Despite graduating from West Point last in his class, George Custer gained a reputation as a highly effective cavalry officer during the American Civil War. His famous 'last stand' came in 1876 when he was annihilated by a combined force of Indians at Little Bighorn. This colourfully illustrated introduction reviews Custer's career and examines how a humiliating defeat became one of the iconic moments in American history, not least because of its re-enactment in 'Buffalo Bill's Wild West' shows.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A History of War in 100 Battles
From the earliest recorded battles in the ancient Near East to Desert Storm in 1991, Richard Overy describes 100 of the most significant battles in military history, dividing them by the themes that can influence the outcome of armed combat: leadership, overwhelming odds, technical innovation, deception, raw courage, and good fortune.
Gladstone, Gordon and the Sudan Wars
The Battle over Imperial Intervention in the Victorian Age
General Gordon's death in Khartoum in January 1885 was a crucial episode in British history and one that has remained controversial. Gordon has been usually depicted as the hero of the story, while Gladstone is often portrayed as the villain, responsible for a 'policy of drift' in Sudan. Nicoll's radical reappraisal, based on previously unpublished materials, refutes the conventional image of both men and offers insight into British policy in Africa and the influence of the press and public opinion.
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.
Yanks In The RAF
The Story of Maverick Pilots and American Volunteers Who Joined Britain's Fight in WWII
Before Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the Second World War, American pilots seeking adventure, or with strong political motivations, volunteered for the RAF to fight the Germans. From cultural conflicts with their English hosts to action over France, particularly the Dieppe raid of August 1942, this book charts the experiences of the 270 airmen who flew in the three RAF 'Eagle' squadrons of American volunteers before being reassigned to the USAAF by late 1942.
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.
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.
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.
From the Frontline
The Extraordinary Life of Sir Basil Clarke
Basil Clarke was an intrepid First World War correspondent and father of the public relations industry. This first-ever biography tells how he defied Kitchener’s ban on reporters in 1914 to live as an ‘outlaw’ in Dunkirk, reported from the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising, and caused a global scandal by accusing the government of failing to enforce its naval blockade of Germany, before going on to create Britain’s first PR firm.
Henry VIII, James IV and the Battle for Renaissance Britain
The decisive battle at Flodden Field in 1513 marked the climax of the personal and political tension between England’s Henry VIII and his brother-in-law James IV of Scotland. This book traces the origins and escalation of their rivalry, with analysis of the political and military manoeuvres leading up to Flodden. It ends with an account of the battle itself, which saw the first artillery exchange on a British battlefield, and an assessment of James’s level of responsibility for Scotland’s defeat.
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.
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
The Castle at War in Medieval England and Wales
After examining the origins of castle building in northern France, Dan Spencer’s military history focuses on the role of castles in warfare in England and Wales, from their introduction by the Normans in the 11th century to the death of Henry VIII in 1547. The book covers all the major conflicts, including the conquest of Wales, war with Scotland, 1295–1337, the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of the Roses, ending with the early Tudors’ fortifications against invasion.
The Ottomans and the Allies 1914–1922
The Ottoman Empire's declaration of a holy war against the Allied Powers in 1914 was the first jihad in the Arab world since the crusades, and led to the end of the ancient regime and the emergence of a secular Turkish state. This book examines the turbulent period during which the empire crumbled and the charismatic leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk emerged to resist the regional ambitions of the British and the Greeks and curb the political influence of Islam.
The First Battle of the Cold War
At the end of the Second World War, as Germany lay in ruins, the Western Allies looked with alarm towards a new adversary in the east: Stalin’s Russia. The Italian port of Trieste, occupied by Yugoslav troops, was a flashpoint. Like a Cold War thriller, this history charts the destinies of a British SOE officer, an Austrian SS general, an American spy and a teenage Italian female partisan in a true story of espionage, escape and revenge.
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.
Gibraltar in the Age of Napoleon
After a long history as a site of strategic importance, Gibraltar, the lone British stronghold in the Mediterranean, played a vital role in the Napoleonic Wars (1793–1815). This history examines how the military and naval offensive potential of the hitherto defensive fortress was realized; the part Gibraltar played as the site of British and Spanish negotiations during the Peninsular War; and how its garrison and dockyard contributed to Nelson’s victories in the battles of the Nile and Trafalgar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Memoirs of Ernst Röhm
Until his murder by the SS in the 1934 'Night of the Long Knives', Ernst Röhm was one of the leading figures in the Nazi Party. This memoir, first published in 1928 but only now translated into English, charts the party's emergence from the chaos that followed Germany's defeat in the First World War, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and the Munich putsch. 'Germany,' he concludes, 'was never suited to 'diplomacy' or 'politics'; its greatness in history was always won by the sword.'
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.
An Extraordinary Story of Resistance and Rescue in Nazi Paris
Suzanne Spaak was born into an affluent Belgian Catholic family and married into the country's leading political dynasty. In occupied Paris she mingled with the cultural elite while leading a double life. Drawing on archive documents and eyewitness testimonies, this biography tells how she used her wealth and social status to create a clandestine network that saved hundreds of Jewish children from the gas chambers, before she herself paid the ultimate price for her courage.
Thank God and the Infantry
From D-Day to VE-Day with the First Battalion, The Royal Norfolk Regiment
The delay to D-Day, owing to bad weather, resulted in the men of the 1st Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment spending a rough night at sea, during which most of them were violently sick. Told from the soldiers' point of view and including many first-hand accounts, this description of their progress in the following months includes the assault on Sword Beach and later battles at Caen and in The Netherlands and Germany. Slightly off-mint.
Prelude to Destruction
Throughout Germany in the early hours of 10 November 1938, thousands of synagogues were burned and tens of thousands of Jewish shops ransacked. Drawing on newspapers, diplomatic reports and more than 50 eyewitness accounts, the eminent historian Martin Gilbert demonstrates how this ‘spontaneous’ outbreak of anti-Semitic violence was actually a carefully orchestrated prelude to the Holocaust. The scale of the destruction, and the deportations that followed, are shown in 25 maps.
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.