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From Chauffeur to Brigadier

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347 pages5 hours

Summary

Originally published in 1930, these are the remarkable memoirs of Brigadier General Christopher D'Arcy Bloomfield Saltern Baker-Carr (1878-1949), a British Army staff officer who went on to rise through the ranks to become an important military commander during World War I.

His account begins in August 1914 with his departure for the front in France and concludes four years later with his experiences at his last headquarters, situated in a small town in northern France, Caudry.

“It was my unique privilege during the Great War to be closely associated with the development and organisation of the most important defensive weapon, the machine gun, and of the most important offensive weapon, the tank.

“Today, perhaps, it will seem incredible that the High Command failed to appreciate the true value of the machine gun and the tank in the early stages of their development. It will seem even more incredible that, at a later period, it was necessary to scheme and struggle against official lukewarmness, at times almost indistinguishable from hostility, in order to secure the increase in the numbers of these arms, which, as was evident to everybody else, had proved themselves to be the greatest preservers of life yet discovered.

“In the following pages I have endeavoured to set down an account of the difficulties encountered, of failures and successes, of high hopes brought to the ground by lack of faith and vision, of the ultimate recognition at long last, of the superiority of machinery and metal over beef and brawn.

“Much of what I have written, especially in the earlier portions of the book, is, of necessity, a personal narrative, and I have described events and occurrences as I, myself, saw them.”—Brig.-Gen. C. D. Baker-Carr

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