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Our warfare and defence books provide in-depth accounts of some of the most important wars of all time. They will be of interest to anyone fascinated by military history.

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Warfare & Defence Books

  • For the Love of the Air Force

    Norman Ferguson

    Product Code: BHEQF
    Hardback
    * Which long-serving aircraft was known as 'Faithful Annie'? * In what year did the first female jet pilot join the RAF? * Where does the RAF motto, 'Per Ardua ad Astra', come from? For the answers to all these questions and more, take off into this fascinating miscellany and become a true RAF aficionado. With its famous Supermarine Spitfire and the legendary Red Arrows, the RAF has been a pillar of British military operations since its beginnings in 1918. This new miscellany brings together the origins of the RAF, the people who make it tick and the technology that lets it take to the skies, as well as the aviation lingo and time-honoured traditions that characterise the force we know today. Whether you have first-hand RAF experience or you're an enthusiastic supporter from the ground, this remarkable volume will be your guide to the oldest independent air force in the world. Chocks away!
    • £2.00
    • RRP £9.99
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  • First Man In

    Ant Middleton

    Product Code: BUKIX
    Paperback
    Former Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper Ant Middleton tells his incredible life story in this exhilarating and jaw-dropping autobiography.

    He offers an insight into Special Forces training and how you're programmed to understand failure is not an option. He also talks about the lessons he's learned and the personal tragedies he's suffered along the way.
    • £8.09
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  • Break Point

    Ollie Ollerton

    Product Code: CDBAX
    Paperback
    THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER OLLIE OLLERTON CO-HOSTS SAS: WHO DARES WINS ALONGSIDE ANT MIDDLETON, JASON FOX and MARK BILLINGHAM. THIS IS HIS INCREDIBLE TRUE STORY Where is your break point? Is it here? Facing the gruelling SAS selection process on one leg, with a busted ankle and the finish line nowhere in sight? Or here? Under heavy fire from armed kidnappers while protecting journalists en route to Baghdad. Or is it here? At the bottom of a bottle, with a family in pieces, unable to adapt to a civilian lifestyle, yearning for a warzone? Ex-Special Forces soldier and star of TV's SAS: Who Dares Wins, Ollie Ollerton has faced many break points in his life and now he tells us the vital lessons he has learnt. His incredible story features hardened criminals, high-speed car chases, counter-terrorism and humanitarian heroics - freeing children from a trafficking ring in Thailand. Ollie has faced break points in his personal life too, surviving a freak childhood attack, run-ins with the law as a teenager rebelling against a broken home, his self-destructive battles with alcohol and drug addiction, and his struggles with anxiety and depression. His final redemption as an entrepreneur and mental health charity ambassador has seen him overcome adversity to build a new and better life. 'Everyone has the capacity for incredible achievement, because it's only when it's crunch time, when you're down to your last bullet - when you're at break point - that you find out who you really are.'
    • £8.09
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  • Battle Scars

    Jason Fox

    Product Code: BXHRD
    Paperback
    Jason Fox, the star of Channel 4's SAS: Who Dares Win and The Real Narcos, reveals what really happens at (and after!) war with Battle Scars.

    All of the events depicted in this book took place during the last decade (Jason's time serving as an elite operator for the SBS) but the names and locations have been redacted to protect the security of all involved.

    He reveals all about the gunfights, daring escapes and hostage rescues and then evaluates the psychological devastation these experiences have contributed to. It's a powerful account of bravery and superhuman courage both on and away from a war zone.
    • £8.69
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  • Stand Up Straight

    Major General Paul Nanson

    Product Code: CCYAS
    Hardback
    'Fight your own battles with Sandhurst's self-help book' Telegraph For Life's Everyday Battles - The first official self-improvement and leadership book from the world-leading Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Winston Churchill never surrendered. Prince Harry has fought for mental health around the world. Tobias Ellwood risked his life to save others during the Westminster terrorist attack. Tim Peake became Britain's first astronaut on the International Space Station. Ed Withey even organized his wedding with military precision. The one thing all of these individuals have in common? Their world-class Sandhurst training. Stand Up Straight applies 10 simple but transformative lessons that every officer is taught during their time at the world-famous military academy. Modern and counter-intuitive, with its lessons ranging from making your bed and ironing your shirt to achieving discipline, emotional intelligence, resilience and fast decision-making under pressure, the book draws on first-hand experiences from war as well as the leadership lessons taught at Sandhurst. The result is a groundbreaking personal development book that can easily be applied to every aspect of civilian life - work, home, confidence, anxiety, family and friends.
    • £11.69
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  • World War II, Complete Illustrated History of

