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    An Illustrated Technical Guide to British WW1 Fuzes by Trevor Parker

    An Illustrated Technical Guide to British WW1 Fuzes by Trevor Parker.

    It is likely that any reader interested in aspects of ordnance, particularly British ordnance, will be familiar with the name of author of this new book on fuzes, Trevor Parker is a leading researcher on historical ordnance matters and he has contributed his in-depth knowledge and a great amount of his ‘free time’ to the community in general, and to the UK National museums in particular, over a period exceeding thirty years.

    Trevor’s knowledge of military history is substantial and his interests in a range of topics have benefitted from the acquisition of ‘militaria’ over many years. It is however the technology of armaments that has done most to stimulate his engineer’s inquiring mind and artillery projectiles feature highly in his studies. Many readers of these few paragraphs will understand Trevor’s interest in artillery projectiles and, if they are responsible for a collection, will share the fascination for fuzes.

    Collectors, curators and ordnance disposal professionals are likely to agree that the availability of documentation covering British World War One fuzes is patchy to say the least. Many have enthusiastically started to assemble the definitive work on the subject only to fizzle out at an early stage due to a lack of credible information. It is to Trevor’s credit that he has set detailed objectives for the volume and sustained the necessary effort to bring it to completion. Coverage of the subject is comprehensive, which has been achieved in no small part because of the author’s personal standing in the various museums and repositories holding documentation on, or examples of, the fuzes covered in his book.

    The first thing that strikes you about this hard bound book is that it is a large volume of outstanding quality. Colour printing is used on paper of high grade. The consistent use of colour throughout has allowed Trevor to provide full colour facsimiles of pages or illustrations taken from his reference sources. The book is also full of colour photographs of fuze specimens.

    The layout of the book is quite straightforward; it is in fuze numerical order with unnumbered fuzes collated in the following chapter. Trevor uses a ‘Data Sheet’ style of presentation which gives a text page covering background, lifecycle and Mark information, description, operation, and equipment that used the fuze. The text page is followed by illustrations such as photographs, facsimiles of lithographic plates, extracts from List of Changes etc.

    The subjects of gaines, adaptors, plugs, tools, electric fuzes and drill fuzes are covered more generally at the end of the book. I am particularly pleased that Trevor makes reference to gaines because of the safety issues associated with their nondescript appearance. I am also pleased to see reference to electrically initiated fuzes for demolition purposes (including scuttling and ‘spiking’ of guns).

    I commend this book to you. It is hot off the press.
    N.


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    AMMOTECHXT (11th January 2019), Darkman (5th January 2019), HAZORD (6th January 2019), Nabob (6th January 2019), starshell (6th January 2019)

 

 

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