The Key to Victory at Waterloo
During the Battle of Waterloo, Napoleon launched repeated attempts to take the strategically important farmhouse of Hougoumont. At one point troops succeeded in entering the courtyard but Wellington responded with reinforcements and the enemy were repelled and the gates closed. This accessible illustrated study pieces together the fierce fighting that took place throughout the day, serving as an introduction to the battle and a field guide for the visitor.
Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars
Field Artillery, 1792–1815
Although artillery had been around for centuries, technical advances in the 18th century allowed field guns and ammunition to become lighter, more powerful and more accurate, and the improved weaponry was used with greater efficiency in the field. With reference to the part gunnery played in key battles of the period, this detailed study investigates the nature of guns used and how they were operated, comparing Napoleon's French artillery with that of the British, Russians and Austrians.
Great Walls and Linear Barriers
Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China are world famous, but they are not exceptional phenomena. This impressively researched volume shows how, throughout history and across the globe, societies have built such barriers to reinforce their control over territory. Illustrated with numerous photographs and specially commissioned maps, the book ranges from Mesopotamia to Kievan Rus to examine their construction and strategic function, and identifies a recurrent theme: the separation of nomadic peoples from areas of settled agriculture.
The March on Moscow
On a summer’s day in 1812, Napoleon’s army of more than a third of a million men set out towards Moscow; few could have imagined the terrors and hardships that awaited them on their doomed march. The fruit of more than 20 years’ research, this superbly crafted history blends the memoirs and diaries of more than 100 eyewitnesses to provide a uniquely authentic account of one of the greatest disasters in military history, in vivid, day-by-day, hour-by-hour detail.
From Corunna to Waterloo
The Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801–1816
Major Edwin Griffith and his nephew Captain Frederick Philips served in 15th (King's) Hussars during the Napoleonic Wars and both kept journals of their experiences and regularly wrote letters home. Often serving in separate wings of the regiment, their observations cover different actions, the contemporary accounts describing home service on policing duties as well as the campaign with Wellington through Portugal, Spain and southern France from 1813 up to Waterloo in 1815.
An Alternate History of the Civil War
Could the South have won the American Civil War? Based on an intriguing series of ‘what ifs’, this alternative history examines a number of convincing scenarios. What if Jeb Stuart had linked with Lee at Gettysburg? What if General Johnston had survived at Shiloh? Using real battles, actions and characters as starting points, leading military historians show how this critical and bloody conflict could so easily have ended in a victory for the Confederates, changing the course of US history.
Eyewitness to the Peninsular War and the Battle of Waterloo
One of the distinguished Stanhopes of Chevening, James Stanhope’s military service took him to the Peninsular War where, between 1809 and 1813, he witnessed and recorded several battles, including Corunna and Barossa. At Waterloo he fought on the ridge while under attack from Napoleon’s cavalry. This collection of letters and journals, skilfully contextualized by editor Gareth Glover, offers fascinating insights and detailed descriptions of conversations, conditions and events during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Equus Men
Rhodesia's Mounted Infantry: The Grey's Scouts 1896–1980
The Grey's Scouts, Rhodesia's mounted infantry regiment, had its origins in a unit of horsemen known as the Bulawayo Field Force, mustered from settlers by Englishman George Grey in response to the Matabele people's revolt against British rule in 1896. This history traces its actions and evolution in the Rhodesian Army through the Animal Transport Unit, the Mounted Infantry Unit and the Grey's Scouts in 1976 to its dissolution when the new independent Zimbabwe was established in 1980.
The Eagle's Last Triumph
Napoleon's Victory at Ligny, June 1815
On 16 June 1815, Napoleon defeated the Prussian army at the Battle of Ligny. However, the triumph was not decisive and the Prussian general, von Blücher, was able to regroup and tip the balance in Wellington's favour at Waterloo two days later. Including maps and diagrams, this detailed analysis of Napoleon's last victory assesses the background to the battle and the decisions of the commanders in the field, as well as including first-hand accounts of the bitter fighting.
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.
& the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome 155–139 BC
Viriathus – the humble shepherd who became leader of the Lusitanians – inflicted many humiliating reverses on theoretically superior Roman forces. Renowned during his lifetime, he has been unfairly neglected by modern historians, so Silva here presents for Anglophone readers the insights of recent Portuguese research and uses his own military expertise to inform his analysis of Viriathus’ guerrilla tactics. The final chapter traces the ancient leader’s transformation into a Portuguese national hero after his story was rediscovered in the Renaissance.
The Tyrants of Syracuse
Volume II: 367–211 BC
Sicily’s strategic location at the heart of the Mediterranean enabled Syracuse to become one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world but it also made the island a target for expansionist powers. This second volume of Champion’s narrative history covers the tumultuous political and military events in Sicily from the death of Dionysius the Elder until the Roman siege of Syracuse (213–211 BCE), when even the ingenious defences and inventions of Archimedes could not prevent the city’s capture.
