10 Greatest Ships of the Royal Navy
HMS Invincible was sold to the Australian Navy after barely more than two years of service, but the sale was cancelled when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in 1982 and the ship, with its Harrier jump jets, went on to distinguish itself in the conflict. Beginning with Nelson's flagship Victory, this book charts nearly 200 years of technical development, military engagement and procurement politics through the most significant vessels in the service's history.
The First Iron Warship and Her World
Commissioned by the East India Company, constructed by Laird's of Liverpool and launched in 1839, the Nemesis was the first purpose-built, steam-powered ironclad warship, the first with watertight compartments, and the first iron vessel to round the Cape of Good Hope. This lively and absorbing history charts – for the first time – her creation and career, profiles her captain and crew, and tells of her exploits in the First Opium War and naval actions from Bombay to Burma.
The Battle 700 Years On
Fought near Stirling on 23 and 24 June 1314, the Battle of Bannockburn was a decisive victory for Robert the Bruce in the Scottish Wars of Independence. It was England's greatest defeat of the Middle Ages, with Edward II's army of over 15,000 defeated by a Scottish force of 7,000. Chris Brown reassesses the terrain on which the battle was fought and contemporary narrative sources to recreate the campaign from the perspective of both Scots and English. Second edition.
The History of Warfare Technology in the Royal Navy
Combining an engaging narrative style with a deep understanding of the technology, this book tells the history of 'The Greenie' – naval slang for the officers and ratings in charge of maritime electrical systems. With more than 200 illustrations, including unpublished archive images, it charts developments from the first use of electricity in the 19th century to detonate explosives and synchronize the firing of guns, through two world wars, to the microprocessors that underpin today's integrated warship systems.
The Burning of Moscow
Napoleon's Trial by Fire 1812
When French troops entered Moscow in 1812 and the Russians left, a fire broke out that destroyed most of the city and ultimately forced Napoleon to embark on the disastrous winter retreat that routed his army. Drawing on French, German, Polish and Russian archive material and eyewitness accounts, this book examines this pivotal event from the Russian and French points of view, investigating who was to blame for the conflagration and assessing its consequences.
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 communiques 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.
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.
Give Me a Fast Ship
The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea
When the British sent a fleet of Royal Navy ships to America to keep the colonists in line in 1775, they expected little resistance. However, beginning with the conversion of five merchant vessels, the Americans defiantly built a navy capable of giving the British a bloody nose. This history traces the roots of the US Navy in the Continental Navy of the Revolutionary War, and tells the stories of daring actions fought off the American and British coasts. American-cut pages.
Scott on Waterloo
Sir Walter Scott was among the many tourists who visited the battlefield after Wellington's victory at Waterloo, but he went with a commission to write a travel book and a long poem. Edited, with notes and introduction by Paul O'Keeffe, this book presents those writings: Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk, which records Scott’s travels in Holland, Belgium and France in 1815; and two poems, The Field of Waterloo and The Dance of Death.
The World's Greatest Battleships
An Illustrated History
From Great Harry, built in 1514, and the Swedish battleship Vasa, sank within sight of Stockholm harbour on its maiden voyage in 1628, to the US ship Iowa (1943) and Britain’s Vanguard (1946), this book traces the evolution of battleships from the 16th century to the Second World War through profiles of 52 significant vessels. Illustrated with over 200 artworks and photographs, the book includes many of the world’s most famous warships, among them Victory, Dreadnought and Tirpitz.
Napoleonic Wars in Cartoons
The Napoleonic Wars coincided with the first great age of the political cartoon, and Bonaparte himself provided a unique target for satirists such as Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank. This absorbing book assembles more than 300 cartoons from both sides of the conflict to create a year-by-year account from the Battle of the Nile to Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo. Powerful, energetic and vitriolic, they graphically demonstrate how these events were perceived at the time.
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.
The British Invasion of the River Plate 1806-1807
How the Redcoats Were Humbled and a Nation was Born
When the Spanish made common cause with Napoleon, it gave the British an opportunity to attack Spanish possessions and an attempt was made to seize control of the colonies on the River Plate. This book describes the events of the two ultimately unsuccessful invasions, analysing the political and military circumstances and the actions of the chief protagonists as well as the longer-term impact of the campaign in the emergence of the independent countries of Argentina and Uruguay.
Sertorius and the Struggle for Spain
When the dictator Sulla took power in Rome in 82 BCE, a young army officer, Quintus Sertorius, fled to Spain, where he used his military expertise to help the native people fight back against their Roman oppressors. Few ancient sources for this important war have survived, but Matyszak draws on the most recent scholarly analyses to reconstruct a narrative of the dramatic struggle between Sertorius' army and the forces sent from Rome under the command of the young Pompey.
