Today is National Read a Book Day so we’ve put together a list of our favourite REME, military and engineering books. Got any recommendations for us?

Craftsmen of the Army: The Story of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, volumes I, II and III by various

Written as the ‘story’ of REME, these are an incredibly useful series of books, especially as the REME involvement is so often overlooked in more general historical works. They are built out of a combination of War Office material and personal accounts, which are woven into it for a more approachable and enjoyable flavour, and are a first port of call for anyone interested in finding out a bit more about REME. I cannot express how often I have turned to them for my initial foray into a new enquiry and they so rarely let me down.

Zoe, Archive Assistant

The End by Ian Kershaw

Ian Kershaw’s “The End” is a powerful and in-depth history of the last months of the Second World War in Germany. Kershaw combines the history of this fraught time with the stories of individuals, giving insight into what life was like for the normal Germans in 1944 and 1945. Even if you have read many books on World War II, this book is an interesting and important exploration of those final months of conflict, and the battles and decisions that led to Germany’s defeat.

Sophie, Curator

The Complete Dambusters: The 133 Men Who Flew on the Dams Raid by Charles Foster

We all know the story of the Dambusters but this book gives it a more personal feel. It was an eye opening tale of the young men who give their lives for us. Worth a read to get to know the gentlemen themselves.

Claire, Front of House Manager

From the Archives: An Eclectic Mix of Stories from the History of REME by Mike Sibbons

‘From the Archives’ by Mike Sibbons brings together a wealth of REME-related articles, exploring the history and stories behind the Corps. Insights into operations, personal stories, and events are covered. Events that have contributed to the REME Museum are included, such as the discovery of how ‘Mussolini’s Boots’ came to be at the Museum! If you’re looking for an engaging introduction to REME, this is the perfect place to start.

Laura, Museum Assistant

The Forgotten Punch in the Army's Fist: Korea 1950-53: Recounting REME's Involvement by John Dutton

If you want a general history of the Korean War, look elsewhere. However if you want to find out how to acquire camp beds (get an officer to distract the American truck driver while you climb in the back and redistribute), how to open frozen tins of juice (pistol bullet), and how to stop your rifle bolts from freezing (brake fluid), then this is a fascinating tale of the ingenuity, resourcefulness, and problem solving for which REME are so renowned. 

Zoe, Archive Assistant

Exactly: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester

Exactly is a great new book that reminds us of the pioneering role engineers have played down the centuries. Winchester takes us back to the industrial revolution to explore the importance of precision in modern production. While reading I was thinking about the trade test pieces we look after at the Museum; small monuments to accuracy, produced by Craftsmen. Sections on Rolls Royce made me think of REME’s role in resurrecting Volkswagen. I’m not an engineer but I think this would be a great read for those who are.

Kim, Assistant Curator

We have a range of books on sale in the Museum gift shop. You can also purchase REME books from the online REME Shop.