Sailors on the Rocks
Famous Royal Navy Shipwrecks
Peter C Smith investigates the circumstances in which 15 naval vessels have been driven ashore or lost on the coast, from the Coronation, destroyed by a gale in 1671, to the frigate Nottingham, which ran aground off Australia in 2002 despite its electronic navigation aids.
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 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.
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.
Warriors of the Queen
Fighting Generals of the Victorian Age
From the First Afghan War of 1839–1842 to the Boer War of 1899–1902, dozens of colonial wars were fought during the reign of Queen Victoria. Although commanders Gordon, Cardigan and Kitchener are remembered today, many of the great military names of the period are largely forgotten. From military geniuses to egoists, despots and fools, this book profiles 170 of the men who made their name advancing, maintaining or sometimes endangering the British Empire on the battlefield.
How Front-Line Reports from the Crimean War Brought Down the British Government
The British government sent an ill-prepared and poorly equipped army to the Crimea in 1854; John Delane, editor of The Times, sent the first war correspondent, William Howard Russell. This study shows how Russell's front-line reports and Delane's editorials brought down the government.
The Killing Fields of Scotland
AD83 to 1746
Beginning with the Roman occupation, Roy Pugh examines the battles that took place on Scottish soil between Mons Graupius in 83 CE and Culloden in 1746. As well as describing the engagements, with maps of the major battlefields, Pugh provides the political and cultural background to each period of conflict, among them the three phases of the Wars of Independence from 1296 to 1560; the Rough Wooing and Mary, Queen of Scots; the 'Killing Time' (1666–1688); and the Jacobite Rebellions.
Naval 8/208 Squadron, RAF: A Centenary of Service from 1916 to 2016
208 Squadron, based at RAF Valley in Anglesey, was disbanded during its 100th year of operations in 2016. In this history marking the centenary, Air Commodore Graham Pitchfork, who formerly commanded the squadron, describes how it evolved, from its formation as Naval 8 on the Western Front during the First World War, through its activities in the Second World War and Gulf War to its modern-day role as an advanced flying training squadron.
A Detailed Illustrated History of the Vickers Wellington in Service, 1938–1953
Over 11,000 Wellingtons were produced between 1936 and 1945 and, until the Lancaster was introduced in 1942, it was the backbone of Bomber Command. This comprehensive analysis of the 'Wimpy', as it was nicknamed, draws on first-hand accounts to tell the story of the aircraft from design and construction and front-line deployment in the early years of the war, to later roles as a submarine hunter and long-range bomber in North Africa and the Far East.
Redcoats Against Napoleon
The 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Giving a fresh perspective on key events between the Siege of Toulon in 1793 and Waterloo in 1815, Divall focuses not on commanders or elite units, but on the ordinary fighting men in the 30th Regiment of the Line.
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.
A Brief History of Medieval Warfare
The Rise and Fall of English Supremacy at Arms: 1344–1485
For much of the 14th and 15th centuries, England was almost continuously at war with its neighbours, and enjoyed an unprecedented degree of military supremacy. Peter Reid's extensive account is not simply a catalogue of battles, but combines analysis of strategy and weaponry with a dramatic telling of how and why the wars, from Bannockburn to the Wars of the Roses, came about, and how they were fought.
Henry VIII, James IV and the Battle for Renaissance Britain
The decisive battle at Flodden Field in 1513 marked the climax of the personal and political tension between England’s Henry VIII and his brother-in-law James IV of Scotland. This book traces the origins and escalation of their rivalry, with analysis of the political and military manoeuvres leading up to Flodden. It ends with an account of the battle itself, which saw the first artillery exchange on a British battlefield, and an assessment of James’s level of responsibility for Scotland’s defeat.
The Castle at War in Medieval England and Wales
After examining the origins of castle building in northern France, Dan Spencer’s military history focuses on the role of castles in warfare in England and Wales, from their introduction by the Normans in the 11th century to the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The book covers all the major conflicts, including the conquest of Wales, war with Scotland, 1295–1337, the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of the Roses, ending with the early Tudors’ fortifications against invasion.
To End All Wars
A Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War
The First World War has been well documented, but one aspect has so far received little attention: the experiences of those who campaigned against it. This absorbing book tells the story of the men and women – feminists, trade unionists, aristocrats, philosophers – who endured vilification, arrest and imprisonment for the pacifist cause.
The Debs of Bletchley Park
and Other Stories
Bletchley Park may be famous for the exploits of Alan Turing and the team operating his first 'computer', but at the peak of its operations Station X employed as many as 12,000 people, two-thirds of whom were women. From language students to society debutantes and even a former ballerina, this book explores the extraordinary secret life of these women during the Second World War and the significant contribution they made to the Allied victory.
Holding the Home Front
The Women's Land Army in the First World War
Within days of the start of the First World War there were calls for women to come to the fields, but it would be almost three years before the Women’s Land Army was formally established. Using previously unpublished accounts and photographs, this social history examines how the movement impacted agriculture at a time of national crisis and examines the rhetoric surrounding it, the political purpose that shaped it and the experiences of those who worked for it.
The so-called 'Dreadnought Revolution' was a modernization plan, instigated by First Sea Lord Jacky Fisher, which replaced all frontline ships of the Royal Navy with 'all big gun' designs driven by faster, more efficient steam turbine engines. This review of the battlecruiser class vessels of this period includes original plans and drawings and an analysis of the design, construction, armament and machinery of the 15 ships built, including Invincible and Indefatigable.
X-Craft, Agents and Dambusters - The Epic Quest to Destroy Hitler's Mightiest Warship
The mere presence of the German battleship Tirpitz in a Norwegian fjord was enough to haunt Allied war planners and keep a significant part of Britain's fleet tied to home waters. Consequently, repeated attempts were made throughout the Second World War to sink the ship, including mini submarine raids and many bomber attacks. Patrick Bishop's book is a tale of technology, ingenuity and daring, culminating in the final, successful assault of Autumn 1944, using Barnes Wallis's 'Tallboy' bombs.
World War II in Cartoons
The British penchant for humour in the face of adversity is amply displayed in this selection of wartime newspaper cartoons. The drawings provide an interesting barometer of the nation's mood,from the defiant lampooning of 1939-1940 to the more confident enemy-baiting of later years. Each cartoon is accompanied by a brief text placing its original publication in the context of the developing conflict.