal a large concentration of tanks, and the light chalk downs, scarcely pitted by shell fire, would provide excellent going for the tanks when they were launched against the German position.....
Interestingly, an earlier edition of the journal explained the origins of the slang phrase 'Gun Fire', detailing how it was a term for the early cup of tea served out to troops in the morning before going on first parade. In the War recruits in training always had Gun Fire supplied to them, as the work before breakfast was often particularly gruelling.
Condition of the booklet is generally good. The cover has one or two minor scuffs and curves gently upwards along the left and right hand sides, but the staple spine is intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Their is a small price sticker on the rear side cover.