Luftwaffe Fighter Force
The View from the Cockpit
Compiling the first draft of the history of the air war, Allied interrogators debriefed senior Luftwaffe officers – leading ace, Adolf Galland, chief among them – in the immediate aftermath of the cessation of fighting in 1945. The accounts presented here outline the operations, tactics, training and technology of the German air force, including their attitudes to Allied planes and pilots, and focus mainly on the later years of the conflict.
Britain's Wartime Evacuees
The People, Places and Stories of the Evacuations Told Through the Accounts of Those Who Were There
The mass evacuations during the Second World War had a seismic impact on many hundreds of thousands of people – both those (mostly school-aged children) who were sent far away from their homes and families and those who had to accommodate and care for them. This illustrated study is based on interviews with evacuees from across the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar as well as contemporary newspaper coverage and official documents.
German Luftwaffe Prototypes 1930–1945
Aviation technology advanced rapidly as Germany prepared for war and research continued throughout the conflict despite the chronic lack of fuel and raw materials by 1945. This analysis of the myriad projects undertaken by manufacturers such as Junkers, Messerschmitt, Dornier and Heinkel lists over 200 experimental aircraft from the period, including jet fighters, supersonic planes and helicopters, and includes over 300 contemporary photographs from the test sites of Nazi Germany.
The SA, The Nazis' Brownshirts, 1922–1945
The hardmen of the Sturmabteilung der NSDAP, or SA, broke up political meetings, beat up opponents and intimidated the German public for two decades, significantly contributing to Hitler’s rise to power. This history of the SA, which explores its methods and ideologies, paints a portrait of Ernst Röhm, the organization’s co-founder and erstwhile commander, and includes numerous illustrations of uniforms, flags and badges belonging to its auxiliary forces.
Voices from the Past
In the full knowledge that hostilities would end at 11am, some units were still sent into battle on the morning of 11th November 1918, and some soldiers were reportedly keen to fire the very last shots. From the first attempts to negotiate a peace to the final battles and the moment of ceasefire itself, this book tells the story of the conclusion of the First World War through contemporary newspaper reports and the words of politicians, military leaders and ordinary soldiers.
The Hitler Conspirator
The Story of Kurt Freiherr von Plettenberg and Stauffenberg's Valkyrie Plot to Kill the Führer
Kurt Freiherr von Plettenberg was 54 when he threw himself from a fourth-floor window of a Gestapo jail. This biography tells for the first time how a scion of German aristocracy, who fought with distinction in both world wars, helped organize resistance to the Nazi regime, culminating in the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. Only captured in March 1945 as the Reich was crumbling, he took his own life to avoid betraying his friends under torture.
For the Glory of Rome
A History of Warriors and Warfare
Challenging the common modern distinction between Romans as organized, professional ‘soldiers’ and their opponents as individualistic ‘warriors’, this history of Roman warfare focuses on the part-time legionaries who served only for the duration of a campaign and sought glory in single combat. The author explores these warriors’ deeds, beliefs and mindset, through examples such as the man who fought with a prosthetic iron fist and a centurion who executed his commanding officer for cowardice.
Best Foot Forward
The Autobiography of the RAF's Other Legless Fighter Pilot
A training accident in a Fleet Air Arm Tiger Moth in 1939 resulted in Colin Hodgkinson losing both his legs but, with Douglas Bader as a role model, he was determined to resume his duties as a pilot. This memoir, first published in 1957, recounts his wartime experiences, including rehabilitation under the surgeon Archibald McIndoe, active service in Spitfires and time spent in a PoW camp after crash-landing in France.
The Battle of Plassey 1757
The Victory That Won an Empire
When Clive of India and his tiny detachment of army officers and mercenaries defeated the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies in a mango grove near Plassey, he secured all of Bengal and, eventually, the whole of India for the East India Company. Drawing on an extraordinary collection of private papers, this study of the battle and the 13 months of campaigns leading up to it commemorates the men on both sides who fought and died in the conflict.
The Epic of Isandlwana and the Cover-Up
This history of the Battle of Isandlwana (1879), which saw British expeditionary troops defeated by Zulu warriors, eschews colonial romanticism and recognizes Isandlwana as a ‘magnificent Zulu victory against an invading army with superior arms.’ Referencing numerous sources, including maps, photographs and the letters of Commander-in-Chief Lord Chelmsford, the book explores Chelmsford’s misguided preparations for the conquest of Zululand, the Zulus’ superiority in the field, and the attempt to cover up Chelmsford’s culpability.
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.
The Business of War
Medieval mercenaries were more than just well-armed, freebooting thugs; they were also noblemen, who took advantage of political chaos to further their own interests. From early Italian mercenaries to the private armies spawned during the Hundred Years War, this survey of Europe’s freelance fighters describes the many mercenary bands who killed, looted and ransomed their way across Europe’s heartlands, referencing the popular literature, including Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Conan Doyle and Mark Twain, that has guaranteed their place in the collective imagination.
A Gentleman's Guide to Duelling
Vincentio Saviolo's 'Of Honour and Honourable Quarrels'
Annotated woodcuts of historical duels and methodical swordplay illustrate this classic guide to resolving a gentlemen’s disagreement in Elizabethan England. Honour, pride and shame were at the heart of most duels, and Italian fencing master Vincentio Saviolo’s prose, which has been subtly updated for the modern reader, suggests ways for both challenger and defender to navigate the labyrinth of etiquette without resort to the rapier, his favoured weapon of combat.
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 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.
The Battle of Jutland
Voices from the Past
Both Britain and Germany claimed victory in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916; the Royal Navy losing more ships and men but successfully containing the German fleet for the duration of the war. The outcome, its significance and the performance of the commanders during the battle has been debated ever since, and this book provides a picture of how events unfolded and what people thought at the time through official records and despatches, newspaper reports and detailed personal accounts.
