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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rome Seizes the Trident
The Defeat of Carthaginian Seapower and the Forging of the Roman Empire
In 264 BCE, when the Romans first went to war with Carthage, they had no navy, relying instead on ships from South Italian cities. However, when the Punic Wars ended more than a century later, Rome had developed a powerful fleet, which would prove vital for imperial expansion. DeSantis traces the growth of this naval supremacy and discusses the tactics that made it possible, such as the boarding-bridge by which the superior Roman infantry simply walked onto the enemy’s decks.
Fleet Manouvers & Battle Missions
During the Second World War the German Kriegsmarine conducted many large scale fleet manoeuvers (sic) in the Atlantic and Pacific. Using rare German archive footage, this DVD shows these spectacular naval actions. The main film is accompanied by shorter pieces on the Battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau. 1 DVD; running time 60 min.
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.
The Man Who Ran London during the Great War
This biography is based on the letters and diaries of Grenadier Guardsman General Sir Francis Lloyd (1853–1926) who became GOC London District in 1913 and, throughout the war, had sweeping powers, including running hospitals, railway termini and the capital's defences.
The Tyrants of Syracuse
Volume II: 367–211 BC
Sicily’s strategic location at the heart of the Mediterranean enabled Syracuse to become one of the most powerful cities of the ancient world but it also made the island a target for expansionist powers. This second volume of Champion’s narrative history covers the tumultuous political and military events in Sicily from the death of Dionysius the Elder until the Roman siege of Syracuse (213–211 BCE), when even the ingenious defences and inventions of Archimedes could not prevent the city’s capture.
SAS Operation Bulbasket
Das Reich and Oradour
After D-Day, the SAS was given the dangerous task of sabotaging the railways carrying reinforcements to Normandy, with fatal consequences. The first of two Battlefield History TV documentaries filmed on location tells the story using archive footage, photos and reconstructions.
The Saint Nazaire Raid
Operation Chariot - The Greatest Raid
Operation Chariot was a 1942 Combined Operations-run attack on a crucial dry dock in Normandy. In this documentary the Battlefield History TV experts tell the story on location with archive material and contributions from participant Major-General Corran Purdon.
The Red Baron
The True Story of Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred von Richthofen was the leading ace of the First World War and helped to develop effective new aerial combat tactics while leading his Jagdgeschwader 1 fighter unit. This documentary includes original wartime footage, a revealing assessment of the controversial circumstances of his death and bonus galleries of archive photographs. DVD.
The Nuremberg Trials
The 1947 Soviet Documentary
This DVD presents a rare film from 1947: the Soviet documentary of the Nuremberg trials, which, despite its partisan nature, is interesting for making the Soviet case against some of the more lenient sentences. World War II from Primary Sources series.
Heinkel He 111
Combat Operations 1939–1944
The He 111 was a primary Luftwaffe medium bomber in service 1939 to 1944. Using subtitled footage from the weekly Wochenschau newsreels, this DVD shows bomber crews preparing for and carrying out raids on Polish cities during the German invasion, along with footage of the destruction.
Hitler's War Machine
The start of Operation Barbarossa is depicted in this collection of subtitled footage from the Wochenschau newsreels. Starting with Hitler’s repudiation of the Non-Aggression Pact, it shows battle scenes, Jewish ghetto clearances and captured Bolsheviks from Russia’s borders with the Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
The Battles For Normandy
The True Glory
This Academy Award-winning 1945 celebration of the Allied invasion is narrated using first-hand accounts from troops, resistance fighters, medics and civilians. Introduced by General Dwight Eisenhower, it includes extensive and rarely seen footage from the preparations, battles and aftermath through to the final German surrender.
Combat Operations 1939–1945
This World War Two from Primary Sources DVD comprises three contemporary films featuring footage of the Spitfire in combat and on the ground: a public information newsreel on aircraft identification, Air Marshal Philip Joubert’s documentary tribute to the pilots and a detailed maintenance guide.
The Siege Of Leningrad
The Military History of The Third Reich from Germany Newsreels
Part of the Hitler’s War Machine series tracing the military history of the Third Reich through wartime German newsreels with English translation, this film records the decisive and massively destructive siege of Leningrad, which lasted from September 1941 to the Red Army victory in January 1944.
The First World War
The Battle of Mons was the first engagement for the British Expeditionary Force, meeting the German Army on the Belgian-French border in August 1914. Despite performing well they were forced into a withdrawal through the sprawling industrial area around Mons, in the face of superior German numbers. This feature-length documentary visits key locations in France and Belgium to tell the story of the BEF from arrival in France to the perilous retreat from the battle. 1 DVD 90min
The Glider Pilot Regiment
Using archive footage, interviews with veterans and expert commentary, this film describes the development of the glider from the First to the Second World War and charts the history of the famous Glider Pilot Regiment and their role in actions such as the capture of Pegasus Bridge, Arnhem and the Rhine Crossing. Running time approx 120 min. DVD.
