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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
Waging Modern War
Bosnia, Kosovo and the Future of Combat
An account by the US Army commander who oversaw operations in Kosovo in 1999, offering a look at military decision making in real time and exposing the nature of the conflicts within the Atlantic Alliance and within the US government. 8pp b&w plates
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.
The Ottomans and the Allies 1914–1922
The Ottoman Empire's declaration of a holy war against the Allied Powers in 1914 was the first jihad in the Arab world since the crusades, and led to the end of the ancient regime and the emergence of a secular Turkish state. This book examines the turbulent period during which the empire crumbled and the charismatic leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk emerged to resist the regional ambitions of the British and the Greeks and curb the political influence of Islam.
The First Battle of the Cold War
At the end of the Second World War, as Germany lay in ruins, the Western Allies looked with alarm towards a new adversary in the east: Stalin’s Russia. The Italian port of Trieste, occupied by Yugoslav troops, was a flashpoint. Like a Cold War thriller, this history charts the destinies of a British SOE officer, an Austrian SS general, an American spy and a teenage Italian female partisan in a true story of espionage, escape and revenge.
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.
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.