Hitler's Revenge Weapons
The Final Blitz of London
From June 1944 onwards, V1 and V2 rockets caused 31,000 casualties and damaged 1.6 million houses in London alone. The author of this history, who grew up during the Blitz, weaves his own memories of the attacks into this detailed history of the development of the terrifying ‘doodlebugs’ at the infamous Peenemunde missile development site, while acknowledging the way that the Germans’ engineering feats underpinned post-war rocketry and space travel.
Military Technology of the First World War
Development, Use and Consequences
In wartime, the weaponry and defences of the period often inspire new inventions, such as the armoured combat vehicles, tanks and submarines built during the First World War. This extensively illustrated study by a German historian documents the technology used by the Allies and the Central Powers, including machine guns, artillery guns and gas weapons.
The History of the SAS
Drawing on his experiences as an SAS corporal, Chris Ryan tells the story of his regiment from its formation during the Second World War. He describes its post-war revival in 1950 to combat communist insurgents in Malaya, the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege, its operations in Northern Ireland and the Falklands, and its response to today’s threats from international terrorism and an increasingly assertive Russia.
Burning the Sky
Operation Argus and the Untold Story of the Cold War Nuclear Tests in Outer Space
As the Cold War intensified in the late 1950s, an eccentric Greek-American physicist developed a startling idea: to detonate nuclear explosions in space to create a radiation belt that would destroy incoming Soviet missiles. Drawing on newly declassified sources, this book describes the plans for Operation Argus, the New York Times exposé of the project, and the 1963 Test Ban Treaty that prevented high-altitude explosions.
The Dead Hand
Reagan, Gorbachev and the Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race
This investigative history of Reagan, Gorbachev and the Cold War’s final decade draws on many previously unpublished sources, including classified Kremlin documents and interviews with political leaders, scientists, military officials and diplomats. As well as cataloguing the Russian automatic nuclear-control system called the ‘Dead Hand’, the book shows how the regime persisted in their paranoid belief that the US was planning a first strike strategy.
The Military Use of Massive Weapons
Artillery using gunpowder was first deployed in China during the 11th century; as it spread westwards the new technology quickly rendered existing defences obsolete and prompted the development of larger, more destructive weapons. From early bombards to the atomic cannons of the Cold War, this chronological survey comprises illustrated case studies of the very largest guns, with descriptions of their use in land and sea battles and data on their length, weight, calibre and range.
Empire of Guns
The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution
Challenging the conventional narratives of cotton mills and inspired innovators, Priya Satia argues that the constant state of war and Britain’s thriving gun trade were driving forces in the Industrial Revolution. Discussing the economic impact of war on political and industrial progress, she scrutinizes the claims by Samuel Galton Jnr, the leading gun manufacturer, that his industry was no worse than any other as everyone was participating in war manufacturing, and that guns were instruments of civilization, essential for preserving property. Slightly off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The American Arsenal
The World War II Official Standard Ordanance Catalogue
During the Second World War, the US Ordnance Department set about producing a definitive catalogue of army equipment to counteract inconsistent information in circulation in unofficial publications and to avoid the parallel development of similar equipment by different departments. The exhaustive master guide, reconstructed from the original loose-leaf version, contains descriptions, specifications and over 900 photographs and drawings of vehicles, weapons, ammunition and equipment from the M4 Sherman tank to the M1 helmet.
The British Shell Shortage
Of the First World War
The British shortage of munitions during the First World War was a case of gross mismanagement with disastrous consequences at the Front and political fall-out at home. This study examines shell manufacture in both political and military contexts in 1915. In particular, Harding looks at the fighting at Neuve Chapelle and the Aubers Ridge from the perspective of the Rifle Brigade, whose casualties, when reported in The Times, resulted in the formation of the coalition government and the Ministry of Munitions.
Pigeon Guided Missiles
And 49 Other Ideas That Never Took Off
The pioneering behaviourist BF Skinner was able to demonstrate in the 1940s that conditioning pigeons, housed in the nose of a missile, to peck repeatedly at an image of a target, could be an effective weapons guidance system. As with all the apparently hare-brained schemes in this book, including Thomas Edison's concrete furniture, Wilhelm Reich's cloud-busting machine and British Rail's flying saucer, the system was never adopted.