    Donald Sommerville

    Product Code: CCBIA
    Hardback
    This authoritative book begins with the aftermath of World War I, when new political movements and grievances took shape. The main section of the book then covers the war in detail from the advance of Nazi forces across Europe to Operation Barbarossa, and from the battles in North Africa to the war in the Pacific. Life during this time for civilians and prisoners of war is also considered, as is the genocide of these years and the creation of weapons of mass destruction. The final chapter covers the themes which shaped the second half of the 20th century - the establishment of the Iron Curtain, decolonization and the reconstruction of Europe. The brutal history and sheer scope of World War II is well- served by this intelligent and wide-ranging illustrated account of the conflict, told in an accessible style that is perfect for both the general and specialist reader.
    • £12.00
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  • World War I, Complete Illustrated History of

    Ian Westwell

    Product Code: CCBHZ
    Hardback
    A highly readable history of the military and political events of World War One, this wide-ranging book begins with the state of Europe before the war then embarks on major chapters chronicling the war a year at a time. Major battles are interspersed with sections detailing the weapons used from dreadnoughts and anti-aircraft guns to U-boats and heavy field artillery, with specification boxes providing key technical details on each weapon. A final chapter looks at the aftermath of war and the newly emerging European states. All aspects of the conflict are covered, from common illnesses through to the use of propaganda and atrocities on all sides. Key fact boxes delve into the lives of the political leaders, generals and fighters, and also discuss the political movements which flourished. The first battle of Ypres, battles in Champagne and Artois, the winter offensive against Russia, and the breaking of the Hindenburg line are all discussed in detail. It chronicles the course of each year of the war, and details the major events, including the battle of the Marne, the first day of the Somme, the race to the sea, and the stalemate on the Italian front. Fascinating fact boxes highlight the lives of important political leaders and generals, such as Alexei Brusilov, Henri-Philippe Petain, Douglas Haig, David Lloyd George and President Woodrow Wilson. Illustrated with compelling and evocative photographs taken during World War One, and featuring informative maps and battleplans.
    • £12.00
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  • Art of War Strategic Puzzles

    Richard Wolfrik Galland

    Product Code: BZJMG
    Hardback
    Art of War Strategic Puzzles provides the armchair general with a rigorous military strategic workout. 80 puzzles inspired by real-world generals and the battles they fought, as well as creative scenarios that are sure to test the skills and wisdom of even the toughest of generals. This book takes inspiration from The Art of War to provide 80 battlefield scenarios. Each chapter is set in a different time period, taking the reader from the battlefields of Ancient China and Greece, to the American Civil War and WW2. The puzzles will test the reader's powers of logical reasoning, battle strategy and more as they go toe-to-toe with the greatest generals the world has ever seen. "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting" - Sun Tzu
    • £11.99
    • RRP £14.99
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  • Arnhem

    Antony Beevor

    Product Code: BWHOM
    Paperback
    With a focus on often-overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, acclaimed historian Antony Beevor writes about the Battle for the Bridges in 1944.

    Written in a narrative style, this book looks into the heart of war and reveals this whole event was about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It also reveals how the Dutch risked everything to help.
    • £7.19
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  • Italian Armoured & Reconnaissance Cars 1911-45

    Filippo Cappellano

    Product Code: BQMGR
    Paperback
    The first Italian armoured cars were used in the war in Libya in 1911-12 against the Ottoman Empire. With few tanks being developed, the Italians relied instead on the development of more mobile armoured cars like the Ansaldo Lancia 1 Z, during World War I, but post-war the army, focusing on the Alpine battlegrounds of Italy's northern borders, did not consider armoured cars suitable for reconnaissance duties. The experience of the Spanish Civil War would provide the much needed last push for the Italians to develop modern armoured cars. The result were the famous AB 41-43 models, which fought against the British in North Africa and Marshall Tito's forces in Yugoslavia, along with other vehicles such as the AS 36 light armoured car. Using detailed colour plates and contemporary photographs, this book examines the development of the Italian armoured car in the two world wars and the inter-war years, from the deserts of North Africa to the slopes of the Alps.
    • £9.89
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  • The Art of War

