HMSO, "The Second World War, 1939-1945", 1st ed., 1951. Viii + 276 pp., various photo-plates + 16 maps. D.j., 22 x 14cm. A little chipping to edges of d.j., o/w Nr.FINE. This was the first of the popular HMSO histories to deal with the smaller campaigns and actions of the Second World War. The author, who saw much of the fighting and visited so many fronts in his capacity as war correspondent, was able to draw on a wealth of experience. He begins with the sad tale of Norway in 1940 and shows how, from the start, we conducted the campaign under adverse conditions which held little promise of success. Our brave forces were ill-equipped for the Norwegian snows, many of them were half trained, and it was not possible to protect them from attack by air. Nevertheless, soldierly conduct and skilful leadership meant that our forces disengaged without due loss and, thanks to the Royal Navy, were successfully withdrawn by sea. The section on "The Commandos" explains how these 'shock troops' originated and, from small beginnings, became a force to be reckoned with. The raids selected for description aim to show, through the words of participants, the variety of tasks undertaken, and the increasing resources devoted to this form of warfare: read what happened at the Apulian Aqueduct, at Vaagso and Maaloy, at Bruneval and St. Nazaire. Finally the author discusses Dieppe, an affair of a few hours but conducted by much larger forces of land, sea and air ' a kind of experiment which failed to achieve its immediate objectives and cost us dear, but in the long run undoubtedly brought us some profit. Uncommon First Edition in Dust-jacket.