Davis Military Books

Ken Davis

I am downsizing my personal collection of military, aviation and naval books, photos and other documents that I have collected over the years. I have posted a sampling in this show. You can check out my web site for a complete listing of my collection.

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(416) 522-6287



22 David Gohn Circle
Markham, ON L6E1A7

1. The Great Duke

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. US ed. 1972. Arthur Bryant. A fine biography of the Duke of Wellington, one of the finest soldiers in British history. This covers his early career in India where he honed his skills that served him well during the Napoleonic War. During the Peninsula campaign he skillfully defeated one French Marshal after another and finally Napoleon himself at Waterloo. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

2. Deceivers Ever – Memoirs of a Camouflage Officer

Item Price: $25

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1990. Steven Sykes. A fascinating autobiography of a professional artist who used his skills in North Africa, Iraq and up to D-Day in Normandy creating realistic looking tanks and vehicles, dummy railways, ‘fortifications’ and other elaborate projects out of wood, canvas and other materials designed to deceive the Germans. Full of photos of his handiwork. Hardbound with dustjacket. Near mint condition.

3. Gunners – A Saga of Rhodesian Artillerymen 1939-1945

Item Price: $40

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1947. “Tort”. A very nice description of the Regiments of ‘gunners’ from Southern Rhodesia in World War 2. Mostly employed as field artillery and self propelled units in North Africa, each unit has details of the battles it was involved in. Photos and maps throughout. Hardbound with dustjacket. D/j. has several tears and some losses, but book in very good condition.

4. Japanese Aircraft on the Pacific War

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1970. Rene Francillion. A comprehensive analysis of the Japanese aircraft industry in WW 2 and lists all the aircraft used by the Imperial Army and Navy. The often confusing designation system used by the Japanese is demystified for the reader. Camouflage and unit markings are also well covered. Photos and line drawings of each aircraft along with other illustrations. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

5. Mark Clark – The Last of the Great World War II Commanders

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1984. Martin Blumenson. A sympathetic biography of one the more controversial US Generals of WW2. Clark was a rising star at the outbreak of war and became famous for his secret mission into North Africa to try and persuade the French not to resist the Allied landings. His role in the Italian campaign is covered from Clark’s viewpoint. He did well in the early battles, but his decision to disobey orders and capture Rome during a major Allied offensive instead of cutting off a retreating German army damaged his reputation. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

6. A Time for Courage – The Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1985. John Terrraine. A very detailed examination of the role of the RAF in WW2. The book looks beyond the well known story of the Battle of Britain and the bomber offensive to the creation and growth of the Tactical Air Forces in North Africa, Italy and finally its decisive role in Normandy. Another often overlooked role was Maritime Command that was so successful destroying the U-boat menace. A great resource. Photos. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

7. History of the Green Howards – 300 Years of Service

Item Price: $30

Item Description: Revised and enlarged ed. 2002. Geoffrey Powell & John Powell. Raised in 1688, the Regiment got it’s name in 1745 from it’s Colonel, Charles Howard. As there was another Colonel Howard’s Regiment, it became the Green Howards based on its green facings and was different from the Buff Howard’s (later just the Buffs). It fought in virtually every war Britain was involved in up to Kosovo. Lots of photos, b/w and colour illustrations. Hardbound with dustjacket. Near mint condition.

8. Rommel’s Desert War

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. ed. 2009. Martin Kitchen. A newer analysis of Field Marshal Rommel’s generalship and focuses on his initial successes in North Africa and then his disregard of orders to just hold Libya, he committed the Axis to a campaign that was beyond his means without supplies and reinforcements. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. Near mint condition.

9. Heinkel He 177, 277, 274

Item Price: $35

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1998. Manfred Griehl & Joachim Dressel. The Heinkel 177 was designed to be a long range heavy bomber and was hoped to become a key weapon. However, it was overcomplicated in design and incorporated too many innovations. As a result, it was plagued with constant problems that were never solved that resulted in small production numbers. Later versions tried to address the problems with some success but by then, Germany was on the defensive. Photos and illustrations. Hardbound with dustjacket. Near mint condition.

10. The Mediterranean and Middle East. Vol. 1, 2 and 5

Item Price: $235 the set

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1954. J.S.O Playfair, C.J.C Moloney. These are three volumes of a total of six Official History of the Second World Was dealing with the Mediterranean campaigns. Indispensable for research and understanding the overall strategy and campaigns fought. Vol. 1 covers the early battles in the Middle East, dealing with the Vichy French and East Africa. Vol. 2 deals with Greece, the German intervention in North Africa, Tobruk, the Malta convoys and the rising in Iraq. Vol. 5 covers the invasion of Italy and the Cassino battles. Phots, maps and illustrations. Hardbound with dustjackets.

Vol. 1 and 2 were owned by C.P Stacey, the Official Canadian Historian. His signature in on flyleaf in pencil. Also notations in pencil can be found on many pages. These have been left as historical indicators of his research. Dust jackets have browned. Books in good to very good condition. Vol. 5 is in near mint condition.

11. General Patton – A soldier’s Life

Item Price: $40

Item Description: 1st. ed. 2002. Stanley Hirshon. Patton was a highly capable general and leader who could be his own worst enemy. This book covers his life in great detail and included new material about some of his more famous incidents and surprising new details of civilian massacres in Sicily. Other attempts to exploit his diaries after his death fills out the story in more detail. Photos. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

12. Send For Freddie – The Story of Montgomery’s Chief of Staff – Francis deGuingand

Item Price: $20

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1987. Charles Richardson. Maj. Gen. deGuingand was a brilliant Chief of Staff who complemented Montgomery and was instrumental in managing the success of battles fought in North Africa and Europe. “Freddie” was also well liked and respected by the American and he frequently ‘smoothed the waters’ with them that Monty stirred up. He is often forgotten in Montgomery’s shadow. Photos. Hardbound with dustjacket. Sticker on d/j and a row of medals card stuck to flyleaf. Otherwise in very good condition

13. Eagles Victorious – South African Forces in WW 2 (Vol. 6 Italy and the Mediterranean)

Item Price: $95

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1977. H.J. Martin & Neil Orpen. Vol. 6 of the Official History of South African Forces, this covers the South African Air Force’s role in North Africa, the Balkans and Italy. A total of 28 squadrons were deployed serving in 4 different SAAF Wings, but also serving under RAF and American commands. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. D/j has some chips and a dedication in ink by a previous owner on Dedication page. Otherwise book is in very good condition.

