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.
Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine
In uniting the tribes of northeast Asia, Genghis Khan led an army whose ingenious and often brutal stratagems created a land-based empire stretching from the Black Sea in the west to Korea in the east. This study reassesses his achievements in the context of Mongol society, referring to sources including the 13th-century History of the World Conqueror and Secret History of the Mongols, and asking whether his legacy was the result of military genius, banditry, or fortuitous circumstance.
Why the Germans Lost
The Rise and Fall of the Black Eagle
From Frederick the Great and the emergence of Prussia as a major power, German armies earned a fearsome reputation, yet that envied military tradition was to be defeated in the First World War and destroyed in 1945. This book assesses the developments in organization, equipment and leadership of the army from the 18th century, through the Napoleonic period, to the two world wars, analysing the strategy and battle performance that lay behind its successes and failures.
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 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.
Swords and Hilt Weapons
As early as 5000 BCE, highly refined flint-knapping techniques enabled the production of sophisticated daggers, but routine use of such bladed weapons for fighting did not come until the production of bronze, and then iron, had been perfected. This illustrated survey considers the history of sword-making in Africa, Central America, China, Central Asia and Indonesia as well as exploring the more celebrated traditions of Europe, Japan and Islamic culture, from the ancient civilizations to the Second World War.
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.
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 Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-Up
This history of the Battle of Isandlwana (1879), which saw British expeditionary troops defeated by Zulu warriors, eschews colonial romanticism and recognizes Isandlwana as a ‘magnificent Zulu victory against an invading army with superior arms.’ Referencing numerous sources, including maps, photographs and the letters of Commander-in-Chief Lord Chelmsford, the book explores Chelmsford’s misguided preparations for the conquest of Zululand, the Zulus’ superiority in the field, and the attempt to cover up Chelmsford’s culpability.
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.
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.
& 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 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.
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Warrior Queen of the USAF
First entering service in 1955, the jet-powered, long range Boeing B52 Stratofortress became the backbone of the US Airforce during the Cold War and beyond, the last variation, the B52H, leaving the assembly line in the early 1960s and continuing in service to this day. This book charts the long design process that began in the mid 1940s, the production history and the service career of the iconic aircraft from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan.
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.
The Second Anglo-Sikh War
This follow-up to The First Anglo-Sikh War chronicles the the fall of the Sikh Empire and the annexation of the Punjab by the British East India Company, a victory that would provide the British Army with a reliable source of soldiers for a century. Singh’s compelling narrative, supported by transcripts of significant treaties and proclamations, places the many sieges and battles, from Multan and Chillianwala to the decisive Gujrat, in the context of a fast-changing political and military landscape.
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’.
Rank and Rate
Royal Naval Officers' Insignia Since 1856
Uniforms were first sanctioned for officers in the Royal Navy in the 18th century, with the stripes on the cuff of captains' blue coats and lace adornment for admirals being the only insignia of rank. The uniform regulations of 1856 introduced a more complex system, with differences across rank and service distinguished by buttons, badges, epaulettes, cuff stripes, swords and styles of hat. This book catalogues all these variations with comprehensive illustrations and historical photographs of naval officers in uniform.
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.
The Real Jim Hawkins
Ships' Boys in the Georgian Navy
In the 18th century, poor boys in their thousands went to sea like Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, often leaving behind bleak and miserable lives to go in search of adventure. Focusing on the Royal Navy during the period of the Seven Years War, Pietsch investigates the boys' social backgrounds and recruitment, their distinctive subculture and the challenges they faced growing up amid the perils of naval battle.
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.
A Century of Counterinsurgency
Once, counterinsurgency was a sideshow to the set-piece battles of conventional warfare; now, in the age of Isis and the Taliban, it is the main event. The shift, this book argues, has caught governments and armies unawares, leaving them embroiled in costly ‘nation-building’ amid hostile populations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a timely survey of a century of ‘asymmetrical’ warfare in South Africa, Ireland, Malaya, Kenya and elsewhere, the author examines the lessons that can be learnt from past successes and failures.
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.
Combat Aircraft of the United States Air Force
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
The United States relied on British and French aircraft designs during the First World War, but during and after the Second World War developed a pre-eminence in military aircraft design and manufacture that has continued up to today's cutting-edge models, such as the bat-winged B-2 stealth bomber. This volume is a succinct and highly illustrated guide to the most notable aircraft deployed, including classics such as the P-51 Mustang and B-52 Stratofortress.
Oft in Danger
The Life and Campaigns of General Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley
Anthony Farrar-Hockley (1924–2006) began his army career during the Second World War, serving with paratroopers in North Africa, Italy, France and Greece. After 1945, he was with 6th Airborne Division in Palestine and, from 1950, with the Glosters in Korea, where he taken prisoner by the Chinese; then on to Cyprus, Suez, Jordan, the Persian Gulf, and Borneo. A vivid portrait of ‘TFH’, this book also traces the British military’s transformation from conscription army to a voluntary, professional force.
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.
Iranian Army Aviation at War
This book profiles the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAA), tracing its foundation under the Shah, giving a detailed analysis of operations during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and charting developments in organization and equipment after the conflict.
The Kingdom is Ours
Fast Play Rules for Wargaming the English Civil War Period
Illustrated with photographs of the Bicorne range of metal miniatures, this wargamer's guide provides an introduction to the battles, troops and weapons of the English Civil War and a set of fast play rules to suit both novice and experienced gamers.
Although Arthur Wellesley left no memoirs or autobiography there is a mass of private and official correspondence, amounting to millions of words, giving incomparable insight into the mind of the great commander and illuminating his decisions as events unfolded. This collection of his dispatches, edited and with contextual commentary by Charles Esdaile, begins with his arrival in Portugal in 1808 and reports on the campaigns in the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, and Waterloo in 1815. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Henry V and the Battle that Made England
The overwhelming and unexpected English victory at Agincourt in 1415 was attributed by many to God, but, as Juliet Barker shows, it was the culmination of years of preparation by Henry V. Her book first covers the background of civil war in France and Henry's careful diplomacy; it then follows the campaign's progress from invasion, through the siege of Harfleur and the march to Calais, to Agincourt itself; and finally considers the battle's direct consequences and later legacy. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
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.
Jeremy Bowen's first assignment as a war correspondent was in El Salvador and he went on to report from conflicts in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Iraq and the Balkans before becoming the BBC’s Middle East correspondent. This account of his experiences gives an insight into the reality behind the headlines, the excitement of reporting from the front line and the danger and stress that led him to a personal crisis following a colleague's death in Beirut in 2000.
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.
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.
Through Spain with Wellington
The Letters of Lieutenant Peter Le Mesurier of the 'Fighting Ninth'
From 1808, when he joined the 9th Foot as an ensign, until the eve of his death in battle shortly before the end of the Peninsular War, Peter Le Mesurier kept up an extensive correspondence with his family, giving a wry officer’s-eye view of Moore and Wellington’s campaigns against Napoleon. These letters have been freshly transcribed and are now published for the first time, with a connecting narrative giving background information and commentary on the episodes described.
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 Burning of Moscow
Napoleon's Trial by Fire 1812
As soon as the French troops entered a deserted Moscow in September 1812, a fire broke out that destroyed two thirds 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 archives and eyewitness accounts, Mikaberidze examines this pivotal event from Russian and French points of view, exploring the Russians’ motives 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.