EDMONDS, Sir James Edward.
Military Operations, France and Belgium, 1914.
Mons, The Retreat to the Sein, the Marne and the Aisne, August-October 1914. Maps and sketches compiled by A. F. Becke.
First printed in 1922, this third edition “was edited for errors, then updated and corrected to information gained from new sources … mainly from the French and German official histories, as well as British, French and German regimental histories. There was also a wider coverage of the work of the Royal Flying Corps … It was the only volume of the Military Operations so treated” (Wells). This volume was the first instalment in the the official History of the Great War, begun under the direction of Edmonds shortly in 1919 and only completed in 2010, by which time the series had expanded to include 109 volumes. Before the war Edmonds worked in military intelligence, notably as head of MO5, the precursor to MI5. He was appointed GSOI of the 4th division in 1909 and in this capacity was an eyewitness to the retreat from Mons in 1914. For the rest of the war he was stationed at general headquarters, latterly as deputy engineer-in-chief. “In 1919 Edmonds retired with the honorary rank of brigadier-general and was appointed director of the historical section, military branch, committee of imperial defence. His task was to direct; all narratives were to be written by historians; but finding the first choice unsatisfactory, Edmonds himself took over the main field, the western front, and sowed and reaped it to the end” (ODNB). Edmonds’s account of the Western Front in 1914 was completed by a second volume, published in 1925, entitled, Antwerp, La Bassée, Armentières, Messines and Ypres, October – November 1914. Scarce in the dust jacket.
Octavo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in gilt. With the dust jacket. 15 coloured sketch-maps. Lacking the map case. Contemporary gift inscription to front free endpaper. Spine and edges of rear board sunned, light spotting to page-edges, pp. 159-60 browned from laid-in contemporary news cuttings (including obituary of General von Kluck). A very good copy in the slightly fatigued dust jacket.
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