A fast-paced and vivid narrative of the most horrific campaign in history: the four-year slaughter around the Belgian town of Ypres 1914-18. Switching seamlessly between the generals’ headquarters, the politicians’ councils and, above all, the mud and blood of the trenches, this is a wonderfully accessible history.
Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler both fought in the front line at Ypres: Groom reveals what happened to both men. We see the campaign through their eyes and the experience of other officers and men, including the war poet Edmund Blunden (later professor of poetry at Oxford).
From the desperate defence put up by the tiny British regular army in 1914 to the infamous Passchendaele offensive, this is popular history at its best.
How the age of the great WWI aces came to an end in the skies over the Western Front
At the beginning of 1918 the great aces seemed invincible. Flying above the battlefields of the Western Front, they cut a deadly swathe through the ranks of their enemies, as each side struggled to keep control of the air. Some were little more than boys when they started to fly, yet they were respected and feared as some of the deadliest killers in the sky. But as the press of fighting increased with the great offensives of 1918, nervous stress and physical exhaustion finally began to take their toll – and one by one the aces began to fall.
This book charts the rise and fall of the WWI aces in the context of the vast battles that were taking place in 1918. It shows the vital importance of reconnaissance, and how large formations of aircraft became the norm – bringing an end to the era of the old, heroic ‘lone wolves’. As the First World War came to a close very few of the aces survived. This epic history of the final year of the air war is both a chronicle of the ways in which 1918 changed aerial combat forever, and a requiem for the pioneers of aerial combat who eventually became the victims of their own brilliant innovations.
This is one of the most significant military books of the twentieth century. By an outstanding soldier of independent mind, it pushed forward the evolution of land warfare and was directly responsible for German armoured supremacy in the early years of the Second World War.
Published in 1937, the result of 15 years of careful study since his days on the German General Staff in the First World War, Achtung Panzer! argues how vital the proper use of tanks and supporting armoured vehicles would be in the conduct of a future war. When that war came, just two years later, he proved it, leading his Panzers with distinction in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns. Panzer warfare had come of age, exactly as he had forecast.This first English translation of Heinz Guderian’s classic book – used as a textbook by Panzer officers in the war – has an introduction and extensive background notes by the modern English historian Paul Harris.
The story of dramatic military actions where a few fought against many, often with unbelievable success.
From the Napoleonic Wars to Korea, Bryan Perrett has found a further 13 dramatic military actions where a few fought against many, often with unbelievable success. The events take place in Europe, Africa, Asia and North America; they are linked only by the bravery and devilment which led military men to risk their lives for a last ditch attempt to advance their cause. Attending to the important facts and statistics required by the military historian, the author avoids invention and undue surmise whilst also avoiding the dry lecturing style found in so many volumes describing military strategy. The result is an absorbing, exciting and above all accurate account of astonishing battlefield warfare: narrative history of the sort at which Bryan Perrett excels.
The incredible inside story of the world’s most extraordinary covert operation.
Air America – a secret airline run by the CIA – flew missions no one else would touch, from General Claire Cennault’s legendary Flying Tigers in WW II to two brutal decades cruising over the bomb-savaged jungles of Southeast Asia. Their pilots dared all and did all – a high-rolling, fast-playing bunch of has-beens and hellraisers whose motto was ‘Anything, Anywhere, Anytime’. Whether it was delivering food and weapons or spooks and opium, Air America was the one airline where you didn’t need reservations – just a hell of a lot of courage and a willingness to fly to the bitter end.
How the wars of the near future will be fought and who will win them
Many nations, peoples and special interest groups believe that violence will advance their cause. Warfare has changed greatly since the Second World War; it continued to change during the late 20th century and this process is still accelerating. Political, technological, social and religious forces are shaping the future of warfare, but most western armed forces have yet to evolve significantly from the cold war era when they trained to resist a conventional invasion by the Warsaw Pact. America is now the only superpower, but its dominance is threatened by internal and external factors. The world’s most hi-tech weaponry seems helpless in the face of determined guerrilla fighters not afraid to die for their beliefs.
Professor Colin Gray has advised governments on both sides of the Atlantic and in ANOTHER BLOODY CENTURY, he reveals what sort of conflicts will affect our world in the years to come.
