New Perspectives on the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 1915–16
The doomed Gallipoli campaign – the Allied military effort to force a passage through the Dardanelles Straits and knock Ottoman Turkey out of the war – has been controversial since the final evacuation of troops from the Peninsula in January 1916. Focusing on the MEF, this volume presents original research by more than 20 historians: Part I covers the structure of the battle; Part II discusses command and control; Part III deals with support and enablers, including British air power, nurses, chaplains and mining.
The End of the Gallop
The Battle for Kharkov, February–March 1943
A leading military historian, who specialises in the Second World War’s Eastern Front, analyses one of the most intriguing periods of the Battles for Kharkov, when German forces retook the city. The conquest seemed decisive, but the complex daily troop manoeuvres and tactical switches that were involved laid the groundwork for the Soviets to reframe their strategy for a final victory later in the year.
The Veteran's Story
For the bombers of the RAF and USAF, supporting the invasion on D-Day was the culmination of a planned series of strategic raids in preparation for the landings. Focusing on the service of eight crews, and drawing on first-hand accounts, this analysis of the campaign explains the wider strategy and describes the personal experiences of the airmen, from raids on German infrastructure in spring 1944 to supporting land forces several months after D-Day.
The Peninsular War Atlas
Exploring the British, Spanish and Portuguese forces’ campaign to expel the French from Iberia, this slipcased volume tells the story through 164 detailed maps. From the French invasion of Portugal in 1808 to the Battle of Toulouse in 1814, the maps and accompanying commentary describe the general progress of the war and analyse the specific disposition of forces and deployment of troops at every engagement.
The Battle of the Ardennes 22 August 1914
This analysis of the crucial 1914 encounters on the Western Front, collectively known as the Battle of Ardennes, encompasses both German and French viewpoints on moments of success and failure, and explores the underlying political, bureaucratic, and military issues in the years before the war.
The Mythical Battle
Re-examining one of the key events in English history, this book takes a new look at the evidence. It asks what really happened on that October day in 1066, where and why – and how King Harold really died. Comparing the various written accounts of the battle, it challenges our notions of historical fact, and shows how the understanding of events is altered by subsequent generations to suit their own ends.
No Way Out
The Searing True Story of Men Under Siege
Commanding a unit of Paras and Royal Irish Rangers in Afghanistan in 2006, Major Adam Jowett was tasked with holding the town of Musa Qala. His account of the mission describes how his isolated and outnumbered team held on through 21 days of continuous combat.
1809: Thunder on the Danube
Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume I
This first volume begins with the political and military decisions and manoeuvres that led to war and follows the opening engagements up to the first great battles at Abensberg on 20 April, Eggmühl two days later and the storming of Regensburg on 23 April.
1809: Thunder on the Danube
Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume II
Volume II takes up the story with the march on Vienna and, after the fall of the Habsburg city, goes on to Napoleon’s first repulse at the Battle of Aspern-Essling. It also looks across the Alps to events in Italy, and Eugene de Beauharnais’ counter-offensive.
The Siege of Tsingtau
The German-Japanese War 1914
With support from the Allies in the First World War, Japan took the opportunity to invade Germany’s Pacific colonies. Drawing on records from both sides, this book reveals the political background to a conflict that climaxed in the siege of the German base at Tsingtau, China.
Napoleon and the Archduke Charles
A History of the Franco-Austrian Campaign in the Valley of the Danube 1809
First published in 1909 and still held in high esteem, Petre’s history gives a full account of the clash of Napoleon and his most formidable continental opponent, the Archduke Charles of Austria. The book follows the hard-fought Franco-Austrian Campaign in the valley of the Danube up to its culmination in the Battle of Wagram in 1809.
A Tourist's Guide to the Campaign by Car, by Bike and on Foot
The six tours in this guide follow the route of Edward III’s victorious English army across northern France from St-Vaast-la-Hougue via Abbeville to the battlefield itself. Illustrated with colour photographs and maps, each tour has information on public transport and where to stay and eat.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Voices from the Past
The story of the doomed cavalry charge is well known, but told here from the point of view of soldiers on both sides, using letters, diaries, memoirs and official reports. It is illustrated with photographs showing the terrain as it appeared to participants.
