World War II
The Fallen Few of the Battle of Britain
The Battle of Britain (1940) was the first military campaign to be fought entirely in the air and was a turning point in the Second World War. This book lists all 544 British and Commonwealth pilots who gave their lives over the skies of southern England. The entries are listed in chronological order and each includes a short biography, the type of plane, name of squadron, previous missions and the manner of death.
The Story of the War from the Battlefront, 1939–45
Following a tradition dating back to 1545, naval commanders would write an official despatch to the Admiralty to explain their actions during significant naval operations. This collection of despatches, published in association with the National Archives, covers events which impacted hugely on the Second World War, including the convoys in the Mediterranean and Russia, amphibious operations such as Dieppe, the evacuation of Crete, and the assault phase of the Normandy landings.
The Men Who Made the SAS
The History of the Long Range Desert Group
The Long Range Desert Group was the first British special forces unit of the Second World War, carrying out deep penetration missions in the North African deserts and beyond. Centred around the unit’s founder, Ralph Bagnold, who in the 1930s explored miles of desert in a Model T Ford, this history of the unit and its operations also recounts some of its most daring missions.
The Russian Army in the First World War
Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives
Rarely seen, here are photographs of first the Tsarist army, then the army of the Provisional Government and Bolsheviks in action against the Germans and Austro-Hungarians on the Eastern Front until the 1917 Revolution and the end of Russia’s war.
Hitler's Nordic Ally?
Finland and the Total War 1939–45
Finland remained free of Nazi rule during the Second World War. Yet its army collaborated with the Germans in fighting the mighty Soviet Union, before turning on its ally in 1944. This serious and in-depth account of Finland’s three conflicts – the Winter War, the Continuation War and, to a lesser extent, the Lapland War – highlights the ambiguities in Finland’s relationship with Nazi Germany and allows the reader a final judgement on the significance of its collusion.
The Daring Dozen
12 Special Forces Legends of World War II
During the Second World War, the unique conditions of the various theatres together with advances in transport and communications technology opened up new tactical possibilities for a number of daring and unorthodox leaders and their units of elite 'special forces'. This book explores the careers of the most important British, American, German, and Italian Special Forces leaders of the war, including Orde Wingate of the Chindits and David Stirling, founder of the SAS.
D-Day to Berlin
The Long March to Victory
The final phase of the Second World War began on 6 June 1944 but it had been years in the planning and preparation. This collection of archive reports, photographs and facsimile pages from the Daily Mirror captures the drama as it unfolded, from the growing political clamour for a Western front and the trial attack on Dieppe in 1943 to the preparation and execution of D-Day and the subsequent advance across Europe to Berlin.
No Cloak, No Dagger
Allied Spycraft in Occupied France
This classic of wartime literature recounts the exploits of the special agents parachuted into occupied France during the Second World War. First published in 1960, when the events were recent memory and participants still alive, the book recreates the atmosphere of the Occupation, offers an insight into the art of espionage, and pays tribute to the men and women who risked torture and death at the hands of the Gestapo.
Published in partnership with the National Archives, this collection of previously unpublished documents captures the reality of Operation Overlord on 6th June 1944. After a section of ten historical sources addressing aspects of the Normandy landings such as intelligence reporting, the ship's log of HMS Warspite, and the roles of Navy, Army and Air Force, the book presents all the available divisional, brigade and battalion war diary entries for the Anglo-Canadian formations that spearheaded the invasion.
'The Times' Great Escapes
The Story of M19's Second World War Escape and Evasion Maps
A new branch of the secret services, MI9, was created in 1939 with the brief of providing escape and evasion support to captured servicemen. This book describes its ingenious mapping programme, which produced charts on silk, rayon and tissue and concealed them in everyday items such as records, playing cards and Monopoly boards. With many photographs and illustrations this blend of cartographic and military history also examines the escape networks across Europe and MI9's communications with the PoW camps.
Balkans, Greece and Crete 1941
Hitler's War Machine
Hitler’s decision to intervene in the Mediterranean theatre provided further proof of German military superiority, as they were able to swiftly take control of Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete in April and May of 1941. The footage on this disc shows the land, sea and airborne operations employed.
British Intelligence and The Occult in the Second World War
Astrology, magic, political warfare and black propaganda, Commander Ian Fleming’s meeting with the ‘Beast’ Aleister Crowley... Nicholas Booth tells a surreal tale that begins with British Intelligence wanting to know whether Adolf Hitler was being advised by astrologers and ends with Rudolf Hess parachuting into Scotland. Using declassified files, Booth explains some of the peculiar events and personalities of the secret war in 1941, when Britain’s situation was desperate and even an occult straw seemed worth clutching.
