World War II
Ghosts of the ETO
American Tactical Deception Units in the European Theater, 1944-1945
Within a few weeks of D-Day, the American 23rd Headquarters Special Troops landed in France and positioned a number of inflatable howitzers to draw German fire away from regular artillery units nearby. The 23rd were thereafter engaged across France and into Germany, creating fake radio transmissions, deploying dummy materiel and impersonating other troops in over 20 operations during 1944 and 1945. This book pieces together the long-classified activities of the unusual unit.
Somewhere in England
American Airmen in the Second World War
In 2012 the Imperial War Museums acquired a remarkable collection of 15,000 photographs showing American servicemen who were stationed at air bases in Britain during the Second World War. This selection presents more than 70 of the images illustrating the GIs’ work and recreations, both at military sites and among local communities. The accompanying text gives brief biographies of those pictured and celebrates the resilience and bravery with which pilots flew deep into enemy territory.
Finding World War II's Abandoned, Sunk and Preserved Warships
German U-boats sent more than 2,775 Allied ships to the bottom of the sea during the course of the Second World War, and in the Pacific, the Allies sank more than 3,000 Japanese vessels. This book investigates some of these historic wrecks and reports on work to locate, study, salvage and even restore some of them, from the Japanese midget submarines of Pearl Harbor to iconic losses such as HMS Repulse and the Admiral Graf Spee.
The Dam Buster Raid
A Reappraisal, 70 Years On
Barnes Wallis's bouncing bomb and its use on the Ruhr dams is one of the best-known stories of the Second World War. This reappraisal of the events examines the mission itself but also assesses the real effectiveness of the attack on the German war effort, follows the careers of the protagonists of 617 Squadron beyond May 1943, and explores the legacy of the raid and how the legend of 'the Dam Busters' was born.
Behind the Lines
A Critical Survey of Special Operations in World War II
Michael F Dilley offers a critical examination of the use and success of special purpose, special mission units during the Second World War, including groups used by both Allied and Axis powers, and in every major theatre of war. The missions discussed range from direct action raids to intelligence gathering, and include the raid to kill Rommel, code named Operation Flipper; the activities of Popski’s Private Army; and the SOE’s Jedburgh Project.
A Complete Account of the RAF's Support Role during the Audacious Commando Raid on St Nazaire, March 1942
The British raid on St Nazaire in March 1942 deprived Germany of an important seaport for the duration of the war but the RAF's diversionary role in the attack has been criticized as ineffectual. This new assessment of the RAF's part in Operation Chastise explains the restrictive orders that hampered the bombers and outlines the other crucial functions that they performed: sweeping the Bay of Biscay and searching for survivors in the aftermath.
The Paris Game
Charles de Gaulle, the Liberation of Paris, and the Gamble that Won France
In 1940, with the German army in Paris and a collaborationist government installed in Vichy, an obscure French general broadcast from London: ‘Is defeat final? No!… The flame of French Resistance is not extinguished.’ This dramatic account charts de Gaulle’s struggle to retain the loyalty of Winston Churchill, overcome the hostility of Roosevelt, thwart the machinations of the Vichy regime, and ultimately restore the honour of France and its place in the world.
Surviving Bomber Aircraft of World War Two
A Global Guide to Location and Types
Evolving rapidly during the Second World War, bomber types ranged from heavy, long-range aircraft, such as the Boeing Flying Fortress and the Avro Lancaster, to more nimble fighter-bombers and, by the end of the war, Germany's unmanned flying bombs and the jet-powered Arado Ar.234. This illustrated volume reviews the aircraft that saw service for Britain, USA, Germany, Japan and Italy during the war with information on surviving examples in museums around the world.
The location, strength and operational status of enemy ships was of primary concern to the belligerent nations during the Second World War, with the threat of powerful vessels such as Tirpitz significantly affecting military planning. Aerial and surface reconnaissance photographs were acquired whenever possible and this book presents a collection of such images, drawn from contemporary intelligence files, assessing the vessels of the German, Italian, French and Japanese navies. Former USAF photo interpreter Roy Stanley provides expert commentary.
