20th Century History Books

  • The Last of the Tsars - Hardback - 9781447293095 - Robert Service
    TSAR
    • £3.49
    • RRP £25.00
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    Nicholas II, the last Tsar of All the Russias, abdicated in March 1917 and the dynasty that had ruled the country's empire for 300 years was forced from power by revolution.

    To mark the hundredth anniversary of the revolution, eminent historian Robert Service examines Nicholas' reign in the year before his abdication and the months between this hugely important date and his death the following year in The Last of the Tsars.

    Making use of unparalleled research and forensic examination of hitherto untapped sources, Service sheds new light on the way Nicholas worked and even gathered access to his diaries and recorded conversations. He reveals Nicholas was actually the kind of ruler he believed himself to be - until the disastrous ending...
  • Maps of War - Hardback - 9781844863440 - Jeremy Black
    MPWR
    • £5.99
    • RRP £30.00
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    A very poignant and powerful book, Maps of War is a visual survey of how conflict was recorded and planned. It uses archive maps to reveal how warfare and documentation has changed through the centuries.

    Covering the history of military mapping, the book looks at beginning and what impact the invention of printing and introduction of gunpowder had. In the 17th century, military commanders and strategists started to document wars by way of illustration.

    In the 18th century, they started to use maps to chart progress. This chapter reflects the spread of European power and transoceanic conflict and focuses on the American war of Independence. The book then moves on to the 19th and 20th centuries, covering everything from the American Civil War to the World War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
  • 1916: A Global History - Paperback - 9781408834329 - Keith Jeffery
    NAGH
    • £2.99
    • RRP £9.99
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    In this eye-opening book, Keith Jeffery looks at how the events of the First World War affected the rest of the world.

    Covering the 12 months of 1916, he picks out 12 key moments and reveals the impact they had on the rest of the world. As well as famous battles including Gallipoli and the Somme, the author also examines the Easter Rising, the Italian Front and the killing of Rasputin and explains how all of these related to the War.

    Thoroughly researched using a host of military, social and cultural sources, this book looks at just how much the war dramatically altered the state of so many nations.
  • The Times: History of Britain's Railways - Hardback - 9780007950010 - Julian Holland
    HYBR
    • £3.99
    • RRP £30.00
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    From the development of Britain's railways in 1603 through to the present day, this book is endlessly fascinating. Drawing on a lifetime of railway research, Julian Holland offers a first-class commentary complete with photographs and archive material.

    Showing how Britain has claimed many achievements including the first steam railway locomotive, the first inter-city railway and the world speed record for steam in 1938 (126mph, in case you were wondering).

    The book also looks at trains and railways' effect on the Great Victorian Age and the early 20th century before its nationalisation and modernisation from 1948 onwards. It also covers the Beeching Report in detail and the privatisation of the high-speed railways in the 1990s.
  • Churchill: The Life - Hardback - 9781844038596 - Max Arthur
    URCH
    • £5.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    Commemorating 50 years since the death of Winston Churchil, this is a unique illustrated biography for anyone interested in the history of Britain.

    It includes rare and previously unpublished images from the vaults of the Churchill Archive Centre and family pictures from the Broadwater collection. Written by historian Max Arthur, the book covers everything from Churchill's youth and early military career through to the First and Second World Wars and his post-war life.

    Endlessly fascinating, it includes timelines, speech drafts, telegrams and insights into Churchill's key influences, acquaintances and family.
  • Mapping the Second World War - Hardback - 9780007950027 - Peter Chasseaud
    MSWW
    (1)
    • £3.99
    • RRP £30.00
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    This informative book contains 150 maps that demonstrate how - and where - the Second World War was fought around the world.

    Published in association with the Imperial War Museums, it features everything from small-scale maps of country boundaries to large-scale maps of the key battles.