    Sun Tzu

    Product Code: CDHTK
    Hardback
    Sun Tzu's book of strategy and psychology has as much to tell us today as when it was written 2,500 years ago. Michael Nylan, in her provocative introduction, sees new and unexpected lessons to be learned from The Art of War-in business, relationships, games of skill, academic careers and medical practices. Strategy, like conflict, is woven into society's very roots. Nylan's crisp translation "offers a masterly new evaluation of this classic work, which balances the overtly military content with a profound and thought-provoking analysis" (Olivia Milburn). It proves that Sun Tzu is more relevant than ever, helping us navigate the conflicts we know and those we have yet to endure.
  • Raiders from New France

    Rene Chartrand

    Product Code: CBZLS
    Paperback
    Though the French and British colonies in North America began on a 'level playing field', French political conservatism and limited investment allowed the British colonies to forge ahead, pushing into territories that the French had explored deeply but failed to exploit. The subsequent survival of 'New France' can largely be attributed to an intelligent doctrine of raiding warfare developed by imaginative French officers through close contact with Indian tribes and Canadian settlers. The ground-breaking new research explored in this study indicates that, far from the ad hoc opportunism these raids seemed to represent, they were in fact the result of a deliberate plan to overcome numerical weakness by exploiting the potential of mixed parties of French soldiers, Canadian backwoodsmen and allied Indian warriors. Supported by contemporary accounts from period documents and newly explored historical records, this study explores the 'hit-and-run' raids which kept New Englanders tied to a defensive position and ensured the continued existence of the French colonies until their eventual cession in 1763.
    • £10.39
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  • Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

    Horace Greasley

    Product Code: CBIQJ
    Paperback
    Horace 'Jim' Greasley was twenty years of age in the spring of 1939 when Adolf Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia and latterly Poland. There had been whispers and murmurs of discontent from certain quarters and the British government began to prepare for the inevitable war. After seven weeks training with the 2nd/5th Battalion Leicester, he found himself facing the might of the German army in a muddy field south of Cherbourg, in Northern France, with just thirty rounds of ammunition in his weapon pouch. Horace's war didn't last long. He was taken prisoner on 25th May 1940 and forced to endure a ten week march across France and Belgium en-route to Holland. Horace survived...barely...food was scarce; he took nourishment from dandelion leaves, small insects and occasionally a secret food package from a sympathetic villager, and drank rain water from ditches. Many of his fellow comrades were not so fortunate. Falling by the side of the road through sheer exhaustion and malnourishment meant a bullet through the back of the head and the corpse left to rot. After a three day train journey without food and water, Horace found himself incarcerated in a prison camp in Poland. It was there he embarked on an incredible love affair with a German girl interpreting for his captors. He experienced the sweet taste of freedom each time he escaped to see her, yet incredibly he made his way back into the camp each time, sometimes two, three times every week. Horace broke out of the camp then crept back in again under the cover of darkness after his natural urges were fulfilled. He brought food back to his fellow prisoners to supplement their meagre rations. He broke out of the camp over two hundred times and towards the end of the war even managed to bring radio parts back in. The BBC news would be delivered daily to over 3,000 prisoners. This is an incredible tale of one man's adversity and defiance of the German nation.
    • £5.99
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  • The Anarchy

