1809 to Salamanca
Following the winter retreat to Corunna in 1809, Wellington's crack rifle regiment (Sharpe's famous 'green jackets') fought the French back and forth across the Iberian Peninsula taking part in a number of actions, including the River Côa, Bussaco Ridge, Fuentes de Oñoro, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. Shot on location in Spain and Portugal, this documentary tells the story of the regiment up to the key battle at Salamanca in July 1812. 1 DVD 105mins
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Physics of War
From Arrows to Atoms
Throughout history, military leaders have searched for a ‘wonder weapon’ to give them an advantage over enemies, and very often, it was science that supplied the new armament, from the ballista to the atom bomb. The science writer Barry Parker narrates the history of warfare and the contribution of physics, telling the story of battles from Megiddo to the Second World War, while discussing major breakthroughs in physics and topics such as gunpowder, submarines, and radar.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The 1066 Hastings Campaign
The English campaign of 1066 involved three critical battles – the Viking victory at Fulford, near York, and defeat five days later at Stamford Bridge, and William of Normandy's decisive victory at Hastings – with the defending King Harold Godwinson force marching his men up and down the country to repel the invaders. DVD. Running time 80 minutes.
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.
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.
The Real Hornblower
The Life and Times of Admiral Sir James Gordon GCB
Having first spotted parallels between the naval campaigns of Sir James Gordon (1782–1869) and Horatio Hornblower on the Potomac River in 1812, Bryan Perrett went on to write this biography of Gordon and his remarkable 75 years in the Royal Navy.
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.
The Persian Invasions of Greece
The massive invasion of Greece by Darius I in 490 BCE ended in failure at the battle of Marathon; when his successor, Xerxes, led a second expedition ten years later, the Persian force was again driven back following the battles of Thermopylae, Salamis and Plataea. Keaveney combines ancient sources and modern scholarship to explain the reasons for the enmity between the two civilizations and to analyse the events of these pivotal campaigns from both Greek and Persian perspectives.
Redcoats Against Napoleon
The 30th Regiment During the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
Giving a fresh perspective on key events between the Siege of Toulon in 1793 and Waterloo in 1815, Divall focuses not on commanders or elite units, but on the ordinary fighting men in the 30th Regiment of the Line.
Wellington Against Junot
The First Invasion of Portugal 1807–1808
Before the great general had been granted his dukedom, Arthur Wellesley achieved success in Portugal defeating Napoleon's trusted general Jean-Andoche Junot at the battles of Roliça and Vimeiro. This detailed account of the campaign examines the personalities and tactics of the opposing commanders, charts the rise of popular resistance to the French in Iberia and the outbreak of guerrilla warfare, and examines the wider implications of these early engagements on the unfolding of the Peninsular War.
The British Soldiers of the Napoleonic Wars
If Wellington valued the rank and file of his army (despite calling them 'the scum of the earth') much of the civilian population had a low opinion of their qualities. This detailed survey of the ordinary soldiers in the British Army of the Napoleonic era draws on contemporary testimony and records to describe the men and their backgrounds, explain the military organization and harsh code of discipline that governed them, and explore their living conditions and place in society.