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Collectable Books On the Shelf

Military vehicle enthusiasts cherish Ben Carlin’s book, Half Safe, about circumnavigating the world in a Ford GPA, this recent book fills in the gaps in that tale and is a shocking read

As well as a million cigarette butts and countless gin bottles, Ben Carlin’s circumnavigation of the globe in a Ford GPA has left a series of books in its wake.

The most recent, the subject of this month’s Collectable Books, is a real eye-opener. It tells Carlin’s story from his schooldays through to his time in China in the 1930s; his acquisition of the Ford GPA, amphibious Jeep, sold as surplus from Camp Holabird in Maryland, USA; and finally to his death in 1981.

Carlin’s account of his Atlantic crossing was told in the book called Half-Safe across the Atlantic by Jeep published by André Deutsch in 1955 and has long been regarded by military Jeep enthusiasts as essential reading.

On rereading the account, it is obvious that many questions are left unanswered. Furthermore, because it was written in London after the Atlantic crossing, much of the epic journey was yet to take place.

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