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Recreational Wargaming...Donald Featherstone

Featherstone Lost Tales vol 1 Donald Featherstone's Lost Tales including Wargaming Rules 300 BC to 1945   05 Oct 2009
by Donald Featherstone
Edited by John Curry

Foreword by James F. Dunnigan SPI, How to Make War, The Strategy Page

'Donald Featherstone was one of the dozen or so people who, in the 20th century, turned wargaming into both a hobby and a more useful tool for military professionals.' James F. Dunnigan

'Don's Book 'War Games' in 1962 was an amazing thunderclap to an entire generation of would-be wargamers.' Paddy Griffith

Through forty books on wargaming and military history, literally thousands of magazine articles and countless talks, Don's energetic efforts made wargaming widely available, even respectable. However, despite this proliferation of writing, some areas remained hidden. 'Lost Tales' covers some of these omissions.

This book covers diverse material from a lifetime's experience of wargaming with 15 chapters plus 1 appendix including: 'My War - Sergeant Featherstone 7893763'; 'Modern Wargaming - How it all Began in the 1960's.' ; No less than twelve sets of Don's favourite rules from ancients to World War II, including two unpublished sets and The History of Don's unit, the 51st Tank Battalion The Royal Tank Regiment.

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Product details:     
209 pages
History of Wargaming    Project
     Dimensions (cm):
15.6 wide x 23.39 tall  


Conversations with Don: Early Sales

By July 1969, Don had sold 30,000 sets of rules. His early books Wargames, Air wargames, Naval Wargames, Tackle Model Soldiers this Way and Advanced Wargames had sold 18,000 copies. His first book Wargames went on to sell 40,000 copies.

Conversations with Don: RSM's never forget

In 1944 in Italy, the Bn was behind the lines, waiting for the infantry to make a breakthough. The Bn took the opportunity to assemble the Sergeants for a classic Sergeant's mess meeting and photo. Unfortunately, a German Messerschmitt interrupted by straffing, Sergeant Featherstone dived into the ditch by the road and saw the dust rise three feet in front of his eyes. One of the trucks was hit and started to brew up, so Don entered the truck to retrieve family photos that were in his jacket hanging up in the burning vehicle. The photos,were a little black, but safe. The Sgt's were then assembled by the persisent RSM for their Sgt's Mess photo and then equally rapidly, they dispersed. The RSM then noticed that Sgt Featherstone had his beret on at a ridiculous angle, hence had ruined the photograph. Perhaps given the circumstances, he could be forgiven.

In 1973, Don learnt that the ex-RSM had a pub in Dorking, so he arrived one lunchtime to hear the RSM giving the locals his war stories. The RSM pointed his finger at Don and said 'I know you'! Don suggested that the RSM pull his pint while he thought about it. Midway through the pouring, the RSM shouted, 'I remember you, you were the ******* who ruined the sgt's mess photo in Italy in 1944'!

It just goes to show, RSM's never forget.

Conversations with Don: The bravest man in the 51st Tank Bn

Don is of the considered view that the bravest of the brave was the Bn chaplin and his driver. The chaplin insisted that he and his driver were to be the only ones to retrieve the dead from the Bn's knocked out tanks. In one battle, the BN lost 50 of its tanks (almost all except for the 3 BN reserve tanks, Faith, Hope and Charity). The padre and driver went forward and recovered the 58 dead and took them from the tanks to their graves. Don still salutes their memory.
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