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.
The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo
The Battle's Hidden Last Half Hour
The author of this revisionist history of the Battle of Waterloo presents a detailed account of how the 52nd Light Cavalry delivered the coup de grâce in the battle, thanks to the initiative of its commander John Colbourne. Using first-hand accounts to support the case, the analysis concludes that Wellington omitted to give the 52nd proper credit in his initial despatch and thereafter managed the story of the victory to his advantage.
The Eagle's Last Triumph
Napoleon's Victory at Ligny, June 1815
On 16 June 1815, Napoleon defeated the Prussian army at the Battle of Ligny. However, the triumph was not decisive and the Prussian general, von Blücher, was able to regroup and tip the balance in Wellington's favour at Waterloo two days later. Including maps and diagrams, this detailed analysis of Napoleon's last victory assesses the background to the battle and the decisions of the commanders in the field, as well as including first-hand accounts of the bitter fighting.
A Sacrifice Betrayed
It was British policy at the beginning of the Boer War not to share intelligence with locally raised forces or employ black people in any military capacity. This proved disastrously misguided and thousands of lives were lost before the commanders on the ground remodelled their forces to meet the specific challenges of the Boers' tactics. This book looks at the war with a focus on the experiences of the people of Natal, both combatants and civilians of all ages.
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.
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.
Scott on Waterloo
Sir Walter Scott was among the many tourists who visited the battlefield after Wellington's victory at Waterloo, but he went with a commission to write a travel book and a long poem. Edited, with notes and introduction by Paul O'Keeffe, this book presents those writings: Paul's Letters to His Kinsfolk, which records Scott’s travels in Holland, Belgium and France in 1815; and two poems, The Field of Waterloo and The Dance of Death.
The Burning of Washington
The British Invasion of 1814
In 1814, British troops marched into Washington DC, torched the White House and Capitol, and forced President Madison to flee. This compelling history traces the background, the action and the aftermath of a conflict that would shape the fledgling USA.
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.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
Black Hawk Down
A Story of Modern War
When 100 elite US soldiers were sent to capture a Somali military leader, their mission was supposed to take no more than an hour. Instead they were pinned down in the heart of Mogadishu, battling an enemy that numbered in their thousands. Mark Bowden’s acclaimed account captures the brutal reality of a contemporary combat engagement, and vividly describes the events that led to a downed Black Hawk helicopter and a devastating loss of life.
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.
Combat Aircraft of the United States Air Force
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
The United States relied on British and French aircraft designs during the First World War, but during and after the Second World War developed a pre-eminence in military aircraft design and manufacture that has continued up to today's cutting-edge models, such as the bat-winged B-2 stealth bomber. This volume is a succinct and highly illustrated guide to the most notable aircraft deployed, including classics such as the P-51 Mustang and B-52 Stratofortress.
The Kingdom is Ours
Fast Play Rules for Wargaming the English Civil War Period
Illustrated with photographs of the Bicorne range of metal miniatures, this wargamer's guide provides an introduction to the battles, troops and weapons of the English Civil War and a set of fast play rules to suit both novice and experienced gamers.
Although Arthur Wellesley left no memoirs or autobiography there is a mass of private and official correspondence, amounting to millions of words, giving incomparable insight into the mind of the great commander and illuminating his decisions as events unfolded. This collection of his dispatches, edited and with contextual commentary by Charles Esdaile, begins with his arrival in Portugal in 1808 and reports on the campaigns in the Iberian Peninsula, southern France, and Waterloo in 1815. 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.
Success of a General
General French and the Relief of Kimberley
Though his reputation was later sullied as Commander-in-Chief of the British Expeditionary Force in the First World War, John French became a national hero as a cavalry general during the Boer War, in particular for his part in the relief of Kimberley in 1900. This account of the siege and the events leading up to it also includes a review of the medals awarded to British soldiers for the campaign.
