GOUGH, Sir Hubert.

The Fifth Army.

London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1931 Stock Code: 140695

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First and only contemporary edition, this copy signed on the title page by the author, his nephew Freddie Gough, who served as a midshipman on board Ramillies and Witherington in WWI, but found fame as commander of the 1st Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron in Operation Market Garden; together with the signatures of two World War I VC winners, Geoffrey Woolley, Queen Victoria's Rifles, the first Territorial Officer to be awarded the medal, won on Hill 60, and Allan Ker, Gordon Highlanders, for his "supreme exertions" holding a position at St. Quentin all but single-handedly "holding up for 3 hours more than 500 of the enemy" (Gazette).

General Sir Hubert Gough commanded the Firth Army, formerly the British Reserve Army, from its inception in October 1916 until March 1918. Gough was already well known in military circles for his command of a relief column for the siege of Ladysmith, during the Boer War. His army saw action during the battles of Arras, Ancre, Ypres and The Somme. In 1918 the Fifth Army took over a stretch of front-line previous occupied by the French south of the River Somme and on 21 March bore the brunt of the opening phase of the German Spring Offensive, known as 'Operation Michael'. The failure of the Fifth Army to withstand the German advance led to Gough's dismissal and the disbanding of the Fifth Army - it was reformed months later under the command General Birdwood. This "defence of his conduct", published against the advice of the King's Private Secretary Clive Wigram,"was ghosted by the novelist Bernard Newman" (Beckett, Haig's Generals).

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Octavo. Original dark blue cloth, title gilt to spine, Fifth Army fox in red and white to spine and front board, red rule to head and tail of spine. With the dust jacket.


Photogravure portrait frontispiece, 19 fold-out maps with detailed dispositions in colours, one full-page sketch map to the text.


A little rubbed, free endpapers lightly browned, some foxing to the first few leaves, but overall very good in rubbed and frayed, but textually and pictorially complete jacket.


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