From the Vault: Public domain WWI era tank books

big willieToday we present several books covering First World War armor that are in the public domain.  All of these books are free to download in a variety of formats at internet archive.  These books were all written shortly after the war and so represent what was then the current thought on armor and mechanization.  Just click on the title to go to the Internet Archive download page.

Our first offering is “Tanks in the Great War: 1914-1918” by J.F.C. Fuller published in 1920.  This name should be familiar to those with even a passing interest in the history of tanks.  Fuller was the author of the British strategy at the Battle of Cambrai, and would help plan the tank operations for the Autumn offensives of 1918.

Second is “Tanks 19-14-1918: The Log-book of a Pioneer” by Sir Albert G. Stern published in 1919.  Stern was one of the key figures in early British tank development, having served as the Secretary of the Landships Committee in 1915.  Stern headed up the creation of the Allied Mark VIII tank in the later part of the war.

The next books is “The Tank Corps” by Clough Williams-Ellis and Amabel Williams-Ellis published in 1919.  As the name of the book implies, this is an early history of the British WWI Tank Corps.  William-Ellis was known primarily for his work as an architect.

Our fourth selection is “The Tank in Action” by Captain D.G. Browne published in 1920.  This also is a history of the British Tank Corps during WWI.

The next book is a memior from a WWI British Tanker.  “A Company of Tanks” by William Hentry Lowe Watson, published in 1920.

The final book we present is probably one of the earliest fiction stories written about tankers.  “Men and Tanks” by J.C. Macintosh, published 1921.


  1. Great finds – thank you!


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