Boots on the Ground
Britain and Her Army Since 1945
The British Army has been continuously employed, somewhere in the world, since 1945 – despite diminishing significantly in numbers. In this history of post-war Britain, former Chief of the General Staff Richard Dannatt examines affairs of state through the prism of the army's involvement, from managing the end of empire and the troubles in Northern Ireland to the Cold War, the Middle East and the emerging threats of the 21st century.
The Red Line
A Railway Journey Through the Cold War
In 1981, with the Cold War at its height, Christopher Knowles embarked on the first of 24 train journeys as a tour guide from London to Hong Kong. In this memoir, he recalls travelling on ordinary passenger services through East Berlin, Poland, the Soviet Union and China, describes his eccentric fellow-travellers, and recounts a series of bizarre and sometimes frightening experiences, including being mistaken for a Red Army deserter in Mongolia.
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.
The Men Who Made the SAS
The History of the Long Range Desert Group
The Long Range Desert Group was the first British special forces unit of the Second World War, carrying out deep penetration missions in the North African deserts and beyond. Centred around the unit’s founder, Ralph Bagnold, who in the 1930s explored miles of desert in a Model T Ford, this history of the unit and its operations also recounts some of its most daring missions.
The Triumph of Robert the Bruce
In a fresh account of Bannockburn, Cornell places the battle ‘within its wider context as a phenomenon inextricably linked to the political events within Scotland and England in this period’. He examines the internal conflicts in both countries, the leadership of Robert Bruce and that of England’s Edward II and his generals in a thorough reappraisal of why the battle occurred, how it unfolded and how the Scots achieved their extraordinary against-the-odds victory.
The First Battle of The Cold War
At the end of the Second World War, as Germany lay in ruins, the Western Allies looked with alarm towards a new adversary in the east: Stalin’s Russia. The Italian port of Trieste, occupied by Yugoslav troops, was a flashpoint. Like a Cold War thriller, this history charts the entwined destinies of a British SOE officer, an Austrian SS general, an American spy and a teenage Italian female partisan in a true story of espionage, escape and revenge.
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.
The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews
During the 1920s and 1930s, Frank Foley worked as Chief Passport Control Officer for the British Embassy in Berlin, a cover for his role as MI6 Head of Station there. As the Nazi administration increased its stranglehold over the country, Foley used his position to issue visas to countless Jews, allowing them to escape to Britain ‘legally’. This biography also recounts many of the escapes that Foley enabled.
Ending the African Slave Trade
After the Acts of 1807 and 1833 that abolished slavery across the British Empire, the Royal Navy patrolled the African coast to enforce the law; yet there were still slave markets around the Indian Ocean in the 1860s. This book tells of four British naval officers who took direct action – against Admiralty guidelines which advised adjudication rather than violence – to free captives and disrupt the slave trade along the coasts of Africa and Arabia.
The Civil War Through Photography and Its Photographers
The entrepreneurial spirit has often thrived during times of war, and the makeshift photography studios that sprung up in attic rooms, chemists’ shops, cabins and tents in the military encampments of 1861 America did a roaring trade. The result was an unparalleled photographic record of the American Civil War, capturing not only portraits of loved ones, politicians and generals, but battlefields, ordnance and the devastation of conflict, pictured here in this erudite illustrated study of Civil War photography. Slightly off-mint.
A British Lion in Zululand
Sir Garnet Wolseley in South Africa
The Anglo-Irish soldier Field Marshal Garnet Joseph Wolseley (1833–1913) was a household name in his lifetime. In just one year, he captured two powerful Zulu leaders who had inflicted crushing defeats on the British. Drawing on hitherto unused material, including 600 of Wolseley’s own letters, and field trips to long-forgotten battle sites, William Wright brings this ambitious, clever, insecure officer vividly to life, and sheds new light on an important but neglected aspect of colonial history.
The Final Roundup
Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant was a Somerset-born Australian bushman, drover and versifier, best known for the revenge killings he inflicted on prisoners of war when serving with the British Bushveldt Carbineers regiment during the Boer War. Morant was court martialled and executed for his crimes – wrongly, many have claimed – yet this fastidiously researched biography argues that, despite the romance surrounding Morant and his chaotic lifestyle, his actions in South Africa were ‘judged in proper and orthodox fashion’.