In Bomber Command
Gerry Anderson, the creator of Thunderbirds and Joe 90, was clearly influenced in his stories by his pilot brother Lionel who was tragically killed flying a Mosquito over France in 1944. This book tells the story of Lionel Anderson's life and career, and includes excerpts from his many letters commenting on his experiences of flying combat missions with the RAF and training in America, where he made friends with actors Gene Tierney and Preston Foster.
The Blitzed City
The Destruction of Coventry, 1940
Images of services taking place in the shell of Coventry Cathedral have become a potent symbol of the bombing endured by Britons during the Second World War, and the people's resilient spirit in the face of it. Drawing on original research and new testimony from survivors, this book focuses on the devastating raid of 14 November 1940, which killed hundreds of people and destroyed much of the city and its industry.
The Secret Life of Fighter Command
The Men and Women Who Beat the Luftwaffe
The Battle of Britain may have been won by 'the Few' but resistance to German aerial attack in the early part of the Second World War also relied on a well-organized network of support staff. Based on interviews with members of this formidable team, the book pays tribute to the men and women who enabled the Spitfires and Hurricanes to prevail, from radar engineers and coastal spotters to Wrens in the control rooms and pilots in the air.
Double Cross in Cairo
The True Story of the Spy Who Turned the Tide of War in the Middle East
With a talent for invention and a taste for adventure, Italian Jew Renato Levi operated as a double agent in the Middle East and North Africa during the Second World War. This book uncovers the story of the remarkable spy, which has only come to light in recent years, and his CHEESE network, an entirely fictitious ring of intelligence sources providing misdirection that helped to defeat Rommel in North Africa and diverted German defences from the D-Day landing sites.
North Wales Airfields in the Second World War
Critical to protecting the port of Liverpool and the industrial North West, as well as discouraging attack via Ireland, airfields were quickly established in North Wales after the outbreak of war in 1939. This book assesses the role of the twelve bases in the area from fighter stations such as Valley and Mona on Anglesey to training and support centres such as Penrhos, Wrexham and Hawarden, the airfield associated with the factory producing Wellington bombers.
The Rise and Fall of the German Air Force
The success of the Luftwaffe in the early years of the Second World War was partly to blame for its ultimate defeat, according to this report compiled by British intelligence officers. First published by the Air Ministry in 1948, it is a detailed contemporary analysis of the Luftwaffe's operational performance and the character and achievements of its senior officers, including Göring and Hitler, whose decisions and actions are identified as significant factors in Germany's loss of air superiority.
When the Spitfire was designed in the mid 1930s, the RAF, and most other major air forces, were still operating fabric-covered bi-plane fighters with open cockpits; by the time it was retired, the jet age was well underway. This book, a compilation of Alfred Price's three-volume series, first published in the 1970s, examines the development and operational duties of the leading fighter of the period through the stories of the pilots who flew it and accompanying archive photographs.
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 USAF by late 1942.
How One Woman Saved Her Family from Nazi Germany
As the Nazi regime intensified its persecution of its Jewish citizens, many turned to relatives abroad for help in escaping. This extraordinary collection of letters, now housed in the American Jewish Committee Archives, tells of one family’s appeals to a cousin in the United States. It is a riveting tale of bureaucratic obstruction, hostile immigration authorities, French internment camps, and an ordinary American Jew, struggling to keep his business afloat, faced with a tragedy beyond his comprehension.
A Young POW in the Most Audacious Breakout of WWII
The attempt to liberate 200 PoWs in one go from Stalag Luft III through a 340-foot tunnel was the most ambitious prison break of the war, immortalized in The Great Escape - and the head carpenter on the project was John 'Willy' Williams. Written by his niece, this book tells Williams's story, including how he was one of the 76 men who made it beyond the wire, getting as far as Czechoslovakia before being caught and executed when just 24 years old.
The Life and Wars of SS Colonel Jochen Peiper
Jochen Peiper was adjutant to Heinrich Himmler in the early part of the Second World War, accompanying him to key meetings with the Nazi leadership. He later commanded a Panzer division on the Eastern Front and at the Battle of the Bulge, earning a fearsome reputation and later charges of war crimes. This biography of Peiper assesses his personality and military achievements and the controversies that saw him tried in 1946 and eventually murdered in 1976.
