Warfare & Defence Books
Leading Winston Churchill scholar Dr. Christopher Catherwood reveals what the former prime minister - a man often declared the greatest statesman to have ever lived - was like as a man in this painstakingly researched biography. It's packed with photographs and artefacts from the former PM's life.
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Drawing on archive interviews, artworks and personal notes for some of Churchill's most famous and inspiring wartime speeches, this book explores his hidden history in detail. From being homesick while at boarding school to his successes and failures (he disastrous Gallipoli campaign and his blind spot over India), it reveals him to be a powerful, colourful and remarkable character.
This is a must-read for anyone who is fascinated in political history and those who have gained an interest in the politician after seeing John Lithgow in The Crown or Gary Oldman's Oscar-winning performance in The Darkest Hour.
BBC security correspondent Gordon Corera reveals the story of MI14 and the Secret Pigeon Service during the Second World War for the first time in this compelling read.
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Using extensive original research and declassified documents, he reveals the inner workings of 'Columba' - an operation that saw 16,000 plucky homing pigeons dropped in an arc from Bourdeaux to Copenhagen in an effort to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation.
The messages came flooding back from France, the Netherlands and Belgium - all written on tiny pieces of rice paper that has been tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds - and these authentic missives ranged from the comic to the tragic and occasionally invaluable, giving the British Intelligence advance notice of German troop movements, weapons and more.
Corera also looks at the people behind this mission, not many of whom were trained agents or experienced in spying. He focuses in particular on the Leopold Vindictive network, a small group of Belgian villagers - led by priest Joseph Raskin - who were always prepared to risk everything. This is a powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage that looks at a quirky and quarrelsome band of spy masters and their unique operations.
The Battle of Passchendaele took place between July and November 1917 and is widely regarded as one of the worst battles of both World Wars.
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Fought by the Allies against the German Empire in a small corner of Belgium, it was a horrific event that ended with over 500,000 men killed, maimed, gassed or drowned - and many bodies were never found.
This book marks the centenary of the event. Historian Nick Lloyd references previously unexamined German documents to explain how the offensive put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than anyone has ever imagined...
It's a fascinating and poignant read for anyone with an interest in military history, trench warfare or past wars.
Published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, this three-book collection brings together a fascinating and authoritative social history of the Second World War.
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- Just £1.66 per book
A Prayer for Gallipoli covers the Great War from the point of view of a chaplain. Kenneth Best had no military training, so to fulfil his pastoral role, he had to get close to the front line and work with troops as they were under fire. As his empathy for the troops grew larger, he became more and more disgusted with their leaders. These diaries provide an insight into the horrific realities of trench warfare.
The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine looks at the people that are not normally mentioned during accounts of the War - those spivs, outcasts and unsung heroes who were in the shadows; and D-Day to Victory features the diaries of a British tank commander as the war finally came to an end.
All written using archive and primary sources, these are candid and compelling reads about the triumphs and tragedies of war.
This title looks at the Medium Mark A Whippet, one of the most successful British tanks of World War I and, when placed alongside existing titles covering the Mark I, Mark IV and Mark V, completes the New Vanguard series' coverage of the major British tanks of the war. The evolution of the Whippet is examined in detail, from design and development to mechanical details and crew duties, and information on the operational use of the vehicle is drawn from war diaries and battalion records. The Whippet was involved in several well-known incidents that will be presented in this volume, including the clash at Cachy on April 24, 1918, the actions of the 6th Battalion tank known as "Musical Box" on August 8, 1918, and Sewell's Victoria Cross-winning exploits with the 3rd Battalion on August 29, 1918. Mention will also be made of the Whippet's involvement with the Tank Corps' expedition to Russia. In addition to this examination of the Mark A Whippet is a study of the other Medium tanks up to the end of the war: the Medium B, Medium C, Medium D and the experimental American Studebaker tank.
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Find out how a pilot was instructed in flying a Battle of Britain fighter, using the original Pilot's Notes for the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane, as well as Air Ministry flying notes on captured Messerschmitt Bf 109s. See how each compares, view their cockpits and learn how they fly. All three aircraft handled superbly, and the Pilot's Notes help give an idea of what it was like to fl y in a real Second World War fighter aircraft. The aircraft were designed and first flew within months of each other, and all served throughout the war. More than 300 pilots on the Eastern Front shot down over 100 Soviet aircraft, each using Messerschmitt Bf 109s, while British aces in the Spitfire and Hurricane included Douglas Bader, Roland Beaumont, Neville Duke and Richard Hillary.