British Campaigns in the South Atlantic 1805–1807
Operations in the Cape and River Plate and their Consequences
Overshadowed by the events of the Napoleonic Wars in Europe, British military campaigns in the South Atlantic in 1805–7 nevertheless had a profound effect in shaping the destiny of the Cape Colony and Spanish possessions in South America. Describing the capture of Cape Town and the ultimately unsuccessful attacks on Buenos Aires and Montevideo, this analysis also assesses the longer-term repercussions in encouraging independence movements in South America and shaping the population and politics of South Africa.
British Battles of the Crimean Wars
These despatches from the Crimean War comprise the original battle reports, written by the field commanders themselves, including Lord Raglan and Admiral Lyons. The accounts and the actions they describe bear testament to the superior professionalism and effectiveness of the Senior Service at the time.
Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition
Robert Goetz tells the story of ‘the beginning of the Napoleon of history and the Grande Armée of legend’ – the 1805 campaign that culminated in the Battle of Austerlitz. In a meticulously detailed account, Goetz traces events from the formation of Britain, Russia and Prussia’s coalition to Austerlitz and the aftermath of Napoleon’s victory. First published in 2005.
The Norman Conquest
William the Conqueror's Subjugation of England
Did the Normans bring civilization to England and enable stronger links with continental Europe? Was William’s victory the result of supreme strategy – or just luck? As new discoveries have cast doubt on the traditional picture of 1066, Cole reassesses the evidence for the Conquest and its effects. Explaining the background to the invasion, she highlights the long development of English relations with Normans and Scandinavians; describing the aftermath, she considers how the conquerors crushed resistance and exploited the kingdom’s riches.
Eagles in the Dust
The Roman Defeat at Adrianople AD 378
In 376 CE, under attack by the Huns, the Goths took the radical step of crossing the Danube and, with Emperor Valens’ agreement, settling in Thrace, within the protection of Rome, their former enemy. The arrangement was short lived: in 378 CE, the Goths, led by Fritigern, inflicted a stinging defeat on the Roman army, with the emperor himself among the dead. Coombs-Hoar’s history describes in detail the events leading up to this crucial battle, the battle itself and its aftermath.
The D-Day Atlas
Anatomy of the Normandy Campaign
The colour maps drawn for this account of the 1944 D-Day landings, which includes commentary on operational planning, Europe’s defences, beachhead battles and the Allied break-out from the region, depict military units, their movements, weaponry, and geographical obstacles. There are line illustrations and archival photographs supporting the maps, an Allied High Command hierarchy chart, a complete list of Allied and German divisions, and a glossary of codewords connected with D-Day at the back.
Slaughter on the Eastern Front
Hitler and Stalin's War 1941–1945
This review of the bitter conflict between Russian and German forces during the Second World War argues that the leaders of both nations made catastrophic errors that shaped the campaign. Following the fighting from the initial swift victories of the Wehrmacht to the fall of Berlin, the analysis reveals how Stalin's initial miscalculations cost him the initiative and how Hitler clung on to a flawed strategy in retreat that inevitably was doomed to failure.
Hey for Old Robin!
The Campaigns and Armies of the Earl of Essex During the First Civil War, 1642–44
After failing to strike any decisive blow against the Royalists, Robert Devereux, 3rd Earl of Essex, who commanded the first Parliamentarian army against King Charles I, never achieved military distinction. This account of Essex’s campaigns, which includes analysis of the battles of Edgehill, Lostwithiel and Newbury, reappraises the man and his reputation in the light of his military accomplishments, his strategic influence over the battles, and his loyalty to his men.
The Road to Passchendaele
The Heroic Year in Soldiers' Own Words and Photographs
This extraordinary collection of 170 photographs, taken surreptitiously by soldiers over the course of 1917 when spirits on the front line were at their lowest, captures not only the physical destruction of the war, but moments of respite away from the shelling when the men could swim, dine and relax. Equally poignant are the excerpts from soldiers’ memoirs which, in describing their own conditions and activities, tell personal stories of hope and, all too often, bewilderment.
The Battle of Plassey 1757
The Victory That Won an Empire
When Clive of India and his tiny detachment of army officers and mercenaries defeated the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in a mango grove near Plassey, he secured all of Bengal and, eventually, the whole of India for the East India Company. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of private papers, this study of the battle and the 13 months of campaigns leading up to it commemorates the men on both sides who fought and died in the conflict.