At Her Majesty's Secret Service
The Chiefs of Britain's Intelligence Service, MI6
The first 'C' of the British Secret Intelligence Service, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, began by recruiting retired military men who lived abroad. By the time Stewart Menzies took up the position in 1939, operations were greatly expanded; he oversaw the code-breaking at Bletchley Park and also presided over infiltration by the Cambridge spies. This book profiles the 15 men who have held the post, up to 2014, outlining the activities of the department during their tenure.
The Waterloo Archive
Histories of the Battle of Waterloo seldom mention that the majority of Wellington’s forces were in fact German, including troops from Nassau, Brunswick, Hanover and the King’s German Legion. Many of them left first-hand accounts of the engagement, more than 60 of which are translated here for the first time. These letters and reports greatly enlarge our understanding of this momentous battle, and offer dramatic accounts of the fighting from the perspective of both officers and private soldiers.
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.
A History of Horror
Jacques Delarue was a member of the French Resistance during the Second World War and as a policeman from 1945 was able to interview many of the Gestapo leaders that operated in France when they were brought to trial. His analysis of the organization, originally published in 1962, explores how it was formed and run, examines the motivation of the men responsible for unspeakable brutalities and reveals how dissent began to emerge as the regime collapsed.
Germany's High Sea Fleet in the First World War
Admiral Reinhard Scheer (1863–1928) commanded the German High Seas Fleet during the First World War, and was the first frontline officer to publish his account of the naval conflict. Reprinted here with a new introduction, it provides a rare insight into the attitudes of German naval officers, and a unique first-hand account of the controversial Jutland operation of 1916, the unrestricted submarine warfare that brought the USA into the war, and the Zeppelin raids on Britain.
From Corunna to Waterloo
The Letters and Journals of Two Napoleonic Hussars, 1801–1816
Major Edwin Griffith and his nephew Captain Frederick Philips served in the 15th (King's) Hussars during the Napoleonic Wars and both kept journals of their experiences and regularly wrote letters home. Often serving in separate wings of the regiment, their observations cover different actions, the contemporary accounts describing home service on policing duties as well as the campaign with Wellington through Portugal, Spain and southern France from 1813 up to Waterloo in 1815.
An Alternate History of the Civil War
Could the South have won the American Civil War? Based on an intriguing series of ‘what ifs’, this alternative history examines a number of convincing scenarios. What if Jeb Stuart had linked with Lee at Gettysburg? What if General Johnston had survived at Shiloh? Using real battles, actions and characters as starting points, leading military historians show how this critical and bloody conflict could so easily have ended in a victory for the Confederates, changing the course of US history.
The Distant Drum
A Memoir of a Guardsman in the Great War
After having been rejected on medical grounds several times as a volunteer, Fen Noakes was conscripted in June 1917 and sent to France in October to join the 4th Battalion east of Arras. The memoir that he wrote in 1934, ‘while the memory is still comparatively undimmed’, together with the letters written from the Front to his mother, provide an articulate and very detailed account of living and fighting through the final year of the war.
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.
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 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 Jacobite War in Scotland
Stuart Reid presents a military history of the failed Jacobite rising of 1715 and its culmination at Sheriffmuir, a battle ‘famous only for the fact that both sides ran away’. Reid offers a completely fresh look at the campaign, including the simultaneous uprising in Nithsdale, Northumberland; while the battle itself is reassessed in the light of a thorough knowledge of the ground at Sheriffmuir and the armies that fought there.
Artillery of the Napoleonic Wars
Field Artillery, 1792–1815
Although artillery had been around for centuries, technical advances in the 18th century allowed field guns and ammunition to become lighter, more powerful and more accurate, and the improved weaponry was used with greater efficiency in the field. With reference to the part gunnery played in key battles of the period, this detailed study investigates the nature of guns used and how they were operated, comparing Napoleon's French artillery with that of the British, Russians and Austrians.
The Ulrich von Hassell Diaries, 1938-1944
The Story of the Forces Against Hitler Inside Germany
Had the July 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler succeeded, Ulrich von Hassell would have become Germany's foreign minister, negotiating peace with the Allies. Instead, he and his fellow conspirators were executed. Hassell's diaries, described by his wife as his 'bequest and mission', were first published in English in 1947. This edition comprises the first complete English translation of the diaries, together with Friedrich Freiherr von Gaertringen's extensive notes (1988), and a new introduction by Richard Overy. Translations by Geoffrey Brooks.
German Kampfgruppen Action of World War Two
Kampfgruppen or 'battle groups' were specially created units within the German army formed to undertake specific operations. They often brought together members of disparate military units and could vary from small bands up to substantial formations, which were usually disbanded afterwards. First published in the 1990s, this title examines the role of these flexible shock troops and the part they played in executing Germany's blitzkrieg tactics throughout the Second World War.
Ace of the Black Cross
Above the trenches of the First World War, the battle in the air between the first primitive aircraft and the intrepid aviators who flew them was played out like a medieval knightly tournament. This deadly contest is brought to life in the memoir of Ernst Udet (1896–1941), the German ace whose reputation was second only to that of the Red Baron. Richard Overy introduces this new edition of this aviation classic.
The Last of the Ebb
The Battle of the Aisne, 1918
The 'ebb' referred to in the title of this First World War memoir was the German offensive of May 1918 that pushed the Allies miles back towards Paris before the flow of the war turned decisively in the Allies' favour. First published in 1937, Rogerson's eyewitness account criticizes the French for their part in the humiliating retreat and includes a chapter written by the German officer who planned the offensive.