Safeguarding the Nation
The Story of the Modern Royal Navy
Following the Suez Crisis in 1956, a defence review announced significant cuts to the Royal Navy, beginning its transformation from a large conventional force to a smaller more professional service relying on advanced technology and the nuclear deterrent. This illustrated review examines the modern Navy’s changing role; the development of ships, submarines aircraft and weapons; and the operations in which the Navy has been involved from the late 1950s to Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st century.
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.
The Boer War 1899-1902
Ladysmith, Magersfontein, Spion Kop, Kimberley, and Mafeking
The British suffered notable defeats at the beginning of the Boer War as the outnumbered forces of the Boers employed guerrilla tactics, heralding a new era in military strategy. This collection of original despatches from the Second Boer War includes detailed commanders’ reports of engagements at Ladysmith, Magersfontein and Spion Kop and reports by subordinate officers, including Baden-Powell's account of the Siege of Mafeking.
Lost Wings of World War I
Downed Airmen on the Western Front 1914-1918
Focusing on the stories of airmen downed over the Western Front, Martin Bowman's book gives accounts of some of the daring and heroic actions by the pilots who flew the First World War Zeppelins and biplanes. British, American, French and Commonwealth airmen also describe their incarceration and the often foul conditions in the German PoW camps; and there are the stories of those who did not survive, but died in their aircraft.
Ace of the Black Cross
Above the trenches of the First World War, the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them was played out like a medieval knightly tournament. This deadly contest is brought to life in the memoir of Ernst Udet (1896-1941), the German ace whose reputation was second only to that of the Red Baron. Richard Overy introduces this new edition of this aviation classic.
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 World's Greatest War Cartoonists and Caricaturists
Intended as a companion to his pictorial histories of the Napoleonic, imperial and world wars, Mark Bryant's biographical dictionary covers political, editorial and joke cartoonists and caricaturists from the French Revolutionary Wars in 1792 to 1945. The entries, illustrated with reproductions of around 150 classic cartoons, describe the wartime careers of over 300 artists, arranged alphabetically from Crispim do Amaral (1858-1911) lampooning Queen Victoria during the Boer War, to the German First World War cartoonist Heinrich Zille (1858-1929).
A Brief History of the British Army
The first standing professional army in England developed after the Restoration in the reigns of Charles II and James II. There was, however, doubt about the wisdom of such a force, which was seen by many as a potentially dangerous instrument of arbitrary rule. First published in 1975 as The British Army: A Concise History, this classic book has been updated to include the Falklands, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, plus the army's role in Northern Ireland.
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.
Waterloo Voices 1815
The Battle at First Hand
'The enemy fired round shot, and shell - grape and canister - and new horse nails, tied up in bundles, nine bundles in a gun... unlawful carnage.' This report from 'a sergeant of the Guards' gives a vivid insight into the brutality of the pivotal battle that raged in a field near Brussels on 18 June 1815. This collection of eyewitness testimony includes letters, diaries and published accounts from participants on all sides, from ordinary soldiers to Wellington and Napoleon.
Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1812
Napoleon's campaign in Russia in 1812 has received much attention from Western historians but few Russian personal accounts have been available in English. Through a series of newly translated memoirs, letters and diaries, this volume gives an insight into the thoughts of the Russian leadership and the ordinary soldier from the initial retreat and battles at Smolensk, Borodino, and Maloyaroslavets to the last weeks when a lack of supplies fatally exposed Napoleon's forces to the hardships of the Russian winter.
The Making of a Regiment
The term deriving from the French word for a short musket, dragoons were mounted troops but not cavalry; they were intended to be mobile but able to fight on foot. This updated regimental history of the Light Dragoons, created by amalgamation in 1992, traces its lineage back to four regiments of Hussars formed in the 18th century and describes the activities of the dragoon units from the Jacobite Rebellion and the Peninsular War to the Cold War and Afghanistan.
The Battle of Waterloo
Compiled and published soon after the battle, this book presented a 'series of accounts published by authority, British and foreign, and other relative documents, with circumstantial details, previous and after the battle, from a variety of authentic and original sources'. The present volume is a facsimile reprint of the seventh edition (1817). As well as eyewitness accounts, there are letters, honours and casualty lists (officers) and, folded in, a panoramic sketch of the battlefield. With a new introduction by Simon Adams.
Myth and Reality 1415-2015
Agincourt is probably the most celebrated battle in English history. Dramatized by Shakespeare, manipulated for propaganda purposes, it has passed into legend. This book strips away layers of myth to provide a graphic account of what really happened on that day in October 1415. It examines the causes of the conflict, surveys its aftermath, charts the ways in which it has been represented - and misrepresented - over the centuries, and explores the French view of their defeat.