    Alongside the maps are photographs and expert commentary on the conflict that lasted from 1939-1945. There are also trench maps, maps from newspapers and key propaganda.
  • AEELU
    • £8.69
    • RRP £9.99
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    In 1916, in the middle of the First World War, two men secretly agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Sir Mark Sykes was a visionary politician; Francois Georges-Picot a diplomat with a grudge. The deal they struck, which was designed to relieve tensions that threatened to engulf the Entente Cordiale, drew a line in the sand from the Mediterranean to the Persian frontier. Territory north of that stark line would go to France; land south of it, to Britain. Against the odds their pact survived the war to form the basis for the post-war division of the region into five new countries Britain and France would rule. The creation of Britain's 'mandates' of Palestine, Transjordan and Iraq, and France's in Lebanon and Syria, made the two powers uneasy neighbours for the following thirty years. Through a stellar cast of politicians, diplomats, spies and soldiers, including T. E. Lawrence, Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle, A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East. It explains exactly how the old antagonism between these two powers inflamed the more familiar modern rivalry between the Arabs and the Jews, and ultimately led to war between the British and the French in 1941 and between the Arabs and the Jews in 1948. In 1946, after many years of intrigue and espionage, Britain finally succeeded in ousting France from Lebanon and Syria, and hoped that, having done so, it would be able to cling on to Palestine. Using newly declassified papers from the British and French archives, James Barr brings this overlooked clandestine struggle back to life, and reveals, for the first time, the stunning way in which the French finally got their revenge.
  • AKBQI
    • £7.19
    • RRP £8.99
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    In the summer of 1927, America had a booming stock market, a president who worked just four hours a day (and slept much of the rest), a devastating flood of the Mississippi, a sensational murder trial, and an unknown aviator named Charles Lindbergh who became the most famous man on earth. It was the summer that saw the birth of talking pictures, the invention of television, the peak of Al Capone's reign of terror, the horrifying bombing of a school in Michigan, the thrillingly improbable return to greatness of an over-the-hill baseball player named Babe Ruth, and an almost impossible amount more. In this hugely entertaining book, Bill Bryson spins a story of brawling adventure, reckless optimism and delirious energy. With the trademark brio, wit and authority that has made him Britain's favourite writer of narrative non-fiction, he brings to life a forgotten summer when America came of age, took centre stage, and changed the world for ever.
  • BAEPI
    • £48.00
    • RRP £60.00
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    Since it was first published in 1989, Men of the Battle of Britain has become a standard reference book for academics and researchers interested in the Battle of Britain. Copies are also owned by many with purely an armchair interest in the events of 1940. The book records the service details of the airmen who took part in the Battle of Britain in considerable detail. Where known, postings and their dates are included, as well as promotions, decorations and successes claimed flying against the enemy. There is also much personal detail, often including dates and places of birth, civilian occupations, dates of death and place of burial or, for those with no known grave, place of commemoration. There are many wartime head-and-shoulders photographs. Inevitably the high achievers who survived tend to have the longest entries, but those who were killed very quickly, sometimes even on their first sortie, are given equal status. The 2015 third edition will include new names and corrected spellings, as well as many new photographs. Plenty of the entries have been extended with freshly acquired information.The stated nationalities of some of the airmen have been re-examined and, for example, one man always considered to be Australian is now known to have been Irish.
  • BCIUQ
    • £47.96
    • RRP £59.95
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    Seventy years have passed since the Second World War yet the books and articles still keep coming in a never-ending stream discussing the question of what role the deliveries of arms and materials by Soviet allies played in the victory of the Red Army. In Russia, the American Bell P-39 Airacobra fighter along with the Studebaker US6 truck and canned stewed meat became the symbols of Allied help to the USSR during the Second World War. Other aircraft which arrived to the country under the Lend-Lease program are less known but also made a valuable contribution to the victory. The author of this book for the first time has assembled a huge volume of information related to the delivery of aviation equipment from UK and USA. Based on documents from Russian and foreign archives, museums, and veterans' recollections, the author has made a qualitative and quantitative appraisal of the influence of these deliveries upon the Soviet war effort and airpower during the conflict. The book details the routes of the aircraft