Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Books: A window to the past...

I'm currently reading the Textbook of Automatic Pistols, written by an Englishman by the name of R.K. Wilson. The book is an extremely technical work that is still filled with that eminently readable dry British wit. It's mostly a compilation of articles written for the magazine "Game and Gun" in an England of seventy years past and, seemingly, light years away.

Apart from having to learn new words ("scear"=sear, "half-cock bent"=half-cock notch, "bullet envelope"=bullet jacket,) I'm mostly struck by the feeling of a message in a bottle from a parallel universe. Here are the words of a gentleman who shares my career field, coming from a land where that field is now, for all practical purposes, abolished. They echo to the present from a time of danger, as the publisher's note in the front of the book grimly states
"The completion of this work was interrupted by the breaking out of the present war..."
and the Author's Forward is addressed from his duty station with the 85th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery.

I wonder where Lt. Col. Wilson's England went?

6 comments:

Joe said...

It went exactly where it was supposed to go... right into the past. Too many people over there wanted it gone and it disappeared. It saddens me to see that because I really like the people that I have met from England. I really like the accent on a good looking English girl but I wouldn't touch one from there now because she would have issues with my having guns. Now if Jane Leeves was single and liked guns... :)

Joe

S&W 24 said...

some of the biggest gunnuts I've met have been British ex-pats. So there you are the ones who could moved over here and were a better nation for it

JPG said...

Royal Artillery 85 Field Rgt
85 (East Anglian) Fd Regt
TA

Service:
Stratford E.15 1938 - 54 Div
UK 1939-42 - 54 (E Anglian) Inf Div
Persia & Iraq 1942-3 -
5 Indian Inf Div & 21 Indian Corps
To 85 Mtn Regt 9/43

85 Mtn Regt
TA
Fm 85 Fd Regt 9/43
Italy 1943-5 - Army Troops
SA 9/45
/47 285 Abn Lt Regt

I hope LTC Wilson survived. The struggle up the spine of Italy through the mountains was legendary in its difficulty. And more arduous than being an infantryman in those circumstances would have been taking pack howitzers and anti-tank guns with the infantry.

BRITISH ARTILLERY IN WORLD WAR 2
http://members.tripod.com/%7Enigelef/regtsumm.htm#85%20Mtn%20Regt

-6)TEXTBOOK OF AUTOMATED PISTOLS .
BEING A TREATISE ON THE HISTORY , DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTIONING OF THE MODERN MILITARY SELF LOADING PISTOL-ITS SPECIAL AMMUNITION-AND THEIR EVOLVEMENT INTO THE SUB-MACHINE GUN- TOGETHER WITH A SUPPLEMENTING CHAPTER ON THE LIGHT MACHINE GUN. 1884-1935. /BY R.K.WILSON LIEUTENANT COLONEL, ROYAL ARTILLERY ,THE BRITISH ARMY /
SMALL-ARMS TECHNICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY PLANTERSVILLE-SOUTH CAROLINA U.S.A./ COPYRIGHT 1943 ,BY THOMAS G.SAMWORTH / HARD COVER/349 PAGES+ 55 ILLUSTRATIONS.
http://members3.boardhost.com/roadking/msg/1017.html

Best
JPG

Kevin said...

My personal opinion is that it went into the grave with the majority of its brave young men, leaving behind mostly the weak and craven, who now run the government.

BobG said...

The days are gone when they were like this:
http://img58.imageshack.us/img58/5364/
churchillthompsonqo1.jpg

Trebor said...

There's some spirit left in some Brits, at least.

I did a week of one-on-one handgun training in July with a Brit (Welshman actually) who flew over pretty much just to do the training.

He'd never so much as touched a handgun before and, to make things more difficult, he only had one hand. He'd lost the other in a car crash a few years ago.

He was an excellent student, btw, and really took to my S&W Model 15. He became quite accurate with it and very adept at reloading using his stump to work the ejector rod.

His only disapointment is that when he gets home, he can't buy a handgun. He may wind up living in the U.S. for awhile and he's already looking into what he'd need to do to buy a gun once he becomes a permament resident.