The Man Who Broke Enigmas
Brilliant classical scholar Alfred Dillwyn Knox was recruited by the Admiralty as a codebreaker in 1915 and by the outbreak of the Second World War was a leading cryptographer for the Government Code and Cypher School, breaking the Abwehr Enigma at Bletchley Park in 1941. This biography of the eccentric genius is written by one of 'Dilly's girls' - his codebreaking assistants at Bletchley - and describes his life and work, including detailed explanations of his decryption methods.
Digging for Victory
Gardens and Gardening in Wartime Britain
During the successful Dig for Victory campaign, which aimed to make wartime Britain self-sufficient, gardeners everywhere dug up their lawns to grow not only fruit and vegetables, but flowers too, inspiring ‘faith, hope, cheerfulness and courage.’ From composting to harvesting, this playful history of the campaign features all aspects of wartime gardening, and is vividly illustrated by original pamphlets, recoloured photographs and instructional cartoons.
Defending the Rock
How Gibraltar Defeated Hitler
Gibraltar has been an indispensable naval fortress since 1704, yet in July 1940 it was threatened on four sides: by Vichy France, Nazi Germany, and fascist Italy and Spain. This riveting history of the Rock’s strategic importance during the War also explores the pre-war imperial incursions in the Mediterranean region, which would threaten Gibraltar as a wartime escape route and key link in the ‘steel chain of sea power’.
Commandant Of Auschwitz
The Autobiography of Rudolf Hoess
Rudolf Hoess was Commandant of Auschwitz from its construction in 1940 until late 1943, and supervised the murder of over three million Jews as part of the Nazis’ ‘final solution’. He was an expert in the administration of concentration camps and mass exterminations. Hoess wrote this autobiography in 1947 while in prison in Poland. He was tried, sentenced and hanged later that year. The autobiography and other documents are translated here by Constantine Fitzgibbon, with an introduction by Primo Levi.
Britain's Secret Army: The Munitions Women of World War II
With the outbreak of war in 1939, many factories were turned over to the war effort, while new ones were quickly built to manufacture munitions. Millions of women worked arduous shifts, day and night, dealing with dangerous materials, often after being forced to leave home and live in uncomfortable and unfamiliar surroundings. Based on extensive interviews, this book recounts the experiences of nine 'bomb girls', revealing the hardships that they endured and their often-unrecognized contribution to the Allied victory.
The Debs of Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park may be famous for the exploits of Alan Turing and the team operating his first 'computer', but at the peak of its operations Station X employed as many as 12,000 people, two-thirds of whom were women. From language students to society debutantes and even a former ballerina, this book explores the extraordinary secret life of these women during the Second World War and the significant contribution they made to the Allied victory. Slightly off-mint.
At War on the Gothic Line
Fighting in Italy 1944–45
If much of the attention in Summer 1944 was on Normandy and the progress of the Allies through France, another enormous multinational army was also fighting doggedly further south and facing the last formidable barrier of German defensive positions, the Gothic Line, stretching from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean across mountainous northern Italy. This analysis of a year of fighting on the front tells the story through the varied experiences of 13 men and women from seven different countries.
The Mantle of Command
FDR At War 1941–1942
The first part of a trilogy, this reappraisal of Franklin D Roosevelt’s role as US Commander in Chief during the Second World War begins with his meeting with Churchill in Placentia Bay on 9 August 1941, and ends with the landing of US troops in North Africa in late 1942. In between are 14 military and political challenges, including an attempted ‘mutiny’ by US officials (which Roosevelt overcame) demonstrating not only his moral leadership, but also his talent for military strategy.
The Story of The War from the Battlefront, 1939–45
Following a tradition dating back to 1545, naval commanders would write an official despatch to the Admiralty to explain their actions during significant naval operations. This collection of despatches, published in association with the National Archives, covers events which impacted hugely on the Second World War, including the convoys in the Mediterranean and Russia, amphibious operations such as Dieppe, the evacuation of Crete, and the assault phase of the Normandy landings.
Game of Spies
The Secret Agent, The Traitor and The Nazi
During the Second World War, German-occupied Bordeaux was a hotbed of espionage as the Gestapo attempted to thwart clandestine British efforts to support the Resistance. Drawing on newly discovered documents, the late Paddy Ashdown and Sylvie Young reveal the deadly game of cat and mouse played out by three men – one British, one French and one German – against a backdrop of intrigue, treachery and death.
The Liberation of Europe 1944–1945
The Photographers Who Captured History from D-Day to Berlin
This collection of archival images from The Times and Kemsley Newspapers, many published here for the first time, documents remarkable scenes from the Allies’ invasion of Europe, including the capture of Berlin, where a sombre Churchill inspects the site at which Hitler’s body was burnt. Set against a backdrop of devastation, action shots of airdrops, beach landings, tank battles and troop manoeuvres contrast with the delighted faces of liberated civilians, telling stories as compelling as they are harrowing.