John Sadler describes the decisive military engagements within Scottish borders that have been most significant in their scale or consequences, from Mons Graupius (84 CE), which marked the Romans’ most northward advance, to the Jacobite defeat at Culloden in 1746. He discusses the battles’ historical contexts and the development of equipment and fighting styles, as well as using detailed battle plans for tactical analyses. New edition.
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.
A Brief Guide To British Battlefields
Britain’s many battlefields bear witness to the dramatic turning points in the nation’s history. This readable guide describes more than 100 engagements from Roman times to 1746, when the last battle on British soil was fought at Culloden. Each self-contained entry charts the events leading up to the conflict, gives a dramatic account of the fighting, and assesses its consequences; and each has a map and practical information for visitors.
The Battle Of Majuba Hill
The Transvaal Campaign, 1880–1881
Defeat of the British occupying forces by the rebellious Boers at the Battle of Majuba Hill was seen as a military disaster by the British public, the ‘uncivilized’ tactics of the Boers condemned as savage and despicable. This account of Majuba Hill begins with a detailed history of the annexation of Transvaal by the British in 1877, assesses preceding battles and skirmishes, including Bronkhorstspruit and Laing’s Nek, and features battlefield maps, photographs and illustrations.
The Battle of Waterloo
This handsomely illustrated volume tells the story of one of the greatest battles of all time, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the three leaders, Wellington, Napoleon and Marshal Blücher, the nature of their armies and available weaponry, and the controversies surrounding the French defeat. Featuring journals and letters describing troop movements and conditions during the campaign, this account identifies the generals who made mistakes, and questions whether the victory was really Wellington’s alone.
When Britain Saved the West
The Story of 1940
‘In 1940 the only major power fighting Germany was Britain. Had Britain collapsed and Europe become Nazified, the future of the West would have been very bleak.’ In this book Robin Prior re-examines a vast range of official, semi-official and private documentary sources to give a full account of events at home and abroad and reassess the crises – the collapse of France, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz – that threatened the nation during the year when Britain fought alone.
British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1807–1815
Despatches from the Front
Engaged in various theatres around the world, Britain was expanding its influence in the early years of the 19th century, having achieved dominance at sea after the Battle of Trafalgar. This collection of the original despatches from commanders in the immediate aftermath of engagements includes several from Wellington during his campaigns in Portugal and Spain, and from Waterloo, as well as accounts of the attacks on Copenhagen, Spanish territories in South America, the Dardanelles and Mauritius.
The Renaissance of the Fortress
Examining the background, strategy and events of the ten-month-long Battle of Verdun, the authors look afresh at key aspects of the fighting including the German deployment of stormtroopers and the use of artillery and aircraft. They also discuss the renaissance of fortress engineering at Verdun which led to the construction of the Maginot Line and other fortifications in Europe before the Second World War, and the development of artillery powerful enough to destroy such forts.
Hitler versus Stalin
The Eastern Front 1941–1942 Barbarossa to Moscow
The German operation to invade Russia progressed rapidly in the summer of 1941 but stalled as the siege of Leningrad began and the Red Army launched its Winter Offensive in December. This book selects archive photographs from Russian and German sources depicting the fighting during this first phase of the struggle on the Eastern Front, highlighting the harsh conditions and difficult terrain as well as capturing off-duty moments for the combatants.
Fighting the Invasion
The German Army at D-Day
Following the defeat of Germany in 1945, the US Army collected a series of military studies of the D-Day invasion by senior German officers. If the accounts are coloured by the officers being at the time captive, and in some cases under the threat of prosecution for war crimes, their immediacy, while memory was still fresh, nevertheless makes them a valuable resource in understanding the Wehrmacht's preparations for invasion and the progress of battle from a German point of view.
The Battle of the River Plate
The First Naval Battle of the Second World War
The first encounter at sea of the Second World War took place along the South American coast when three British ships inflicted enough damage on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee to corner it in Montevideo harbour. The captain, encouraged by British misinformation, chose to scuttle his ship rather than face destruction. This account of the famous episode was first published in 1956 and also contains the official despatch from the British commander.
The Battle of Jutland
Voices from the Past
Both Britain and Germany claimed victory in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916; the Royal Navy losing more ships and men but successfully containing the German fleet for the duration of the war. The outcome, its significance and the performance of the commanders during the battle has been debated ever since, and this book provides a picture of how events unfolded and what people thought at the time through official records and despatches, newspaper reports and detailed personal accounts.