Those Who Dared
Awards to the British SAS Regiments and Attached SBS Units 1941-1946
The first incarnation of the Special Air Service (and affiliated Special Boat Service) undertook daring missions in North Africa and Europe during the Second World War and was disbanded immediately afterwards. Aimed at the medal collector and military historian, this book records the awards given to men of the units between 1941 and 1946, and gives brief summaries of the units' operations.
The SAS in World War II
Formed to carry out dangerous clandestine operations during the Second World War, the SAS remains one of the most admired and effective special forces in the world. Packed with archive photographs and first-hand accounts from veterans, this book provides a gripping account of the elite unit’s formative years, including daring raids on Axis airfields during the Desert War, D-Day, and the discovery of the horrors of Belsen.
Artie: Bomber Command Legend
The Remarkable Story of Wing Commander Artie Ashworth
New Zealander Artie Ashworth joined the RAF in 1939 at the age of 18, and flew 110 missions over enemy territory in Europe and the Pacific. Drawing on Artie's personal memoir and meticulous log-books, his younger brother charts his remarkable exploits in Bomber Command; his crucial role in developing the early Pathfinder tactics; and the occasion when he flew his damaged Wellington bomber back to England single-handed after ordering his crew to bail out.
Honour to the Airborne
Part One: 1939-48
The British Airborne forces were created during the Second World War and took part in crucial campaigns in Europe, the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Middle East between 1939 and 1948. This definitive record of the honours achieved by its personnel during that period is an updated edition of the reference work, now including the battalion of each recipient, brief narratives of the events rewarded and an index of recipients.
Rise Against Eagles
Stories of RAF Airmen in the Battle of Britain
A compilation of tributes to airmen who flew against the Luftwaffe during the Second World, this book tells the stories of pilots from Poland, Czechoslovakia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as five of ‘the Few’ from Merseyside, other British airmen whose stories have not been told before and Squadron Leader Laurence ‘Benny’ Goodman. All these men, apart from Goodman, who flew special bombing operations in 617 Squadron during 1944-5, were RAF fighter crew in the Battle of Britain.
Hitler's Most Successful Spy
Elyesa Bazna took advantage of his job at the British Embassy in Ankara to sell valuable secrets to the Germans from 1943, for which he was paid large amounts of what later turned out to be counterfeit money. Drawing on MI5, MI6 and CIA files as well as personal accounts, this book tells the story of Agent Cicero from first contact to his retirement, still undetected, in 1944, and post-war revelations about his spying career.
The Story of The Spitfire
An Operational and Combat History
The Spitfire is often cited as being superior to its competitors during the Battle of Britain and beyond, but the aircraft was continually in a development race with rivals and its ultimate effectiveness was in the hands of the pilots. Drawing on official reports and summaries as well as pilots' accounts, this study focuses on the evolution of the Spitfire, pilot training and the changing combat tactics employed in different theatres throughout the war.
Voices of the Flemish Waffen-SS
The Final Testament of the Oostfronters
Following the Nazi occupation of Belgium in 1940 and the German invasion of Soviet Russia in 1941, thousands of young Flemish men volunteered to enlist in the Waffen-SS and fight on the Eastern Front. In 2007, the publication of Hitler’s Flemish Lions, Jonathan Trigg’s history of these volunteers, led to meetings between the author and surviving Oostfronters: in a series of interviews, on themes from the 1940 invasion to the aftermath of war, this book lets them tell their stories.
A Spitfire Pilot's Story
Wine, Women and Song
After the Battle of Britain, there was a call for extra manpower from the Commonwealth. By 1941, more than 3,000 New Zealanders were serving in the RAF. Funds raised in the former colony also paid for the first New Zealand unit, 485 Squadron, in which Doug Brown began his service. Based largely on his many letters home, this book tells the fascinating story of one pilot’s recruitment, training and wartime experiences.
