The Business of War
Medieval mercenaries were more than just well-armed, freebooting thugs; they were noblemen, too, who took advantage of political chaos to further their own interests. From early Italian mercenaries to the private armies spawned during the Hundred Years War, this intelligent survey of Europe’s freelance fighters describes the many mercenary bands who killed, looted and ransomed their way across Europe’s heartlands, referencing the popular literature, including Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, that has guaranteed their place in the collective imagination.
Genghis Khan and the Mongol War Machine
In uniting the tribes of northeast Asia, Genghis Khan led an army whose ingenious and often brutal stratagems created a land-based empire stretching from the Black Sea in the west to Korea in the east. This study reassesses his achievements in the context of Mongol society, referring to sources including the 13th-century History of the World Conqueror and Secret History of the Mongols, and asking whether his legacy was the result of military genius, banditry, or fortuitous circumstance.
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.
Great Walls and Linear Barriers
Hadrian’s Wall and the Great Wall of China are world famous, but they are not exceptional phenomena. This impressively researched volume shows how, throughout history and across the globe, societies have built such barriers to reinforce their control over territory. Illustrated with numerous photographs and specially commissioned maps, the book ranges from Mesopotamia to Kievan Rus to examine their construction and strategic function, and identifies a recurrent theme: the separation of nomadic peoples from areas of settled agriculture.
Two Deaths at Amphipolis
Cleon vs Brasidas in the Peloponnesian War
Mike Roberts brings a fresh perspective to the study of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE) by focusing on the clash of the two dynamic commanders who were killed in 422 during the battle over the Athenian colony at Amphipolis. Roberts follows the career of the heroic Spartan Brasidas, already a veteran of many campaigns when he headed north to this strategically important city, and reconsiders the Athenian Cleon, whose reputation was tarnished by the historian Thucydides’ vociferous criticism.
& the Lusitanian Resistance to Rome 155–139 BC
Viriathus – the humble shepherd who became leader of the Lusitanians – inflicted many humiliating reverses on theoretically superior Roman forces. Renowned during his lifetime, he has been unfairly neglected by modern historians, so Silva here presents for Anglophone readers the insights of recent Portuguese research and uses his own military expertise to inform his analysis of Viriathus’ guerrilla tactics. The final chapter traces the ancient leader’s transformation into a Portuguese national hero after his story was rediscovered in the Renaissance.
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.
The Real Jim Hawkins
Ships' Boys in the Georgian Navy
In the 18th century, poor boys in their thousands went to sea like Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island, often leaving behind bleak and miserable lives to go in search of adventure. Focusing on the Royal Navy during the period of the Seven Years War, Pietsch investigates the boys' social backgrounds and recruitment, their distinctive subculture and the challenges they faced growing up amid the perils of naval battle.
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.
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 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.
Iranian Army Aviation at War
This book profiles the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAA), tracing its foundation under the Shah, giving a detailed analysis of operations during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s and charting developments in organization and equipment after the conflict.
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.
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.
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.
Soldiers and Uniforms of the American Army
This reprint of a classic 1954 publication presents 32 full-page colour illustrations of American soldiers from the Pennsylvania Rifle Battalion of 1775 to the Infantry of the Second World War and the 1st Cavalry Division of 1950. The detailed drawings highlight the equipment, weapons and key decorative details associated with each outfit, making the book an invaluable reference for military historians, re-enactors and modellers.
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.
Intelligence Revealed: Maps, Plan and Views at Horse
Guards and the War Office 1800-1880
A Crispin Jewitt traces the 19th century production of military maps, plans and views at Horse Guards (offices of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army) and later at the War Office, providing military and cartographical historians with a corpus of contemporary topographical intelligence products. The security interests covered in the listings include both major and minor international conflicts, international boundaries, expanding colonial interests and domestic security concerns.
Sailors in the Dock
Naval Courts Martial Down the Centuries
Some embarrassing cowardice displayed by the captains of several British ships at the Battle of Dungeness in 1652 led to the formulation of the 'Articles of War', establishing a strict code of conduct for the Navy and empowering officers to apply it. This collection of significant legal cases in the history of the Royal Navy ranges from a mutiny at the Battle of Cadiz in 1587 to a captain's decision to scuttle HMS Manchester in the Mediterranean in 1942.
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 Medieval Military Orders
This volume from the Seminar Studies series introduces the history of the Templars, Knights Hospitaller, the Teutonic Knights and less well-known orders such as the leprous knights of St Lazarus. It sets the history of these institutions against a background of social change, conquest and holy wars fought in Spain, the Baltic and the Holy Land, and also provides a comprehensive documents section, notes on sources, a glossary and maps.
Uniforms of the German Soldier
An Illustrated History from 1870 to the Present Day
The spiked leather helmet (or Pickelhaube) associated with the German army of the First World War had in fact been an established part of the Prussian uniform since the 1840s and was replaced by a much more effective steel helmet from 1916. This examination of German military uniforms presents nearly 800 photographs showing all ranks of soldier, from the first army of the new German Empire to the present day, and describes their uniform and insignia in detailed captions.
