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ROSS, Charles.

The Problem of National Defence.

Published: London: Hutchinson & Co., 1907

Stock code: 102455

Price: £175

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First and only edition, decidedly scarce: just 5 copies recorded by Copac in British and Irish institutional libraries (British Library, Oxford, Cambridge, National Library of Scotland, Trinity College Dublin), OCLC adds a further 13 copies. Ross (1864-1930) was a major in the Norfolk Regiment and commander of a cadet company at Sandhurst when the present work was published. He had served in South Africa, where he received the DSO, and had been an instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1904-05. During the Great war he commanded the 6th Division at the Somme and rose to the rank of major-general. In the Problem of National Defence, published at the beginning of the Anglo-German arms race, he touches on “possible enemies” of Great Britain, and discusses the problems at the heart of British military and naval thinking: “inefficiency as disclosed by the Boer War”, “the probable sequence of events in a single-handed contest between Great Britain and a nation in arms within striking distance of the United Kingdom”, related topics, offers a remedy and concludes with a chapter on “national regeneration”. The interesting table gives comparative strengths of the British, French, German, Russian and Japanese armies.

Octavo. Original dark red cloth, gilt lettered spine, top edges gilt. Large folding letterpress table. Spine and bottom edge of covers faded, touch of foxing to fore edge, a sound, clean copy, partly unopened.

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