World War II
German Bombers Over England
The Luftwaffe favoured light bombers in support of ground forces during the blitzkrieg advances of 1939 and 1940 but turned to heavy bombers for the mass attacks on England in 1940 and 1941. Including Heinkel 111s, Junkers 88s, Messerschmitt 410s and Dornier 217s, this book presents 100 photographs of German bombers and their crews from the preparations for Operation Sea Lion in 1940 to the V1 and V2 rocket attacks.
Dictator or Puppet?
Hitler's crimes against humanity cast a shadow over the world; but were his beliefs and actions motivated simply by evil, or was there a clinical reason for his delusions? Andrew Norman's groundbreaking book examines the evidence provided by Hitler himself and by other, independent sources, that he 'heard' voices whose commands he felt obliged to obey. They explain his irrational decisions, violent prejudices and strange body language, and point to what would now be diagnosed as schizophrenia.
German Elite Pathfinders
KG 100 in Action
With its formation rooted in the development of German 'X-system' radio navigation, KG 100 was an elite Luftwaffe pathfinding and special operations bomber unit during the Second World War, flying Dornier 217s, Heinkel 111s and Heinkel 177s. From missions in Norway and Britain to the Eastern Front and North Africa, this book captures the operations of KG 100 throughout the war in a series of photographs and extended captions.
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.
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.
At Leningrad's Gates
The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North
The refusal of the author's unit to replace the army salute with the Nazi Party one, as directed in July 1944, shows the growing dissent of ordinary German soldiers and also illustrates the conflict that loyal and patriotic soldiers faced as they became disillusioned with Nazism. Explaining his thoughts and motivations at the time, this memoir follows a German soldier's experience on the Russian front from 1941–1944 as well as describing the chaos of post-war Germany.
The Fourth Reich
and Operation Eclipse
Operation Eclipse was an Allied plan conceived to achieve strategic goals in the final phase of the Second World War in Europe and manage the immediate post-war period. From protecting Denmark from occupation by the Russians and dealing with Admiral Doenitz's short-lived government after Hitler's suicide (the 'Fourth Reich' of the title), the book goes on to examine the liberation of Holland and Norway, the release of PoWs and forced labour from German camps, and the War Crimes Trials.
Fighting with the Fourteenth Army in Burma
Original War Summaries of the Battle Against Japan 1943–1945
Called to fight in some of the most difficult conditions in any theatre of the Second World War, the million men of the Fourteenth, so-called 'forgotten’, Army were drawn from East and West Africa, India and Britain. This account of their successful campaign to repel the Japanese from the Indian border and drive them back through Burma, from 1943 to 1945, is based on the summary reports compiled by each of the thirteen divisions shortly after the end of hostilities.
Hitler at War
Meetings and Conversations 1939-1945
Based on documents from published archives and historical reconstructions, this volume comprises memoranda of Hitler’s meetings with foreign rulers and ministers, among them Mussolini, Pétain, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Molotov, and transcripts of conferences with his own military staff at crucial junctures such as the Italian crisis and the final days in Berlin. Hitler’s recorded statements and orders offer insights into his thinking, plans and reactions to events as the war progressed.
Hitler's Gateway to the Atlantic
German Naval Bases in France 1940–1945
Access to the Atlantic was a coveted prize in the conquest of France and the Kriegsmarine quickly established naval bases at Brest, Lorient, St Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux. This study examines how fortified U-boat bunkers and other facilities were constructed by the Todt Organization, assesses the level of French support in converting existing ports and describes the British campaign to thwart naval operations with aerial bombing and maritime attacks. Translated from the German by Geoffrey Brooks.
Saving British and American Women at Ravensbrück
In April 1945, a score of British and American women emerged from the ‘Women’s Hell’ of Ravensbrück concentration camp, kept alive by the willpower of one woman, Mary Lindell, Comtesse de Milleville. Movingly supported by personal testimonies, this book tells the remarkable story of this courageous woman, already a heroine of the First World War, who smuggled out a list that belied German claims that they had no British or American prisoners, and saved the lives of her fellow inmates.