Celebrating a Century of Naval Flying
Where once the battleship was the key symbol of international power, the aircraft carrier has taken its place, able to project military capability anywhere in the world. This history of naval aviation investigates its origins in early carriers and reviews developments in aircraft and vessels up to the latest ships and the use of helicopters. There are also chapters on the leading aces of naval aviation and the developing role of women in the service.
The Roman Wars in Spain
The Military Confrontation with Guerrilla Warfare
Why did the Roman conquest of the Iberian peninsula take almost 200 years? Varga combines evidence from Greek and Roman writers with recent archaeological research to analyse local fighters’ tactics and the Roman response to the challenges of guerrilla warfare in the region’s rugged terrain. His research reveals that Spanish armies were more sophisticated than often thought and that the Romans’ setbacks in these campaigns played an important role in shaping the invading legions into a more effective force.
The Waterloo Archive
Histories of the Battle of Waterloo seldom mention that the majority of Wellington’s forces were in fact German, including troops from Nassau, Brunswick, Hanover and the King’s German Legion. Many of them left first-hand accounts of the engagement, more than 60 of which are translated here for the first time. These letters and reports greatly enlarge our understanding of this momentous battle, and offer dramatic accounts of the fighting from the perspective of both officers and private soldiers.
Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars
In a dramatic history, with eye-witness accounts and tales of outstanding courage, Digby Smith examines the different types of cavalry and the tactics they employed before describing the contribution of the cavalry charge to the battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The book gives accounts of 14 battles and other engagements, from Marengo to Waterloo and including Austerlitz, Borodino and the allied cavalry raids in Germany during 1813, with the orders of battle given in appendices.
Warrior and Weapon (Two volumes)
Modern soldiers use automated weaponry and digital technology, but other aspects of their gear – daggers, helmets, armoured jackets, canteens – would be familiar to Roman legionaries or Viking raiders. These two comprehensively illustrated books demonstrate the developments in warfare and weaponry over the course of civilization, showing, with examples from the collection of the Royal Armouries, how soldiers fought and were equipped from the Mesopotamians to modern special forces, and surveying weaponry from the spear and the longbow to the AK-47. Slipcased.
The Physics of War
From Arrows to Atoms
Throughout history, military leaders have searched for a ‘wonder weapon’ to give them an advantage over enemies, and very often, it was science that supplied the new armament, from the ballista to the atom bomb. The science writer Barry Parker narrates the history of warfare and the contribution of physics, telling the story of battles from Megiddo to the Second World War, while discussing major breakthroughs in physics and topics such as gunpowder, submarines, and radar.
Theatre of War
In a preface to this magnificent collection of wartime photographs, Mark Holborn describes Cecil Beaton as 'able to realize the visual potential from the most mundane as well as the most dramatic circumstances'. Whether taken on the home front amid the London Blitz, in the Western Desert, in India, Burma, China or industrial Tyneside, Beaton's photographs for the Ministry of Information are unfailingly eloquent and a powerful record of the years 1939 to 1945. With commentary by Beaton and a detailed chronology.
The British offensive at Passchendaele, also known as the Third Battle of Ypres, was launched at 3.30am on 31 July 1917; led by Sir Douglas Haig, this ‘big push’ was to achieve a breakthrough, but it became a four-month-long stalemate of constant shelling, torrential rain, mud and filth. Parker chronicles the operation, describes the conditions on the battlefield and the increasingly industrialized warfare of tanks, gas and mines that added to the carnage; and he questions the necessity of the sacrifice.
Memoirs of a Cavalryman in the First World War
Having joined the 4th Dragoon Guards in 1913, at the age of only 15, Ben Clouting was among the first into France with the British Expeditionary Force and was present at most of the major engagements on the Western Front. This memoir is based on a series of interviews conducted in the 1980s and provides a detailed account of his experiences including the retreat from Mons, the second battle of Ypres and the occupation of Cologne in 1919.
Aircraft Since 1939
The Russian MiG aircraft company was set up in 1939 and produced some of the world's most advanced and capable military planes during its heyday in the 1950s and 1960s, including the long-serving and widely exported MiG-21. This concise handbook provides descriptions of all MiG aircraft, including prototypes, up to the MiG-35 of 2011, with tables of key data and additional information about model variants.
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.
Epitaphs of the Great War: The Somme
‘Of all the voices of the First World War there is one that has been consistently overlooked, the voice of the bereaved.’ This collection of 100 epitaphs for soldiers who died during the Somme campaign of 1916 lets the bereaved families and friends speak through the inscriptions on War Graves Commission headstones. The book provides information on the soldiers and explains any biblical or literary allusions used in the short (they were limited to 66 characters) and often cryptic epitaphs.
Camouflage at War
An Illustrated Guide from 1914 to the Present Day
The advantages of concealment and misdirection that camouflage can afford only became a significant military concern with the advent of longer-range weapons in the 20th century; the French notably having to quickly replace their 1914 red-and-blue infantry uniform with 'horizon blue'. This illustrated examination of the evolution of military camouflage explores different approaches and pattern styles used on ships, planes, tanks and soldiers in the field from khaki and field grey to modern pixel-based digital designs.
