General Staff (Intelligence).


FIRST EDITION, May 1916. 209 + 26 pp., numerous ills., of shells, many cold., + several fldg., tables. Original blue soft cloth (frayed around edges) retained & mounted on a black cloth rebinding, hardback, gilt to spine ; 18 x 12cm. Original binding visible along new e.p., at front ; a small number of pages were published blank or with gaps, as explained in the preface, whilst the General Staff were awaiting further information on more recent shell patterns ; some supplements have been added and bound in but not all of these appear to be complete although the book itself is complete and as called for ; 2 Admiralty Library stamps, one of which is dated 29-11-21 ; overall V.G. This is the FIRST EDITION of a RARE compendium of all shells in use by the German Army in early 1916 and it is accompanied by various coloured illustrations of each shell. The publication was compiled from actual specimens of the shells forwarded by the Allied Armies, and also from information supplied by the French General Staff, by the War Ministry and from German pamphlets describing the use the shells were to be put to. Each of the numerous shells featured is described in the text and (almost always) with a coloured scale drawing of the shell itself. The calibres range from the 3.7cm and its variations through to the 42cm heavy shell. It also includes, amongst others, naval shells, gas shells, shrapnel and projectiles. The book begins with a contents list of the German Shells and then a table of all shells used according to colour and calibre, giving a description of their basic colour and their page reference within the book. The description of the shells is extremely detailed, mentioning Material, Weight, Bullets (where relevant), as well as a section on Employment, explaining where and when the German gunners would fire that particular shell, and an important section on Remarks. Below each illustration and/or coloured illustration there are provided dimensions that include thickness of walls, thickness of base, width of driving bands and distinctive markings. There are various folding tables in the appendices, some supplements not originally called for later bound in (though not always complete if indeed they were ever printed), plus 26-page Amendment (No. 4, 1917) which was bound in at the end when the book was preserved and re-bound into a hardback. RARE and historically important with some beautiful colour illustrations of shells.

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