Book content question: R E History

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Maureene, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    History of the Corps of Royal Engineers has been published in twelve volumes. The two volumes on the Second World War are

    Volume VIII: Campaigns in France and Belgium, 1939-40; Norway, Middle East, East Africa, Western Desert, North West Africa, and activities in the U.K. by Major-General R. P. Pakenham-Walsh.
    Volume IX: Campaigns in Sicily and Italy; the war against Japan; North-west Europe, 1944-45; minor and non-operational areas; post-war, 1945-48 by Major-General R. P. Pakenham-Walsh. Both published 1958.

    Can anyone confirm that there is content for Burma, in Volume IX. Is there anything on India?

    Current copies may be purchased from the Institution of Royal Engineers.
    http://www.instre.org/pages/publications/books-for-sale/corps-history.php

    Cheers
    Maureen
     
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    There are a total of around 200 pages on 'The War Against Japan':

    Hong Kong and Malaya - 120-154
    Burma to May 1942 - The British Withdrawal - 155-173
    The Defence of India 1939-43 - 174-202
    South-East Asia Command 1943-4 - 203-234
    Reconquest of Burma (I) July 1944-January 1945 - 235-260
    Reconquest of Burma (II) January-September 1945 - 261-300
    India as a Base - 300-318

    nb. the RE Institution may still do a CD copy of the complete set for a nominal tenner or so. Scan quality is pretty dire but it's usable.
     
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  3. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Many thanks Idler for this detailed information.

    Cheers
    Maureen
     
  4. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Maureen

    I have the volume discussed. I would like to add a word of warning in that the history is very disappointing in terms of details of engineer units involved or of engineering tasks. For the most part the content gives general details of the campaigns and battles, details that could be found in other published sources.

    If there is anything specific that you'd like me to look up for you please let me know.

    Steve
     
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  5. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Just to add I also have the Indian Official History volume - "The Corps of Indian Engineers, 1939-1947".

    This has more detail on the expansion and role of the Corps. It gives campaign summaries that mention many of the units involved. It gives the dates of raising of most of the war raised engineer units.

    Depending on what you are looking for, it has much more detail on engineer organisation, tasks, orders of battle and general engineering operations undertaken by non-divisional units (road and base construction for instance) as well as campaign summaries.

    Very hard to find second hand these days but the IWM and other archives should have a copy to view.

    Again, please let me know if you are after anything specific and I'll look it up.

    Steve
     
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  6. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Thanks Rothy.

    I have noticed on the Digital Library of India website
    The Indian Engineers, 1939-47 by Lieut Colonel E. W. C. Sandes 1956.
    http://dli.serc.iisc.ernet.in/handle/2015/505988 However, I haven't actually downloaded it.

    If you are familiar with it, does Sandes' book differ in content to the Official History volume you mention above - "The Corps of Indian Engineers, 1939-1947" ?
    (Brief details would be fine)

    Cheers
    Maureen
     
  7. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi Maureen

    I'm just trying to download the Sandes book now ... no response from the server so I might have to wait until morning (thanks for the tip by the way).

    I'll then compare with the Official History and post some observations here.

    I've copied the contents pages of the Official History and attached below.

    Steve

    [sharedmedia=gallery:images:29399]
    [sharedmedia=gallery:images:29400]
    [sharedmedia=gallery:images:29401]
    [sharedmedia=gallery:images:29402]
     
  8. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Thanks Rothy

    The Digital Library of India website still seems to be unavailable. Sometimes it will be unavailable for days at a time.

    Cheers
    Maureen
     
  9. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Maureen - yes I tried earlier today, thanks. I'll keep trying over the next few days.

    Steve
     
  10. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hi Maureen

    Have now downloaded the Indian Engineers from the DLI. It is around 600 pages. It includes fairly detailed histories of all the campaigns involving the Indian Engineers, with the emphasis on the Engineers. There is much more detail than the R.E. history. The IE history includes personal accounts from officers of the different units and is much richer in describing the action experienced by the IE, mostly the Divisional Engineer units.

    I suggest that it complements the Indian Official History volume which majors on the organisation, role and expansion of the corps. The Official History also has a more complete listing of units and orders of battle, especially for non-Divisional organisations. Although the IE history does refer to many units and does also include orders of battle for different campaigns and times, the information is presented in the body of the text so a little work would be required to build lists, should one be interested to do so. The Official History includes more information on the non-Divisional units, those involved in road and airfield construction for instance.

    I would recommend the IE history ..... and its free to download.

    A word on the quality of the scan of the IE history. It appears (glance only) to be complete. The table of contents includes detailed chapter summaries and there is a reasonable index. For the most part the scan quality is acceptable although some pages are a little blurred and the contrast makes the text appear a little faint. However it all seems to be readable.

    Hope this helps

    Steve
     
  11. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Many thanks Steve for your comparisons and comments.

    Cheers
    Maureen
     
  12. Rothy

    Rothy Well-Known Member

    Hello again Maureen

    David Ryan sent me a link to a history of The Royal Bombay Sappers & Miners History 1939-1947 .... I'm just downloading it now. Let me know if you are interested.

    Steve
     
  13. Maureene

    Maureene Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve. Perhaps it is the Archive.org file, of which I am aware.

    The Royal Bombay Sappers & Miners 1939 - 1947 Laurie and Cecilia Norman (eds.) 1999 Archive.org. For some/all browsers, it is not possible to read the original book online, however the “Full Text” version is available, and other download options are probably available.

    Cheers
    Maureen
     

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