The Wager Disaster
Mayhem, Mutiny and Murder in the South Seas
In 1741, with Britain at war with Spain, HMS Wager was wrecked on an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile. Drawing on survivors’ accounts, this book tells the story of the men who mutinied and sailed 2,500 miles in an open boat to safety in Brazil.
Bad Teeth No Bar
A History of Military Bicycles in the Great War
Relatively light, cheap to produce and silent to operate, bicycles were widely employed during the First World War by all the major combatants. This illustrated history considers how cycle troops were organized, trained and equipped, reviews the various types of bicycle and ancillary equipment in use and profiles the principal manufacturers of the day, including Birmingham Small Arms, Royal Enfield, Triumph and Raleigh.
The Western Front
Battlefields, Memorials and Cemeteries of the First World War
In 2013, Marcel Belley and Tom Curry drove along the Western Front to photograph some of the war graves and memorials of the First World War. En route the pair recorded images of remnants of barbed wire, munitions and trenches, but their lenses focused mainly on the cemeteries created by the British and British Dominions, France, Belgium, Germany and the United States. The commentary includes discussion of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s decision not to repatriate remains.
Reaching for the Sky
One Hundred Defining Moments from the Royal Air Force 1918–2018
Scott Addington uses infographics, fact boxes and photographs to present this concise overview of RAF history, which includes the first military balloon, the design of the roundel insignia, leading aces of the world wars and a list of pilots’ slang. Each entry has played its part in shaping the service, and the selection reflects the innovation, courage and heritage of the world’s first independent air force.
H-Bombs & Hula Girls
Operation Grapple 1957 and the Last Royal Navy Gunroom at Sea
As part of Operation Grapple, Britain’s H-bomb testing programme, the light fleet carrier HMS Warrior set off from Portsmouth in February 1957 for Christmas Island in the South Pacific. In the Gunroom were ten junior officers (including the author) who weeks later would witness the detonation of Britain’s first thermonuclear device. This month-by-month account of their voyage, which examines the logistics behind the testing, describes their naval duties and celebrates their unfaltering comradeship.
Geology and Trench Warfare on the Western Front 1914–18
The geology of the Western Front had an enormous impact on how military operations were carried out, determining the strength of trench walls, whether tunnels could be dug under no man’s land, if tanks could proceed without sinking into mud, even the size of craters after shell explosions. This survey examines how the terrain and topography of Flanders, Artois and Picardy, including soil and rock formations, influenced military strategy during the First World War.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
War Beneath the Waves
U-boat Flotilla Flandern 1915–1918
The inconclusive outcome of the Battle of Jutland left the Royal Navy in control of British waters, and Germany continued the war at sea with its U-boat fleet, building a substantial base on the Belgian coast. Translated from the Belgian edition, this is a detailed analysis of the U-boat campaign, supported by the author's own underwater archaeology. Tomas Termote examines the vessels and life for the submariners, and outlines the operational history of each of the 93 U-boats housed in Belgian ports. Translated from the Dutch.
Epitaphs of the Great War: The Somme
‘Of all the voices of the First World War there is one that has been consistently overlooked, the voice of the bereaved.’ This collection of 100 epitaphs for soldiers who died during the Somme campaign of 1916 lets the bereaved families and friends speak through the inscriptions on War Graves Commission headstones. The book provides information on the soldiers and explains any biblical or literary allusions used in the short (they were limited to 66 characters) and often cryptic epitaphs.
Epitaphs of The Great War: Passchendaele
Inscriptions on the graves of the First World War dead were limited to 66 characters; a restriction that drove many to create compact, original and profound epitaphs, often relying on quotation or allusion. This book presents 100 headstone inscriptions for the dead of Passchendaele, giving details of the deceased, quoting the biblical or literary passages alluded to and explaining the contemporary meaning of the words, whether plain ‘He did his bit’, or the poetic ‘While the light lasts I shall remember. Georgina’.