The War Letters of Friedrich Reiner Niemann: A German Soldier on the Eastern Front
A soldier in the Germany infantry, Friedrich Reiner Niemann (1922–1945) served on the Eastern Front from 1941 until his disappearance during the Soviet Vistula-Oder Offensive. He wrote over 100 letters home; translated and introduced here by Denis Havel.
European Resistance in the Second World War
Throughout Nazi-occupied Europe, resistance took many forms, ranging from non-co-operation, disinformation, espionage and sabotage to out-and-out partisan warfare. This first comprehensive overview of the subject in 30 years charts the experiences of resisters from France to Russia, from Scandinavia to Greece. Accessible and authoritative, it offers a panoramic and detailed account of the make-up, motives, actions and impact of resistance movements – and of the Axis reprisals. It also assesses their often-controversial role in post-war national narratives.
The Battle for Burma
Wild Green Earth
Bernard Fergusson was with Orde Wingate's 'Chindits' in Burma in 1943 and, once the success of their guerrilla tactics had been acknowledged by Allied commanders, was sent back in 1944 to establish strongholds in Japanese-occupied territory. This book is a reprint of his account of the period, first published in 1946, and contains reflections on coping with the jungle conditions as well as military operations.
Mapping the Second World War
The Key Battles of the European Theatre from Above
This remarkable book tells the story of the Second World War through a selection of more than 100 contemporary government maps – some of them used in active combat and retaining notes by commanders and operational staff. Reproduced in full colour, they chart major operations from the evacuation of Dunkirk and Hitler's aborted invasion of Britain, through Stalingrad to the D-Day landings and the invasion of Germany itself. A narrative introduction sets these crucial primary sources in their historical context.
The River Seine 1944
Crossing the Seine was an important step in the Allied advance into occupied France. This book tells the story of one of a number of assaults on the river in August 1944 that pitted one British division (the 43rd, Wessex) against one rather depleted German division. The action has since become something of a classic and a training example, but this analysis – first published in 1988 – shows that the operation in fact 'lumbered from crisis to crisis'.
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.
Operation Barbarossa and the Eastern Front 1941
Hitler invaded Russia in 1941 but the initial successes of Operation Barbarossa turned into a nightmare as a combination of stretched lines, dogged opposition and the Russian winter turned the tide. This collection of rare photographs from the campaign, with detailed accompanying captions, provides an insight into the realities of the fighting, showing the troops, tanks, armaments and battlegrounds. An additional colour section reviews the weapons and uniforms of the Wehrmacht and Red Army soldiers.
Fighting Nazi Occupation
British Resistance 1939–1945
In this revealing investigative history, Malcolm Atkin attempts to reconstruct the story of a secret intelligence operation designed to counter a Nazi occupation of Britain during the Second World War. Examining the philosophy behind the multi-layered initiatives for the defence of the realm, he discovers that some of the resistance organizations, including Section VII of the Secret Intelligence Service, planned to resort to the brutal and ‘ungentlemanly’ tactics of guerrilla warfare, including military and economic sabotage and assassination.
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.
World War II in Photographs
Although this photographic history of the war includes iconic shots such as MacArthur wading ashore in the Philippines and the Russian flag being raised over the Reichstag, much of the material is less familiar, and some published for the first time. Painstakingly selected – and avoiding staged pictures – the photographs cover as many theatres of war as possible and, with Richard Holmes's accompanying text and captions, narrate the war, year by year, from its origins to the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
The American Arsenal
The World War II Official Standard Ordanance Catalogue
During the Second World War, the US Ordnance Department set about producing a definitive catalogue of army equipment to counteract inconsistent information in circulation in unofficial publications and to avoid the parallel development of similar equipment by different departments. The exhaustive master guide, reconstructed from the original loose-leaf version, contains descriptions, specifications and over 900 photographs and drawings of vehicles, weapons, ammunition and equipment from the M4 Sherman tank to the M1 helmet.
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.
Blood and Steel
The Wehrmacht Archive: Normandy 1944
The defending German army faced an overwhelmingly superior force in terms of troop numbers and materiel during the Normandy campaign in 1944, but that did not always mean that the soldiers had respect for their enemy's fighting qualities. This book reveals the attitudes and opinions of Wehrmacht soldiers through contemporary orders, field reports, letters, diaries and PoW interviews, mostly drawn from the intelligence summaries of the First Canadian Army, which also contained material from British and American sources.