The Battle of Actium 31 BC
War for the World
The naval battle at Actium, when the future emperor Augustus defeated the forces of Antony and Cleopatra, was perhaps the most significant military engagement in Roman history. Yet many details of exactly what happened on that September day continue to elude scholars. This study of the literary and historical sources offers a fresh examination of the evidence, with close analysis of hitherto unconsidered allusions to Actium in the description of an equestrian engagement in Book Eleven of Virgil’s Aeneid.
The Battle for the Crimea 1941–1944
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Considered something of a sideshow on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, the Crimea was nevertheless strategically significant and the fighting over it more desperate due to the difficulty of access to the peninsula. This collection of archive photographs charts the struggle from the bitter fighting of 1941–2, before Sevastopol fell, to Crimea’s liberation by the Red Army in 1944, preceded by the mass evacuation of Axis troops across the Black Sea.
Against the Tommies
History of 26 Reserve Division 1914–1918
In 1920, the German 26th Reserve Division produced a commemorative record of its service during the First World War, which included many photographs taken by the men of the division (German soldiers not being subject to the same restrictions on keeping diaries and taking photos as the British). This book reproduces the best of the collection, providing a valuable German perspective on life in the trenches, in the towns behind the lines and on battlefields including the Somme and Arras.
The Race to Stop Hitler's Atomic Bomb
When a Cambridge professor found wiring beneath the floor of his house, he had little idea of the building’s astonishing past. In April 1945 Farm Hall was used to house ten of Germany’s top nuclear scientists captured during the collapse of the Reich. This gripping narrative probes a murky world of espionage to tell how their conversations, bugged by MI6, revealed the extent of the Nazis’ nuclear ambitions, and investigates whether they were kidnapped to thwart not Hitler, but Stalin.
Ghosts of the ETO
American Tactical Deception Units in the European Theater, 1944–1945
Within a few weeks of D-Day, the American 23rd Headquarters Special Troops landed in France and positioned a number of inflatable howitzers to draw German fire away from regular artillery units nearby. The 23rd were thereafter engaged across France and into Germany, creating fake radio transmissions, deploying dummy materiel and impersonating other troops in over 20 operations during 1944 and 1945. This book pieces together the long-classified activities of the unusual unit.
Herbert Columbine VC
Noticing an isolated gun position had been abandoned during the Spring Offensive of 1918, Private Bertie Columbine took control of the Vickers gun and managed to repel German attacks for several hours before he was finally killed. This biography of the Victoria Cross-winning soldier traces his family background and characterizes the world in which he grew up as well as giving an account of his wartime service and the campaign to commemorate his heroism. Foreword by Dame Judi Dench.
The Second World War Assault Training Exercises at Slapton Sands
Slapton Sands in South Devon was a good match for the projected landing area of Utah Beach on D-Day and so elaborate rehearsal exercises were set up there in 1944. Drawing on first-hand accounts, this book tells the story of how over 20,000 acres of land was requisitioned, and its residents evacuated and compensated, and describes the various military manoeuvres, including the friendly-fire catastrophe of Exercise Tiger that cost almost 750 lives.
Blood and Steel
The Wehrmacht Archive: Normandy 1944
The defending German army faced an overwhelmingly superior force in terms of troop numbers and materiel during the Normandy campaign in 1944, but that did not always mean that the soldiers had respect for their enemy's fighting qualities. This book reveals the attitudes and opinions of Wehrmacht soldiers through contemporary orders, field reports, letters, diaries and PoW interviews, mostly drawn from the intelligence summaries of the First Canadian Army, which also contained material from British and American sources.
The Battle of Barrosa, 1811
Forgotten Battle of the Peninsular War
With most of Spain overrun by Napoleon’s forces, the Spanish government remained free, but forced to find refuge in the fortress-port of Cádiz, assisted by British warships and troops under the command of Sir Thomas Graham. This study describes the ‘forgotten battle’ when, urged by the Spanish Junta, and with everything to lose, an Anglo-Spanish force met the besieging French army on the heights of Barossa.
Hitler's Island War
The Men Who Fought for Leros
Italy's surrender in September 1943 opened the opportunity for the Allies to take control of strategically important Greek islands. The British moved to strengthen the Italian garrison on Leros, only to lose it in one of the last significant Allied defeats of the war. Drawing on first-hand accounts, this book tells the story of the siege and battle, the daring escapes from the German invaders and the years of incarceration for those captured.
