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 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.
From the Tudors to the Cold War
By the end of the 15th century, following the introduction of gunpowder and the cannon, it was clear that fortresses would need to be built very differently to withstand the assault of artillery. This review of the evolution of fortifications in Britain charts developments from Henry VIII's castles to the pillboxes of the 1940s and the underground bunkers of the nuclear age.
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 Burning of Washington
The British Invasion of 1814
In 1814, British troops marched into Washington DC, torched the White House and Capitol, and forced President Madison to flee. This compelling history traces the background, the action and the aftermath of a conflict that would shape the fledgling USA.
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 Battle of Waterloo
This handsomely illustrated volume tells the story of one of the greatest battles of all time, examining the strengths and weaknesses of the three leaders, Wellington, Napoleon and Marshal Blücher, the nature of their armies and available weaponry, and the controversies surrounding the French defeat. Featuring journals and letters describing troop movements and conditions during the campaign, this account identifies the generals who made mistakes, and questions whether the victory was really Wellington’s alone.
The Macedonian War Machine
Neglected Aspects of the Armies of Philip, Alexander and the Successors (359–281 BC)
The Macedonian army created by Philip II's reforms is widely recognized as representing 'one of the most important leaps in military thinking in the West before Napoleon'. However, Karunanithy's comprehensive analysis shows that modern scholarly research has neglected important sources of information about this hugely successful system. He presents the full range of archaeological and literary evidence, investigating such aspects as the army's training and preparation, soldiers' dress and battle equipment, and the logistical support provided by non-combatant specialists.
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.
A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth-Century Royal Navy
The 20th century was a time of unprecedented change and action for the Royal Navy. The service's senior officers during this period included celebrated figures such as Jackie Fisher and Louis Mountbatten, and hundreds more whose names are not so well remembered. This reference work contains nearly 1,500 pages of biographical accounts of more than 300 admirals, in PDF format on a CD-Rom. The accompanying book provides background information on terminology, rank structure and career progression in the Navy.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
Stay the Distance
The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham
Sir Michael Beetham joined the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and stayed on after the war, serving as a commanding officer at a number of critical moments, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and Aden in 1964 to the Falklands War, and was appointed Marshal of the RAF in 1982. This biography traces his long, distinguished and very active career, from flying Lancasters in the Second World War to sending Vulcan bombers to the Falklands.
Black Hawk Down
A Story of Modern War
When 100 elite US soldiers were sent to capture a Somali military leader, their mission was supposed to take no more than an hour. Instead they were pinned down in the heart of Mogadishu, battling an enemy that numbered in their thousands. Mark Bowden’s acclaimed account captures the brutal reality of a contemporary combat engagement, and vividly describes the events that led to a downed Black Hawk helicopter and a devastating loss of life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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
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.
Politics and Decline of Britain's Post-War Air Force
Although Britain was in decline as a world power after the Second World War, advances in military technology made the RAF ever more important to its defences as increasingly sophisticated aircraft patrolled the front line of the Cold War. In this assessment of the RAF and its planes since 1945, Ian Watson charts a golden age for the service and decries the political wranglings and budget management of recent years that has led to calls for its abolition.
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.
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.