The Untold Story of World War Two's Greatest Escape
The 'Warburg Wire Job' was an audacious escape plan by 40 British, Australian, New Zealand and South African POWs from Oflag VI-B in Warburg, Germany. With the camp lights fused, the prisoners laid scaling ladders constructed from bed boards over the high perimeter fence and 28 made it across. Mark Felton's history tells the story of the planning and execution of the breakout and the stories of the escapees' attempts to evade recapture and return home.
British Posters of the Second World War
In 1939, the first attempts of the government to bolster morale with poster campaigns were largely ineffective but as the war progressed, propaganda became more sophisticated, using contemporary design, memorable slogans and humour to inform and direct the public. This analysis draws on the collection of the Imperial War Museum and explores such classic campaigns as 'Dig for Victory' and 'Make Do and Mend'.
The Cooler King
The True Story of William Ash: Spitfire Pilot, PoW and WWII's Greatest Escaper
Long before the USA entered the Second World War, William Ash had left Texas for Britain and was flying Spitfires with 411 squadron. In 1942 he was shot down over France, captured and incarcerated in Stalag III. Ash spent the rest of the war trying to escape from various Nazi PoW camps, and this book tells the exciting story of his determined efforts to break free.
Animals Under Fire 1939–1945
Pet owners were advised in 1939 that destroying their cats and dogs would be kinder than allowing them to face the Blitz. Later in the war family dogs were recruited into service as guards and mine detectors. This book investigates the wartime challenges for domestic pets and their owners, from bombed-out cats rescued from the rubble to the dogs that parachuted into France on D-Day.
The Kamikaze Hunters
Fighting for the Pacific, 1945
The final effort of the Second World War against Japan is remembered as mainly an American affair, but the British fleet was there too and British airmen flying from carriers, mostly in leased American Corsair planes. This book recounts those last days of the Pacific War through the eyes of the Royal Navy pilots who flew hundreds of missions over Japan and in the face of desperate Japanese kamikaze attacks during the summer of 1945.
Ministers at War
Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet
In this study of Winston Churchill and the small group of men – the 'team of rivals' – that he chose to help him guide Britain through the grave crisis it faced in May 1940, Schneer examines Churchill's leadership and the relations between the War Cabinet ministers – among them Eden, Beaverbrook, Bevin, Attlee, Morrison and Stafford Cripps. He also looks beyond the war to the Cabinet's response to public expectations after six years of hardship – domestic issues which demanded a new kind of leadership.
Last Hope Island
In this epic narrative – a former Mail on Sunday Book of the Year – the American popular historian Lynne Olson focuses on the relationships between Britain and the governments from occupied Europe that found refuge in London during the Second World War. She explores their valuable contributions to the Allied war effort, as well as Britain’s staunch resistance to Hitler, and the exploits of the fighters across Europe who were inspired by the British ‘beacon of hope’.
Closing The Books
Jewish Insurance Claims from the Holocaust
Charles Weiss tells the story of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims (ICHEIC) and illuminates the ethical as well as financial issues involved in pursuing claims for unredeemed policies of Holocaust victims and their dependents. Slightly off-mint.
Britain's Secret Wartime Expedition to Antarctica 1944–46
In 1943, Winston Churchill’s War Cabinet met to discuss the opening of a new front – not on the beaches of Normandy or in the jungles of Burma, but amid the blizzards and glaciers of the Antarctic. Operation Tabarin tells the remarkable story of this secret mission to establish British sovereignty in the region, describing how the expedition laid the foundations for decades of government-sponsored scientific research – and would eventually lead to the Falklands War.
British Intelligence and The Occult in the Second World War
Astrology, magic, political warfare and black propaganda, Commander Ian Fleming’s meeting with the ‘Beast’ Aleister Crowley... Nicholas Booth tells a surreal tale that begins with British Intelligence wanting to know whether Adolf Hitler was being advised by astrologers and ends with Rudolf Hess parachuting into Scotland. Using declassified files, Booth explains some of the peculiar events and personalities of the secret war in 1941, when Britain’s situation was desperate and even an occult straw seemed worth clutching.
The Lost Landsers
The Unpublished Photographic History of the German Army: Sand, Snow and Mud 1941–1942
Offering a German view of the Russian and North African fronts in the Second World War, this book comprises previously unpublished photographs taken by German soldiers, with detailed captions by two military historians.
Saving British and American Women at Ravensbrück
In April 1945, a score of British and American women emerged from the ‘Women’s Hell’ of Ravensbrück concentration camp, kept alive by the willpower of one woman, Mary Lindell, Comtesse de Milleville. Movingly supported by personal testimonies, this book tells the remarkable story of this courageous woman, already a heroine of the First World War, who smuggled out a list that belied German claims that they had no British or American prisoners, and saved the lives of her fellow inmates.
Fuehrer Conferences on Naval Affairs 1939-1945
Facing defeat in 1945, Hitler ordered the destruction of official military documents. Admiral Dönitz defied the order, believing that the German navy had fought an honourable war and had nothing to hide. The result was the survival of these first-hand accounts, written without hindsight, of Hitler's meetings with his naval commanders-in-chief, Raeder and Dönitz, and other high-ranking officers. This edition contains the original Anthony Martienssen translation made for the British Admiralty and first published in 1947.
The 137th Infantry Brigade was raised in 1939 when Territorial Army reservists were mobilized. Although designated for labour duties, the 'digging divisions' found themselves called into action and delayed the German advance during the Battle of France at a high cost in casualties. This book uses diaries and personal accounts as well as official reports to tell the story of how the unprepared troops' sacrifice helped enable the evacuation of the BEF from Dunkirk.
Britain's Enemy Aliens, Nazi War Criminals and the Reconstruction of Post-War Europe
During the Second World War over 10,000 Germans and Austrians who had fled Nazi tyranny served in the British forces. This is an account of how they returned to Germany with the Intelligence Corps to 'denazify' and help rebuild the country.
Britain's Final Defence
Arming the Home Guard 1940–1944
Arming a volunteer militia of over 1.5 million men in 1940 was no easy task and logistical problems and the use of improvised weapons and unfamiliar imported rifles gave the Home Guard a reputation for ineffectiveness that was later ingrained by the television comedy Dad's Army. This study examines the range of weaponry supplied to the force between 1940 and 1944, assessing its true military effectiveness and considering the process by which false perception can become accepted as historical fact.
Battling with the Truth
The Contrast in the Media Reporting of World War II
Recognizing that truth is often the first casualty of war, military historian Ian Garden examines the way both Axis and Allies manipulated news coverage of the war to boost the morale of their populations. Extensively illustrated with historic photographs and newsreel stills, this absorbing book analyses key incidents and contemporary sources to show how both sides doctored the news, exaggerating enemy casualties while minimizing their own, and giving false impressions about the success or failure of missions – and even whole campaigns.