D-Day Beach Force
The Men Who Turned Chaos into Order
The fact that approximately 75,000 men were involved in the 'Beach Groups' on D-Day is testament to the size of their task, carrying out the largest invasion in history. Including contemporary photographs and organizational diagrams, this book describes the complex operation of bringing personnel and vehicles from landing craft to inland assembly areas, creating supply dumps and defensive positions and administering the evacuation of casualties and POWs from 6 June 1944 until several weeks later. Slightly off-mint.
Flight from the Reich
Refugee Jews, 1933–1946
Six million European Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, but three million managed to escape death by fleeing, hiding or simply enduring. From victims of the early discriminations to perilous escapes during the height of the persecution and the resettlement of concentration camp survivors, this book pieces together official documents and personal accounts to examine the experience of Jewish refugees forced to flee to neighbouring countries, to Palestine, to America and ultimately to all over the world.
Allied Special Forces Insignia
Of the many special forces set up after 1940 to 'set Europe ablaze', in Churchill's phrase, some have since become household names, such as the Parachute Regiment and the SAS, while others, having had brief and covert existences, are little known today. This well-illustrated book, aimed at the militaria collector, sets in context the growth and development of Allied Special Forces during the Second World War and provides a guide to the distinctive insignia that they wore.
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.
The Wooden Horse
The Classic WWII Story of Escape
Eric Williams, an RAF bomber captain, was shot down over Germany and imprisoned in the notorious POW camp Stalag Luft III. In this lightly fictionalized account – a classic since its first publication in 1949, and filmed a year later – he tells the gripping story of his escape: how he constructed a tunnel, concealing its entrance beneath a vaulting horse; dodged searchlights and guard dogs; crossed Germany on foot and by train; and stowed away aboard a Danish ship.
Hitler versus Stalin
The Eastern Front 1941–1942 Barbarossa to Moscow
The German operation to invade Russia progressed rapidly in the summer of 1941 but stalled as the siege of Leningrad began and the Red Army launched its Winter Offensive in December. This book selects archive photographs from Russian and German sources depicting the fighting during this first phase of the struggle on the Eastern Front, highlighting the harsh conditions and difficult terrain as well as capturing off-duty moments for the combatants.
The Battle for the Crimea 1941–1944
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Considered something of a sideshow on the Eastern Front in the Second World War, the Crimea was nevertheless strategically significant and the fighting over it more desperate due to the difficulty of access to the peninsula. This collection of archive photographs charts the struggle from the bitter fighting of 1941–2, before Sevastopol fell, to Crimea’s liberation by the Red Army in 1944, preceded by the mass evacuation of Axis troops across the Black Sea.
Hitler And Mussolini
The Secret Meetings
From their first conference in Venice in 1934 to their final tryst at the Wolf’s Lair bunker in East Prussia in 1944, Hitler and Mussolini would meet 17 times. Drawing from primary sources, eyewitness accounts and historical works, Corvaja documents each meeting in vivid detail, from the discussions, surroundings and aide-de-camps, down to the food they ate and the clothing they wore.
The Plots to Kill Adolf Hitler from 1923 to Valkyrie
During Hitler’s time in power, countless German conspirators planned coups, assassination attempts and catastrophic action against the Führer. This book chronicles the motives, politics, resources and networks of military resistance operations, including Himmler’s 1939 bomb plot and the 20 July plot or ‘Valkyrie’ in 1944, highlighting the critical roles of General Ludwig Beck and Lieutenant Colonel Hans Oster in their attempts to end the war.
God and Uncle Sam
Religion and America's Armed Forces in World War II
Drawing on the ‘massive and labyrinthine’ archives of the Army Chaplaincy in the Second World War and the recollections and reflections of hundreds of army, navy and marine veterans, Snape’s study shows how, despite constitutional constraints, pre-war ‘religious depression’, and the pitfalls of war itself, religion played a crucial role in helping more than 16 million American service men and women through the ordeal of war in Europe and the Pacific.
Hitler's Jewish Smuggler
In June 1945, a charred body was discovered near Madrid. The man was identified as Mendel Szkolnikoff, a Russian Jew and one of the biggest black marketeers of the Occupation. Drawing on 6,000 boxes of archives in five countries, this first-ever biography uncovers the shadowy deals that bought him prime real estate in Paris and the Riviera, the identity of his protectors, what happened to his vast wealth, and the mystery of his death.
