Dalibor Denda, MSc: The Automobile in the Serbian Armed Forces 1908-1918




This monograph reconstructs the process of implementing and using automobiles in the Kingdom of Serbia’s Armed Forces, 1908-1918. Data were collected from primary historical sources found in the Military-History Institute’s Archive in Belgrade and partly from the Russian State Military Archive of the Russian Empire, memoirs, press and literature. It consists of a foreword, two chapters, conclusion and appendixes. In the first part the author writes about the development of the motoring world, and he emphasizes the military segment, as well as experience gained in the usage of automobiles in one Balkan country (Bulgaria). The second part reconstructs the process of implementing automobiles into the Serbian Armed Forces, starting with the first idea and ending with the establishment of transport units and their usage during the 1912-1918 war. The work pays special attention to reconstructing the staff’s training process for those units. Biographies of the key individuals important to the development of Serbian motoring, as well as short histories on every model of cars used in the SAF and its producers, are given in the appendixes. One specialty of this monograph is that all the photographs of Serbian military cars are collected in one place. This book presents a lot of unknown facts. The most important of these is that the Serbian Armed Forces were the first to use tracks and cars for the rapid transport of troops to the endangered frontline. It was in September 1913, almost a year before the famous “Taxi drivers on the Marna River” showed up. The book is accessible to a broad audience and the author easily managed to describe and explain the process in details, but also to present a professional view to his readers without highly technical discussions. According to the critics, this is the most comprehensive document that deals with this relatively uncharted field of Serbian military history. The book was published on the occasion of the centenary of the introduction of automobiles to the SAF.
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