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Island Books

Fine and Rare Books in the Heart of Britain's West Country
WWII. ROYAL NAVY. ADMIRALTY.: Manual of Seamanship 1937. By Authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. Volume One [only]. [?Fourth Impression]. REMARKABLY BRIGHT, CLEAN COPY OF THE STANDARD WWII EDITION
HMSO, 1938 (reprinted 1942) 8vo., ?Fourth Impression, with 26 coloured plates, 15 plates in monochrome, very numerous illustrations and diagrams (many full-page) in the text and 2 large folding plans; original navy blue cloth, upper board blocked in blind, gilt back, an unusually uniform, bright, clean copy. With front and rear trade advertisement endpapers. The 1937 edition of the 'pusser's bible' was the first major revision since 1932. First issued in 1938, it was reprinted each year until 1943 (though curiously we have been unable to confirm a 1939 issue). All reprints are very slightly abridged (mostly in terms of illustration; in particular the expensive plate overlays of the first impression were quickly abandoned with the outbreak of hostilities). Well produced and exceptionally well illustrated, it was in common use with officers and ratings alike (unlike its sister the Manual of Navigation), and there is a fair argument for its being today the most evocative Royal Navy publication of the war years. Very nice copy of the standard WWII edition. (Book ref. 18890) £30.00
NEVE (A), Maj. [TILT (E.G), ed].: The Tourist's Guide to Kashmir, Ladakh, Skardo etc. Eighteenth Edition. [Edited by E.G. Tilt]. FIRST POST-WWII EDITION
Civil & Military Gazette, Lahore, [1945] Sm. 8vo., Eighteenth Edition; original red cloth, upper board lettered in black, covers moderately age-soiled (but text remarkably clean and crisp), a very good, clean copy. Neve was surgeon to the Kashmir Medical Mission. His famous Guide, first published in 1887 and severally revised and updated, remained the definitive handbook for over five decades. This is the first edition after WWII, following the seventeenth issue of 1942. (Book ref. 18644) £40.00
O'HARA (V): Struggle for the Middle Sea. [The Mediteranean in WWII]
Conway, [2009] 8vo., First UK Edition, with plates and maps; cloth, a very good, clean copy in the d/w. Published simultaneously with the US edition. (Book ref. 18493) £30.00
[CLARRICOATS (J), ed].: The Amateur Radio Handbook. Second Edition. 'Dedicated to the Radio Amateurs of Great Britain and the British Empire who in the Service of their County have kept alive the Spirit of Amateur Radio.' THE VERY SCARCE WWII ISSUE
Incorporated Radio Society of Great Britain, [1940] 8vo., Second Edition, with numerous photographs and diagrams throughout; original pictorial wrappers, covers lightly dust-soiled else a remarkably bright, clean, firm copy now preserved in a custom-made red buckram solander case. With numerous trade advertisements (many illustrated), the majority of which have been reworded to reflect difficulties of supply. The first edition of the hams' 'bible' was issued in the autumn of 1938 when it was intended primarily for a Home audience. During the early months of 1939 with the growing realisation that war was coming demand increased and a second edition was put in hand with two important new chapters on Workshop Practice and Crystal Band Pass Filters. Fatefully this second edition was published during the last week of August, and despite the official closure of amateur radio 'for the duration' sales took the publishers very much by surprise: 'for many reasons the popularity of the Handbook continued unabated, with the inevitable result that stocks began to fall almost to vanishing point'. With hindsight it seem astonishing that the value of this humble publication was not immediately appreciated at official level; for it seems that it was primarily private demand which spread the Handbook throughout most sections of the Armed Forces and across Britain's global Empire. Given the relatively small number produced and the inevitable wastage rate, copies of this crucial edition are scarce. A rare survival now safely preserved for the future. (Book ref. 18417) £160.00
