Book Review: Steel Steeds Christie

31AdPdFN25L._SL500_BO1,204,203,200_A couple weeks ago we had posted some reviews of the book “Steel Steeds Christie” by Edward Christie in the 1986 issues of ARMOR.  Steel Steeds Christie is a rare and largely forgotten book and it generated an overwhelming negative reaction from knowledgeable AFV historians at the time of it’s publication.  However, it remains one of the few books dedicated exclusively to the topic of Walter J. Christie, one of the most important figures in post WWI tank development.  Shortly after posting the old ARMOR reviews of the book, friend of the site “Volketten” informed us that he had recently purchased a copy of this hard to find volume.  He wrote up a description of book which we have posted below.

Steel Steeds Christie by J.Edward Christie

a book review by Vollketten

This is a difficult book to review because I really wanted it to be good. The designs of Walter Christie have interested me for quite some time so I got hold of a copy of this rather hard to find and far too expensive book with an inbuilt bias to want to like it. And that bias continued despite reading the rather unpleasant reviews of it in old editions of Armor Magazine which failed to dissuade me from getting a copy. This continued right until I opened it and started reading.

[Read more…]

Books best avoided: Steel Steeds Christie

31AdPdFN25L._SL500_BO1,204,203,200_Lately I have been thinking a good deal about the role of Walter J. Christie in pre-WWII tank development.  As I have been attempting to assemble as much information concerning Christie as I can, I discovered that in the mid 1980’s, Christie’s son Edward wrote a short book about his father’s career called “Steel Steeds Christie.”  This book was published by a vanity press and is now quite rare and expensive.  Fortunately, ARMOR magazine featured a review of this book back in the Jan-Feb 1986 issue.  The review, by retired Col, Leo D. Johns, is quite negative, prompting a number of replies from both Edward Christie defending his book, and other readers posting even harsher reviews than the original one by Col, Johns.  I have reprinted the original review below as well as the various letters to the editor concerning the book.  I have provided these letters in part as a warning to anyone thinking about shelling out the dough to purchase a copy of this rare book, but primarily because I think these letters are really quite entertaining.

[Read more…]