Books about Popski's Private Army
Five primary books have been published about Popski’s Private Army, in various editions and languages, all listed here, with most known to be out of print. FoPPA also has several unpublished typescripts, two of which are in preparation for publishing.
Fold-out map of the Western Desert from Popski's book showing PPA's route from Cairo in Egypt to Tozeur in Tunisia. (See Image Credits)
This information is for the general reader and so does not attempt to provide a comprehensive bibliography of PPA references. There are many books and articles about Special Forces that refer to the Popski story but they generally only reproduce sections of Popski’s book without new material and sometimes introduce errors. For background context foPPA recommends reading any and all of the books by Long Range Desert Group personnel, as well as, of course, Lawrence and Doughty. All books are in English unless indicated otherwise.
Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Peniakoff DSO MC
Only some editions have the original fold-out colour maps, photographs and index, while some others also have small illustrations and different photographs.
- Private Army (1950). Jonathan Cape. Hardback. This was the original best-seller.
- Private Army (1950). Thomas Crowell. Hardback.
- Private Army (1951). Jonathan Cape. Hardback. Second edition with foreword by General Sir John Hackett and a few small revisions after comments from participants.
- Popskis Privatarmé (1951). Natur Och Kultur. Hardback. In Swedish.
- Geisterarmee (1951). Paul List. Paperback. In German.
- Corsari In Jeep (1951). Garzanti. Paperback. In Italian.
- Mon Armée Privée (1953). Librairie Gallimard. Paperback. In French.
- Popski’s Private Army (1953). Reprint Society. Hardback.
- Tseva’oh Ha-perati shel Popski (1954). Ma’arachot. Hardback. In Hebrew.
- Popski’s Private Army (1955). Ayma SL Editories. In Spanish.
- Popski’s Private Army (1957). Yugoslav publisher unknown. In Serbo-Croat.
- Popski’s Private Army (1957). Pan Books. Paperback.
- Popski’s Private Army (1965). Corgi. Paperback.
- Popski’s Private Army (1975). Mayflower. ISBN 0583123821. Paperback.
- Popski’s Private Army (1980). Bantam. ISBN 0553271709. Paperback.
- Popski’s Private Army (1980). Nelson Doubleday. Hardback.
- Tseva’oh Ha-perati shel Popski (1986). Ma’arachot. Reprint in Hebrew.
- Popski’s Private Army (1991). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192852388. Paperback. With index.
- Popski’s Private Army (2002). Cassell Military Paperbacks. ISBN 0304361437. With new foreword by Captain John Campbell.
- Corsari In Jeep (2005). Danilo Montanari Editore. ISBN-13 9788887440065. In Italian. Reprint of Garzanti edition with pictures of Partisans.
Captain Robert Park Yunnie MC
Captain Yunnie was Popski’s original 2nd in command and skipper of ‘B’ Patrol.
- Warriors on Wheels (1959). Hutchinson. Hardback.
- Warriors on Wheels (1961). Arrow Books. Paperback.
- Fighting with Popski’s Private Army (2002). Greenhill Military Paperbacks. ISBN 1853675008. This is Warriors on Wheels but reissued and retitled, and with an Appreciation by Ben Owen and an Epilogue by Yunnie’s son, Don, regarding Bob’s death in the Congo in 1961.
Corporal Ben Owen
Corporal Owen was Captain Yunnie’s gunner.
- With Popski’s Private Army (1993). Janus Publishing. Paperback.
- With Popski’s Private Army (1996). Astrolabe Publishing. Hardback. Privately published by Ben.
- With Popski’s Private Army (2007). Astrolabe Military Paperbacks. Paperback. Additional chapter about ‘Trooper X’. This edition was produced by foPPA after taking over Ben Owen’s Astrolabe imprint. Buy it now from the foPPA Shop.
- With Popski’s Private Army (2009). Janus Publishing. Paperback. Unauthorised reprint of 1993 edition.
Lieutenant-Colonel John Willett
This is Popski’s biography by his friend Lieutenant-Colonel John Willett, an Eighth Army Intelligence Officer. It gives a view of his life before and after PPA.
- Popski: A life of Lt Col. Vladimir Peniakoff (1954). MacGibbon and Kee. Hardback.
Signalman Les White
Signalman White was a signaller in Lieutenant Reeve-Walker’s ‘S’ Patrol.
- From the Workhouse to Vienna. Posthumously published privately by his daughter-in-law. It's a British 20th Century social and miltary history that tells us about Les's coming-of-age in service, how he joined the Army and about his wartime service in PPA. Buy it now from the foPPA Shop.
Captain Ricky Rickwood
Captain Rickwood was skipper of ‘R’ Patrol.
- The Khaki Sheep. FoPPA understands that only 100 copies were ever printed in Germany, publisher unknown, just after the war, and knows of only one copy in a private collection. In 2010 we discovered Ricky's daughter and son, who have the original typescripts.
Captain John Campbell CVO CBE MC and Bar
Captain Campbell was the last of the “big four” officers of PPA and skipper of ‘S’ Patrol after Lieutenant Reeve-Walker. He went on to a successful career as a diplomat in Italy and Canada, and is the chairman of foPPA, overseeing the creation of the PPA Memorial.
- Snakes and Ladders. This typescript was thought lost in the 1970’s but was recently rediscovered and is now being revised for publication.
Most of these books can be found now only secondhand on the Internet. FoPPA suggests looking at :-
- Advanced Book Exchange: www.abebooks.com (best source, usually over 300 entries, search on "popski")
- Antique Books: antiqbook.com (similar to abebooks)
- Amazon: www.amazon.com (recent paperback editions)
- eBay: www.ebay.co.uk (tends to be recent paperback editions)
Ben Owen's and Les White's book are available from the foPPA Shop now