Decisive Battles of the English Civil War
Myth and Reality
The superior resources available to Cromwell's parliamentary forces have been cited as the decisive advantage in the first English Civil War of 1642–6, but the reasons for the king's defeat have been as much disputed as the causes of the war itself. This analysis focuses on the key battles, exploring contemporary accounts, historians' narratives and the battlefield terrain to question traditional assumptions about each battle and therefore the course of the war.
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.
To War with Wellington
From the Peninsula to Waterloo
Using first-hand accounts written by generals, cavalrymen and foot-soldiers of the Duke of Wellington's army, Peter Snow conjures up the horror of the early 19th century battlefield as he tells the story of how Wellington led 'one of the most successful military enterprises in British history' through seven years of struggle to victory and the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo.
The Real Hornblower
The Life and Times of Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB
It was while researching the Chesapeake Bay Campaign of 1814 that Bryan Perrett came across 'Captain Gordon RN' in CS Forester's Naval War of 1812 and began to see parallels between Gordon, who had commanded a diversionary force on the Potomac, and Forester's later fictional character, Horatio Hornblower. In this book, Perrett presents a full biography of Admiral Gordon and his long and extraordinarily distinguished career.
Wellington's Right Hand
Rowland, Viscount Hill
Rowland Hill succeeded the Duke of Wellington as Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in 1828 having successfully served under him throughout the Peninsular Wars and at Waterloo. This biography of the trusted and popular leader, written by a descendant, draws on a wide range of primary sources, including the Hill papers in the British Library which contain an extensive collection of letters to and from Wellington and other military figures as well as personal correspondence.
King's Cross Kid
A Childhood Between the Wars
Victor Gregg (b.1919) joined the army in 1937 and in Rifleman (2011) he told the story of his service in the Rifle Brigade in Palestine, Alamein and Arnhem. Here, he goes back to his childhood and teenage years on the 'mean streets' of King's Cross, Soho and Bloomsbury. Gregg's memoir evokes how, abandoned by his father and living in poverty, the family struggled and survived in the familiar, yet strange world of London between the wars. Slightly off-mint.
The Battle that Brought Down Napoleon
In a concise reinterpretation of one of history's most argued-over battles, the eminent military historian Jeremy Black uses Waterloo and its aftermath to discuss the changing nature of warfare, the rise and fall of Napoleon's empire, and the effects of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars on Europe and on Britain's role in the world during the 19th century.
Caricature and the Navy 1756–1815
From the mid 18th century to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the Royal Navy was the nation's greatest expense and biggest employer. The ensuing public interest made household names of its commanders and established the 'Jack Tar' as an ideal of no-nonsense British pluck. This book explores the period through the lens of contemporary caricaturists such as Gillray, Rowlandson and Cruikshank; its selection of satirical and sometimes bawdy prints is drawn from the National Maritime Museum collection.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Letters from the Empire
A Soldier's Account of the Boer War and the Abor Campaign in India
Researched and transcribed by Yvonne Wagstaff and Sheila Shaw, and edited, with notes, by Stephen Morris, these letters home were written by Allan Marriott Hutchins (1879–1911), a British Army officer on active service in the Boer War and the Abor Campaign in India.
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
Liberty or Death!
The Life and Campaigns of Richard L Vowell
Inspired to fight against the Spanish Empire in South America in 1817, Englishman Richard Vowell distinguished himself in Simón Bolívar's war of liberation in Venezuela as part of a British Legion of volunteers. This book tells the story of the adventurer from his English childhood to his part in Bolívar's South American campaigns, service as Commander of Marines in the Chilean Navy and later years in Australia, where he was discharged from his job as a convict-camp administrator under strange circumstances.
To End All Wars
A Story of Protest and Patriotism in the First World War
The First World War has been well documented, but one aspect has so far received little attention: the experiences of those who campaigned against it. This absorbing book tells the story of the men and women – feminists, trade unionists, aristocrats, philosophers – who endured vilification, arrest and imprisonment for the pacifist cause.