The Battle of the River Plate
The First Naval Battle of the Second World War
The first encounter at sea of the Second World War took place along the South American coast when three British ships inflicted enough damage on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee to corner it in Montevideo harbour. The captain, encouraged by British misinformation, chose to scuttle his ship rather than face destruction. This account of the famous episode was first published in 1956 and also contains the official despatch from the British commander.
The Last Big Gun
At War and at Sea with HMS Belfast
The Battle of the North Cape off the coast of Norway was one of the last ship-to-ship engagements fought and HMS Belfast was among the British contingent that sunk the German battleship Scharnhorst. This history of the cruiser tells its story in the context of the wider role of the Royal Navy in the Second World War as well as reviewing its post-war duties before it assumed its present role as a museum ship.
The History of the SAS, Britain's Secret Special Forces Unit that Sabotaged the Nazis and Changed the Nature of War
Facing the well-equipped German forces in North Africa in 1941, David Stirling saw the potential for small teams of highly trained soldiers to mount surprise attacks and acts of sabotage on airfields and supply chains. This account of his founding of the SAS describes their actions in Africa, Sicily, Italy and France and puts into context their vital strategic effectiveness during the Second World War and lasting influence on military tactics thereafter. Off-mint and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
The Spitfire Manual
Before being let loose in a Supermarine Spitfire, fighter pilots would have to familiarize themselves with the 'Pilot's Notes' which comprehensively detailed the aircraft's equipment, controls and operation. These instructions are reproduced in this book together with examples of log books, combat reports and other contemporary training booklets advising on such skills as identifying enemy aircraft, estimating range and combat flying.
Bolts from the Blue
From Cold War Warrior to Chief of the Air Staff
Trained as a jet pilot in the late 1950s when Britain was still a leading air power, Richard Johns achieved the top rank in the RAF in 1997, by which time Britain's military capacity had been much reduced. His autobiography examines his key operations as commander, including the First Gulf War and Balkan conflict in the 1990s, as well as reflecting on the evolution of the RAF and the other services during his career.
Japan's Secret Fleet
This documentary traces the evolution of the Japanese fleet from the aftermath of the Battle of Tsushima in 1905, through the Kongo, Fuso, Hyuga and Nagato classes of ships to the Yamato – the largest battleship in the world during the 1930s and 1940s. The two DVD set also includes three short films on the Japanese Imperial Navy, the War in the Pacific and the US Navy. 2 DVDs; running time 136 min.
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.
Yanks In The RAF
The Story of Maverick Pilots and American Volunteers Who Joined Britain's Fight in WWII
Before Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the Second World War, American pilots seeking adventure, or with strong political motivations, volunteered for the RAF to fight the Germans. From cultural conflicts with their English hosts to action over France, particularly the Dieppe raid of August 1942, this book charts the experiences of the 270 airmen who flew in the three RAF 'Eagle' squadrons of American volunteers before being reassigned to the USAAF by late 1942.
The Aircraft and the Aces
The Junkers Ju87, known as Stuka from the German Sturzkampfflugzeug ('dive bomber'), is one of the legendary planes of the Second World War, a symbol of the Third Reich's blitzkrieg. This DVD from Pen & Sword's World War II from Primary Sources series is a newsreel history of Luftwaffe operations throughout the war, with additional footage of veteran pilots' accounts and extracts from the original propaganda publications of the Luftwaffe. 1 DVD 60min
Defensive Battles on the Western Front
From the Channel to the Ardennes 1942-1945
This DVD covers three battles involving panzer and heavy artillery in the West: Operation Cerberus, a spectacular operation by the German Kriegsmarine in the English Channel; the Dieppe Raid; and the last major German attack - the Ardennes offensive. One DVD, running time approx 58 min.
German Main Battle Lines
Focusing on the home front, this documentary includes extraordinary colour footage of pre-war Nazi Germany, then examines the impact of the war on German civilian life, including public information film on rationing and blackout precautions, and ends with the catastrophic results of the Allied bombing raids of 1943/4. Running time: 55 minutes. This DVD is from a series that uses original German film footage, with English voice-overs, offering the opportunity to see elements of the Second World War from a contemporary German perspective.
German Fighter Squadrons
After a brief survey of the development of the Luftwaffe after 1918, this film examines Luftwaffe strategy, the attack on Poland in 1939, and the role of the German fighter squadrons as defence against the Allied strategic bombing offensive. Running time: 55 minutes. This DVD is from a series that uses original German film footage, with English voice-overs, offering the opportunity to see elements of the Second World War from a contemporary German perspective.
12th Hitlerjugend Panzer Division
German Army in Normandy
Formed of volunteers from the Hitler Youth, with officers and NCOs from the Leibstandarte, the Hitlerjugend SS Division quickly emerged as an elite formation. It moved to Normandy in the spring of 1944, was declared operational on 1 June, and a few days later was fighting to frustrate Montgomery's invasion plans. Running time approx 100 min. DVD.
The first in a series of Special Operations programmes, this DVD uses archive film and revisits the exact locations to tell the story of the 1941 joint operation to seize the German Würzburg radar system sited on the cliffs of Northern France at Bruneval. One DVD; running time approx 105 min.
The Glider Pilot Regiment
Using archive footage, interviews with veterans and expert commentary, this film describes the development of the glider from the First to the Second World War and charts the history of the famous Glider Pilot Regiment and their role in actions such as the capture of Pegasus Bridge, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing. Running time approx 120 min. DVD.