    William Dalrymple

    Product Code: BZLKT
    Hardback
    In August 1765 the East India Company defeated and captured the young Mughal emperor and forced him to set up in his richest provinces a new government run by English traders who collected taxes through means of a vast and ruthless private army. The creation of this new government marked the moment that the East India Company ceased to be a conventional international trading corporation, dealing in silks and spices, and became something much more unusual: an aggressive colonial power in the guise of a multinational business. In less than half a century it had trained up a private security force of around 260,000 men - twice the size of the British army - and had subdued an entire subcontinent, conquering first Bengal and finally, in 1803, the Mughal capital of Delhi itself. The Company's reach stretched relentlessly until almost all of India south of the Himalayas was effectively ruled from a boardroom in London. The Anarchy tells the remarkable story of how one of the world's most magnificent empires disintegrated and came to be replaced by a dangerously unregulated private company, based thousands of miles overseas and answerable only to its shareholders. In his most ambitious and riveting book to date, William Dalrymple tells the story of the East India Company as it has never been told before, unfolding a timely cautionary tale of the first global corporate power. Three hundred and fifteen years after its founding, with a corporate Mogul now sitting in the White House, the story of the East India Company has never been more current.
    • £26.99
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  • Under Pressure

    Richard Humphreys

    Product Code: BZGLO
    Hardback
    Based on the first-hand experiences of a man who served on a submarine during the Cold War, Under Pressure is the shockingly candid, visceral, droll and incredibly entertaining account of what it's like to live in one of the most extreme man-made environments in the world. Richard Humphreys did not grow up near the sea, but in the heart of Britain. Attempting to join the Foreign Legion at just 17 years old, leaving for Marseille little to his parents' knowledge, it was an unexpected epiphany which told him that a career under the sea was for him. He ended up serving in the Royal Navy submarine service for over 5 years from 1985-1990, at the end of the Cold War when skirmishes with Russian subs were still frequent. Underwater, hidden away from the eyes of the world's media, was where the Cold War was at its hottest. This thrilling book depicts the astounding circumstances of someone who finds themselves living in deep underwater. It is not written from a military point of view, although some of that will of course come into it, but it rather concentrates on how it feels to live in this extreme environment - a world without natural light, surrounded by 140 other men, eating the same food, breathing the same air, smelling the same putrid smells, surviving together in some of the most forbidding conditions imaginable. It is a book which takes its cues from the likes of Scott Kelly's Endurance and Skyfaring by Mark Vanhoenacker, both New York Times bestsellers, which shine light on hitherto unexplored professions and allow readers glimpses into worlds they would otherwise never experience. Covering the disorientation of never knowing your exact location, the claustrophobia of bunking with 140 other men in a 430ft x 33ft steel tube for months at a time, and the effort needed to stay calm in an environment which offers no space or natural light, Under Pressure is an honest and gritty portrayal of one of the most unique ways of living known today.
    • £13.49
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  • The Spitfire Story

    Jacky Hyams

    Product Code: BXLHL
    Paperback
    The Spitfire Story, published in association with Imperial War Museums, is a fascinating anthology of first-hand stories from Spitfire heroes and heroines, as well as the people behind the scenes. The Spitfire is the world's most iconic aeroplane. Coming into its own during the Battle of Britain, it became famous during the Second World War as the only plane that could match the enemy fighters in the sky. Yet, even today, the history of the Spitfire contains many hitherto hidden or little-known stories of the men and women behind the plane; not only the gifted creators and inventors who brought the Spitfire to life, or the brave fighter pilots from many countries who triumphed in battle, but also the thousands of other people whose lives were affected by their personal connection to it - engineers, ground crew, factory or office workers, and their families. The Spitfire Story recounts the memories and stories of these people, from the birth of the iconic Spitfire in the 1930s to the present day. Among these accounts is the extraordinary tale of the fighter pilot who only discovered, fifty years on, the tragic truth of his last Spitfire flight, the businessman whose blank cheque changed the course of the war, the ninety-five-year-old Royal Air Force engineer who was determined to be reunited with his beloved Spit before he died, and the little girl who inspired the plane's creation - and went on to marry a movie star. Using documents, letters and photographs from the Imperial War Museums' unparalleled archive, plus exclusive first-hand interviews, these stories of the Spitfire are a revelatory collection of small but significant histories, to be treasured by all who love and admire the iconic plane.
    • £8.89
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  • Military Jets

    Jim Winchester

    Product Code: BXHDQ
    Hardback
    Illustrated with detailed artworks and full-colour photographs, Military Jets is a comprehensive study of key air superiority and ground attack aircraft developed since World War II. Arranged chronologically, each aircraft has a cutaway artwork labelled with key items of interest, and accompanying photographs showing both the aircraft's cockpit and exterior in detail, from every angle. With detailed specifications for each fighter aircraft, all the major types are featured, including the Phantom II, MiG-21 and F-22 Raptor, making Military Jets an essential reference guide for modellers and aviation enthusiasts.
    • £18.39
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  • The Art of War

