Amazon is showing an August 19 release date for the book French Tanks of the Great War: Development, Tactics and Operations by Tim Gale. This is a hardcover volume of 256 pages published by Pen & Sword. For those with an interest in French tank history, this book should prove rather valuable, much of this history has up until now only been available in French language sources.
The French tank corps was an essential part of the French army from 1917 onwards, yet its history has been strangely neglected in English accounts of the Western Front – and that is why Tim Gale’s meticulously researched history is such a timely addition to the literature on the First World War. Using information derived from the French military archives at Vincennes, he describes the design and development of the tanks, the political and organizational issues that arose between the French military and civilian bureaucracy and the record of these pioneering fighting vehicles in combat. All the major engagements in which French tanks participated are depicted in graphic detail, often quoting directly from recollections left by individual tank commanders of their experience in battle, and each operation is assessed in terms of its impact on French tactics in general and on tank tactics in particular. The story will be fascinating reading for anyone who is interested in the Great War, the French army, military innovation and the history of armored warfare.
About the Author:
Dr Tim Gale was awarded his PhD by the Department of War Studies, King’s College London for his work on French tank development and operations in the First World War and he is now one of the leading experts on this aspect of armoured warfare. He has contributed chapters on the subject to several academic books and he has made a special study of the career of the French First World War general Charles Mangin. His book The French Army’s Tank Force and the Development of Armoured Warfare in the Great War was published in 2013.