14. Lion by the Tail

Item Price: $25

Item Description:  1st. ed. 1974. Thomas Coffey. The author describes the incident that gave Mussolini the excuse to invade Ethiopia and the diplomatic failures and duplicity by countries like France, Britain and the USA that encouraged Mussolini and Hitler that the Allies wouldn’t really stand up to them. Proof is presented in the book that suggests that if the Allies had acted with resolve, Mussolini would have backed down and WW 2 might have been prevented. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

15. History of the 16th / 5th Queen’s Royal Lancers – 1925 to 1961

Item Price: $100

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1963. Brig. C.N. Barcley. A privately published history of a famous British cavalry regiment. The story starts with the interwar period in 1925 when the government decided to convert all remaining cavalry to armour. The regiment was stationed in india at the time, so the actual process did not start until the outbreak of war. It joined the 6th Armoured Division in Tunisia and then served in Italy until 1945. Post war it remained in Germany until amalgamation in 1961. Photos, maps and other illustrations. Hardbound, no dustjacket. Very good condition.

16. Arctic War Planes – Alaska Aviation of WW II

Item Price: $25

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1971. Stephen Mills. An interesting story of the development of civilian aviation in pre-war Alaska and the sudden influx of USAAF aircraft that arrived to counter the threat of Japanese invasion. The harsh conditions led to many hair raising incidents and accidents. Many interesting photos and anecdotes of those involved. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dust jacket. Excellent condition.

17. Oliver Leese

Item Price: $30

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1987. Rowland Ryder. Leese was one of the best Corps commanders of WW2. Coming to prominence under Montgomery in North Africa he ably commanded 30 Corps at El Alamein and later continued in Italy where he was knighted in recognition of his role. He was sent to Burma to command an Army Group and captured Rangoon. A curious dispute with Mountbatten not of his making blocked further promotion and Leese didn’t get the praise he deserved. Photos, maps and illustrations. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

18. Mistel – German Composite Aircraft and Operations 1942-1945

Item Price: $45

Item Description: 1st. ed. 2001. Robert Forsyth. One of the outstanding “Classic” publications examining and detailing the origins and development of the radical German composite aircraft of WW 2. Comprising of a fighter aircraft mounted above an old bomber that was converted to a bomb, these machines were guided to the target by the fighter which detached itself from the bomb once it was aimed at a target. Used against the Allies in Normandy and the Russians crossing the Oder, they were a desperate attempt to turn the tide. The book has hundreds of photos, many scale drawings, colour profiles and technical data. Hardbound with dust jacket. Near mint condition.

19. Knight’s Cross – A Life of Field Marshall Erwin Rommel

Item Price: $35

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1993. David Fraser. Possibly the definitive study of Erwin Rommel one of the most celebrated generals of WW 2. The author goes into great detail of Rommel’s thinking about war and his personality as to why he acted the way he did. Always a soldier, Rommel tried to stay above politics or at least ignore what he didn’t like. However, he didn’t hesitate to use his influence with Hitler when it served his purposes. When he tried to advise Hitler to make peace he was ridiculed and sent Rommel on the path that led to his death. Rommel was not flawless, but still among the great commanders. Photos and maps. Near mint condition.

20. Air War Against Germany and Italy 1939-1943 (Australia in the War of 1939-1945)

Item Price: $85

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1954. John Herrington. This book is one of 21 Official History volumes of Australia’s participation in WW 2. This volume describes the increasing role of the RAAF in England and the Middle East. As well as RAAF squadrons, individual Australian pilots served in virtually all RAF squadrons at this time. The integration of Australians into the greater Commonwealth air forces (much like Canada) produced political, administrative and personal problems. These are all covered with frank discussions by the author. A key resource for the serious student of WW 2. Photos and maps throughout. Signature in ink of original owner inside front cover. Hardbound with dustjacket. D/j has small chips. Very good condition.

21. Siege Malta – 1940-1943

Item Price: $25

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1986. Ernle Bradford. A very complete description of the siege of Malta, the author adds new information about the Ultra information that was gathered through radio intercepts that helped reveal German plans. He also adds many anecdotal accounts of those who lived on the island and lived through the siege or fought to defend it. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. Excellent condition.

22. El Caudillo 1892-1970. The Political Biography of Franco

Item Price: $20

Item Description: 1st. ed. 1970. J.W.D. Trythall. An in depth study of Francisco Franco and his rise to power during the Spanish Civil War. A small statured and shy boy he was bullied at school and was also an indifferent student. He didn’t seem to be destined for much. However, once in the army, he proved to be a forceful personality and was a courageous and capable soldier in Morocco. He became the youngest Brigadier General at age 33. He led the Nationalist forces to victory in the Civil War. During WW 2, he displayed his diplomatic skills continuously fending off Hitler’s pressure to join the Axis. Hitler grew to hate him. At the same time he strove to not antagonize the Allies (eg. not attacking Gibraltar) while maintaining Spain’s neutrality and as a result his hold on power. Photos and maps. Hardbound with dustjacket. D/j has a few scuffs and small chips. Very good condition.