deliveries to Russia, the modifications which were done in order to suit the demands of the Russian climate and specifics of their front-line use, as well as the process of the new aircraft being mastered by the units of the Red Army Air Force. The first foreign aircraft arrived in the Soviet Union with No. 151 Wing RAF in 1941, and their use expanded rapidly - they took part in the counteroffensive near Moscow, the battles for Stalingrad and the Kursk salient, and operations of the war up to the battle for Berlin and the capitulation of Japanese forces in the North China. The author includes the results of the combat assessments of the aircraft, which were done at the Scientific Testing Institute of the Air Force, as well as reports from front-line regiments, and multiple combat episodes, detailing the views of the Soviet designers and pilots on the British and American aircraft. A separate chapter provides information about the aircraft which were not officially delivered but appeared in the Soviet Union accidentally. For the first time an attempt has been made to assess the influence of the deliveries of material and equipment upon the Soviet aviation industry and war effort. The author's impressive text is supported by nearly 700 colour and b/w photographs, 100 colour aircraft profiles, plus maps, charts etc.
  • BJMWS
    • £47.96
    • RRP £59.95
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    The book Danish Volunteers of the Waffen-SS tells the story of Freikorps Danmark in pictures from 1941-1943. Freikorps Danmark was established as a Danish corps which had to fight communism and, from its beginning, it was controlled from Denmark and put under the control of the SS-Division Totenkopf and 1. SS-Brigade during its efforts on the Eastern Front. It was a relatively small corps, which almost entirely consisted of Danish volunteers; during their two efforts on the Eastern Front, they suffered heavy casualties. In 1943, the High Command of Waffen-SS decided to abolish Freikorps Danmark and the personnel had to enter a new German division, which was directly controlled by Waffen-SS. The source of material for this book has been gathered from the photo collections of the old volunteers, which means that many of the photos have never been seen before.
  • AETJP
    • £43.29
    • RRP £55.00
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    The second in this two-volume series will provide aviation historians with an exhaustive reference work on all the Luftwaffe's dive-bomber and ground-attack units, including information on operations. All 16 Stuka Geschwader, 17 ground-attack and 20 night-harassment units are covered along with their component staff flights and Gruppen and specialist anti-tank units. The two volumes are divided into the early and late phases of the war, and cover pre-war formation, designation and reorganisation until the demise of the Luftwaffe, with lists of key operations, locations, bases and transfers together with an exhaustive breakdown of theatres of operations, key battles and missions flown and aircraft types that were flown by each unit. In addition there are detailed listings of unit commanders including dates and locations of the commands. This informative volume is also packed with illustrations showing aircraft types, unit markings, close ups of unit emblems and badges and commanders, many of which are in colour and have never been seen before. These books are the product of many years research by the authors, both of whom are highly respected experts in this field, and present highly detailed information in this form for the first time.
  • AOYWS
    • £43.89
    • RRP £55.00
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    All six volumes of 'The Essential Letters from America', brought together for the first time in this definitive chronological collection of Alistair Cooke's finest broadcasts. Alistair Cooke was the doyen of foreign correspondents and a radio legend, entertaining millions of listeners for over fifty years in his weekly 'Letter from America'. It was the longest-running show in radio history, and every show was a virtuoso performance. In this selection of his best and most memorable Letters, Cooke reports on landmark political events from Presidential elections to Franklin D. Roosevelt's funeral and the assassination of JFK. He reflects on the war in Vietnam, the Watergate scandal, the Monica Lewinsky affair, the Watts and Rodney King race riots in LA in 1965 and 1992, the Gulf War and the terrible events of 9/11. Here are Cooke's observations on the Challenger space shuttle explosion, Black Monday, the catastrophic San Francisco earthquake of 1989 and - in his final Letter - President Bush's difficulties with the situation in Iraq. But there are also Letters in a more personal vein, as Cooke reflects on topics close to his heart such as sport (the Ali v. Liston fight, baseball star Joe DiMaggio and golfer Bobby Jones) and music (pianist William Kapell, jazz singer Louis Armstrong and composer Irving Berlin). The Letters are set in their historical context with a specially commissioned script narrated by award-winning broadcast journalist Matt Frei. This collection also includes a bonus programme, 'Remembering Alistair Cooke'.
  • ACRHA
    • £39.39
    • RRP £50.00