    Tzu Sun

    Product Code: BWKKR
    Hardback
    A new illustrated edition of Sun Tzu's classic ancient Chinese meditation on military strategy and human psychology, with a new commentary that highlight its continued relevance for modern readers. Poetic and immensely readable, The Art of War was written 2,500 years ago and the military manual is still relevant today. A fascinating historical document that sheds light on ancient warfare, it is also a profound meditation on human psychology, interrogating the subjects of leadership, self-discipline and self-awareness. This new edition of the classic work is specially designed for modern readers. It includes an insightful introduction to the historical and philosophical context, and is accompanied by explanation and analysis of how Sun Tzu's lessons have been applied in some of the world's most famous battles. Renowned strategists from Field Marshal Montgomery to General Schwarzkopf have cited the book as an inspiration. The ancient text, attributed to Sun Tzu, is divided into 13 chapters that provide a logical and strategic approach to conflict and competition. Each focuses on a different aspect of warfare, including the importance of planning, managing your forces, decision-making, knowing your strengths and weaknesses, the art of deception and understanding the power of information. This edition, featuring more than 28 evocative photographs, offers a new perspective on a classic work and enables new generations to discover The Art of War and find new applications for the wisdom of Sun Tzu.
    • £11.69
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  • Soldier Against The Odds

    Lofty Large

    Product Code: BWARP
    Paperback
    Lofty Large is, quite simply, an SAS legend. He joined the army aged 15 in February 1946 and soon saw service in Germany and Hong Kong. By early 1951 the thundering engines of the Empire Orwell were transporting him and hundreds of others towards their first taste of war at the sharp end: Korea. He was wounded in action and captured as a prisoner-of-war by the enemy at the battle of the Imjin River. On his release two years later he was declared 'unfit for further military service'. Lofty Large refused to give up on his military career and defied the odds, passing the SAS selection course and going on to enjoy a long and eventful career with the Special Air Service. With that elite group Lofty served all over the world: in the mind-numbing cold, in the blazing desert heat and in sweat-drenched jungle warfare. He faced minefields , traps and ambushes, as well as bombs, bullets, rockets and napalm. He is the first to admit he also experienced a lot of luck, not the kind which wins money in gambling or business but the kind which means, when the smoke clears, that you are the bastard still standing. In his introduction to SAS Soldier Against The Odds, Andy McNab says Lofty was a survivor, 'but it's not just about luck. He is too modest to say that it's also about guts, thinking faster than the enemy and being willing to go further than they will to survive. That takes courage and skill." This book shows that Lofty Large, in winning his legendary SAS status, had more than his share of both those attributes.
    • £10.39
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  • The Dawn of Carrier Strike

    David Hobbs

    Product Code: BURQG
    Hardback
    Among all the celebrations of the RAF's centenary, it was largely forgotten that the establishment of an independent air force came at a cost - and it was the Royal Navy that paid the price. In 1918 it had been pre-eminent in the technology and tactics of employing aircraft at sea, but once it lost control of its own air power, it struggled to make the RAF prioritise naval interests, in the process losing ground to the rival naval air forces of Japan and the United States. This book documents that struggle through the cash-strapped 1920s and '30s, culminating in the Navy regaining control of its aviation in 1937, but too late to properly prepare for the impending war. However, despite the lack of resources, British naval flying had made progress, especially in the advancement of carrier strike doctrine. These developments are neatly illustrated by the experiences of Lieutenant William Lucy, who was to become Britain's first accredited air 'ace' of the war and to lead the world's first successful dive-bombing of a major warship. Making extensive use of the family archive, this book also reproduces many previously unseen photographs from Lucy's album, showing many aspects of life in the Fleet Air Arm up to the end of the Norway campaign. Although it is beyond the scope of this book, in November 1940 the inter-war concentration on carrier strike was to be spectacularly vindicated by the air attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto - it inspired the Japanese to a far larger effort at Pearl Harbor the following year, but the Royal Navy had shown the way.
    • £28.00
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  • Across an Angry Sea: The SAS in the Falklands War

