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During World War II, the British Army underwent a complete transformation as the number of vehicles grew from 40,000 to 1.5 million, ranging from tanks and giant tank transporters to jeeps, mobile baths and offices, and scout cars. At the same time the way in which the Army was provided with all it needed was transformed, arms and ammunition, radio, clothing, and places to sleep and wash. War on Wheels follows the people who mechanized the British Army from early days at Chilwell factory near Nottingham, through the near disaster of the BEF, desert war and Italian invasion, Ordinance assistance from the US, and preparations for D-Day and war in Japan.
Amid apocalyptic invasions and time travel, one common machine continually appears in H. G. Wells’s works: the bicycle. From his scientific romances and social comedies, to utopias, futurological speculations, and letters, Wells’s texts abound with bicycles. In The War of the Wheels, Withers examines this mode of transportation as both something that played a significant role in Wells’s personal life and as a literary device for creating elaborate characters and complex themes. Withers traces Wells’s ambivalent relationship with the bicycle throughout his writing. While he celebrated it as a singular and astonishing piece of technology, and continued to do so long after his contemporaries abandoned their enthusiasm for the bicycle, he was not an unwavering promoter of this machine. Wells acknowledged the complex nature of cycling, its contribution to a growing dependence on and fetishization of technology, and its role in humanity’s increasing sense of superiority. Moving into the twenty-first century, Withers reflects on how the works of H. G. Wells can serve as a valuable locus for thinking through many of our current issues and problems related to transportation, mobility, and sustainability.
A comprehensive guide to the authorized unit insignia from the American Revolution through the Persian Gulf War.

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