BACKGROUND of the
Creation of "Unbroken Line": In the late 1980s, Professor
Radford and his wife Laurie participated
in the writing of "The
51st Again!", which was published
in 1992. They were not wholly satisfied with the result
and commenced work on a different type of book, over ten years
in the making.
"The 51st Again!" ably details
the unit history of the 51st ECB and is an invaluable source and
stands on its own. The new effort, "Unbroken Line", incorporates
material from it, extracts from several other sources, and contributions
from Battalion members. The result distinguishes itself from almost any other military unit history in several ways,
which include the fine prefatory writing on the unit's training,
seamless incorporation of extracts from hundreds of letters written
from the field with the unit history, and a series of high quality maps to help tie everything
together. Some 100 black and white photographs greatly enhance the
text. Coated paper stock was used so as to print the maps and images
at photographic quality.
The new writing, collation of letter extracts
and gathering of source material was almost wholly the work of the
senior Radfords. Gradually, in the late 1990s, John
Radford picked up editing chores
and got obsessed with design ideas and map-making (the maps in "The
51st Again!" were by and large sadly devalued by bad printing).
With the acquisition of a decent computer
and peripherals in 1998, the design and professional level work
needed for a book worth publishing became possible. After half a
dozen drafts and exhaustion of most avenues of procrastination,
a printer and bindery were found and other details of self-publication
were dealt with resulting in final publication in late May of 2002.