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GRIERSON, James Moncrieff.

The Armed Strength of Russia.

Prepared in the Intelligence Branch of the War Office.

Published: London: HMSO, 1886

Stock code: 59456

Price: £850

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First edition, print run of 300 copies only. Highly detailed analysis of every aspect of the organization of the Russian Army, compiled by the British Army’s foremost expert on the subject, and published at a time when tension between the two empires was reaching crisis point in Asia. Superseded far slighter issues of 1873 and 1882. Grierson was one of the period’s most intellectually brilliant soldiers, he had passed out fourth in his class from the RMA, and joined the Royal Artillery in 1878. “In 1879 he accompanied the Austrian armies in the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 1880 went to the Russian manoeuvres at Warsaw as correspondent for the Daily News. In 1881 Grierson joined his battery in India, but soon after his arrival became attaché in the quartermaster-general’s department at Simla. He was employed on intelligence work, and his pen was busy; besides contributions to The Pioneer, he produced a volume of notes on the Turkish army, an Arabic vocabulary, and a gazetteer of Egypt.” (ODNB) He served in the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, and on his return to India passed first into the Staff College; “At the Staff College he finished his translation of Grodekoff’s work, which he entitled Campaign in Turcomania and passed out with honours in French and Russian. On leaving he served for a time in the Russian section of the intelligence division under General Henry Brackenbury. He was promoted captain in 1886, and in the following year joined a battery in India… In 1889, at Brackenbury’s request, Grierson returned to the intelligence division and became head of the Russian section. Antagonism between England and Russia in Asia was then growing…” Uncommon, just four copies on COPAC.

Octavo (234 137 mm) Modern red half calf on matching boards, title gilt to spine, edges sprinkled red. 2 folding lithographed maps, coloured in outline, 5 lithographed plates. Light toning, else very good.

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