    Cedric Delves

    Product Code: BSZAE
    Hardback
    In early summer 1982--winter in the South Atlantic--Argentina's military junta invades the Falklands. Within days, a Royal Navy Task Force is assembled and dispatched. This is the story of D Squadron, 22 SAS, commanded by Cedric Delves. The relentless tempo of events defies belief. Raging seas, inhospitable glaciers, hurricane-force winds, helicopter crashes, raids behind enemy lines--the Squadron prevailed against them all, but the cost was high. Holding fast to their humanity, D Squadron's fighters were there at the start and end of the Falklands War. Theirs was the first Union Jack raised over Government House in Stanley. 'Across an Angry Sea' is a chronicle of daring, skill and steadfastness among a tight-knit band of brothers; of learning fast, fighting hard, and winning through.
  • B-25 Mitchell Units of the CBI

    Edward M. Young

    Product Code: BTBJN
    Paperback
    Flying from and between bases in China and India, the B-25s bombed every type of Japanese target during World War 2 in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theatre, ultimately dropping more ordinance than their larger four-engined B-24 Liberator brethren. Mitchell bombers took on the task of disrupting the flow of Japanese supplies to the frontlines at medium ranges, bombing Japanese supply centres, railway depots and bridges. It was in this last capacity that the B-25 established a unique role as a `bridge-buster'. This provided significant support for the British Fourteenth Army as they advanced into Burma. Fully illustrated with detailed cutaway artwork, this book tells the important, yet forgotten story of B-25 operations in the CBI Theatre and the important role that this aircraft played on the road to victory.
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  • Bachem Ba 349 Natter

    Robert Forsyth

    Product Code: BPYSF
    Paperback
    The Bachem Ba 349 Natter was a secretive, vertical take-off, single-seat rocket interceptor intended to offer high-speed defence of key targets. This radical aircraft offered Luftwaffe an inexpensive means with which to intercept and attack Allied heavy bombers using a vertically-launched, semi-expendable machine built of wood and armed with a nose-mounted `honeycomb' battery of spin-stabilised air-to-air rockets as well as cannon armament. Launched vertically at 36,000ft per minute, the pilot was expected to fly within range of the enemy bombers, fire his rockets at them, ram another bomber, eject and parachute to the ground. Illustrated with contemporary photographs and stunning commissioned artwork, this study examines this inventive yet ultimately unsuccessful attempt by the Luftwaffe to defend against the tide of Allied aircraft that was bombing German cities into the ground.
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  • General Boy

    Richard Mead

    Product Code: BLHSF
    Paperback
    This is the first biography of Boy Browning, whose name is inextricably linked with the creation and employment of Britains airborne forces in the Second World War. Commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, Browning served on the Western Front, earning a DSO during the Battle of Cambrai. As Adjutant at Sandhurst, he began the tradition of riding a horse up the steps at the end of the commissioning parade. Browning represented England as a hurdler and Great Britain at the 1928 Winter Olympics. In 1932 Browning married Daphne du Maurier, who was ten years younger and became one of the 20th centurys most enduring and popular novelists with titles such as Jamaica Inn and Rebecca. Browning commanded two brigades before being appointed to command 1 Airborne Division in 1941, later acting as Eisenhowers advisor on airborne warfare in the Mediterranean. In 1944 he commanded 1st Airborne Corps, which he took to Holland for Operation MARKET GARDEN that September. Allegedly coining the phrase a bridge too far, he has received much of the blame for the operations failure. In late 1944, Browning became Chief of Staff to Mountbatten. In 1948 he became Comptroller and Treasurer to Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip and then Treasurer to the latter following the Queens accession. He was a close adviser to the Royal couple who respected his judgment. By this time Boy and Daphne lived separate lives with Boy working at the Palace in London and Daphne reluctant to leave her beloved Cornwall although the marriage remained intact. Questions exist as to Daphnes sexuality and Boy had a succession of discrete mistresses. After a nervous breakdown probably due to marriage problems, he resigned in 1959 and retired to Cornwall. Browning died in March 1965.
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