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.
Why the Germans Lost
The Rise and Fall of the Black Eagle
From Frederick the Great and the emergence of Prussia as a major power, German armies earned a fearsome reputation, yet that envied military tradition was to be defeated in the First World War and destroyed in 1945. This book assesses the developments in organization, equipment and leadership of the army from the 18th century, through the Napoleonic period, to the two world wars, analysing the strategy and battle performance that lay behind its successes and failures.
British Battles of the Napoleonic Wars 1807–1815
Despatches from the Front
Engaged in various theatres around the world, Britain was expanding its influence in the early years of the 19th century, having achieved dominance at sea after the Battle of Trafalgar. This collection of the original despatches from commanders in the immediate aftermath of engagements includes several from Wellington during his campaigns in Portugal and Spain, and from Waterloo, as well as accounts of the attacks on Copenhagen, Spanish territories in South America, the Dardanelles and Mauritius.
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.
Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars
Field Artillery, 1792–1815
Although artillery had been around for centuries, technical advances in the 18th century allowed field guns and ammunition to become lighter, more powerful and more accurate, and the improved weaponry was used with greater efficiency in the field. With reference to the part gunnery played in key battles of the period, this detailed study investigates the nature of guns used and how they were operated, comparing Napoleon's French artillery with that of the British, Russians and Austrians.
& 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 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.
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Warrior Queen of the USAF
First entering service in 1955, the jet-powered, long range Boeing B52 Stratofortress became the backbone of the US Airforce during the Cold War and beyond, the last variation, the B52H, leaving the assembly line in the early 1960s and continuing in service to this day. This book charts the long design process that began in the mid 1940s, the production history and the service career of the iconic aircraft from the Vietnam War to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Monitor, The Merrimack, and the Sea Battle that Changed History
The first clash between ironclad battleships took place off the coast of Virginia during the American Civil War in 1862. The battle provided conclusive proof of the effectiveness of the new technology and proved a major turning point in naval design. This book examines the building of the Confederacy's armoured Merrimack and the Union's race to build a competitive vessel (the Monitor, in whose development Lincoln was personally involved), and assesses the profound legacy of their engagement.
The Birth of the Royal Marines
Before 1802 the Royal Marines were known as the Marine Corps, a small but powerful contingent that operated amphibiously to link land and sea, Army and Navy. This detailed history of the Corps charts its transformation into the first modern rapid reaction force and includes the evolution of its operational structures, methods of recruitment (often from criminals) and its role in Britain’s notorious ‘gunboat diplomacy’.
Rank and Rate
Royal Naval Officers' Insignia Since 1856
Uniforms were first sanctioned for officers in the Royal Navy in the 18th century, with the stripes on the cuff of captains' blue coats and lace adornment for admirals being the only insignia of rank. The uniform regulations of 1856 introduced a more complex system, with differences across rank and service distinguished by buttons, badges, epaulettes, cuff stripes, swords and styles of hat. This book catalogues all these variations with comprehensive illustrations and historical photographs of naval officers in uniform.
The Waterloo Archive
Histories of the Battle of Waterloo seldom mention that the majority of Wellington’s forces were in fact German, including troops from Nassau, Brunswick, Hanover and the King’s German Legion. Many of them left first-hand accounts of the engagement, more than 60 of which are translated here for the first time. These letters and reports greatly enlarge our understanding of this momentous battle, and offer dramatic accounts of the fighting from the perspective of both officers and private soldiers.
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.
The Boer War 1899-1902
Ladysmith, Magersfontein, Spion Kop, Kimberley, and Mafeking
The British suffered notable defeats at the beginning of the Boer War as the outnumbered forces of the Boers employed guerrilla tactics, heralding a new era in military strategy. This collection of original despatches from the Second Boer War includes detailed commanders’ reports of engagements at Ladysmith, Magersfontein and Spion Kop and reports by subordinate officers, including Baden-Powell's account of the Siege of Mafeking.
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 Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin
The Soviet 2nd Guards Tank Army made spectacular gains across thousands of miles of territory from 1943 to 1945, ultimately playing a key role in the fall of Berlin. Compiled from Red Army operational documents and the accounts of veterans, and translated from the original Russian, this second volume of the comprehensive history of the unit covers the period from July 1944 to the assault on Berlin in 1945 and contains contemporary photographs, maps and detailed statistics.
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.