The Curious and Macabre Anecdotes
On 24 February 1933, Hitler’s ‘clairvoyant’ advisor, Eric Hanussen, held a séance in which he predicted that a large Berlin building would be burnt to the ground. Three days later the Reichstag was set on fire. Drawn from a wide range of sources, this collection of over 300 short anecdotes about the German dictator depicts the man, his shortcomings and his eccentricities in a strange and often lurid light.
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.
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.
Myth, Reality, and Hitler's Lightning War: France 1940
The long-accepted view of Hitler's war machine as an unstoppable force in 1940 is called into question in this meticulous, revisionist account of the Battle of France. Showing that the reputation of blitzkrieg is largely myth (propagated by the Nazis), Lloyd Clark argues that the modern German Army was in fact largely on foot, or reliant on horses and bicycles, and the invasion was a highly risky move that succeeded only with the help of luck and Allied mistakes. Off-mint.
Operation Big Ben
The Anti-V2 Spitfire Missions
To defend the home counties from the terrifying V2 rocket attacks, formations of Mark XVI Spitfires carrying 250 lb and 500 lb bombs divebombed launch sites in Holland between 1944 and 1945. Drawing on records declassified in 2004, this updated account of Whitehall’s covert operation not only covers the daring raids of five different Spitfire squadrons, but also the intelligence-gathering activities in Europe of special commando units, including Ian Fleming’s 30 Assault Unit.
The Myth and Reality of Hitler's Secret Police
Infamous for their brutal repression of the German people, the Gestapo didn't have the resources to keep tabs on everyone so relied on denunciations to weed out political opposition. This study of their methods examines a range of Gestapo case files from 1933 to 1945, which offer a window into the lives of ordinary people in Nazi Germany and reveal how officers investigated potential dissidents – and the diverse and arbitrary decisions they reached following their interrogations.
Churchill and the Admirals
Winston Churchill served as First Lord of the Admiralty at the beginning of both world wars, and maintained a close interest in naval matters when he became Prime Minister. Written in the 1970s by a former Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, this assessment of Churchill's management of the Navy and relationship with its senior commanders weighs the benefits of his energy and leadership against the difficulties and losses suffered, at least partly, as a result of his mistakes.
"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.
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.
At War on the Gothic Line
Fighting in Italy, 1944–45
If much of the attention in Summer 1944 was on Normandy and the progress of the Allies through France, another enormous multinational army was also fighting doggedly further south and facing the last formidable barrier of German defensive positions, the Gothic Line, stretching from the Adriatic to the Mediterranean across mountainous northern Italy. This analysis of a year of fighting on the front tells the story through the varied experiences of 13 men and women from seven different countries.
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.
Britain's Final Defence
Arming the Home Guard 1940–1944
Arming a volunteer militia of over 1.5 million men in 1940 was no easy task and logistical problems and the use of improvised weapons and unfamiliar imported rifles gave the Home Guard a reputation for ineffectiveness that was later ingrained by the television comedy Dad's Army. This study examines the range of weaponry supplied to the force between 1940 and 1944, assessing its true military effectiveness and considering the process by which false perception can become accepted as historical fact.
The Untold Story of World War Two's Most Daring Great Escape
The 'Warburg Wire Job' was an audacious escape plan by 40 British, Australian, New Zealand and South African POWs from Oflag VI-B in Warburg, Germany. With the camp lights fused, the prisoners laid scaling ladders constructed from bed boards over the high perimeter fence and 28 made it across. Mark Felton's history tells the story of the planning and execution of the breakout and the stories of the escapees' attempts to evade recapture and return home.
Fighting the Invasion
The German Army at D-Day
Following the defeat of Germany in 1945, the US Army collected a series of military studies of the D-Day invasion by senior German officers. If the accounts are coloured by the officers being at the time captive, and in some cases under the threat of prosecution for war crimes, their immediacy, while memory was still fresh, nevertheless makes them a valuable resource in understanding the Wehrmacht's preparations for invasion and the progress of battle from a German point of view.
The captain of the British submarine HMS Upholder, Lieutenant-Commander Malcolm David Wanklyn, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his exploits in the Mediterranean, sinking several Italian and German vessels between 1940 and the Upholder's loss in April 1942. Written in 1960 by a submariner who also served in the Mediterranean, this is the 1974 edition of the book detailing the actions of the most successful British submarine of the war. Bears old cover price.
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.
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.
Coasters Go to War
Military Sailings to the Continent, 1939–1945
Within eight days of the declaration of war in 1939, a dozen coastal cargo ships had been requisitioned to supply the troops in France. By the following spring there were 160, and it was their task to bring the British Expeditionary Force back from Dunkirk. Four years later, 460 ships of ten different nationalities were involved in the D-Day operation. This book documents the activities of these vital fleets with listings of the service record of each vessel.
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.