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    It is now more than 40 years since "Fighters over the Desert" was published, and nearly as long since this was followed by "Fighters over Tunisia". Both volumes have long been out of print and collectors' items, but, despite much prompting, Christopher Shores has resolutely refused to permit their reprinting until he amassed so much more information. He has also long nursed a desire to expand the coverage to encompass the operations of the other types of aircraft involved in this interesting and important theatre of war - the bombers, reconnaissance aircraft and maritime units. Further, it is his intention to extend the period covered to include the later operations over Sicily, Italy, the Aegean area, the Balkans and Southern Europe. This then represents the first volume of a seminal series dealing with all these aspects and areas, which will also tie in with the earlier 'Grub Street' volumes which he and his collaborators have produced. Thus a full coverage of all aspects of aerial operations throughout the whole of the Mediterranean area will be the ultimate result. Further, these volumes will link appropriately and directly with his other works of this nature, dealing both with the Far East and the war in Europe. Readers will then be able to follow the wartime careers of units and personnel involved from volume to volume throughout the war. Operations directly over the main battlefronts will be dealt with as previously, on a daily basis. However, to allow a clearer view to be obtained of operations elsewhere in the theatre, or of a different nature, separate chapters will deal specifically with the night bombers, the air defence of the base areas, and the naval co-operation activities. Wide use of maps will be made throughout this and subsequent volumes together with a considerable number of photographs integrated into the text. Long awaited by many, if any work can be said to be comprehensive and definitive, this is it.
  • AEXYM
    • £39.39
    • RRP £50.00
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    Bismarck, the pride of the German navy, displaced more than 50,000 tonnes fully loaded and when commissioned she was the largest warship to date. The Bismarck took part in only one operation that ended with her sinking after just nine days. Three days earlier, she was engaged in a classic naval battle where she sunk Britain's largest warship, the mighty HMS Hood. Follow the fascinating story in Bismarck: Pride of the German Navy, the biggest ever written on the ship. Through photos, illustrations, maps and words, all aspects are described. The book also contains technical specifications, camouflage schemes, wreck photos as well as lists of officers, the fallen crew members and survivors. This is a definitive work, the result of nearly thirty years of study, with 540 illustrations, of which 150 are in colour.
  • BBRTF
    • £39.99
    • RRP £50.00
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    "A true milestone"...Lars Gyllenhaal, military historian and member of the Swedish Military History Committee. "This will become a work of reference...Christer Bergstrom's best book ever. Highly recommendable."...Martin Mansson, military historian and writer. "I have never read such a good book on the Second World War."...Lars Navander, Lieutenant Colonel and former Intelligence Officer at the Headquarters. "Christer Bergstrom's book is a brilliant, well-written and throurough-going account of one of the decisive battles of the Second World War."...From Swedish Library Service's review of Ardennerna 1944-1945: Hitlers vinteroffensiv. Reviewer: Tord Ronnholm. In December 1944, just at the end of World War II , Hitler shocked the whole world with a powerful German counter-offensive in the Ardennes. The ensuing battle, known as the Battle of the Bulge, In this book, highly renowned Swedish World War II expert Christer Bergstrom presents a dramatically new picture of this epic winter battle. Allied efforts to hide the true extent of U.S. losses, myths created by German generals after the war, numerous'forgotten' tank battles during the Battle of the Bulge, and the exceptionally well-prepared German offensive-all is uncovered in this truly groundbreaking book. Bergstrom has undertaken a scrupulous research work, interviewed veterans and traveled and studied the area for many years. The result is a book that will totally change the perception of the Battle of the Bulge. This will be a main reference work for many years to come. The book is provided with 400 illustrations, including many never previously published photographs, numerous detailed maps, and tank and aircraft colour profiles by Claes Sundin. The Swedish edition of this book was published in 2013 and sold over 3,000 copies in six months.
  • AZQZQ
    • £40.00
    • RRP £50.00
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    Short Stirling: Queen of the Skies is dedicated to the RAF's first four-engine heavy bomber and is the culmination of an incredible 30 years' comprehensive research. Illustrated with largely unpublished wartime photographs, it describes the design, construction and factories where Stirlings were produced. The men and women who built them relate their stories and the aircrews give their personal accounts of operating the Stirling. A chapter is devoted to the training of aircrews and flying the Stirling is described in detail. Not forgotten is the work of RAF ground crews and maintenance units, often working outdoors in sub-zero conditions. Then there are the civilian men and women who undertook repairs; little adulation was given for the vital work they achieved in rebuilding battle-damaged Stirlings. The final transport version of the Stirling is featured both in its RAF and post-war civilian role and how it went full circle to become a bomber once more in the hands of the Egyptian Air Force.