With the Jocks
Hidden away for more than 50 years, this remarkable memoir records the author's experiences as a platoon commander with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in the aftermath of D-Day. Illustrated with the author's own drawings and photographs, it is a lively, vividly observed record of the drama and human tragedy of war, from a daring night-time attack on Flushing in October 1944 to the final capitulation of Germany in May 1945.
Special Ops Liberators
223 (Bomber Support) Squadron,100 Group and the Electronic War
Although the value of radar to the defence of southern England during the Battle of Britain is well known, little has been written about the electronic arms race that developed thereafter. In addition to radar tracking and communication, radio technology became increasingly important in target and bomb-guidance systems. This book tells the story of the RAF support squadron that provided vital protection to Bomber Command operations by employing radio jamming and radar countermeasures against German defences.
Soldiers With Spanners
The Ground Crews' View During the Second World War
During the spring of 1943, American B-24 and B-17 bombers with their USAAF aircrew became an increasingly familiar sight in the towns and villages of East Anglia. This collection of more than 230 photographs focuses on the servicemen who undertook the vital task of maintaining the planes and supporting the crews over the next two years. Drawn from several private archives, the snapshots show GIs hard at work as well as relaxing on base and venturing into local communities.
The Nazi Leadership at Rest and Play
Reporting for the British and, after 1939, the American press, Ernest Pope was a Reuters correspondent in Munich, watching and meeting many of the leading Nazis, including Hitler, between 1936 and 1940. First published in October 1941, this book collects his experiences of the period, describing the boorish excesses and private predilections of the Nazis; the growing Nazification of Germany as the police state took hold; and the gossip and attitudes of ordinary Bavarians caught up in the madness.
Goldfish, Caterpillars & Guinea Pigs
Accounts of Pilots and Air Crews from the Second World War
Pilots who underwent pioneering reconstructive plastic surgery after being shot down in the Second World War became members of The Guinea Pig Club and there were also informal societies for those who escaped from crippled aircraft by parachute (The Caterpillar Club) or ditched in water and survived thanks to their dinghy or lifebelt (The Goldfish Club). This book collects 35 stories of miraculous escapes and recoveries, and outlines the history of the clubs that recognized the survivors’ achievements.
German Night Fighter Force
Concentration on the offensive capabilities of the Luftwaffe in the late 1930s meant that German night defence fighters were not employed until the success of British bombing raids made it a necessity in 1940. Organizational problems and the Allies' superior radar technology continued to make air defence problematic thereafter. Originally published in German, this book assesses the development of the Luftwaffe's night fighter force and its considerable operational and technical achievements during the war.
Wartime Bombing Decoys in Wales
Pathfinder bombers in the Second World War dropped incendiary bombs so that the main force could target the resulting fires. This system led to a network of decoys being built across Britain, where fires were created in an unpopulated area to divert enemy bombs. Ivor Jones’s investigation into the once-secret sites across Wales includes details of how they were constructed, contemporary aerial images and modern photographs of what remains of 'Q' and 'starfish' decoys, as well as dummy airfields.
Caribbean Volunteers at War
The Forgotten Story of the RAF's 'Tuskegee Airmen'
In telling the story of the Caribbean and West African RAF crews, Mark Johnson reveals how volunteers, usually from poor backgrounds in the West Indies, equipped themselves for military service through education, hard work and personal commitment; and he gives a full account of their wartime experience, including for some imprisonment in the Stalag Luft PoW camps for Allied aircrew. The book includes the full listings of Coloured Caribbean Volunteer Aircrew and black PoWs.
Twilight of the Gods
The Decline and Fall of the German General Staff in World War II
David Stone tells the story of the progressive demise of the German general staff, from its revival and rearmament in 1935 to its downfall in the final years of the Second World War. The study examines why the army high command entered into its ‘unholy alliance’ with the National Socialists and Hitler; traces the worsening relationship as the war progressed; and analyses the general staff’s role in von Stauffenberg’s 1944 assassination attempt and the failed Operation Valkyrie.
