Bookworld, Guns of the Regiment

Title:  Guns of the Regiment
Authors: Doug Knight
Publisher:  Service Publications
ISBN:  978-1-927822-07-4

This 425-page hardback book is an impressive piece of work and the Regiment in question is the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery, but told from the perspective of the 130+ types of weapon they have used over the years, rather than their people and campaigns.  It covers the period from the formation of the Confederation, on 1 July 1867 when New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario joined together to form the new Dominion of Canada,  In doing this, they also took on the job of defending Canada and in 1868 passed the Militia Act that authorized a 40,000 strong Militia.  This and and more information surrounding the early period is explained in the Introduction, before moving on to the heart of the book.  With nice neat explanations of the four basic types of weapon, gun, mortar, howitzer and rocket (not used until WW2) and even the casting methods used to make both Bronze and Cast Iron guns there is lots to discover in here as well as the basic history of the equipment used by the Regiment. 

The book is then divided into another 13 chapters.  These cover multiple weapons under the titles or The Smoothbore Era: The Armstrong Rifled Breech-loading Guns: Stepping Back to Muzzleloading, 1872-1895:Breech-loading Returns, 1895-1905: The Early Twentieth Century, 1905-1920: Mechanisation: The Second World War, 1939-1945: The Cold War, 1945-1990: The Modern Era, 1990 and Beyond: Twentieth Century Coast Defence: Engaging the Tank: Anti-Aircraft Guns: and finally, The Future.

Each chapter tackles in detail a different set of weapons.  They were manufactured by a number of nations, including Britain, America and France.  It gives details of the weapon itself, the number of crew, and how it was used in service.  Some had short careers, others somewhat longer.  Rockets appeared in WW2 in the form of the Projector, Rocket, 3-in, No.8 Mk 1 - The Land Mattress and on into the Cold War period with the US built Honest John.

The book is heavily illustrated throughout, with archive photos, pictures of museum exhibits along with diagrams of various technical elements on particular equipment.  Many of the weapons were used by both the British and American armies, so the information on things like the WW1 artillery and mortars, and others like the Priest and Sexton, the 25 pounder and the post-war M109 will be of interest to many, as well as those with a particular interest in the Canadian history of the regiment.

Thanks to Justin at Bookworld for our review copy.

To order or for more details,
see the Bookworld Website