  • AULNN
    • £40.00
    • RRP £50.00
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    The third volume in this series returns to November 1942 to explain the background to the first major Anglo-American venture Operation Torch, the invasion of French North Africa. It deals with the fratricidal combats which followed the initial landings in Morocco and Algeria for several days. It then considers the efforts made unsuccessfully in the event to reach northern Tunisia before the Germans and Italians could get there to forestall the possibility of an attack from the west on the rear of the Afrika Korps forces, then beginning their retreat from El Alamein. The six months of hard fighting which followed as the Allies built up the strength of their joint air forces andgradually wrested control of the skies from the Axis, are covered in detail. Then from 1 April 1943 the continuing story of the Western Desert Air Force is told from thepoint at which Volume 2 ended, as it advanced from the east to join hands with the units in the west. Now also described are the arrivals over the front of American pilots and crew, the P-38 Lightning, the Spitfire IX and the B-17 Flying Fortress and of the much-feared Focke-Wulf FW 190. The aerial activities over Tunisia became one of the focal turning points of World War II, yet this is frequently overlooked by historians. As before, the air-sea activities, the reconnaissance flights and the growing day and night bomber offensives form a major part of this volume. The mastery of the whole African coastline of the southern Mediterranean by the Allies prepared the way for the invasions of the European territories on the other side of this critical sea during 1943, which will be dealt with in Volume 4."
  • BEMTJ
    • £40.00
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    Dictionnaire de la Waffen-SS: Tome 2 presents key divisions, many among which were of the elite, that played a crucial role on the battlefield during the Second World War which called upon approximately one million combatants during the course of the war. The Waffen-SS was a multi-ethnic and multi-national military force of the Third Reich. The Waffen-SS saw action throughout World War II and grew from three regiments to over 38 divisions, and served alongside the Wehrmacht Heer regular army, but was never formally part of it. It was Adolf Hitler's will that the Waffen-SS never be integrated into the army, it was to remain the armed wing of the Nazi Party and to become an elite police force once the war was won. This second volume presents the divisions of the Waffen-SS, 9th to 38th, with a history, successive structures and Knight's Cross and a significant iconography for each division.
  • ARECQ
    • £39.96
    • RRP £49.95
    • Save £9.99Save 18.999999999999999573674358543939888477325439453125%
    The Hungarian armed forces (known as the Honvedseg) were built up from the 1920s, their expansion gaining momentum once Hungary became free of the strict post-First World War Trianon treaty limitations in August 1938. Politically, Hungary was looking for a strong ally, who would help it to recover at least some of the territories containing sizeable Magyar ethnic populations that had been lost after the First World War. Initially, in the mid-1930s, Italy gave political assistance and supplied military materiel; then - on the eve of the Second World War - Germany also lent some support. In November 1938, Hungary managed to peacefully recover a chunk of its former territory from Czechoslovakia, followed by the Sub-Carpathian area during a brief border war in March 1939, and then the northern part of Transylvania from Rumania in August 1940. Later, in April 1941, the Bachka region and parts of Baranya were also taken back from the dismembered Yugoslavia, in a swift military action. The rub is that Hungary was sucked into the cauldron of the Eastern Front, and soon the Honveds (Hungarian soldiers) found themselves deep in Soviet territory, outgunned and outnumbered by the Red Army. Later on, from August 1944, the beleaguered Honvedseg had to fight in defence of its own territory. Alongside tiny Croatia, Hungary remained the last German ally up to the bitter end, and paid the price accordingly. This comprehensive reference, to be published in three volumes - the fruit of over twenty years of meticulous research - strives to provide a complete picture of the Hungarian armed forces between the years 1919 and 1945. Volume 1 (published in 2015) presents a brief history of the Magyars up until the end of the Second World War, as well as the building of the armed forces, and details the armoured formations and their equipment. Volume 2 covers in great details the activity of the air force (Chapter 4), the river flotilla (Chapter 5), as well as the combat operations of the Honvedseg (Chapter 6). The final volume will contain type sheets of every weapon and vehicle used by the Army, as well as all aircraft types in service with the Air Force. The discussed topics are described in great details, and illustrated with over 500 photographs, several maps and many tables.
  • AVLFC
    • £39.96
    • RRP £49.95
