In ‘a long, eventful history, rich in eccentricity’, John Swinfield traces the progress of the submarine and submariners, from Leonardo da Vinci’s diving machines and William Bourne’s 16th-century submersible wood, leather and grease rowing boat (never built) to the end of the First World War, when the submarine was already changing the course of war at sea.
The Lie at the Heart of Waterloo
The Battle's Hidden Last Half Hour
The author of this revisionist history of the Battle of Waterloo presents a detailed account of how the 52nd Light Cavalry delivered the coup de grâce in the battle, thanks to the initiative of its commander John Colbourne. Using first-hand accounts to support the case, the analysis concludes that Wellington omitted to give the 52nd proper credit in his initial despatch and thereafter managed the story of the victory to his advantage.
From the Frontline
The Extraordinary Life of Sir Basil Clarke
Basil Clarke was an intrepid First World War correspondent and father of the public relations industry. This first-ever biography tells how he defied Kitchener’s ban on reporters in 1914 to live as an ‘outlaw’ in Dunkirk, reported from the Battle of the Somme and the Easter Rising, and caused a global scandal by accusing the government of failing to enforce its naval blockade of Germany, before going on to create Britain’s first PR firm.
Hitler's Most Successful Spy
Elyesa Bazna took advantage of his job at the British Embassy in Ankara to sell valuable secrets to the Germans from 1943, for which he was paid large amounts of what later turned out to be counterfeit money. Drawing on MI5, MI6 and CIA files as well as personal accounts, this book tells the story of Agent Cicero from first contact to his retirement, still undetected, in 1944, and post-war revelations about his spying career.
Victoria's Scottish Lion
The Life of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde
From humble beginnings in Glasgow, Colin Campbell (1792–1863) rose to become Scotland’s finest general and a favourite of Queen Victoria. In a 50-year career he fought through the Peninsula, the Crimea, China and India and still found time to contain a slave revolt, a Chartist rebellion and Ireland’s Tithe War. This biography offers a radical reinterpretation of Campbell – the first working-class field marshal, with strong humanitarian leanings and an instinct for harnessing the power of the press.
Churchill Comes of Age
In 1895, Winston Churchill, aged 21, went on his first foreign adventure – to Cuba, where Spanish troops were engaged in suppressing rebellion. The episode is scarcely mentioned in biographies of Churchill, mainly due to political and linguistic barriers to research. Here, a Canadian historian of Latin America examines Churchill’s visit to the island – his first experience as a war correspondent – and the five months up to March 1876, when he wrote his last article on Cuba’s war of independence.
Stosstrupptaktik: The First Stormtroopers
German Assault Troops of the First World War
The stalemate of trench warfare in the First World War precipitated a gradual move towards more dynamic attacks by smaller units. These tactics became especially associated with the German 'stoss' or shock troops, the term later giving way to the more colourful 'stormtroopers'. This analysis of tactical developments in the German Army demonstrates how the elite units emerged and built their reputation, setting the groundwork for the fearsome agents of blitzkrieg in the 1930s.
An End of War
Fatal Final Days to VE Day, 1945
After D-Day, German defeat may have been inevitable but there was still almost a year of fighting before Berlin finally fell. This book recounts experiences of the last months of war from British, Canadian, Dutch, German, Polish and American sources. Slightly off-mint.