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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Medieval Sieges and Siege Craft
With the proliferation of formalized cities, the medieval period became the 'golden age' of siege warfare, an age of trebuchets and mangonels, boiling oil and Greek fire. In this accessible study of medieval siegecraft, Hindley traces the development of strongpoints, castles and fortified towns, examines the problems of logistics and food supplies for both the besieged and besiegers and shows how some of the most famous sieges changed the course of history in Europe and the Holy Land.
The March on Paris
The Memoirs of Alexander von Kluck, 1914
Alexander von Kluck, commander of the First German Army, was blamed for the crucial failure of the German offensive in the West in August and September 1914, which led to years of trench warfare. Based on official records and his own Army Orders, Kluck's account of that momentous campaign presents events as seen from First Army headquarters and gives the General's explanations for his actions. First published in 1923; reissued with a new introduction by Mark Pottle.
The Persian Invasions of Greece
The massive invasion of Greece by Darius I in 490 BCE ended in failure at the battle of Marathon; when his successor, Xerxes, led a second expedition ten years later, the Persian force was again driven back following the battles of Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea. Keaveney combines ancient sources and modern scholarship to explain the reasons for the enmity between the two civilizations and to analyse the events of these pivotal campaigns from both Greek and Persian perspectives.
The Battle that Brought Down Napoleon
In a concise reinterpretation of one of history's most argued-over battles, the eminent military historian Jeremy Black uses Waterloo and its aftermath to discuss the changing nature of warfare, the rise and fall of Napoleon's empire, and the effects of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on Europe and on Britain's role in the world during the 19th century.
Beginning with the horror of the battlefield where 50,000 men lay dead and injured as night fell on 18 June 1815, O'Keeffe's study covers the months between Wellington's victory and the confinement of Napoleon on St Helena. It describes how, once the dead and dying were gone, the site was visited by tourists; how the news of the battle was spread; the advance of the British and Prussian armies into France; and Napoleon's final weeks as surrender became inevitable.
War in Ancient Greece
Although the Athenian Thucydides was unsuccessful as a military commander, his monumental history of the Peloponnesian War, written as 'a possession for all time', is a remarkable record of the lengthy conflict between Athens and Sparta during the final decades of the fifth century BCE. This volume comprises the complete text of the work in English translation, with a brief editorial introduction and a selection of maps. The original eight-book structure is replaced by a division into 26 shorter chapters.
Rome Seizes the Trident
The Defeat of Carthaginian Seapower and the Forging of the Roman Empire
In 264 BCE, when the Romans first went to war with Carthage, they had no navy, relying instead on ships from South Italian cities. However, when the Punic Wars ended more than a century later, Rome had developed a powerful fleet, which would prove vital for imperial expansion. DeSantis traces the growth of this naval supremacy and discusses the tactics that made it possible, such as the boarding-bridge by which the superior Roman infantry simply walked onto the enemy’s decks.
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.
Rome and the Sword
How Warriors and Weapons Shaped Roman History
Simon James takes an archaeologist’s approach to the study of Rome’s military history, telling the story of the sword – ‘the literal cutting edge of Roman power’ – from early times to the fall of the western empire. To supplement the battle narratives of ancient historical writers, he explains developments in sword-smithing techniques and military ideology, considers cultural reasons for changes in hardware and tactics and helps the reader to visualize the direct human experience of the ‘myriad individual acts of mayhem’ in battle.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars
In a dramatic history, with eye-witness accounts and tales of outstanding courage, Digby Smith examines the different types of cavalry and the tactics they employed before describing the contribution of the cavalry charge to the battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The book gives accounts of 14 battles and other engagements, from Marengo to Waterloo and including Austerlitz, Borodino and the allied cavalry raids in Germany during 1813, with the orders of battle given in appendices.
The Tyrants of Syracuse
Volume II: 367–211 BC
Sicily’s strategic location at the heart of the Mediterranean enabled Syracuse to become one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world but it also made the island a target for expansionist powers. This second volume of Champion’s narrative history covers the tumultuous political and military events in Sicily from the death of Dionysius the Elder until the Roman siege of Syracuse (213–211 BCE), when even the ingenious defences and inventions of Archimedes could not prevent the city’s capture.
Thank God and the Infantry
From D-Day to VE-Day with the First Battalion, The Royal Norfolk Regiment
The delay to D-Day, owing to bad weather, resulted in the men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment spending a rough night at sea, during which most of them were violently sick. Told from the soldiers' point of view and including many first-hand accounts, this description of their progress in the following months includes the assault on Sword Beach and later battles at Caen and in the Netherlands and Germany. Slightly off-mint.