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    The Rout of the German-Fascist Troops in Belorussia in 1944 covers the Red Army's Belorussian strategic operation: the linchpin of the 10 major Soviet offensive efforts launched that year to clear the country of the invader. During the course of this operation, the German position along the western strategic direction was destroyed and the stage was set for an advance into Poland and Germany. The success of this operation also set the stage for the Red Army's subsequent advance into the Baltic and South-Eastern Europe. Like most works generated by the General Staff, the Belorussian study divides the operation into two parts: preparation and conduct. The first deals with the massive efforts by the First Baltic and the First, Second and Third Belorussian Fronts to accumulate the men and materiel to break through the German defenses in the swampy and forested terrain of Belorussia. This section contains valuable information on the overall correlation of forces, equipment and troops' densities along the breakthrough sectors and Soviet plans for supplying the offensive, as well as detailed information regarding the employment of the various combat arms. The second part deals with the actual conduct of the several front operations that comprised the overall effort. This section covers the initial breakthrough battles and the encirclement of the Vitebsk and Bobruisk garrisons, followed by the capture of Minsk and the encirclement of sizeable German forces east of the city. The narrative then continues with the follow-on operations to cut off German forces in the Baltic States and to seize crossings over the Vistula River in Eastern Poland. Compiled and written by professional staff officers, this study provides a detailed look at the conduct of one of the major operations of the Second World War. This latest work, along with other studies in this series, offers another insight into the Red Army's conduct of the war at the operational-strategic level.
  • AOWTA
    • £38.40
    • RRP £48.00
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    The attack on London between 1939 and 1945 is one of the most significant events in the citys modern history, the impact of which can still be seen in its urban and social landscapes. As a key record of the attack, the London County Council Bomb Damage Maps represent destruction on a huge scale, recording buildings and streets reduced to smoke and rubble. The full set of maps is made up of 110 hand-coloured 1:2500. Ordnance Survey base sheets originally published in 1916 but updated by the LCC to 1940. Because they use the 1916 map, they give us a glimpse of a lost London, before post-war redevelopment schemes began to shape the modern city. The colouring applied to the maps records a scale of damage to Londons built environment during the war the most detailed and complete survey of destruction caused by the aerial bombardment. A clear and fascinating introduction by expert Laurence Ward sets the maps in the full historical context of the events that gave rise to them, supported by archival photographs and tables of often grim statistics.
  • AKNYY
    • £35.79
    • RRP £45.00
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    This is the most comprehensive study yet in the English language of the German Imperial Navy's battlecruisers that served in the First World War. Known as Panzerkreuzer, literally 'armoured cruiser', the eight ships of the class were to be involved in several early North Sea skirmishes before the great pitched battle of Jutland where they inflicted devastating damage on the Royal Navy's battlecruiser fleet. In this new book the author details their design and construction, and traces the full service history of each ship, recounting their actions, largely from first-hand German sources and official documents, many previously unpublished in English. Detailed line drawings and maps augment the text throughout, as do a wealth of contemporary photos that depict the vessels at sea as well as in dock, where details of damage sustained in action and many aspects of their design can be viewed in close up. A superb series of full-colour, specially-commissioned computer graphics show full length profiles and top-down views of each ship in precise and clear detail. This stunning book is a major new contribution to German naval history in this country and will become a 'must-have' volume on the shelves of historians, enthusiasts and modellers and indeed for anyone interested in the navies of the First World War and steel warships in general.
  • BPLTX
    • £15.99
    • RRP £25.00
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    The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aero engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the vast air armada of Dakotas and gliders,carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. He gazed up in envy at the greatest demonstration of paratroop power ever seen. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But the cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were cruel and lasted until the end of the war. The British fascination for heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths, not least that victory was possible when in fact the plan imposed by Montgomery and General 'Boy' Browning was doomed from the start. Antony Beevor, using many overlooked and new sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of this epic clash. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war.