One of the Few
A Story of Personal Challenge Through the Battle of Britain and Beyond
One of the most successful RAF squadrons during the Battle of Britain in 1940 was 303 Polish Squadron, manned by exiled Poles but led by Johnny Kent, a Canadian pilot who had joined the RAF in the mid 1930s and had already won the Air Force Cross for his work as a test pilot before the war began. His memoir, first published in the 1970s, is presented here in an expanded edition with additional biographical information and photographs.
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.
Surviving the Death Railway
A PoW's Memoir and Letters from Home
During his time as a prisoner of the Japanese, Barry Baker corresponded regularly with his wife Phyllis and she in turn kept in touch with the relatives of the 68 men of his unit. These letters, together with a detailed memoir written by Baker in later life, form the basis of this account of the infamous ordeal of the Burma Railway, following events from the Fall of Singapore and incarceration in Changi Jail to the eventual liberation of the survivors.
Jewish Commandos and the Raid on Tobruk
During the North African campaign in 1942, the British used a special force of German-speaking Jews recruited from displaced Germans in Palestine. This ‘Special Interrogation Group’ was equipped with German military police uniforms and equipment and tasked with gathering crucial information from behind enemy lines. This book outlines the formation of the unit and describes its part in the raid on Tobruk in September 1942, which involved trekking across hundreds of miles of desert disguised as German soldiers transporting PoWs.
The True Story of Agent Dronkers, The Enemy Spy Captured by the British
Accused of spying for Germany in 1942, Dutchman Johannes Marinus Dronkers was convicted of espionage at the Old Bailey and executed. Why he was not 'turned' and used as a double agent as many other agents were or simply interned raises questions about how the British authorities handled the case. This investigation utilizes newly available official files to tell the story of his recruitment by the Abwehr, capture, interrogation and trial, and considers whether high-level political interference influenced his fate.
Fuehrer Conferences on Naval Affairs 1939-1945
Facing defeat in 1945, Hitler ordered the destruction of official military documents. Admiral Dönitz defied the order, believing that the German navy had fought an honourable war and had nothing to hide. The result was the survival of these first-hand accounts, written without hindsight, of Hitler's meetings with his naval commanders-in-chief, Raeder and Dönitz, and other high-ranking officers. This edition contains the original Anthony Martienssen translation made for the British Admiralty and first published in 1947.
Chronicles of the Worcestershire Home Guard
Though the immediate danger of invasion receded after 1941, the Home Guard was only disbanded in 1945 and revived again in the 1950s as the perceived threat from Russia intensified. This local history examines the evolution of the Home Guard units in Worcestershire, profiling some of the key characters, charting the developing structure of the organization and the increasing professionalism of the volunteers, and describing some of the incidents in which they were involved.
The Drive on Moscow, 1941
Operation Taifun and Germany's First Crisis of World War II
After initial success, the German campaign to capture Moscow in the last months of 1941 was bogged down in the mud, buying precious time for the Soviets to regroup and hit back. Examining this first serious setback of the war for Hitler, the book assesses the tactics of both sides and the part played by the winter weather, and draws on personal diaries and letters to give the perspective of both ordinary soldier and general.
An End of War
Fatal Final Days to VE Day, 1945
After D-Day, German defeat may have been inevitable but there was still almost a year of fighting before Berlin finally fell. This book recounts experiences of the last months of war from British, Canadian, Dutch, German, Polish and American sources. Slightly off-mint.
The American Voice of Nazi Germany
A failed Broadway actress living in Germany, Mildred Gillars was hired by the Nazis as a radio announcer when the Second World War began. This first-ever biography tells the remarkable story of the woman whose broadcasts as ‘Axis Sally’ sought to undermine the morale of US troops, taunting them with the terrible injuries they faced and their wives’ infidelities back home, and recounts her dramatic arrest and trial for treason.
The Second World War Assault Training Exercises at Slapton Sands
Slapton Sands in South Devon was a good match for the projected landing area of Utah Beach on D-Day and so elaborate rehearsal exercises were set up there in 1944. Drawing on first-hand accounts, this book tells the story of how over 20,000 acres of land was requisitioned, and its residents evacuated and compensated, and describes the various military manoeuvres, including the friendly-fire catastrophe of Exercise Tiger that cost almost 750 lives.