Prelude to Destruction
Throughout Germany in the early hours of 10 November 1938, thousands of synagogues were burned and tens of thousands of Jewish shops ransacked. Drawing on newspapers, diplomatic reports and more than 50 eyewitness accounts, the eminent historian Martin Gilbert demonstrates how this ‘spontaneous’ outbreak of anti-Semitic violence was actually a carefully orchestrated prelude to the Holocaust. The scale of the destruction, and the deportations that followed, are shown in 25 maps.
Retreat to Victory
Julian Thompson, himself a commander in the Falklands War, recreates the experiences of the ill-equipped, under-trained soldiers of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940, when they endured weeks of a desperate fighting withdrawal inland and were then trapped on the beaches at Dunkirk, awaiting evacuation.
Double Cross in Cairo
The True Story of the Spy Who Turned the Tide of War in the Middle East
Nigel West tells the true story of Renato Levi, a double agent in the Middle East and North Africa during the Second World War, whose fictitious network, CHEESE, provided the misdirection that helped defeat Rommel.
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Early Years – Poland, the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain
The most numerous and successful Luftwaffe fighter of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a formidable opponent for the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. This photographic collection assembles over 150 archive images of the plane in active service in 1939 and 1940, from pilots and crew with their machines at base to the wreckage of downed aircraft.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.
Sniping in the Great War
Trained to precisely target individual combatants, marksmen were deployed in the First World War to tackle the static nature of much of the fighting. Featuring eyewitness accounts, this study analyses their role on the Western Front and in other theatres of the war, describes the training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures that were employed and outlines developments in rifles, ammunition and sighting equipment.
The Dambuster Raid
A German View
Although successful in its primary objectives, the ingenious ‘Dambusters’ bombing raid of May 1943 failed to halt production in the Ruhr factories but it did devastate infrastructure and inundate towns and villages over a wide area. Using eyewitness accounts and archive photographs, this analysis examines the Allied operation itself, looks at the resulting destruction and aftermath from the German perspective, and describes the rapid rebuilding programme.
At the Heart of the Reich
The Secret Diary of Hitler's Army Adjutant
As Hitler’s Army Adjutant from 1938 to 1943, Gerhard Engel was a member of Hitler’s inner circle and privy to the Führer’s thoughts and preoccupations. His diary provides valuable insights into the personalities of Hitler and others at the centre of the Nazi state. Translated by Geoffrey Brooks.
The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster
Wilhelm Canaris remains one of the most mysterious and contradictory figures in the Nazi regime. As head of military intelligence, he played a vital role in Hitler’s plans, while at the same time encouraging and protecting the Führer’s opponents. This biography assesses his career in the navy and in espionage, his part in the right-wing coups of 1919–20, and his feelings about the party he served, which eventually claimed his life.
The Veteran's Story
For the bombers of the RAF and USAF, supporting the invasion on D-Day was the culmination of a planned series of strategic raids in preparation for the landings. Focusing on the service of eight crews, and drawing on first-hand accounts, this analysis of the campaign explains the wider strategy and describes the personal experiences of the airmen, from raids on German infrastructure in spring 1944 to supporting land forces several months after D-Day.
Out in Front
A Polish Fighter Pilot's Dramatic Air War
Fighter pilot Lanowski tells the story of his Second World War ? escape from Axis soldiers in his native Poland, his combat experience with three separate Allied air forces, and his legendary, rebellious exploits ? with previously unpublished photographs of his comrades and aircraft.
The End of the Gallop
The Battle for Kharkov, February–March 1943
A leading military historian, who specialises in the Second World War’s Eastern Front, analyses one of the most intriguing periods of the Battles for Kharkov, when German forces retook the city. The conquest seemed decisive, but the complex daily troop manoeuvres and tactical switches that were involved laid the groundwork for the Soviets to reframe their strategy for a final victory later in the year.
The Long Walk
The True Story of a Trek to Freedom
In 1939 Polish Army lieutenant Slavomir Rawicz was sentenced to 25 years forced labour in a Siberian prison camp. In this controversial story of endurance, Rawicz describes his imprisonment and alleged escape to India across the Himalayas and Gobi Desert.
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.
Standing Up to Hitler 1935–1944
Even before the Second World War, senior German officers were seeking to save their country by overthrowing Hitler. Paddy Ashdown profiles opponents such as Admiral Canaris and draws on newly released files to reveal their repeated efforts to pass military secrets the Allies. He also consider whether half of Europe would have fallen under the Soviet yoke had Britain and the US heeded their attempts to negotiate a peace settlement in 1943. Slightly off-mint.
Hess, Hitler and Churchill
The Real Turning Point of the Second World War - A Secret History
In May 1941, Deputy Fuhrer Rudolf Hess flew himself to Scotland, apparently on his own initiative, to open peace negotiations with the British. He was swiftly arrested and prior knowledge of his mission was denied by all sides. Peter Padfield's analysis sheds new light on the mystery, arguing that there is good reason to believe that Hess had both the backing of Hitler and encouragement from Britain, and that he even carried with him a draft peace treaty.