From Aldershot to Aden: Tales from the Conscripts, 1946–62
Retaining conscription after the Second World War, Britain required all young men to serve for 18 months (and after 1950, two years) unless employed in an exempt trade. Through interviews with 27 men across all the services and throughout the period of National Service, this book characterizes the experiences that shaped a generation, from fighting in Korea, Malaya, Kenya and Egypt to whitewashing coal in the local barracks.
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 History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War
Facing the well-equipped German forces in North Africa in 1941, David Stirling saw the potential for small teams of highly trained soldiers to mount surprise attacks and acts of sabotage on airfields and supply chains. This account of his founding of the SAS describes their actions in Africa, Sicily, Italy and France and puts into context their vital strategic effectiveness during the Second World War and lasting influence on military tactics thereafter. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Last Ironsides
The English Expedition to Portugal, 1662–1668
As part of the marriage contract between Charles II and the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza, Charles agreed to send three regiments, under the command of General Hermann von Schomberg, to support Portugal’s struggle for independence from Spain. Many of the troops were from Cromwell’s disbanded New Model Army. This history of the brigade and its expedition explores the politics surrounding the Portuguese Restoration War and recounts many of its battles, including Montes Claros.
The Lower Deck of The Royal Navy Since 1939 To The Present Day
The Royal Navy was the largest in the world in 1939, and conscription during the Second World War increased the total of employed men to 790,000, the vast majority of whom were seamen of the 'lower deck'. Based on primary research and first-hand accounts, this book examines the lives of these sailors during a period that has seen the introduction of women, the end of hammocks and the rum ration, and ever more emphasis on technical skills.
The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy, 1850–1939
The change from sail to steam in the Royal Navy was underway by 1850 and in the following decades the work and life of ordinary seamen changed radically as new jobs, servicing the engines and operating the sophisticated gunnery and communications systems, replaced the traditional lot of the sailor. This well-researched history chronicles the increasing professionalization and specialization of the lower deck as the Navy rapidly evolved and introduced many of the roles and practices which are familiar today.
His Conquests, His Empire, His Legacy
Although his name has become a byword for tyranny, Genghis Khan is also credited with creating the unified trade routes that brought the cultures of Europe, the Middle East and Asia into contact, as well as some enlightened lawmaking (by medieval standards). This account of the great conqueror explores the cultural background of the nomadic Mongolian tribes and analyses the Khan's personality as well as the events that saw him acquire and rule the largest contiguous empire in history.
Warfare in Northern Europe Before the Romans
Evidence from Archaeology
Roman propaganda helped to create the common perception of Northern Europe’s early warriors as disorganized, uncultured savages. However, as this book shows, there is abundant evidence for the use of innovative technologies and sophisticated strategic thinking in societies across the region. To shed light on the centuries before written records, Wileman analyses such monuments as the Bronze Age hillforts at Maiden Castle in Dorset and Alesia in France together with archaeological finds, from ancient weapons to rock art depicting scenes of battle.
Two Deaths at Amphipolis
Cleon vs Brasidas in the Peloponnesian War
Mike Roberts brings a fresh perspective to the study of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) by focusing on the clash of the two dynamic commanders who were killed in 422 during the battle over the Athenian colony at Amphipolis. Roberts follows the career of the heroic Spartan Brasidas, already a veteran of many campaigns when he headed north to this strategically important city, and reconsiders the Athenian Cleon, whose reputation was tarnished by the historian Thucydides’ vociferous criticism.
The Business of War
Medieval mercenaries were more than just well-armed, freebooting thugs; they were noblemen, too, who took advantage of political chaos to further their own interests. From early Italian mercenaries to the private armies spawned during the Hundred Years War, this intelligent survey of Europe’s freelance fighters describes the many mercenary bands who killed, looted and ransomed their way across Europe’s heartlands, referencing the popular literature, including Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, that has guaranteed their place in the collective imagination.