An Illustrated History
After briefly surveying ancient constructions such as Maiden Castle and Gwalior Fort in India, Jeremy Black goes on to present a history of fortifications based on their depiction on maps and plans. From Norman castles – Pontefract is shown in a plan from 1561 – the book shows how buildings as bases for attack or defence changed as ever more powerful armaments were developed, up to the trenches and defences such as the Maginot and Siegfried Lines in the 20th century.
Crimea from Potemkin to Putin
Since it was founded in 1783, during the reign of Catherine the Great and Potemkin, Sevastopol has survived a long history of conflict, including two major sieges: the city’s commanding strategic advantage as a naval anchorage in the Black Sea has made it a city worth fighting for. In this study, Mungo Melvin traces the story of Sevastopol and its Crimean hinterland since prehistory, illuminating the historical background to the 2014 referendum vote to return to Russia.
The Hawker Hurricane was designed and built to counteract the growing aerial power of the Axis nations in the 1930s. With its stable firing platform and robust construction, it played a vital role in the RAF’s success. This illustrated guide details the technical history and combat performance of the aircraft, which chalked up more kills than the better-known Spitfire in the battles over Britain and France.
Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta
The youngest son of Henry II, John (1166–1216) became king on the death of his brother, Richard I, in 1199. He inherited a vast and possibly ungovernable dominion, extending across the Angevin empire in France as well as England, Ireland and Wales. In this biography, Morris draws on contemporary sources to describe a tyrannical and murderous reign that saw the loss of the French lands, the rebellion of the English barons and, despite the signing of Magna Carta, civil war.
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.
The True Story of Life Behind the Counter
In the 1960s over a million women worked in shops, nearly a fifth of the female workforce. The number had grown steadily from the early 19th century as industrialization had drawn people to the cities and created a demand for, and supply of, consumer goods. Originally published to accompany the BBC TV series, this book explores the life of the shopgirl from the strict propriety of Victorian department stores to the boutiques of the 1960s.
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’ were given 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.
England's Lost Colony
In the 1650s a group of Cavaliers fled Cromwell’s England for the lush coast of Surinam, where they established a colony named after its founder, Sir Francis Willoughby. While leadership of the colony shifted from its democratic foundation towards autocracy, its impact on the indigenous people came to reflect that of empire more widely. As planters and traders were joined by soldiers and mercenaries, the land described by Aphra Behn as ‘delightful and wonderful’ became one of terror and slavery.
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 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.
Challenge of Battle
The Real Story of the British Army in 1914
The exhaustive official History of the Great War gives a largely positive account of the British Expeditionary Force's performance in 1914, but Adrian Gilbert's research reveals significant failings as well as strengths. Covering the seven infantry divisions and cavalry of the original BEF of 1914 and drawing on contemporary accounts of the battles, including Mons, Le Cateau, the Aisne and Ypres, this book re-examines the decisions of senior officers and their consequences for the men at the front.
State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton
Clinton's defeat in the 2008 Democratic primary brought her to the nadir of her political career; yet six years later, she re-emerged as a formidable stateswoman and the Democrats' presumed frontrunner for presidential nomination. That phoenix-like rise is at the heart of this 2014 study. Based on over 200 interviews with intimates, colleagues, supporters and enemies, it offers a remarkable portrait of the woman who almost became the first female President of the USA.
The Poets' Daughters
Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge
Dora Wordsworth and Sara Coleridge were lifelong friends. They were also the daughters of best friends, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the poetic geniuses who shaped the Romantic age. Drawing on many unpublished sources, this dual biography charts for the first time the lives and friendship of these two remarkable women. Devoting their energies and talents to their fathers' literary reputations, they also wrestled with the darker legacy of fame, including anorexia, drug addiction and depression.
The Battle of Waterloo
Compiled and published soon after the battle, this book presented a 'series of accounts published by authority, British and foreign, and other relative documents, with circumstantial details, previous and after the battle, from a variety of authentic and original sources'. The present volume is a facsimile reprint of the seventh edition (1817). As well as eyewitness accounts, there are letters, honours and casualty lists (officers) and, folded in, a panoramic sketch of the battlefield. With a new introduction by Simon Adams.