The Life of Major General Sir Robert Laycock KCMG, CB, DSO
In 1943 Bob Laycock succeeded Louis Mountbatten as Chief of Combined Operations, becoming the youngest major general in the British Army. This biography examines a military career that began with the Royal Horse Guards in 1927, ended with a period as Governor of Malta in the 1950s but is chiefly notable for involvement in the Battle of Crete, the Rommel Raid and in particular for a part in establishing the Commando special forces units.
Soviet Cold War Weaponry
Aircraft, Warships, Missiles and Artillery
During the Cold War, Warsaw Pact countries prepared for a third world war by manufacturing thousands of weapons, including Badger and Backfire bombers, MiG fighters and nuclear submarines. This fully illustrated guide by a former Intelligence Officer and military expert focuses on aircraft, warships and missiles (a companion volume focuses on ground vehicles), some of which are still deployed by armies and militia groups today.
Bomber Command Airfields of Yorkshire
Only two of Yorkshire’s wartime airfields are still in use by the RAF but during the Second World War the county was home to 33 stations of No.4 Group and No.6 Group, staging raids against the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin. Brief histories of the airfields are given in this volume, together with stories of notable characters and events and details of what remains of the bases today.
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.
Cold War Jet Combat
Air-to-Air Jet Fighter Operations 1950–1972
The primary role of American B-52 bombers in the earlier years covered by this study was to carry the US nuclear threat. Other jet operations of the 1950s and 1960s saw MiGs, Mirages and F-4 Phantoms in action in conflicts including the Six Day War and Vietnam.
The Siege of Tsingtau
The German-Japanese War 1914
With support from the Allies in the First World War, Japan took the opportunity to invade Germany’s Pacific colonies. Drawing on records from both sides, this book reveals the political background to a conflict that climaxed in the siege of the German base at Tsingtau, China.
The Lengthening War
The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode
Having lived in Germany for a time before the outbreak of the First World War, middle-aged, middle-class diarist Mabel Goode knew 'the enemy nation' as many Britons did not, which adds an extra dimension to her contemporary account of the years 1914–1916. She records enrolment, rationing, the collapse of domestic service and the growth of war work, the Zeppelin attacks over Yorkshire, the ever-mounting casualty lists and a growing disillusionment with a lengthening conflict.
Menus, Munitions and Keeping the Peace
The Home Front Diaries of Gabrielle West 1914–1917
Gabrielle West worked variously as a Red Cross volunteer, a cook and a police officer during the First World War. Her diary entries, now part of the Imperial War Museum archives, note the discrimination she encountered as a woman in a position of responsibility, and the dangers posed by the Zeppelin raids over London. They paint a lively picture of her experience of the British Home Front and are illustrated with her drawings and family photographs.
Holding the Home Front
The Women's Land Army in the First World War
Within days of the start of the First World War there were calls for women to come to the fields, but it would be almost three years before the Women’s Land Army was formally established. Using previously unpublished accounts and photographs, this social history examines how the movement impacted agriculture at a time of national crisis and examines the rhetoric surrounding it, the political purpose that shaped it and the experiences of those who worked for it.
Sniping in the Great War
Trained to precisely target individual combatants, marksmen were deployed in the First World War to tackle the static nature of much of the fighting. Featuring eyewitness accounts, this study analyses their role on the Western Front and in other theatres of the war, describes the training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures that were employed and outlines developments in rifles, ammunition and sighting equipment.
The Dambuster Raid
A German View
Although successful in its primary objectives, the ingenious ‘Dambusters’ bombing raid of May 1943 failed to halt production in the Ruhr factories but it did devastate infrastructure and inundate towns and villages over a wide area. Using eyewitness accounts and archive photographs, this analysis examines the Allied operation itself, looks at the resulting destruction and aftermath from the German perspective, and describes the rapid rebuilding programme.
18th, 19th & 22nd Battalions of the Durham Light Infantry in the Great War
The three battalions of Durham Light Infantry raised during the First World War all saw significant action in France from 1916. This history describes their recruitment, training and active service and is supported by first-hand accounts and archive photographs.
The Life of Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Browning
The husband of Daphne du Maurier, Frederick ‘Boy’ Browning was the founding commander of the British Airborne forces in the Second World War. This biography charts a colourful life in which he also achieved distinction in the First World War and competed in the Olympics .
The Great War
Through Picture Postcards
Picture postcards were the main way that troops and their families communicated during the 1914‒18 war, and the illustrations and slogans they displayed give us insights into their lives and attitudes. The more than 500 contemporary cards in this collection come from a variety of home fronts and theatres of war around the world. They demonstrate everything from patriotic propaganda and angry satire to startling images of, mass graves, proud displays of new weapons and soldiers cheerfully posing in gas masks.