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.
The Lower Deck of the Royal Navy, 1939 to the Present Day
The Royal Navy was the largest in the world in 1939, and conscription during the Second World War increased the total of employed men to 790,000, the vast majority of whom were seamen of the 'lower deck'. Based on primary research and first-hand accounts, this book examines the lives of these sailors during a period that has seen the introduction of women, the end of hammocks and the rum ration, and ever more emphasis on technical skills.
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.
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.
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.
The Buccaneer King
The Story of Captain Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan (1635–1688) was the most successful of all the pirates of the Caribbean, amassing a fortune by pillaging towns on the Spanish Main and eventually becoming governor of Jamaica. This lively biography charts his colourful career, unpicking fact from fiction and addressing questions that perplex historians to this day: to what extent were his activities sanctioned by the government, was he driven by patriotism or by greed, and was he responsible for the torture of Spanish prisoners?
The In and Out
A History of the Naval and Military Club
Originally conceived as a 'civilized place of association' for officers on leave from the Peninsular War, the then 'Military Club' was founded, not without controversy, in 1815. Lavishly illustrated with reproductions of Club portraits and photographs, this volume traces the eventful history of the Club, through two world wars and an IRA bomb, and through several London locations before landing in St James's Square – but still sporting the 'In' and 'Out' of its Piccadilly home. Foreword by Prince Philip, the Club's President.
The Atlas of Military History
An Around-the-World Survey of Warfare Through the Ages
From Ancient Egypt to the war in Afghanistan, and from the horse and chariot to nuclear weapons, this well-illustrated reference work charts the significant conflicts in world history and the major advances in military technology. It is arranged chronologically within each of seven sections: Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southern Asia, Northern and Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and the Americas. Slightly off-mint.
A History of Courage, Sacrifice and Brotherhood
Written by a former officer, this searching examination of the experience of men at war draws on hundreds of narrative accounts written by soldiers themselves to produce a combatant's-eye view of battle from Sebastopol to Stalingrad, from Vietnam to Fallujah. It asks what it means to confront the reality of killing or being killed, investigates the complex relationship between love, sex and war, and reveals the 'trial by media' faced by the soldiers of today. Off-mint.
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.
A Great and Glorious Adventure
A Military History of the Hundred Years War
In this new history of the Hundred Years War, a conflict that raged from 1337 to 1453, military historian Gordon Corrigan reveals the horrors of the battles and brings to life the personalities of the period – among them, Edward III, the Black Prince, Henry V and Joan of Arc. He shows how, despite their superior tactics and the great victories at Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt, the English could not hope to hold forever the lands they conquered.
A History of War in 100 Battles
From the earliest recorded battles in the ancient Near East to Desert Storm in 1991, Richard Overy describes 100 of the most significant battles in military history, dividing them by the themes that can influence the outcome of armed combat: leadership, overwhelming odds, technical innovation, deception, raw courage, and good fortune.
The Last Full Measure
How Soldiers Die in Battle
Although the Japanese samurai prioritized agility over protection in contrast to the heavily armoured European knight, both warriors were motivated by honour and status, seeking combat with opponents of a similar caste. This book investigates how warfare has changed throughout history, how different weapons and different tactics have sealed the fate of soldiers of all ranks, from pre-history to the present day, as well as the psychological and cultural factors that have convinced them to fight and die.
Gladstone, Gordon and the Sudan Wars
The Battle over Imperial Intervention in the Victorian Age
General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885 was a crucial episode in British history and one that has remained controversial. Gordon has been usually depicted as the hero of the story, while Gladstone is often portrayed as the villain, responsible for a 'policy of drift' in Sudan. Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
Surprise Attack in Ancient Greek Warfare
In the traditional view, ancient Greek warfare was dominated by the use of the hoplite phalanx in open, pitched battle – a 'Western' style of fighting which contrasted with a culturally distinct 'Eastern' preference for ambush, deceit and guerrilla-style tactics. But, as Col. Sheldon demonstrates, the Greeks themselves deployed a wide range of such 'irregular' stratagems, from intelligence-gathering by spies to surprise naval landings at night, using whatever means were necessary to achieve victory.
Battles of Ancient China
To illustrate the evolution of ancient and medieval Chinese warfare, Peers analyses ten decisive campaigns, from the Battle of Mu-Yueh in 1027 BCE to the Huan-Erh-Tsui campaign of 1211–1215 CE. Comparing Chinese ways of waging war with contemporary Western practice, he dispels myths about the supposedly inscrutable Chinese 'art of war', and assesses the contribution of weapons and tactics to the victories of commanders such as Sun Pin and Li Shih-Min.
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.
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 in the region. Peter Reid's exhaustive account is not simply a catalogue of battles, but interweaves 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.
Rome Seizes the Trident
The Defeat of Carthaginian Seapower & 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.