A Century of Counterinsurgency
Once, counterinsurgency was a sideshow to the set-piece battles of conventional warfare; now, in the age of Isis and the Taliban, it is the main event. The shift, this book argues, has caught governments and armies unawares, leaving them embroiled in costly ‘nation-building’ amid hostile populations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a timely survey of a century of ‘asymmetrical’ warfare in South Africa, Ireland, Malaya, Kenya and elsewhere, the author examines the lessons that can be learnt from past successes and failures.
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.
Chess and the Art of War
Ancient Wisdom to Make You a Better Player
‘To mystify, mislead and surprise the enemy is one of the first principles in war.’ As this manual shows, the timeless tactical lessons of the ancient Chinese treatise The Art of War are applicable as much to the chessboard as to the battlefield. Two experienced chess teachers share a selection of Sun Tzu’s pithy advice and, through their analyses of classic games, illustrate how the most successful grandmasters have put each of these ideas into practice.
Myth, Reality, and Hitler's Lightning War: France 1940
The long-accepted view of Hitler's war machine as an unstoppable force in 1940 is called into question in this meticulous, revisionist account of the Battle of France. Showing that the reputation of blitzkrieg is largely myth (propagated by the Nazis), Lloyd Clark argues that the modern German Army was in fact largely on foot, or reliant on horses and bicycles, and the invasion was a highly risky move that succeeded only with the help of luck and Allied mistakes. Off-mint.
Camouflage at War
An Illustrated Guide from 1914 to the Present Day
The advantages of concealment and misdirection that camouflage can afford only became a significant military concern with the advent of longer-range weapons in the 20th century; the French notably having to quickly replace their 1914 red-and-blue infantry uniform with 'horizon blue'. This illustrated examination of the evolution of military camouflage explores different approaches and pattern styles used on ships, planes, tanks and soldiers in the field from khaki and field grey to modern pixel-based digital designs.
Britain on the Brink
The Cold War's Most Dangerous Weekend, 27-28 October 1962
At the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Britain was America's first line of defence, a vulnerable but unsinkable 'aircraft carrier' on which it based Strategic Air Command's first-strike nuclear capability. Jim Wilson gives an in-depth account of what this meant for Britain during the Cold War and at the moment when war was an imminent threat. In particular, the study explores the implications of the Soviet missiles trained on the UK and the response – and gamble – of Macmillan's government.
Fighting Fit 1939
Adam Culling, Curator of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum, presents a number of the Army's training and equipment manuals, books and photographs. Ranging from Physical Training (1937) to Shoot to Kill (1944), the publications reproduced here show how the British soldier was kept fighting fit before and during the Second World War.