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 noblemen, too, 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 intelligent 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 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 March on Moscow
On a summer’s day in 1812, Napoleon’s army of more than a third of a million men set out towards Moscow; few could have imagined the terrors and hardships that awaited them on their doomed march. The fruit of more than 20 years’ research, this superbly crafted history blends the memoirs and diaries of more than 100 eyewitnesses to provide a uniquely authentic account of one of the greatest disasters in military history, in vivid, day-by-day, hour-by-hour detail.
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.
From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka
500 Years of Feeding the British Army
‘An army’, Napoleon famously remarked, ‘marches on its stomach’. But who ensured that its stomach was filled – and what was it filled with? This compelling, meticulously researched book charts the history of British Army catering from Cromwell to the Iraq war, turns up such fascinating details as how to improvise a kebab skewer with a bayonet, and includes 20 recipes to try at home, from Gurkha Chicken Pilau to Game Pie.
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.
Escape from the Third Reich
Folke Bernadotte and the White Buses
This is the first English translation of Sune Persson's critically acclaimed 2002 study of Sweden's rescue operation of prisoners from Nazi concentration camps on a famous transport of white buses. Despite saving tens of thousands of lives, the mission was fraught with conflict and controversy, including negotiations between its leader Folke Bernadotte and Heinrich Himmler. Now including new archive material and previously unpublished photographs, this important book seeks finally to untangle the truth about Sweden's biggest ever humanitarian operation.
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.
Cromwell Hath the Honour but...
Major-General Lambert's Campaigns in the North, 1648
Oliver Cromwell's reputation tends to overshadow his 'lesser' generals, yet they each had an important role to play. Once such man was John Lambert. Tasked with commanding forces in the North in 1648- 9, he proved to be a popular and effective general who undertook the sieges at Pontefract and Scarborough and united his troops in resisting Royalist rebels and Scots invaders. This carefully researched account offers a detailed and balanced reappraisal of Lambert's achievements.
Stay the Distance
The Life and Times of Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Michael Beetham
Sir Michael Beetham joined the RAF as a pilot in 1941 and stayed on after the war, serving as a commanding officer at a number of critical moments, from the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and Aden in 1964 to the Falklands War, and was appointed Marshal of the RAF in 1982. This biography traces his long, distinguished and very active career, from flying Lancasters in the Second World War to sending Vulcan bombers to the Falklands.
Mud and Bodies
The War Diaries and Letters of Captain NAC Weir, 1914–1920
Neil Weir broke his studies at Oxford to join the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1914 and was a company commander by the age of 19. Surviving the battles at Loos, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Ploegsteert and the Somme, Weir went on to train officers and work for the War Office. In 2009 his detailed war diaries and extensive correspondence with his family during the period were rediscovered by his grandson Mike, who contributes a preface to this book.
German Action in the Field, 1939–1945
Compared with its British and American counterparts, the leaner command structure of the German Army during the Second World War placed more emphasis on the initiative and motivation of senior commanders in the field. This book, originally published in 2000, profiles 14 of the most successful of these officers, including Eduard Dietl, leader of land forces in the invasion of Norway and later in Eastern Europe, and Werner Kempf, the supreme Panzer tank commander.
Hitler Was My Friend
As official 'court' photographer, Heinrich Hoffmann played a critical role in cultivating the Führer's public image; he was also a close personal friend of Hitler, with intimate access to his inner circle from 1923 to April 1945. First published in 1955, Hoffmann's memoirs, illustrated here with a selection of his informal photographs, offer a remarkable behind-the-scenes account of Hitler and the rise and fall of the Third Reich. With a new introduction by Roger Moorhouse. Translated by RH Stevens.
Disaster at Stalingrad
An Alternate History
The struggle that raged at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43 is often cited as the turning point in the Second World War, after which the tide flowed inexorably toward the defeat of Germany two years later. Shedding light on the real events, this historical dramatization of the battle imagines how it might have gone differently, postulating small but entirely plausible alternative paths that would have led to a radically different outcome at Stalingrad and for the wider war.
Donitz, U-Boats, Convoys
The Battle of the Atlantic was a game of cat and mouse between the U-boat fleet, commanded by Karl Donitz, and the Allied convoys, who were able to read German signals after the cracking of the Enigma code. This book combines the memoirs of Donitz's (Ten Years and Twenty Days), the Admiralty Monthly Anti-submarine Reports (top-secret documents issued to senior British Naval officers) and the author's commentary to give a complete account of the conflict as it unfolded.
Uniforms of the German Soldier
An Illustrated History from 1870 to the Present Day
The spiked leather helmet (or Pickelhaube) associated with the German army of the First World War had in fact been an established part of the Prussian uniform since the 1840s and was replaced by a much more effective steel helmet from 1916. This examination of German military uniforms presents nearly 800 photographs showing all ranks of soldier, from the first army of the new German Empire to the present day, and describes their uniform and insignia in detailed captions.
Bringers of War
The Portuguese in Africa during the Age of Gunpowder and Sail
Long before steamships and machine-tooled artillery, the Portuguese established an empire in Africa, capturing trading towns, seizing slaves and plundering mineral riches. This impeccably researched history describes how, between the 15th and the late 18th centuries, they fought their ancient Muslim foes, overthrew African kingdoms and resisted Dutch, Omani and Ottoman rivals in a quest for wealth and power as ruthless as the Spanish conquests in the Americas.
The Confusion of Command: The War Memories
of Lieutenant General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow 1914–1915
A divisional commander at the beginning of the First World War, Lieutenant General Sir Thomas D'Oyly Snow saw action at Le Cateau, the Marne, Ypres, Arras and Cambrai, before leading the disastrous attack on Gommecourt on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. In this volume of memoirs, he frankly acknowledges the limitations of his own and others' command, while explaining how the totally unprecedented scale of the war made effective communication between officers almost impossible.
The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel: Tommies, Diggers
and Doughboys on the Hindenburg Line, 1918
The Bellicourt Tunnel is a 3.5-mile underground stretch of the canal that connects the cities of Cambrai and St Quentin. In 1918 it formed a part of the German defensive Hindenburg Line and the battles that took place in the vicinity played an important part in Germany's ultimate defeat. This detailed history examines the roles of the British, Australian and American troops in the fighting and assesses the performance of Field Marshal Haig and other senior commanders in the field.
Reign of Terror
The Budapest Memoirs of Valdemar Langlet 1944–1945
After the Germans ousted Hungary's ruler Admiral Horthy in favour of the fascist Arrow Cross party in 1944, thousands of Hungarian Jews faced murder by anti-Semitic thugs or deportation to the death camps. At great risk to his own life, the Swedish diplomat Valdemar Langlet helped many to escape. Never before translated into English, this memoir by one of the unsung heroes of the Second World War vividly captures the drama and tragedy of this terrifying time.