HITLER (A). [MURPHY (J), trans.]: Mein Kampf. Unexpurgated Edition. Two Volumes in One. First Volume: A Retrospect. Second Volume: The National Socialist Movement. 66th Thousand. [Translated by James Murphy]. EARLY WWII ISSUE
Hurst & Blackett, 1939 8vo., Sixty-Sixth Thousand, with a portrait frontispiece, page-edges lightly browning as often; original blue cloth, eagle & swastika device blocked in gilt on upper board, gilt back, backstrip sunned to grey (but all gilt entirely legible), a very good, firm, clean copy. Murphy's translation was first published by H&B in unexpurgated form in March 1939. Demand was continual and it was several times reissued during the remainder of the year. This ninth impression (sixth-sixth thousand) appeared in November, two months after the outbreak of WWII. The blue cloth employed is very prone to sunning and fading, as here; even so, this is an above average copy of an early WWII issue. This title is offered for sale only as an historical document and may not be purchased by residents of those countries (including Austria, France, Germany and Italy) in which it is banned. (Book ref. 18388) £140.00
[CRONKITE (W)]. MIKSCHE (F.O), Capt.: Is Bombing Decisive? A Study in the Organisation and Tactical Employment of Modern Air Fleets. WALTER CRONKITE'S COPY IN WWII
Allen & Unwin, [1943] Sm. 8vo., First Edition; original yellow boards printed in black, blue cloth back with printed paper label, a very good, bright, clean copy in unclipped pictorial d/w, the latter wanting about one sixth of rear panel. WALTER CRONKITE'S COPY WITH HIS HOLOGRAPH SIGNATURE ON FRONT FREE ENDPAPER. The signature reads 'Walter Cronkite, United Press' in blue ink. There is an additional signature in pencil on front paste-down. Cronkite joined United Press in 1937 after a year as sports announcer (only his second job in broadcasting) at KCMO in Kansas City, Missouri. This switch from national to international status was effectively the birth of an American legend, for Cronkite went on to become one of the best-known and most respected American reporters of WWII. After covering the North African theatre he turned his attention to Europe, where he was one of eight journalists selected by USAAF to accompany B-17 bombing raids over Germany. During MARKET GARDEN he landed by glider with 101st Airborne and subsequently covered the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes. His extended post-war career as anchorman with CBS created an American icon. A SPLENDID ASSOCIATION COPY FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD OF HIS BROADCASTING CAREER. THE WORK ITSELF IS SCARCE; THIS COPY IS VERY POSSIBLY UNIQUE. (Book ref. 18173) £510.00
WEMYSS (D.E.G).: Relentless Pursuit. Captain F J Walker, the greatest Hunter & Destroyer of U-Boats in WWII. [Foreword by Admiral Sir Max Horton]. [Re-issue]
Wren's Park, [Barton-under-Needwood, 2003] 8vo., with a portrait frontispiece and 13 plates on 8; cloth, gilt back, a very good, clean copy in the d/w. Wemyss served with Walker in Second Support Group. His account was first issued in a limited edition by the Liverpool Daily Post in 1948, and subsequently published publicly in 1955. This much-needed re-issue retains Horton's foreword and adds a few well-chosen photographs. Enser, p.298 (recording the 1955 edition); Law, 0222 (recording the 1948 edition). (Book ref. 18062) £22.00
LOW (D).: Years of Wrath. A Cartoon History 1932-1945. [Second Impression]
Gollancz, [1949] Oblong 4to., Second Impression (before publication), with hundreds of fine full-page cartoons with captions in the text; original green cloth, gilt back, a near fine copy. A lovely copy of what is arguably the finest cartoon history of WWII. Most of the work is from the London Evening Standard, running from the Depression of the early Thirties, through the tension of Munich, to Low's well-known caricatures of the defendants at Nuremberg. Very scarce in this condition. Horne, p.296 et seq. (Book ref. 18119) £40.00
BRIGHTON. WWII.: Brighton behind the Front. Photographs and Memories of the Second World War
Queenspark Books, Brighton, [1990] 8vo., First Edition, with a frontispiece and very numerous photographs (a number full-page) in the text; original photographic wrappers, a near fine copy. (Book ref. 18096) £10.00
Paine (L): German Military Intelligence in WWII. The Abwehr