International Combat Dress 1940–2010
Although the British had adopted khaki uniforms by 1914, French troops still sported blue coats and red trousers at the outbreak of the First World War. By the time of the Second World War, all combatant nations issued battledress featuring camouflage patterning of some sort. This review of combat uniform design illustrates garments used across the world since 1940 and explains how the colours, patterns and other design features have been adapted to different climates, environments and operational requirements.
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.
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.
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.
Give Me a Fast Ship
The Continental Navy and America's Revolution at Sea
When the British sent a fleet of Royal Navy ships to America to keep the colonists in line in 1775, they expected little resistance. However, beginning with the conversion of five merchant vessels, the Americans defiantly built a navy capable of giving the British a bloody nose. This history traces the roots of the US Navy in the Continental Navy of the Revolutionary War, and tells the stories of daring actions fought off the American and British coasts. American-cut pages.
Safeguarding the Nation
The Story of the Modern Royal Navy
Following the Suez Crisis in 1956, a defence review announced significant cuts to the Royal Navy, beginning its transformation from a large conventional force to a smaller more professional service relying on advanced technology and the nuclear deterrent. This illustrated review examines the modern Navy’s changing role; the development of ships, submarines aircraft and weapons; and the operations in which the Navy has been involved from the late 1950s to Iraq and Afghanistan in the 21st century.
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.
Ace of the Black Cross
Above the trenches of the First World War, the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them was played out like a medieval knightly tournament. This deadly contest is brought to life in the memoir of Ernst Udet (1896–1941), the German ace whose reputation was second only to that of the Red Baron. Richard Overy introduces this new edition of this aviation classic.
The World's Greatest War Cartoonists and Caricaturists
Intended as a companion to his pictorial histories of the Napoleonic, imperial and world wars, Mark Bryant's biographical dictionary covers political, editorial and joke cartoonists and caricaturists from the French Revolutionary Wars in 1792 to 1945. The entries, illustrated with reproductions of around 150 classic cartoons, describe the wartime careers of over 300 artists, arranged alphabetically from Crispim do Amaral (1858–1911) lampooning Queen Victoria during the Boer War, to the German First World War cartoonist Heinrich Zille (1858–1929).
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.
Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1812
Napoleon's campaign in Russia in 1812 has received much attention from Western historians but few Russian personal accounts have been available in English. Through a series of newly translated memoirs, letters and diaries, this volume gives an insight into the thoughts of the Russian leadership and the ordinary soldier from the initial retreat and battles at Smolensk, Borodino, and Maloyaroslavets to the last weeks when a lack of supplies fatally exposed Napoleon's forces to the hardships of the Russian winter.
Waltzing into War
How Britain Almost Lost the Battle of Waterloo
As surprising as Wellington and other officers attending a lavish ball in Brussels on the eve of Waterloo was the presence there of a French spy, who was intent on undermining British chances in the battle. Mixing social history with politics and espionage, this book tells the story of how the scandalous craze for the waltz enthralled Europe and how the hostesses of high society interacted with European politics and affected the course of empires.
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.
Politics and Decline of Britain's Post-War Air Force
Although Britain was in decline as a world power after the Second World War, advances in military technology made the RAF ever more important to its defences as increasingly sophisticated aircraft patrolled the front line of the Cold War. In this assessment of the RAF and its planes since 1945, Ian Watson charts a golden age for the service and decries the political wranglings and budget management of recent years that has led to calls for its abolition.
Cromwell Hath the Honour but...
Major-General Lambert's Campaigns in the North, 1648
Oliver Cromwell's reputation tends to overshadow his 'lesser' generals, yet they each had an important role to play. Once such man was John Lambert. Tasked with commanding forces in the North in 1648- 9, he proved to be a popular and effective general who undertook the sieges at Pontefract and Scarborough and united his troops in resisting Royalist rebels and Scots invaders. This carefully researched account offers a detailed and balanced reappraisal of Lambert's achievements.
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 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.
Roberts and Kitchener in South Africa
After three military defeats in a week in South Africa in late 1900, two military heroes – Field Marshal Lord Roberts and Major General Lord Kitchener – were sent to replace the beleaguered General Sir Redvers Buller. This study of a spectacularly successful military partnership describes how, within weeks, Roberts and Kitchener had raised morale, reorganized their forces and transformed the war; but also how the relief of Kimberley and Ladysmith and the defeat of Boer forces sometimes involved less than heroic tactics.