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.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force
In 1897, the young Churchill was a war correspondent attached to the Malakand Field Force, fighting local tribes led by the ‘Mad Fakir’ on India’s north-west frontier, an area now part of Pakistan. Written in that year, Churchill’s book sets the scene for the conflict and, drawing on his letters to the Telegraph and official despatches, records the violent engagements of the war, including the relief of Chakdara, the march to Nawagai and fighting in the Mamund Valley.
Heroes and Landmarks of British Military Aviation
From Airships to the Jet Age
In a relatively short period of time, between the late 19th century and the middle of the 20th, the British aviation industry produced a profusion of groundbreaking and history-making inventions, establishing the names of aircraft designers and manufacturers such as de Havilland, Sopwith, Hawker and Handley Page. Each chapter in this review of the era looks at one of these key innovators, from airship pioneer Ernest Willows to Spitfire designer RJ Mitchell and the inventor of the jet engine, Frank Whittle.
The Real Hornblower
The Life and Times of Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB
It was while researching the Chesapeake Bay Campaign of 1814 that Bryan Perrett came across 'Captain Gordon RN' in CS Forester's Naval War of 1812 and began to see parallels between Gordon, who had commanded a diversionary force on the Potomac, and Forester's later fictional character, Horatio Hornblower. In this book, Perrett presents a full biography of Admiral Gordon and his long and extraordinarily distinguished career.
1809 to Salamanca
Following the winter retreat to Corunna in 1809, Wellington's crack rifle regiment (Sharpe's famous 'green jackets') fought the French back and forth across the Iberian Peninsula taking part in a number of actions, including the River Côa, Bussaco Ridge, Fuentes de Oñoro, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. Shot on location in Spain and Portugal, this documentary tells the story of the regiment up to the key battle at Salamanca in July 1812. 1 DVD 105mins
The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin
The Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army made spectacular gains across thousands of miles of territory from 1943 to 1945, ultimately playing a key role in the fall of Berlin. Compiled from Red Army operational documents and the accounts of veterans, and translated from the original Russian, this second volume of the comprehensive history of the unit covers the period from July 1944 to the assault on Berlin in 1945 and contains contemporary photographs, maps and detailed statistics.
The Last Post
Music, Remembrance and the Great War
Ever since the annual two-minute silence was first observed in 1919, the Last Post has been a powerful symbol of remembrance. In his exploration of this simple bugle call’s history, Turner tracks down its earliest known use (as ‘Setting the Watch’) in the 18th century, examines the role of buglers during the First World War and shows how the Last Post has kept its significance despite early controversy over the nature of the Cenotaph ceremony and the changing meaning of Remembrance today.
The Scots Greys at Waterloo
At a crucial juncture of the Battle of Waterloo, the Scots Greys charged into the French Army, capturing one of Napoleon's coveted Imperial Eagle standards at the expense of more than half their number killed or injured. This book examines the build-up, prosecution and aftermath of this famous action by Scotland's only cavalry regiment, drawing on first-hand accounts and describing the personal experiences of the participants in the charge.
Maritime Power and the Struggle for Freedom
Naval Campaigns that Shaped the Modern World 1788–1851
In this follow-up to his much-acclaimed Maritime Supremacy, Padfield continues to trace the role of naval power in world history, here analysing the factors that led Britain to global dominance in the 19th century.
The Birth of the Royal Marines
Before 1802 the Royal Marines were known as the Marine Corps, a small but powerful contingent that operated amphibiously to link land and sea, Army and Navy. This detailed history of the Corps charts its transformation into the first modern rapid reaction force and includes the evolution of its operational structures, methods of recruitment (often from criminals) and its role in Britain’s notorious ‘gunboat diplomacy’.
King's Cross Kid
A Childhood Between the Wars
Victor Gregg (b.1919) joined the army in 1937 and in Rifleman (2011) he told the story of his service in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine, Alamein and Arnhem. Here, he goes back to his childhood and teenage years on the 'mean streets' of King's Cross, Soho and Bloomsbury. Victor's memoir evokes how, abandoned by his father and living in poverty, the family struggled and survived in the familiar, yet strange world of London between the wars. Slightly off-mint.
The Great War for Peace
While the First World War is generally seen as the seminal catastrophe of the 20th century, William Mulligan looks anew at the aspirations of the statesmen, soldiers, intellectuals and civilians who were involved in the war and at the new ideas about peace that emerged. Beginning with the collapse of ‘great power peace’ between 1911 and 1914, he shows how the experience of the war expanded the understanding of peace, focusing political attention on building a better world order.
God and Uncle Sam
Religion and America's Armed Forces in World War II
Drawing on the ‘massive and labyrinthine’ archives of the Army Chaplaincy in the Second World War and the recollections and reflections of hundreds of army, navy and marine veterans, Snape’s study shows how, despite constitutional constraints, pre-war ‘religious depression’, and the pitfalls of war itself, religion played a crucial role in helping more than 16 million American service men and women through the ordeal of war in Europe and the Pacific.