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John Frederick Charles Fuller's Biography (Books) (Photos)

John Frederick Charles Fuller
Major-General John Frederick Charles Fuller (J. F. C. Fuller), CB, CBE, DSO, commonly J.F.C. Fuller, (September 1, 1878 - February 10, 1966), was a British major-general, military historian and strategist, notable as an early theorist of modern armoured warfare, including categorising principles of warfare. He was also the inventor of "artificial moonlight" and an occultist.

Fuller was born in 1878 at Chichester in West Sussex. After moving to Lausanne with his parents as a boy, he returned to England at the age of 11 without them; three years later, at "the somewhat advanced age of 14", he began attending Malvern College and, later trained for an army career at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, from 1897 to 1898. His nickname of "Boney", which he was to retain, is said to have come either from an admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte, or from an imperious manner combined with military brilliance which resembled Napoleon's.

Fuller was a vigorous, expressive, and opinionated writer of military history and of controversial predictions of the future of war, publishing On Future Warfare in 1928. Seeing his teachings largely vindicated by World War II, he published Machine Warfare: An Enquiry into the Influence of Mechanics on the Art of War in 1942.

Fuller had an occultist side that oddly mixed with his military side. He was an early disciple of English poet and magician Aleister Crowley, and was very familiar with his and other forms of magick and mysticism. While serving in the First Oxfordshire Light Infantry he had entered and won a contest to write the best review of Crowley's poetic works, after which it turned out that he was the only entrant. This essay was later published in book form in 1907 as The Star in the West. After this he became an enthusiastic supporter of Crowley, joining his magical order, the A.'.A.'.. within which he became a leading member, editing order documents and its journal, The Equinox. During this period he wrote The Treasure House of Images, edited early sections of Crowley's magical autobiography The Temple of Solomon the King and produced highly regarded paintings dealing with A.'.A.'. teachings: these paintings have been used in recent years as the covers of the journal's revival, The Equinox, Volume IV.

After the Jones vs. The Looking Glass case, in which a great deal was made of Aleister Crowley's bisexuality (although Crowley himself was not a party to the case), Fuller became worried that his association with Crowley might be a hindrance to his career. Contact between the two men faded rapidly. The front pages of the 1913 issues of the Equinox (Volume 1, nos. 9 and 10), which gave general directions to A.'.A.'. members, included a notice on the subject of Fuller, who was described as a "former Probationer"; the notice disparaged Fuller's magical accomplishments and warned A.'.A.'. members to accept no magical training from him. However, Fuller continued to be fascinated with occult subjects and in later years he would write about topics such as the Qabalah and yoga.

Fuller died in Falmouth, Cornwall in 1966.

John Frederick Charles Fuller Works:


Fuller was a prolific writer and published 45+ books.

- The Star in The West: A Critical Essay Upon the Works of Aleister Crowley (London: Walter Scott Publishing Co., 1907)
- Tanks in the Great War: 1914-1918 (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1920)
- The Reformation of War (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1923)
- Yoga: A Study of the Mystical Philosophy of the Brahmins and Buddhists (London: W. Rider, 1925)
- Atlantis, America and the Future. (London: Kegan Paul, 1925) read line
- The Foundations of the Science of War. (London: Hutchinson and Company, 1926)
- Pegasus (New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1926)
- On Future Warfare (London: Sifton, Praed & Company, 1928)
- The Generalship of Ulysses S. Grant (London: J. Murray, 1929)
- The Dragon's Teeth: A Study of War and Peace (London: Constable and Company, 1932)
- Lectures on Field Service Regulations III (1932) analysis
- Grant & Lee: A Study in Personality and Generalship (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1933)
- Memoirs of an Unconventional Soldier (London: Nicholson & Watson, 1936)
- The First of the League Wars: A Study of the Abyssinian War, Its Lessons and Omens(London: Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1936)
- Generalship: Its Diseases and Their Cure: A Study of the Personal Factor in Command (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Military Service Publishing Company, 1936)
- The Secret Wisdom of the Qabalah: A Study in Jewish Mystical Thought (London: W. Rider & Co., 1937)
- Machine Warfare: An Enquiry into the Influence of Mechanics on the Art of War (London: Hutchinson, 1942)
- Warfare Today; How Modern Battles are Planned and Fought on Land, at Sea, and in the Air (Joint editors: J.F.C. Fuller, Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon, and Air Marshal Sir - Patrick Playfair) (London: Oldham's Press Ltd., 1944)
- Armament and History: The Influence of Armament on History from the Dawn of Classical Warfare to the End of the Second World War (London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1945)
- The Second World War, 1939-1945: A Strategical and Tactical History (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1948)
- The Decisive Battles of the Western World and Their Influence upon History (3 vols.) (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1954-1956). A 2-volume edition, abridged by John Terraine to omit battles outside the European continent, was published in 1970 by Picador; not to be confused with the original edition of 1939-40, also in two volumes, of which the 3-volume edition is a substantial revision, as described in its preface. The U.S. ed. is A Military History of the Western World (3 vols.) (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, New York, 1954-1957); Republished by Da Capo Press, New York, 1987-8. search online
- Volume 1: From the Earliest Times to the Battle of Lepanto
- Volume 2: From the Defeat of the Spanish Armada to the Battle of Waterloo
- Volume 3: From the American Civil War to the End of the Second World War
- The Generalship of Alexander the Great (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1958).
- The Conduct of War, 1789-1961: A Study of the Impact of the French, Industrial, and Russian Revolutions on War and Its Conduct (Rutgers University Press, 1961)
- v. 1; ISBN 0-306-80304-6.
- v. 2; ISBN 0-306-80305-4.
- v. 3; ISBN 0-306-80306-2.
- Julius Caesar: Man, Soldier and Tyrant (Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1965)
- Fuller, J. F. C.; Aleister Crowley (1994). The Pathworkings of Aleister Crowley: The Treasure House of Images. James Wasserman (ed.). New Falcon Publications,U.S. ISBN 1-56184-074-2.