Secret Naval Investigator
The Battle Against Hitler's Secret Underwater Weapons
The barrister F. Ashe Lincoln was a sub-lieutenant in the Naval Reserves when he was called to a top-secret conference hosted by Winston Churchill and assigned to the navy’s investigation branch. There he used his specialist knowledge to help uncover the technical sophistication of Germany’s mines and torpedoes. In this memoir, originally published in 1961, he recalls how it became a dangerous, hands-on role, and how failure to disarm the weapons could have cost England the war.
With Napoleon's Guns
The Military Memoirs of an Officer of the First Empire
Colonel Jean-Nicolas-Auguste Noël was appointed to the command of Napoleon’s highly mobile trains d’artillerie during the invasion of Russia in 1812. Altogether he served the Emperor for over two decades and his memoirs record both his own service, including the retreat from Moscow and the Battle of Leipzig, and the rise and fall of the First Empire. Edited, translated and introduced by Rosemary Brindle.
The 45th (Nottinghamshire) Regiment on Campaign in South America and the Peninsula, 1805-14
After defeat at Buenos Aires in 1807, the 45th (Nottinghamshire) fought with Wellington throughout the war in Spain. This detailed regimental history charts its exploits, including the siege of Badajoz, where a lieutenant’s red jacket was raised over the citadel in place of the French flag.
Triumphs and Disasters
Eyewitness Accounts from the Netherlands Campaign, 1813–1814
While overshadowed by the fighting in France and Germany, the British campaign against Napoleon’s forces in Holland was an important precursor of Waterloo. This collection of official reports, letters and soldiers’ diaries offers eyewitness accounts of the main engagements, including the defeat at Bergen op Zoom.
1809: Thunder on the Danube
Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume I
This first volume begins with the political and military decisions and manoeuvres that led to war and follows the opening engagements up to the first great battles at Abensberg on 20 April, Eggmühl two days later and the storming of Regensburg on 23 April.
1809: Thunder on the Danube
Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume II
Volume II takes up the story with the march on Vienna and, after the fall of the Habsburg city, goes on to Napoleon’s first repulse at the Battle of Aspern-Essling. It also looks across the Alps to events in Italy, and Eugene de Beauharnais’ counter-offensive.
An Official Account of How Britain Planned to Defend Itself in the Second World War
The British Government drew up detailed schemes for the defence of the country against German aggression from the mid 1930s, altering the proposals as the situation developed. This review of their plans was compiled in 1948 by the Cabinet Office Historical Section and breaks the period into four parts, dealing with the pre-war situation, the imminent threat of invasion immediately after Dunkirk, the vulnerable years from 1940 to 1941 and the situation from 1942 as Britain became the base for counter-offensives into Europe.
Napoleon and the Archduke Charles
A History of the Franco-Austrian Campaign in the Valley of the Danube 1809
First published in 1909 and still held in high esteem, Petre’s history gives a full account of the clash of Napoleon and his most formidable continental opponent, the Archduke Charles of Austria. The book follows the hard-fought Franco-Austrian Campaign in the valley of the Danube up to its culmination in the Battle of Wagram in 1809.
Messerschmitt Bf 109
The Early Years – Poland, the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain
The most numerous and successful Luftwaffe fighter of the Second World War, the Messerschmitt Bf 109 was a formidable opponent for the RAF’s Spitfires and Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain. This photographic collection assembles over 150 archive images of the plane in active service in 1939 and 1940, from pilots and crew with their machines at base to the wreckage of downed aircraft.
Memoirs of Baron Von Müffling
A Prussian Officer in the Napoleonic Wars
Baron Carl von Müffling was General Blücher’s liaison officer at Wellington’s headquarters during the Waterloo campaign and, as such, one of the architects of the final victory over Napoleon. His memoirs are a primary source for the Napoleonic Wars, spanning a distinguished career from the Battle of Jena in 1806 to his diplomatic role at the Congress of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1818. Introduction by Peter Hofschröer (1997).
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.
In the Peninsula with a French Hussar
Memoirs of the War of the French in Spain
A junior officer in Napoleon’s 2nd Regiment of Hussars, Albert Jean Michel de Rocca served in the Peninsular War from the march on Madrid, through the Battle of Medellin and various skirmishes, until he was wounded in a guerrilla ambush near Ronda in 1810. Introduced by Philip Haythornthwaite, de Rocca’s account describes the hostility in Spain and the fighting in uncompromising detail.
The Charge of the Light Brigade
Voices from the Past
The story of the doomed cavalry charge is well known, but told here from the point of view of soldiers on both sides, using letters, diaries, memoirs and official reports. It is illustrated with photographs showing the terrain as it appeared to participants.
The Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster
Wilhelm Canaris remains one of the most mysterious and contradictory figures in the Nazi regime. As head of military intelligence, he played a vital role in Hitler’s plans, while at the same time encouraging and protecting the Führer’s opponents. This biography assesses his career in the navy and in espionage, his part in the right-wing coups of 1919–20, and his feelings about the party he served, which eventually claimed his life.
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.
The Barbary Corsairs
Warfare in the Mediterranean 1480–1580
With chapters on the Barbarossa brothers, the Siege of Malta, the African lands and cities of the corsairs and slavery, Jacques Heers examines the maritime history of the Mediterranean in the period of the corsairs’ greatest success, when they were able to influence the balance of power in European politics. Translated by Jonathan North.
At the Heart of the Reich
The Secret Diary of Hitler's Army Adjutant
As Hitler’s Army Adjutant from 1938 to 1943, Gerhard Engel was a member of Hitler’s inner circle and privy to the Führer’s thoughts and preoccupations. His diary provides valuable insights into the personalities of Hitler and others at the centre of the Nazi state. Translated by Geoffrey Brooks.
Napoleon and the Destruction of the Third Coalition
Robert Goetz tells the story of ‘the beginning of the Napoleon of history and the Grande Armée of legend’ – the 1805 campaign that culminated in the Battle of Austerlitz. In a meticulously detailed account, Goetz traces events from the formation of Britain, Russia and Prussia’s coalition to Austerlitz and the aftermath of Napoleon’s victory. First published in 2005.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
The March on Paris
The Memoirs of Alexander von Kluck, 1914
Alexander von Kluck, commander of the First German Army, was blamed for the crucial failure of the German offensive in the West in August and September 1914, which led to years of trench warfare. Based on official records and his own Army Orders, Kluck's account of that momentous campaign presents events as seen from First Army headquarters and gives the General's explanations for his actions. First published in 1923; reissued with a new introduction by Mark Pottle.
People and Places
In a memoir as unconventional as his career, Asa Briggs seeks 'to trace those personal relationships which have most shaped my work as an historian and, indeed, my whole life'. Acknowledging the influence of friends as various as PD James, Jim Callaghan and John Reith, he documents five decades of his pioneering work in universities at home and abroad, reminisces about his early life in Yorkshire and explains his special interest in the Victorians.