Hale, [1984] 8vo., First UK Edition, with 16 plates on 8; blue cloth, backstrip lettered in silver, a very good, clean copy in the d/w. Enser, p.107. (Book ref. 17679) £26.00
PRICE (A) and M. SPICK.: Great Aircraft of WWII
Abbeydale Press, [Enderby, 1997] Roy. 4to., First Edition thus, with a frontispiece and very numerous photographs throughout; laminated photographic boards, blue endpapers, a near fine copy in unclipped d/w. (Book ref. 17441) £10.00
Cull (B) and D Newton: 249 at War. The Authorised History of the RAF's Top-Scoring Squadron of WWII
Grub Street, [1997] 8vo., First Edition, with numerous plates; cloth, a very good, bright, clean copy in the d/w. (Book ref. 17026) £40.00
WANSTALL (D.J.N), Rev.: A Naval Prayer Book. Issued with the Approval of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty. [Preface by C.J.E. Peshall and A. Gilbertson]. THE STANDARD WWII ISSUE
Mowbray, [1936] 8vo., First Edition, neat signature on front free endpaper; original blue cloth, upper board lettered in black, covers very lightly age-soiled else a very good, bright, clean copy. First edition of the standard RN prayer book of WWII. Peshall and Gilbertson were Archdeacons Chaplains of the Fleet. Scarce, especially in this condition. (Book ref. 16885) £40.00
Reit (S): Masquerade. The Amazing Camouflage Deceptions of WWII
Hale, [1979] 8vo., First Edition, with plates; cloth, a very good, clean copy in the d/w. Enser, p. 45. (Book ref. 16796) £10.00
Fallace (J) and B. Knapton: Bagged in WWII. Two Tales of Royal Marines Prisoners of War
Royal Marines Historical Society, [Portsmouth, 2007] 8vo., with photographs and maps in the text; original pictorial wrappers, wire-stitched as issued, a fine copy. Royal Marines Historical Society Special Publication 16. (Book ref. 16617) £18.00
Warren (J.C): Airborne Operations In WWII. European Theatre. FACSIMILE REISSUE
MLRS, [Buxton, 2006] 8vo., First Edition thus, with 12 photographs and 12 maps; printed wrappers, a near fine copy. Photocopy facsimiles of the original edition of 1956. Covers the three major airborne operations in NW Europe during World War II: NEPTUNE (D-Day), MARKET GARDEN (Arnhem) and VARSITY (Rhine Crossing). Well illustrated and with much statistical detail of troops and transports. (Book ref. 16598) £32.00
Sutherland (J) and D. Canwell: Churchill's Pirates. The Royal Naval Patrol Service in WWII
Pen & Sword, [Barnsley, 2010] 8vo., First Edition, with plates; cloth, gilt back, a fine copy in unclipped d/w. The RNPS was unique and boasted its own rules and regs. Manned mainly by ex-fishermen and armed with obsolete weaponry, it suffered heavily in the first years of the war. This is a useful complement to Featherbe, but RNPS is still a grossly under-written aspect of the RN in WWII (Book ref. 16391) £20.00
Drummond (J.D).: A River runs to War. [The Story of the Clyde in WWII]
W H Allen, 1960 8vo., First Edition, with 16 plates, inscription on front free endpaper; cloth, gilt back, a very good, clean copy in the d/w, the latter lightly age-marked, and frayed and creased at edges. Variety of extracts emphasising the importance of the Clyde in WWII; includes the sinking of U-33, the explosion of the Maille Breze at Greenock, the sinking of Curacao, TORCH, PQ17, X-craft and Tirpitz, and others. Uncommon, especially in this condition. Enser, p.190; Law, 1801. (Book ref. 15751) £36.00
Atkins (V). Helm (S): A Life in Secrets. Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII
Little Brown, [2005] 8vo., with photographs in the text; cloth, a near fine copy in the d/w. The first substantial account of Atkins's search for the numerous women SOE agents who disappeared in Occupied Europe (principally France) during WWII. Already uncommon, especially in this condition. (Book ref. 15696) £42.00
Hobson (R.W): Chariots of War. The History of the WWII 'Human Torpoedoes'
Ulric Publishing, [Church Stretton, 2004] 4to., First Edition, with photographs in the text; original cloth, backstrip lettered in silver, a near fine copy in unclipped d/w. The definitive study of Human Torpedos in WWII. By piecing together otherwise lost or fragmented pieces of history, Hobson captures the spirit of the day and pays homage to the (largely) British and Italian Charioteers. (Book ref. 15654) £36.00