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.
Stay the Distance
The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham
Sir Michael Beetham joined the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and stayed on after the war, serving as a commanding officer at a number of critical moments, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and Aden in 1964 to the Falklands War, and was appointed Marshal of the RAF in 1982. This biography traces his long, distinguished and very active career, from flying Lancasters in the Second World War to sending Vulcan bombers to the Falklands.
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.
Russian Eyewitness Accounts of the Campaign of 1814
Russia played a decisive role in the fighting that overthrew Napoleon in 1814, but its perspective on the campaign has been largely overlooked in the West because of the lack of translated sources. This book fills the gap, presenting the letters, memoirs and diaries of Russian participants, from generals to ordinary soldiers. These first-hand accounts, never before published in English, offer a fresh and richly human insight into an event that changed the course of history.
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.
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.
Letters from Ladysmith
Eyewitness Accounts from the South African War
The Siege of Ladysmith lasted 118 days, from November 1899 to February 1900, and had tremendous strategic and imperial significance. Military historian Edward Spiers presents, with commentary, 250 letters written by soldiers and civilians from the beleaguered town and originally published in British newspapers. They provide vivid accounts of the siege and the desperate and bloody attempts to relieve Ladysmith, but also illustrate contemporary perceptions of the war and the British underestimation of the Boer army.
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.
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.
Great Cavalry Charges of the Napoleonic Wars
In a dramatic history, with eye-witness accounts and tales of outstanding courage, Digby Smith examines the different types of cavalry and the tactics they employed before describing the contribution of the cavalry charge to the battles of the Napoleonic Wars. The book gives accounts of 14 battles and other engagements, from Marengo to Waterloo and including Austerlitz, Borodino and the allied cavalry raids in Germany during 1813, with the orders of battle given in appendices.
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.
An Official Account of How Britain Planned to Defend Itself in the Second World War
The British Government drew up detailed schemes for the defence of the country against German aggression from the mid 1930s, altering the proposals as the situation developed. This review of their plans was compiled in 1948 by the Cabinet Office Historical Section and breaks the period into four parts, dealing with the pre-war situation, the imminent threat of invasion immediately after Dunkirk, the vulnerable years from 1940 to 1941 and the situation from 1942 as Britain became the base for counter-offensives into Europe.
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Early Years – Poland, the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain
The most numerous and successful Luftwaffe fighter of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a formidable opponent for the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. This photographic collection assembles over 150 archive images of the plane in active service in 1939 and 1940, from pilots and crew with their machines at base to the wreckage of downed aircraft.
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.
At the Heart of the Reich
The Secret Diary of Hitler's Army Adjutant
As Hitler’s Army Adjutant from 1938 to 1943, Gerhard Engel was a member of Hitler’s inner circle and privy to the Führer’s thoughts and preoccupations. His diary provides valuable insights into the personalities of Hitler and others at the centre of the Nazi state. Translated by Geoffrey Brooks.
The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster
Wilhelm Canaris remains one of the most mysterious and contradictory figures in the Nazi regime. As head of military intelligence, he played a vital role in Hitler’s plans, while at the same time encouraging and protecting the Führer’s opponents. This biography assesses his career in the navy and in espionage, his part in the right-wing coups of 1919–20, and his feelings about the party he served, which eventually claimed his life.