"If Chaos Reigns"
The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944
The success of German paratroops in the invasion of Crete in 1941 convinced the Allies that airborne forces would be crucial as the war progressed, but the high casualty rate persuaded Hitler of the opposite. This book analyses the development and training of American, British and Canadian parachute and glider units and explains the critical role they played on D-Day, describing how close they came to failure in securing key locations ahead of the invasion.
Hitler's Wave-Breaker Concept
An Analysis of the German End Game in the Baltic
Hitler could have marshalled his resources for the defence of Berlin more effectively had he not clung on to ground on the Baltic coast on the theory that fortified enclaves could be more easily defended than attacked. There were, however, valid reasons for protecting the territory beyond this so-called 'wave-breaker' concept. Analysing Hitler's strategy and his military thinking in general, this book provides a detailed appraisal of the Russian campaign between 1941 and 1945.
The Drive on Moscow, 1941
Operation Taifun and Germany's First Crisis of World War II
After initial success, the German campaign to capture Moscow in the last months of 1941 was bogged down in the mud, buying precious time for the Soviets to regroup and hit back. Examining this first serious setback of the war for Hitler, the book assesses the tactics of both sides and the part played by the winter weather, and draws on personal diaries and letters to give the perspective of both ordinary soldier and general.
The Monitor, the Merrimack, and the Sea Battle that Changed History
The first clash between ironclad battleships took place off the coast of Virginia during the American Civil War in 1862. The battle provided conclusive proof of the effectiveness of the new technology and proved a major turning point in naval design. This book examines the building of the Confederacy's armoured Merrimack and the Union's race to build a competitive vessel (the Monitor, in whose development Lincoln was personally involved), and assesses the profound legacy of their engagement.
Success of a General
General French and the Relief of Kimberley
Though his reputation was later sullied as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War, John French became a national hero as a cavalry general during the Boer War, in particular for his part in the relief of Kimberley in 1900. This account of the siege and the events leading up to it also includes a review of the medals awarded to British soldiers for the campaign.
A Sacrifice Betrayed
It was British policy at the beginning of the Boer War not to share intelligence with locally raised forces or employ black people in any military capacity. This proved disastrously misguided and thousands of lives were lost before the commanders on the ground remodelled their forces to meet the specific challenges of the Boers' tactics. This book looks at the war with a focus on the experiences of the people of Natal, both combatants and civilians of all ages.
A Staffordshire Regiment in the Zulu and Sekukuni Campaigns
1878–1879 80th Regiment of Foot
Outlining the 80th Regiment of Foot’s involvement in the various actions of the Zulu War, this volume provides a detailed body of research about the personnel of the regiment and, in particular, the medals awarded. It also gives an overview of the wider campaign, culminating in the decisive victory at the Battle of Ulundi in 1879.
The Story of the Battle in the Words of the Soldiers
An account, using first-hand reports by British soldiers on the front lines, of the battle of El Alamein on 23 October 1942, known as the greatest Allied offensive of WWII and the battle that defined both the Afrika Corps and the British 8th Army. 36pp b&w plates
Gallipoli and the Dardanelles 1915-1916
Despatches from the Front
Initially a naval operation to secure the Dardanelles sea route to Russia from the Mediterranean, the Gallipoli campaign soon escalated to a lengthy and attritional land battle. The result was a humiliating defeat for Britain, which led to the ousting of First Sea Lord Winston Churchill and a change of government. This book reproduces the original despatches from Admirals Sackville Carden and John de Robeck and land commanders Ian Hamilton and his replacement Charles Monro.
British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1793–1806
Despatches from the Front
The Napoleonic Wars were fought as far afield as South America and the Caribbean as well as in Europe, and in line with British military procedure every action was reported to the Admiralty or War Office in an official dispatch. This book collects these original communiqués from over 50 battles, up to 1806, including Nelson's victories at Trafalgar and the Nile and the first encounter with Napoleon Bonaparte himself, as a young captain, at the Siege of Toulon in 1793.