Waltzing into War
How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo
As surprising as Wellington and other officers attending a lavish ball in Brussels on the eve of Waterloo was the presence there of a French spy, who was intent on undermining British chances in the battle. Mixing social history with politics and espionage, this book tells the story of how the scandalous craze for the waltz enthralled Europe and how the hostesses of high society interacted with European politics and affected the course of empires.
The Rise of Western Military Power
From the earliest accounts of human civilization and modern studies of the behaviour of surviving traditional societies, it is clear that warfare has always been an important facet of our existence. This broad survey examines the military development of the powers and nations within the great world cultures (China, India, the Asian Steppe, the Mediterranean lands and Europe) from the earliest times to the present, with a focus on how the West emerged as the dominant power in modern times.
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 Coa, Bussaco Ridge, Fuentes de Onoro, 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
Chief of Staff
Volume 2: World War II to Korea and Vietnam
This volume examines the development of the modern military staff during the major conflicts of the second half of the 20th century, with the focus on operational-level officers. It includes chiefs of staff to Auchinleck, General Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Montgomery, Patton and Rommel, ending with Walter T Kerwin supporting General Westmoreland in Vietnam.
Soldiers and Uniforms of the American Army
This reprint of a classic 1954 publication presents 32 full-page colour illustrations of American soldiers from the Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion of 1775 to the Infantry of the Second World War and the 1st Cavalry Division of 1950. The detailed drawings highlight the equipment, weapons and key decorative details associated with each outfit, making the book an invaluable reference for military historians, re-enactors and modellers.
Ready for Anything
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary 1905-1950
The civilian-manned Royal Fleet Auxiliary (its unofficial motto: 'Ready For Anything') provides worldwide support to the Royal Navy. This history discusses its rising importance, from inception in 1905, through two world wars, to 1950. The book features many little-known military operations, plus archive photographs and personal accounts of life in the auxiliary. Tables contain data on vessels that served in the fleet, while appendices include such information as colour schemes, battle honours and a detailed chronology.
Cromwell Hath the Honour but...
Major-General Lambert's Campaigns in the North, 1648
Oliver Cromwell's reputation tends to overshadow his 'lesser' generals, yet they each had an important role to play. Once such man was John Lambert. Tasked with commanding forces in the North in 1648- 9, he proved to be a popular and effective general who undertook the sieges at Pontefract and Scarborough and united his troops in resisting Royalist rebels and Scots invaders. This carefully researched account offers a detailed and balanced reappraisal of Lambert's achievements.
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.
Intelligence Revealed: Maps, Plan and Views at Horse
Guards and the War Office 1800-1880
A Crispin Jewitt traces the 19th century production of military maps, plans and views at Horse Guards (offices of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army) and later at the War Office, providing military and cartographical historians with a corpus of contemporary topographical intelligence products. The security interests covered in the listings include both major and minor international conflicts, international boundaries, expanding colonial interests and domestic security concerns.
Voices Against War
A Century of Protest
Using nearly 200 personal testimonies preserved in the vast archive of the Imperial War Museum, this book tells the story of the modern anti-war movement and examines the motivations of protestors, traversing the last hundred years from conscientious objectors at the time of the First World War to Brian Haw's long-running campaign in Parliament Square and the two million Britons who marched in opposition to the Iraq war in 2003. With a foreword by Robert Fisk.
British Prisoners of the Korean War
Around 1,000 British servicemen were held as PoWs by the Chinese and North Koreans during the Korean War. In prison camps along the Yalu River they faced what Mackenzie describes as 'a unique and prolonged test of mind, character and body; grappling with an intensive and sustained effort by the enemy to change their allegiance'. Drawing on recently released materials, this study explores in detail the experience of the PoWs, their treatment by their captors and their reaction to indoctrination.
International Combat Dress 1940-2010
Although the British had adopted khaki uniforms by 1914, French troops still sported blue coats and red trousers at the outbreak of the First World War. By the time of the Second World War, all combatant nations issued battledress featuring camouflage patterning of some sort. This review of combat uniform design illustrates garments used across the world since 1940 and explains how the colours, patterns and other design features have been adapted to different climates, environments and operational requirements.
The 1066 Hastings Campaign
The English campaign of 1066 involved three critical battles - the Viking victory at Fulford, near York, and defeat five days later at Stamford Bridge, and William of Normandy's decisive victory at Hastings - with the defending King Harold Godwinson force marching his men up and down the country to repel the invaders. DVD. Running time 80 minutes.