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Flesh wounds in manuscript

David Holbrook and D-Day

Flesh wounds narrates the wartime experiences of Paul Grimmer, a lightly-fictionalized version of Holbrook himself. The six sheets that can be viewed at the foot of this page are part of a draft of the ‘D+2’ chapter of the novel, recounting events in Normandy on 8 June 1944, and beginning on page 202 of the first edition. The draft contains a lengthy (and highly uncomplimentary) account of the British Sten gun, and a comparison of it with its German equivalents and with weapons of earlier eras. This was largely discarded in the published version of the novel. According to a ‘Record of progress’ on the writing of Flesh wounds kept by Holbrook, he composed 63,000 words that were not included in the printed book.