The Last of the Ebb
The Battle of the Aisne, 1918
The 'ebb' referred to in the title of this First World War memoir was the German offensive of May 1918 that pushed the Allies miles back towards Paris before the flow of the war turned decisively in the Allies' favour. First published in 1937, Rogerson's eyewitness account criticizes the French for their part in the humiliating retreat and includes a chapter written by the German officer who planned the offensive.
Henry V, the Man-at-Arms and the Archer
Agincourt is one of the most celebrated battles in English history, a victory that made Henry V a national hero and still resonates six centuries later. This title peels away the layers of myth to tell the human story through the eyes of key participants, from the king himself to a Somerset squire and an archer from Dorset. Drawing on historic accounts, it assesses the casualties and discusses the massacre of French prisoners that shocked contemporaries.
The First Blitz
Bombing London in the First World War
The military potential of aviation was first exploited in the First World War, when London and other major cities were attacked by Zeppelins and, from 1917, Gotha and Staaken 'Giant' biplanes. This book examines the offensive and defensive strategies, the impact of each of the attacks and their legacy in defence planning. This is an updated, single volume version of London 1914–17: The Zeppelin Menace (2008) and London 1917–18: The Bomber Blitz (2010).
Gentlemen, We Will Stand and Fight
Le Cateau, 1914
On 26 August 1914, as the British Expeditionary Force retreated in the aftermath of the Battle of Mons, the Second Corps, under Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, turned to fight the advancing German First Army. Though outnumbered three to one, they delivered such a crushing blow to the invaders that the BEF was able to continue its retreat unmolested. This meticulously researched book, supported by contemporary photographs and specially drawn maps, provides a gripping account of this dramatic engagement.
The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles
'A damn close-run thing.' The Duke of Wellington, 18 June 1815Bernard Cornwell is renowned for his historical fiction, particularly the Sharpe series set in the Napoleonic Wars. In this book he combines those storytelling skills with a meticulously researched history of the days leading up to Waterloo and the battle itself. Cornwell's aim is to give an impression of what it was like to be on the field on 18 June 1815, and he agrees with Wellington's judgment: Waterloo - no matter how many accounts you read – 'is a cliffhanger'.
Waterloo is remembered as a defining British victory, but there were more Belgians, Germans and Dutch in the Allied army than British, and the arrival of the Prussians was the decisive intervention. This book assesses the battle and also examines how it was subsequently interpreted by the belligerent nations: less important to the Dutch and Germans, and a heroic last stand to the French that helped to reinforce the legend of Napoleon. Great Battles series.
Liberating Europe: D-Day to Victory 1944-1945
Despatches from the Front
Part of the Despatches from the Front series, this book begins with the official report on the Dieppe Raid in 1942, in which vital lessons were learned that were to assist in the planning of Operation Overlord. Further despatches describe the activity of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force in north-west Europe and the assault phase of the Normandy landings; and the book ends with Montgomery’s report on land operations from D-Day to the German surrender.
Decisive Battles of the English Civil War
Myth and Reality
The superior resources available to Cromwell's parliamentary forces have been cited as the decisive advantage in the first English Civil War of 1642–6, but the reasons for the King's defeat have been as much disputed as the causes of the war itself. This analysis focuses on the key battles, exploring contemporary accounts, historians' narratives and the battlefield terrain to question traditional assumptions about each battle and therefore the course of the war.
The Scandalous Destruction of a British Army
Attempting to open up another front against Napoleon, Britain sent a force of 40,000 men and 600 ships to the Dutch coast at Walcheren in 1809. Although 4,000 men were lost in the debacle, few of them were casualties of any fighting but rather a mysterious disease that became known as Walcheren Fever. A Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Pathologists, author Martin Howard applies medical as well as historical analysis to this account of the campaign.
The River Seine 1944
Crossing the Seine was an important step in the Allied advance into occupied France. This book tells the story of one of a number of assaults on the river in August 1944 that pitted one British division (the 43rd, Wessex) against one rather depleted German division. The action has since become something of a classic and a training example, but this analysis – first published in 1988 – shows that the operation in fact 'lumbered from crisis to crisis'.
Challenge of Battle
The Real Story of the British Army in 1914
The exhaustive official History of the Great War gives a largely positive account of the British Expeditionary Force's performance in 1914, but Adrian Gilbert's research reveals significant failings as well as strengths. Covering the seven infantry divisions and cavalry of the original BEF of 1914 and drawing on contemporary accounts of the battles, including Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres, this book re-examines the decisions of senior officers and their consequences for the men at the front.
