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  • By jackleeatgarlicdotcom
    Sep 17, 2015
    A Review of "Briefly Famous" by James H., can be found on the Landships II Site ; This is an absolute gem. "Briefly Famous: The 1917 Caterpillar G9 Tank" by Jack Alexander. Paperback, A4 or thereabouts, 53 pages. The main, and best, part of this excellent book is about American reaction to news of the first British tanks and the various machines that were constructed to represent them. Although the attack at Flers was reported in the newspapers, just as in Britain there were no photographs to show what the tanks looked like. The American press, therefore, knowing that caterpillar tractors, probably Holts, were in some way involved, speculated that the tanks were simply armoured bodies mounted on Holt machines, and published numerous "artist's impressions" of them. Manufacturers joined them, creating mock-ups to be used for recruiting, advertising,... More > training, and propaganda. The book has a lot of photographs, some familiar but plenty new (to me), and a wealth of contemporary newspaper reports about the machines' appearances. There is coverage of the making of the film Patria, in which the battle scene took 3 weeks to film, involving nearly 3,000 men, several artillery batteries, 25 airplanes, and "one armored tractor or 'tank'". Although it looks as if the film hasn't survived, the book shows a still that appeared in a local paper, clearly showing the Caterpillar G9 in action. It goes on to explain that the US Army conducted genuine trials with the vehicle, during which it overturned. The author also disputes Tim Rigby's claim that there were 2 G9s It proves me wrong about the film clip mentioned here: , featuring the other Best Tracklayer. It isn't from Patria. It would, though, seem to be from a mock battle staged outside San Francisco in June 1917. Later in the book are mentions of the Holt-Gas Electric, the Steam Wheel, the Skeleton, the US-built Newton Cargo Carriers, the M17, the Hamilton, the Ford Two- and Three-Man, the Tracklaying Steam Tank, the Wickersham Land Torpedo, and the MK VIII. Even though most of these are well-known, there's a fair bit of additional information on more than one of them.< Less
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Product Details

May 10, 2015
Saddle-stitch Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.51 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.5 wide x 11 tall
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