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The Defence of Duffer's Drift (Dodo Press) Paperback – August 14, 2009
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About the Author
Major General Sir Ernest Dunlop Swinton (1868–1951) was a military writer and British Army officer. Swinton is credited with influencing the development and adoption of the tank by the British during the First World War. He is also known for popularising the term "no-mans land". Swinton was born in Bangalore, India in 1868. He was educated at University College School, Rugby School, Cheltenham College, Blackheath Proprietary School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. He became an officer in the Corps of Royal Engineers in 1888, serving in India and becoming Lieutenant in 1891. He received the Distinguished Service Order during the Second Boer War. After the war, he wrote his book on small unit tactics, The Defense of Duffer's Drift, a military classic on minor tactics that has been used by the United States military to train its officers. In the years leading up to the First World War, he served as a staff officer and as an official historian of the Russo-Japanese War. The War Minister, Lord Kitchener appointed Swinton as the official British war correspondent on the Western Front. Journalists were not allowed at the front and Swinton's reports were censored leading to an effectively uncontroversial although even-handed reporting. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's content, of course, is excellent, a classic. Other reviewers have done a good job of describing that and I have nothing useful to add in that respect. But I found the Kindle edition almost unreadable on an actual Kindle. To begin with, the pages are all apparently poorly photocopied images of the original pages, and at a size that argues for using a magnifying glass. This means that the Kindle font enlargement feature doesn't work. I tried downloading it to my Kindle for PC, which improved things a little, but still made for difficult reading. The maps are coarse and difficult to make out. All in all, a disappointing rendering of a book I really wanted to read. The Kindle version is a waste of $3.
If you want a hardcopy version, you'll be O.K. Compare the "Look Inside" features of the hardcopy and the Kindle edition and you'll see what I'm talking about. My solution and suggestion for anyone interested in an ebook version of this fine book is to visit Project Gutenberg, download the ePub or HTML version for free, install Calibre on your computer, and you're good to go. This book is well worth reading, if you get the right version.
In each of the dreams we are given the deployment of the men and what preparations have been made. We then find out what happens. At the end of each dream the officer takes away a number of valuable lessons, until in the last dream he implements all these lessons and emerges victorious.
A great read and a novel way to impart tactical lessons to the reader.
Update: The review above refers to the version by Avery Publishing. In 2010, I wanted to give a copy as a gift. Luckily, I skimmed it before wrapping it. This new version by Dodo Press is missing several of the most useful sections of the original book. It omits the historical notes that put the Boer War in context, is missing most of the maps and even omits Swinton's own preface. It is far less useful as a primer than the earlier version.
Amazon apparently doesn't allow separate ratings for different editions of a book. If I could, I would leave the original version with 5 stars but downgrade the Dodo Press version to 3 stars or less. I am returning this new, faulty copy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"The Defence of Duffer's Drift" by Major General Swinton, a noted English soldier and author, wrote this marvelous tactical primer as a...Read more