Waterloo in 100 Objects
Historical relics have a rare power to bring the past to life, providing a tangible link to distant events and people. This book presents a collection of items associated with the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, from a gown worn at the Brussels ball the night before to uniforms, muskets, cannonballs, orders, maps and amputation equipment. Each item contributes to the telling of the story and helps us to imagine, with a little extra verisimilitude, how the battle unfolded.
Mapping the Second World War
The Key Battles of the European Theatre from Above
This remarkable book tells the story of the Second World War through a selection of more than 100 contemporary government maps – some of them used in active combat and retaining notes by commanders and operational staff. Reproduced in full colour, they chart major operations from the evacuation of Dunkirk and Hitler's aborted invasion of Britain, through Stalingrad to the D-Day landings and the invasion of Germany itself. A narrative introduction sets these crucial primary sources in their historical context.
On 25 April 1915 Allied forces landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, to secure the Dardanelles and give the Allied fleet access to Constantinople. In this book, the bestselling Australian author Peter Fitzsimons recreates the disastrous campaign as experienced by those who endured it or perished in the attempt; and he goes beyond the battlefields to the deliberations of the British War Council and the Ottoman administration who sent armies to a 'natural crossroads for Emperors embarked on imperialism'.
Disaster at Stalingrad
An Alternate History
The struggle that raged at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43 is often cited as the turning point in the Second World War, after which the tide flowed inexorably toward the defeat of Germany two years later. Shedding light on the real events, this historical dramatization of the battle imagines how it might have gone differently, postulating small but entirely plausible alternative paths that would have led to a radically different outcome at Stalingrad and for the wider war.
The Battle for a Nation
The year of Scotland's referendum, 2014 was also the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn, when 'a very different sort of campaign on the issue of Scotland's independence came to its climax'. Alistair Moffat follows in detail the events of those two days in June 1314, and captures all the fear, heroism, confusion and desperation of medieval warfare as he describes the tactics and manoeuvres that led to a stunning victory for the heavily outnumbered Scots.
The Final Witness
Following their improbable canoe assault on the port of Bordeaux in 1942, the heroes of Operation Frankton were left to make their own escape from France on foot. This study of the famous mission relies on meticulous new research to tell the complete story of the attack and its aftermath and profiles all the leading figures as well as revealing previously unnamed players in the drama.
Piercing the Atlantic Wall
Drawing on both Allied and German sources and approaching the Normandy landings and the days that followed as a multitude of small-scale struggles, Robert Kershaw, himself a former soldier, is able to offer new insights into the successes and failures of both sides during the hard-fought battle for Normandy.
Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1814
Russia played a decisive role in the fighting that overthrew Napoleon in 1814, but its perspective on the campaign has been largely overlooked in the West because of the lack of translated sources. This book fills the gap, presenting the letters, memoirs and diaries of Russian participants, from generals to ordinary soldiers. These first-hand accounts, never before published in English, offer a fresh and richly human insight into an event that changed the course of history.
Operation Barbarossa and the Eastern Front 1941
Hitler invaded Russia in 1941 but the initial successes of Operation Barbarossa turned into a nightmare as a combination of stretched lines, dogged opposition and the Russian winter turned the tide. This collection of rare photographs from the campaign, with detailed accompanying captions, provides an insight into the realities of the fighting, showing the troops, tanks, armaments and battlegrounds. An additional colour section reviews the weapons and uniforms of the Wehrmacht and Red Army soldiers.
The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel: Tommies, Diggers
and Doughboys on the Hindenburg Line, 1918
The Bellicourt Tunnel is a 3.5-mile underground stretch of the canal that connects the cities of Cambrai and St Quentin. In 1918 it formed a part of the German defensive Hindenburg Line and the battles that took place in the vicinity played an important part in Germany's ultimate defeat. This detailed history examines the roles of the British, Australian and American troops in the fighting and assesses the performance of Field Marshal Haig and other senior commanders in the field.
D-Day to Berlin
The Long March to Victory
The final phase of the Second World War began on 6 June 1944 but it had been years in the planning and preparation. This collection of archive reports, photographs and facsimile pages from the Daily Mirror captures the drama as it unfolded, from the growing political clamour for a Western front and the trial attack on Dieppe in 1943 to the preparation and execution of D-Day and the subsequent advance across Europe to Berlin.