The classic account of the war on the Eastern Front between the Russians and the Germans – the greatest clash of arms the world has ever seen.
Carefully researched and beautifully written, this book is a classic of military history. Alan Clark vividly narrates the course of the dramatic and brutal war between the German and Russians on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. From the invasion of Russia mounted on Midsummer’s Day 1941 and the German Army’s advance to the outskirts of Moscow, to the terrible turning point of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of the Nazis at the Fall of Berlin after the hard years of fighting and advance by the Red Army, this is epic history narrated by a master.
Three hundred and fifty-one men were executed by British Army firing squads between September 1914 and November 1920. By far the greatest number, 266 were shot for desertion in the face of the enemy. The executions continue to haunt the history of the war, with talk today of shell shock and posthumous pardons.
Using material released from the Public Records Office and other sources, the authors reveal what really happened and place the story of these executions firmly in the context of the military, social and medical context of the period.
How America’s bomber boys and girls in England won their war, and how their English allies responded to them.
In this comprehensive history, Kevin Wilson allows the young men of the US 8th Air Force based in Britain during the Second World War to tell their stories of blood and heroism in their own words. He also reveals the lives of the Women’s Army Corps and Red Cross girls who served in England with them. Drawing on first-hand accounts, Wilson brings to life the ebullient Americans’ interactions with their British counterparts, and unveils surprising stories of humanity and heartbreak.
Thanks to America’s bomber boys and girls, life in Britain would never be the same again.
Why the British forces fought so badly in World War II and who was to blame
Gordon Corrigan’s Mud, Blood and Poppycock overturned the myths that surround the First World War. Now he challenges our assumptions about the Second World War in this brilliant, caustic narrative that exposes just how close Britain came to losing. He reveals how Winston Churchill bears a heavy responsibility for the state of our forces in 1939, and how his interference in military operations caused a string of disasters. The reputations of some of our most famous generals are also overturned: above all, Montgomery, whose post-war stature owes more to his skill with a pen than talent for command. But this is not just a story of personalities.
Gordon Corrigan investigates how the British, who had the biggest and best army in the world in 1918, managed to forget everything they had learned in just twenty years. The British invented the tank, but in 1940 it was the Germans who showed the world how to use them. After we avoided defeat, but the slimmest of margins, it was a very long haul to defeat Hitler’s army, and one in which the Russians would ultimately bear the heaviest burden.
The story of the decimation of the Royal Flying Corps over Arras in 1917
As the Allies embarked upon the Battle of Arras, they desperately needed accurate aerial reconnaissance photographs. But by this point the Royal Flying Club were flying obsolete planes. The new German Albatros scouts massively outclassed them in every respect: speed, armament, ability to withstand punishment and manoeuverability. Many of the RFC’s pilots were straight out of flying school – as they took to the air they were sitting targets for the experienced German aces.
Over the course of ‘Bloody April’ the RFC suffered casualties of over a third. The average life expectancy of a new subaltern on the front line dropped to just eleven days. And yet they carried on flying, day after day, in the knowledge that, in the eyes of their commanders at least, their own lives meant nothing compared to the photographs they brought back, which could save tens of thousands of soldiers on the ground.
In this book Peter Hart tells the story of the air war over Arras, using the voices of the men who were actually there.
A gripping account of the everyday heroism of British bomber crews in 1943 – the year when Bomber Command believed it could win WWII by bombing alone.
In 1943 the RAF began a bombing campaign against Germany, the like of which had never before been seen. Over the next twelve months, tens of thousands of aircrews flew across the North Sea to drop their bombs on German cities. They were opposed not only by the full force of the Luftwaffe, but by a nightmare of flak, treacherously icy conditions, and constant mechanical malfunction. Most of these crews never finished their tour of operations but were either shot down and killed, or taken prisoner by an increasingly hostile enemy.
This is the story of the everyday heroism of British bomber crews in the days when it was widely believed that the Allies could win the Second World War by bombing alone. Kevin Wilson has interviewed hundreds of former airmen about what their lives were like in 1943: the stomach-churning tension of flying repeatedly over hostile territory, the terror at being shot down or captured, and the peculiar mixture of guilt and pride at unleashing such devastation on Germany.