An Illustrated History
After briefly surveying ancient constructions such as Maiden Castle and Gwalior Fort in India, Jeremy Black goes on to present a history of fortifications based on their depiction on maps and plans. From Norman castles – Pontefract is shown in a plan from 1561 – the book shows how buildings as bases for attack or defence changed as ever more powerful armaments were developed, up to the trenches and defences such as the Maginot and Siegfried Lines in the 20th century.
Crimea from Potemkin to Putin
Since it was founded in 1783, during the reign of Catherine the Great and Potemkin, Sevastopol has survived a long history of conflict, including two major sieges: the city’s commanding strategic advantage as a naval anchorage in the Black Sea has made it a city worth fighting for. In this study, Mungo Melvin traces the story of Sevastopol and its Crimean hinterland since prehistory, illuminating the historical background to the 2014 referendum vote to return to Russia.
Standing Up to Hitler 1935–1944
Even before the Second World War, senior German officers were seeking to save their country by overthrowing Hitler. Paddy Ashdown profiles opponents such as Admiral Canaris and draws on newly released files to reveal their repeated efforts to pass military secrets the Allies. He also consider whether half of Europe would have fallen under the Soviet yoke had Britain and the US heeded their attempts to negotiate a peace settlement in 1943. Slightly off-mint.
The Greatest Siege in British History
During the Great Siege of Gibraltar (1779–83), the longest ever endured by the British, the powerful forces of Spain and France blockaded and assaulted the isle from land and sea. Thousands of civilians and soldiers experienced starvation, disease and deadly bombardment. Including maps and illustrations, this explores the story of the siege and its impact on life back home, while examining the argument that it ultimately cost the British the American War of Independence.