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.
Memories of the Falklands
The recollections of leading British politicians, diplomats, military personnel, journalists and Falkland Islanders are included in this retrospect of the 1982 conflict. Among the contributors are Margaret Thatcher, Simon Weston, Cecil Parkinson, David Owen and Max Hastings.
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.
An Official Account of How Britain Planned to Defend Itself in the Second World War
The British Government drew up detailed schemes for the defence of the country against German aggression from the mid 1930s, altering the proposals as the situation developed. This review of their plans was compiled in 1948 by the Cabinet Office Historical Section and breaks the period into four parts, dealing with the pre-war situation, the imminent threat of invasion immediately after Dunkirk, the vulnerable years from 1940 to 1941 and the situation from 1942 as Britain became the base for counter-offensives into Europe.
Soviet Cold War Weaponry
Aircraft, Warships, Missiles and Artillery
During the Cold War, Warsaw Pact countries prepared for a third world war by manufacturing thousands of weapons, including Badger and Backfire bombers, MiG fighters and nuclear submarines. This fully illustrated guide by a former Intelligence Officer and military expert focuses on aircraft, warships and missiles (a companion volume focuses on ground vehicles), some of which are still deployed by armies and militia groups today.
Cold War Jet Combat
Air-to-Air Jet Fighter Operations 1950–1972
The primary role of American B-52 bombers in the earlier years covered by this study was to carry the US nuclear threat. Other jet operations of the 1950s and 1960s saw MiGs, Mirages and F-4 Phantoms in action in conflicts including the Six Day War and Vietnam.
The Inside Story of the Special Boat Service
This definitive history of the Special Boat Service, which draws on previously classified archive material and first-hand recollections of former personnel, explores its pioneering operations during the Second World War before examining subsequent roles, including the protection of UK coastal installations, counter-terrorism and intelligence gathering prior to large-scale manoeuvres.
Britain's Cold War Bombers
The introduction of jet propulsion was the first priority for the RAF after the Second World War, followed by aircraft that could deliver nuclear bombs. This history of British bomber development tells the story of the Canberra and the V class bombers (Valiant, Vulcan and Victor) as well as the doomed TSR2 project, cancelled by the government on the grounds of cost in 1965.
Britain's Cold War Fighters
British aviation technology was at the cutting edge after the Second World War, the Gloster Meteor the first of many home-grown jets to be engineered before American and internationally developed aircraft took over from the 1970s. This study of the rapid improvement in fighters up to the 1990s examines all the designs deployed by the RAF and Royal Navy during the period including the Hunter, Javelin, Lightning, Phantom and Tornado.
The Battle of Arnhem
The Deadliest Airborne Operation of World War II
The bold Allied plan to defeat Germany quickly in September 1944 by capturing the bridges leading to the lower Rhine, was ultimately a failure and led to the complete destruction of Arnhem and cruel reprisals on the Dutch population for the remainder of the war. Antony Beevor’s account describes the airborne assault, its planning and aftermath, drawing on many overlooked and new sources from Dutch, German, Polish, British and American archives. Slightly off-mint.
Key Scientists, Code-breakers and Propagandists of the Great War
World War One was the first modern, industrial conflict and the struggle for technological supremacy was not confined to the battlefield. This history reveals the war effort behind the lines, and profiles key figures, from the aircraft designer Frederick Handley Page to the newspaper magnate Lord Beaverbrook. It records the rapid advances spurred by the war in aviation, chemistry, and medicine, and the weapons of cryptology and propaganda.