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.
The Splintered Empires
The Eastern Front 1917–21
At the beginning of 1917, three warring empires were at breaking point. Russia was the first to collapse, triggering the Bolshevik Revolution; but by the end of 1918, both the German and Austro-Hungarian empires had also disintegrated. The fourth and final volume of Prit Buttar’s history of the Great War’s Eastern Front charts these momentous events and describes the ‘successor wars’ that followed the Armistice – the bitter struggles for national sovereignty that paved the way for the Second World War.
The Civil War Through Photography and Its Photographers
The entrepreneurial spirit has often thrived during times of war, and the makeshift photography studios that sprung up in attic rooms, chemists’ shops, cabins and tents in the military encampments of 1861 America did a roaring trade. The result was an unparalleled photographic record of the American Civil War, capturing not only portraits of loved ones, politicians and generals, but battlefields, ordnance and the devastation of conflict, pictured here in this erudite illustrated study of Civil War photography. Slightly off-mint.
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.
Steam in the North
Railways in the 1960s Across the North of England
Photographing the railways of the North East in the 1960s, Richard Gaunt strove to create more interesting scenes than the standard three-quarter 'wedge' train composition and many of the images in this portfolio display atmospheric and unusual views of platform, shed, siding and loco. Covering the Midland and West Coast Main Lines in Lancashire and Yorkshire and further north, the images are accompanied by the author's recollections of the period.
Sailing and Soaring
The Great Liners and the Great Skyscrapers
Beginning with New York’s Singer Building, which at 612 feet on completion in 1908 was the world’s tallest building, and Cunard’s Lusitania and Mauretania, both Blue Riband winners for their astonishing speed, this book compares nine of the most iconic Manhattan skyscrapers with many of the great transatlantic liners, including Queen Mary and Allure of the Seas, exploring the history of their construction, interior design, various uses and regrettable, though inevitable, demise.
Royal Prussia, Imperial Germany and the First World War 1825–1918
Blaine Taylor presents an illustrated study of Prussian and German railways – personnel, lines, locomotives, rolling stock and stations – from 1825, through the Wars of Unification (1864–71) to the Armistice in November 1918.
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.
Monuments and Changing Communities in the Wessex Landscape
In addition to the famous monuments at Stonehenge and Avebury, Wessex contains many lesser-known ancient sites, such as earthen circles and long barrows. In this book, two former archaeological investigators for English Heritage use their thorough knowledge of the area to set these locations within the context of the wider landscape and to reveal how early farming communities shaped the land that we see today.
A Biography by Curt Riess
Based mainly on first-hand information painstakingly gathered by Curt Reiss (1902–1993) and first published in 1949, this book remains a compelling biography of Goebbels, the Nazi Minister of Propaganda. This edition has a new introduction and 96 photographs.
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.
Durham, Darlington and County Durham
Images of the North East in the 1960s
The North East was in decline during the 1960s, with traditional heavy industry collapsing, housing and infrastructure crumbling and money scarce. This collection of black-and-white images portrays life in Darlington and Durham at the time, with extensive accompanying recollections by the author. The notably well-composed and poetic photographs offer a social history of people and places, work and leisure, and urban and industrial decay.
The Daughters of George III
Despite their unprepossessing parents, the six daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte were remarkably good-looking; commissioned to paint portraits of the children, Gainsborough was enraptured with the girls’ beauty. His paintings are among the illustrations in this first complete account of all six daughters: Charlotte, Princess Royal, later Queen of Württemberg (1766–1828); Augusta Sophia (1768–1840); Elizabeth, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg (1770–1840); May, Duchess of Gloucester (1776–1857); Sophia (1777–1848) and Amelia (1783–1810). Off-mint.
Conquest of the Atlantic
Cunard Liners of the 1950s and 1960s
In this celebratory book, William Miller’s passion for the romance of ocean liners looks to the Cunard Line and its fleet of iconic ships, including the two ‘Queens’, Mauretania, Caronia and Queen Elizabeth 2. Drawing on staff and passenger interviews, photographs and posters, the author traces the ships’ survival through the Second World War, when many liners were painted grey for military service, into passenger shipping’s grand and opulent finale before the advent of commercial aviation.
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.
Knights of the Round Table
Myths and Legends
Daniel Mersey retells ten Arthurian legends, including ‘The First Quest of the Round Table’, ‘Gawain and the Green Knight’ and ‘Tristan and Isolde’. Illustrated with artwork and photographs, the book places the stories in the context of the greater Arthurian tradition, and explains their impact on modern storytelling.
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.
Letters From A Flying Officer
In this 1928 account of a pilot in the First World War, the letters and diaries of Flying Officer Michael John Enderby and the comments of Group Captain Merrivale are ostensibly fiction. They are in fact closely based on the experiences of the author and offer an insight into the workings of the Royal Flying Corps, with descriptions of real combat events and observations on the development of aviation technology and the tactics of aerial combat during the war.