The Fall Of Hitler's Fortress City
The Battle for Königsberg 1945
The easternmost city of Hitler's Germany, Königsberg, was fanatically defended by the Nazis against Russia but the historic Prussian capital was largely destroyed by bombing and ultimately annexed by the Soviet Union and renamed Kaliningrad. Using first-hand accounts, this book tells the story of the city from the end of the First World War and the Jewish persecutions of the early Nazi period to the brutal siege and battle of 1945 and the desperate flight of its last German residents.
The Special Operations Executive's French Section and Free French Women Agents
Odette Sansom, one of the best-known female agents of Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), was recruited when she responded to a request for photographs of the French coast. The snaps she sent included notes that showed her knowledge of France, alerting the department to her potential as a spy. Drawing on recently declassified documents, memoirs and mission reports, this book profiles 38 women sent out by the French section of the SOE between 1942 and 1944, detailing their recruitment, training and active service.
Last Hope Island
In this epic narrative – a former Mail on Sunday Book of the Year – the American popular historian Lynne Olson focuses on the relationships between Britain and the governments from occupied Europe that found refuge in London during the Second World War. She explores their valuable contributions to the Allied war effort, as well as Britain’s staunch resistance to Hitler, and the exploits of the fighters across Europe who were inspired by the British ‘beacon of hope’.
Strafer: Desert General
The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General William Gott
When William 'Strafer' Gott was shot down and killed by the Luftwaffe in 1942, the command he had just been assigned – the 8th Army in North Africa – was given to Bernard Montgomery. Exploring his leadership and personal qualities, this biography examines Gott's formative military experiences in the First World War (during which he was a PoW and won the Military Cross), postings between the wars and his campaigns in the desert from 1940 to 1942, before his assassination.
The Story of a Desert Gunner in the Second World War
Extremes of temperature and desert sandstorms made for severely trying conditions for the men and equipment of the North African campaign in the Second World War. This account is the personal story of a gunner in the Eighth Army, giving a front-line view of the fighting, as well as an insight into everyday life for the infantrymen, from 1941 to the pivotal victory at El Alamein in November 1942.
German Special Forces of World War Two
German paratroopers scored notable successes in the invasion of Holland in 1940 and Crete in 1941 but were not developed during the war to the extent of Allied special forces. This analysis, first published in 1985, investigates the reasons for this and explores the irregular units that were deployed by Germany, including the Brandenburgers, an elite force recruited from fluent speakers of foreign languages who were able to work covertly behind enemy lines.
Gun Button to Fire
A Hurricane Pilot's Dramatic Story of the Battle of Britain
In an amazing account, largely based on his own and others’ letters written during the Second World War and the memories they conjured, Wing Commander Tom Neil tells his own story when, as a 19-year-old fighter pilot, he was one of ‘the Few’ who fought the Battle of Britain during the eight months between May and December 1940. First published in 1987, the book now incorporates new material, an epilogue and 102 monochrome photographs.
The True German
The Diary of a World War II Military Judge
Hitler’s propaganda machine was so effective in stifling opposition that we still know little about what ordinary German soldiers thought of the regime. Only recently discovered, this secret diary offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a dissenting German soldier during the catastrophic final months of the Third Reich. Here, in all their contradictions, are the thoughts of a patriot who despised the regime he served, and his fears for the future of his country.
Orde Wingate remains one of the most controversial figures in British military history. His pioneering methods of counter-insurgency warfare, which worked by co-opting local rebels into disruptive guerrilla squads or ‘Chindits’, still attract criticism. In this re-examination of Wingate’s operations in Palestine, Ethiopia, India and Burma, including Longcloth and Thursday, Simon Anglim draws extensively on official and private papers, and argues that Wingate’s legacy has influenced recent military operations in Iran, Afghanistan and Libya.
"If Chaos Reigns"
The Near-Disaster and Ultimate Triumph of the Allied Airborne Forces on D-Day, June 6, 1944
The success of German paratroops in the invasion of Crete in 1941 convinced the Allies that airborne forces would be crucial as the war progressed, but the high casualty rate persuaded Hitler of the opposite. This book analyses the development and training of American, British and Canadian parachute and glider units and explains the critical role they played on D-Day, describing how close they came to failure in securing key locations ahead of the invasion.