Launch Pad UK
Britain and the Cuban Missile Crisis
Had the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 escalated to nuclear strikes, American missiles would have been launched from sites in England and those locations were therefore targets themselves. Drawing on interviews with the RAF personnel responsible for holding the Thor ballistic missiles in a state of constant readiness, this analysis explores the most dangerous period of the Cold War from the perspective of Britain as the front line.
Bolts from the Blue
From Cold War Warrior to Chief of the Air Staff
Trained as a jet pilot in the late 1950s when Britain was still a leading air power, Richard Johns achieved the top rank in the RAF in 1997, by which time Britain's military capacity had been much reduced. His autobiography examines his key operations as commander, including the First Gulf War and Balkan conflict in the 1990s, as well as reflecting on the evolution of the RAF and the other services during his career.
The Solitary Spy
A Political Prisoner in Cold War Berlin
A graduate of Britain’s top-secret Joint Services School for Linguistics, Douglas Boyd was posted to an RAF airbase in Berlin in 1958 to spy on the armed forces of Warsaw Pact countries. He was subsequently arrested and imprisoned in solitary confinement in Potsdam, where he was interrogated by the KGB. In this memoir, Boyd describes his work as a signals interceptor in Berlin, where he listened in on pilots flying over East Germany, and his encounters with key security personnel.
Rebuilding Post-War Britain
Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Refugees in Britain, 1946–1951
After the Second World War, 25,000 Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, displaced by conflict and invasion, were recruited to fill labour shortages in Britain. Drawing on interviews and documentary sources, Emily Gilbert brings this little-known episode to life, and charts the refugees’ contribution to British society.
Memories of the Falklands
The recollections of leading British politicians, diplomats, military personnel, journalists and Falkland Islanders are included in this retrospect of the 1982 conflict. Among the contributors are Margaret Thatcher, Simon Weston, Cecil Parkinson, David Owen and Max Hastings.
True Tales from the Operators of Britain's First Jet Fighter – From 1944 to Date
‘I saw a V1 coming in south of Dover and caught up with it about three miles south of Canterbury. I was flying at 400mph and had no difficulty overtaking …’ This book features long-form interviews with over 40 veteran pilots of the beloved Gloster Meteor, the RAF’s first jet-powered aeroplane, which came into service in 1944 and played a significant role in the early stages of the Cold War, despite being alarmingly accident-prone.
From Jet Provost to Strikemaster
A Definitive History of the Basic and Counter-Insurgent Aircraft at Home and Overseas
Over 700 Jet Provost and Strikemaster aircraft were produced in Britain between 1954 and 1983, the former responsible for training generations of RAF jet pilots, the latter an armed version of the Provost which saw action during the Dhofar War in Oman. This well-illustrated history of both aircraft charts their evolution, from initial production in 1954 to the final sales of three aircraft to Ecuador in 1988. A comprehensive appendix lists the complete production and technical histories of both jets.
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.
North Korea Caught in Time
Images of War and Reconstruction
Recent events have propelled the secretive Communist state of North Korea into the news, but for six decades it has remained a mystery to outsiders. This interesting book includes 150 rare photos, many of them never seen before in the West, that chart the devastation of the war that gave it birth, and the determined reconstruction that followed. The accompanying essay by Balazs Szalontai recounts the untold story of how ordinary Koreans endured the conflict, and the totalitarian system that emerged from it.