This book combines two elements. Each chapter begins with a history of the development of the main British armoured forces, from the origins of the tank in the First World War, through the great expansion of the Second World War and on to the unit mergers and shrinkages of the post-war world. The second part of each chapter looks at the resources available for the family historian, including original archives, published records and historical works and the increasingly important online world.
The book is quite tightly focused on the force that evolved into the Royal Tank Corps, and then the Royal Armoured Corps. Other units that used tanks, such as the Guards Armoured Division, are mentioned in passed, but not covered in detail.
The historical element is useful in its own right, tracing the evolution of British armoured units from their naval origins, through the expansion during the First World War, the restricted inter-war years and the even greater expansion of the Second World War.
The family history element comes at the end of each chapter, and covered the same time period. The book has been produced in association with the Tank Museum at Bovington, and so its authors really know their stuff. A wide range of resources are discussed, from original documents, through published histories and on to the increasingly important websites.
This is a nicely focused work on family history, and also a useful guide to the evolution of British armoured forces.
1 - Under the White Ensign
2 - The Way In
3 - The Royal Tank Corps 1923-1939
4 - The Second World War
5 - Post 1945 - The New World 1945-1960
6 - Options for Change 1960-1990
Appendix: Second World War Royal Armoured Corps Regiments
Author: Janice Tait and David Fletcher
Publisher: Pen & Sword Family History