Industry and the Coast
Images of the North East in the 1960s
Windswept coastlines, factories belching smoke into leaden skies and the shapes and deep shadows of industrial architecture are the subjects of this collection of black-and-white photographs of the North East in the 1960s. These images of the majestic cranes of the shipyards and the decaying industrial landscapes of Tyneside and Teesside are also a valuable social document, showing people at work and play in cities, factories, seaside resorts and the docks.
At Close Quarters: SOE Close Combat Pistol Instructor
Colonel Hector Grant-Taylor
Many of the tales about Hector Grant-Taylor, the legendary Second World War SOE instructor, who had an enormous influence on techniques and training in close quarters combat, are revealed to be apocryphal in this biography. Nevertheless the real story is no less colourful as the aristocratic-sounding army officer turns out to have been born plain Leonard Taylor in a working class area of Manchester and to have spent time in Wormwood Scrubs for bigamy.
Glad Tidings of Struggle and Strife
A History of Protest Christmas Cards
Yuletide greetings from the Spanish Civil War and Korea; the Three Wise Men stopped by border patrols; Tony Blair with a sleigh distributing missiles over the desert; David Cameron in a sleigh distributing parcels of cuts ... Presenting some 250 cards from their own collection, Llew and Pam Smith offer an unusual history of British political life, traced through the ways in which political parties, unions and protest groups have spread their message using Christmas cards.
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.
Thomas J Lipton's America's Cup Campaigns
The Saga of One Man's Three-Decade Obsession with Winning the America's Cup
Having built up his grocery empire and established his famous tea brand, Thomas Lipton used his wealth to enter a yacht for the America's Cup in 1899. This book tells the story of his subsequent obsession, challenging on five more occasions over the next three decades. Drawing on contemporary accounts and newspaper reports, the book includes a summary of the early years of the race and reviews the developments in yacht design up to and during the Lipton challenges.
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.
Love is Like a Rose
Drawing on Jane Austen's private correspondence, this account chronicles her relationship with the family and friends who would help populate her novels, including her sister Cassandra and her vivacious cousin and eventual sister-in-law Eliza de Feuillide. It also sheds light on the identity of the man she fell in love with in Devon and diagnoses the mystery illness that claimed her life.
Images of Wales
From a Decade of Change: The 1970s
During the 1970s the coal and steel industries that provided much of the employment in Wales were shrinking, and – despite social progress and increasing prosperity – regeneration and improvement of the built environment was slow to come. This thoughtful and thought-provoking collection of black-and-white photographs includes images from all over Wales, and is notable for a sense of decline and neglect in studies of iconic national subjects such as coal mines, steam railways, seaside resorts, and Nonconformist churches and chapels.
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.
The First Blitz
Bombing London in the First World War
The military potential of aviation was first exploited in the First World War, when London and other major cities were attacked by Zeppelins and, from 1917, Gotha and Staaken 'Giant' biplanes. This book examines the offensive and defensive strategies, the impact of each of the attacks and their legacy in defence planning. This is an updated, single volume version of London 1914–17: The Zeppelin Menace (2008) and London 1917–18: The Bomber Blitz (2010).
The British Shell Shortage
Of the First World War
The British shortage of munitions during the First World War was a case of gross mismanagement with disastrous consequences at the Front and political fall-out at home. This study examines shell manufacture in both political and military contexts in 1915. In particular, Harding looks at the fighting at Neuve Chapelle and the Aubers Ridge from the perspective of the Rifle Brigade, whose casualties, when reported in The Times, resulted in the formation of the coalition government and the Ministry of Munitions.
The War Diaries of Count Galeazzo Ciano
A day-by-day account of a remarkable period in Italian-German history, these are the diaries of Mussolini's son-in-law, who was Italy's foreign minister from 1936 to February 1943 and an opponent of the war. Ciano was executed, on Hitler's orders, in January 1944.
Celtic changed from vertical green stripes to the famous hoops in the early years of the 20th century, and the distinctive jersey has since been worn by many of the greatest names in Scottish football. This book collects the official team photos from the first season of 1888 to the 2006-7 season as well as player portraits of legends such as Jock Stein and Bobby Murdoch. Changing Faces series.
A Kiwi's World Tour to Yorkshire 1939–40
Gwynne Irene Peacock, 'Gwennie', set off from New Zealand in February 1939 on a world tour that took her to Egypt, Europe and, as war approached, every part of Britain. Her diary records the whole trip including the return via America and Pearl Harbor.
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.
The In and Out
A History of the Naval and Military Club
Originally conceived as a 'civilized place of association' for officers on leave from the Peninsular War, the then 'Military Club' was founded, not without controversy, in 1815. Lavishly illustrated with reproductions of Club portraits and photographs, this volume traces the eventful history of the Club, through two world wars and an IRA bomb, and through several London locations before landing in St James's Square – but still sporting the 'In' and 'Out' of its Piccadilly home. Foreword by Prince Philip, the Club's President.