The Battle of the River Plate
The First Naval Battle of the Second World War
The first encounter at sea of the Second World War took place along the South American coast when three British ships inflicted enough damage on the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee to corner it in Montevideo harbour. The captain, encouraged by British misinformation, chose to scuttle his ship rather than face destruction. This account of the famous episode was first published in 1956 and also contains the official despatch from the British commander.
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 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 Spitfire Manual
Before being let loose in a Supermarine Spitfire, fighter pilots would have to familiarize themselves with the 'Pilot's Notes' which comprehensively detailed the aircraft's equipment, controls and operation. These instructions are reproduced in this book together with examples of log books, combat reports and other contemporary training booklets advising on such skills as identifying enemy aircraft, estimating range and combat flying.
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.
Hitler Was My Friend
As official 'court' photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann played a critical role in cultivating the Führer's public image; he was also a close personal friend of Hitler, with intimate access to his inner circle from 1923 to April 1945. First published in 1955, Hoffmann's memoirs, illustrated here with a selection of his informal photographs, offer a remarkable behind-the-scenes account of Hitler and the rise and fall of the Third Reich. With a new introduction by Roger Moorhouse. Translated by RH Stevens.
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.
The Memoirs of Ernst Röhm
Until his murder by the SS in the 1934 'Night of the Long Knives', Ernst Röhm was one of the leading figures in the Nazi Party. This memoir, first published in 1928 but only now translated into English, charts the party's emergence from the chaos that followed Germany's defeat in the First World War, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the Munich putsch. 'Germany,' he concludes, 'was never suited to 'diplomacy' or 'politics'; its greatness in history was always won by the sword.'
An Extraordinary Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi Paris
Suzanne Spaak was born into an affluent Belgian Catholic family and married into the country's leading political dynasty. In occupied Paris she mingled with the cultural elite while leading a double life. Drawing on archive documents and eyewitness testimonies, this biography tells how she used her wealth and social status to create a clandestine network that saved hundreds of Jewish children from the gas chambers, before she herself paid the ultimate price for her courage.
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
With a talent for invention and a taste for adventure, Italian Jew Renato Levi operated as a double agent in the Middle East and North Africa during the Second World War. This book uncovers the story of the remarkable spy, which has only come to light in recent years, and his CHEESE network, an entirely fictitious ring of intelligence sources providing misdirection that helped to defeat Rommel in North Africa and diverted German defences from the D-Day landing sites.
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.
Britain's Wartime Evacuees
The People, Places and Stories of the Evacuations Told Through the Accounts of Those Who Were There
The mass evacuations during the Second World War had a seismic impact on many hundreds of thousands of people – both those (mostly school-aged children) who were sent far away from their homes and families – and those who had to accommodate and care for them. This illustrated study is based on interviews with evacuees from across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar as well as contemporary newspaper coverage and official documents.
1 Group Bomber Command
An Operational Record
Formed in 1936, 1 Group was initially equipped with Fairey Battles, and by 1939 was flying from five stations: Abingdon, Harwell, Bicester, Boscombe Down and Benson, which became Advanced Air Striking Force HQ. In another of his meticulously detailed Group histories, Chris Ward presents a complete account of 1 Group's wartime activities, including individual squadron statistics and details of commanding officers, stations and aircraft losses.
The Battle for Burma
Wild Green Earth
Bernard Fergusson was with Orde Wingate's 'Chindits' in Burma in 1943 and, once the success of their guerrilla tactics had been acknowledged by Allied commanders, was sent back in 1944 to establish strongholds in Japanese-occupied territory. This book is a reprint of his account of the period, first published in 1946, and contains reflections on coping with the jungle conditions as well as military operations.
German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930–1945
Aviation technology advanced rapidly as Germany prepared for war and research continued throughout the conflict despite the chronic lack of fuel and raw materials by 1945. This analysis of the myriad projects undertaken by manufacturers such as Junkers, Messerschmitt, Dornier and Heinkel lists over 200 experimental aircraft from the period, including jet fighters, supersonic planes and helicopters, and includes over 300 contemporary photographs from the test sites of Nazi Germany.
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.
Game of Spies
The Secret Agent, The Traitor and The Nazi
During the Second World War, German-occupied Bordeaux was a hotbed of espionage as the Gestapo attempted to thwart clandestine British efforts to support the Resistance. Drawing on newly discovered documents, the late Paddy Ashdown and Sylvie Young reveal the deadly game of cat and mouse played out by three men – one British, one French and one German – against a backdrop of intrigue, treachery and death.
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.