For Kaiser and Hitler
The Memoirs of Luftwaffe General Alfred Mahncke 1910-1945
Alfred Mahncke was witness to some of the earliest experiments in military aviation, served as a pilot throughout the First World War and was a senior Luftwaffe officer, working with Goring and other leading figures, during the Second. His recently translated memoir provides an eyewitness account of German military aviation through both conflicts, but also describes the political upheavals of the inter-war years, the rise of Nazism and the formation of the new German air force in the late 1930s.
And the Wartime Honeytrap Spies
Marie Chilver, codenamed 'Agent Fifi', was used by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War to test trainee agents' resolve: she befriended them in hotel bars to see if they would reveal their true identities. Compiled from information declassified in 2014, this book tells the story of the London-born Latvian seductress and of other women agents used as honeytraps, decoys, infiltrators and double agents by British spymasters Maxwell Knight and John Masterman.
The British Spy Manual
The Authentic Special Operations Executive (SOE) Guide for WWII
In addition to their training in the arts of espionage and sabotage, SOE agents were introduced to a bewildering array of special equipment. This book reproduces, in facsimile form, the original catalogues prepared for agents in 1944, which contain illustrated details of field supplies and specialist kit such as underwater breathing apparatus and booby-trap mechanisms, as well as ingenious gadgets for clandestine operations such as explosive cigarettes and a tiny dagger in a pouch that could be sewn into clothing.
Liberating Europe: D-Day to Victory 1944-1945
Despatches from the Front
Part of the Despatches from the Front series, this book begins with the official report on the Dieppe Raid in 1942, in which vital lessons were learned that were to assist in the planning of Operation Overlord. Further despatches describe the activity of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force in north-west Europe and the assault phase of the Normandy landings; and the book ends with Montgomery’s report on land operations from D-Day to the German surrender.
Capital Ships at War 1939-1945
Despatches from the Front
Although powerful and fast, the heavy cruisers and battleships of the German fleet, such as Graf Spee and Tirpitz, achieved comparatively little and were defeated by overwhelming numbers of smaller Royal Navy ships. Meanwhile, British battleships, notably HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood also succumbed to torpedoes and shelling. This volume presents despatches of the commanders of ships engaged in actions ranging from the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 to Pacific operations in 1945.
The Crime and The Silence
A Quest for the Truth of a Wartime Massacre
The massacre of hundreds of Jews by residents of the small Polish town of Jedwabne in 1941 remained secret for 60 years after the war; it was an atrocity that attested to the level of anti-Semitism in Poland at the time. In this award-winning book, Anna Bikont tells the story of the massacre through the testimony of survivors, but also chronicles her own quest to uncover the truth, and looks at how the town has faced up to its past.
Dunkirk and the Evacuation of Western Europe
The so-called 'miracle' of Dunkirk was the saving of almost 340,000 British and Allied troops to fight another day but it was not the final withdrawal; two further evacuations, from Le Havre and the Atlantic ports, took place over the next few weeks. As well as examining these remarkable operations, Henry Buckton's analysis recounts the events that led to them and highlights the lessons of the Battle of France that would inform the later Allied war effort.
Air Battle for Arnhem
In this new study of the Battle for Arnhem, Alan Cooper focuses on the role of the re-supply aircraft of the RAF. Operation Market Garden relied on being re-supplied by air, but it was a costly undertaking resulting in the loss of 309 aircrew, 79 air despatchers and 107 aircraft. Day-by-day, from 17 September 1944 to 25 September, this book tells the story of the RAF's role at Arnhem, and ends with details of its awards and casualties.
The Last Torpedo Flyers
The True Story of Arthur Aldridge: Hero of the Skies
Flying torpedo-bombing missions was an especially perilous business during the Second World War, requiring a smooth, steady approach to the target ship in the teeth of enemy fire. This book tells the story of Arthur Aldridge who joined the RAF at the age of 19 in 1940 to fly Bristol Beauforts and survived to the end of the war, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and bar in the process for repeated bravery in action.
The Final Witness
Following their improbable canoe assault on the port of Bordeaux in 1942, the heroes of Operation Frankton were left to make their own escape from France on foot. This study of the famous mission relies on meticulous new research to tell the complete story of the attack and its aftermath and profiles all the leading figures as well as revealing previously unnamed players in the drama.