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The entry of the U.S. into World War II provided the Allies with the industrial might to finally take the war to German and Japanese forces across the world. Central to this was the focus of the American military industrial complex on the manufacture of tanks and armored fighting vehicles. Between 1939 and 1945, 88,140 tanks and 18,620 other armored vehicles were built, almost twice the number that Germany and Great Britain combined were able to supply. In this lavishly illustrated volume, armor expert Michael Green examines the dizzying array of machinery fielded by the U.S. Army, from the famed M4 Sherman, M3 Stuart, and M3 Lee through to the half-tracks, armored cars, self-propelled artillery, tank destroyers, armored recovery vehicles, and tracked landing vehicles which provided the armored fist that the Allies needed to break Axis resistance in Europe and the Pacific. Packed with historical and contemporary color photography, this encyclopedic new study details the design, development, and construction of these vehicles, their deployment in battle and the impact that they had on the outcome of the war.
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The sequel to French Tanks of World War II (1), this title focuses primarily on France's cavalry armored vehicles, including the light reconnaissance tanks such as the AMR and AMC families, the famous Somua S.35 cavalry tanks and the extensive array of armored half-track and armored cars used by the French cavalry. Specific attention is also paid to tanks considered important from a numerical standpoint such as the Hotchkiss H-35/H-39 series. Featuring specially commissioned profile artwork, photographs and illustrations, French Tanks of World War II (2) provides detailed insight into the background and design of these tank types and presents a brief, yet thorough assessment of their performance during the Battle of France.
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In the opening days of the Blitzkrieg campaign, few aircraft could invoke as much terror as the Junkers Ju 87. Nicknamed the "Stuka" (an abbreviation of Sturzkampfflugzeug - the German term for "dive-bomber"), the Ju 87 was perhaps the most feared tactical bomber of the ETO. With its fixed landing gear and inverted gull wings, the Stuka was the most recognizable aircraft of the Blitzkrieg era. With profile plates, close-up photographs and battlescene artwork, this book reveals the design and development history of the aircraft and how the inclusion of its dive-activated siren changed it from a reliable and sturdy dive bomber into a psychological weapon, spreading panic in ground units. Mike Guardia goes on to explain how the Stuka became easy prey for Allied aircraft and how its influence waned in the final years of the war.
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The development of the US Navy's dreadnought battleships was a pivotal part of America's evolution into a true world power. By the beginning of World War I, the United States possessed the world's third largest navy, with ten dreadnoughts in service and four more under construction. By the end of World War II, the US Navy was the undoubted global superpower, despite initial crippling losses to its battlefleet at Pearl Harbor. Richly illustrated with archive photographs as well as a full cutaway of the world's only surviving dreadnought, this comprehensive and detailed title covers the technical characteristics and combat record of the US dreadnoughts throughout their long careers.
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The Killing School brings readers inside the U.S. Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Scout/Sniper Course - the gruelling three-month training program that produces the world's deadliest snipers. As a SEAL sniper and combat veteran, Brandon Webb was tasked with revamping the U.S. Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) Scout/Sniper School, incorporating the latest advances in technology to create an entirely new course that continues to test even the best warriors. In this revealing new book, Webb takes readers through every aspect of the elite training. Trainees learn to utilize every edge possible to make their shot count - studying crosswinds, barometric pressure, latitude, and even the rotation of the Earth to becoming ballistic experts. In addition to marksmanship, each SEAL's endurance, stealth, and mental and physical stamina are pushed to the breaking point. Webb also shows how this training plays out in combat, using real-life exploits of the world's top snipers, including Jason Delgado, who made some of the most remarkable kill shots in the Iraq War; Nicholas Irving, the U.S. Army Ranger credited with thirty-three kills in a single tour in Afghanistan; and Rob Furlong, who during Operation Anaconda delivered the then-longest kill shot in history. During Webb's sniper school tenure, the course graduated some of the deadliest snipers of this generation, including Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor), Adam Brown (Fearless), and Chris Kyle (American Sniper). The Killing School demonstrates how today's sniper is trained to function as an entire military operation rolled into a single individual - an army of one.
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This book completes an authoritative two-part study on the Standard-type US battleships of World War II - ships that were designed to fight a different type of war than the one that unfolded. It gives precise technical details of the design history and features of the Tennessee, Colorado and the unfinished South Dakota and Lexington classes, whilst providing an operational history of the former two. Written by a leading expert on the US Navy in World War II and augmented by contemporary photographs and specially commissioned illustrations, this is the other half of the story of the US Standard-type battleships - from the terrible damage they sustained at Pearl Harbor to their support of the war-winning landings of the US Marine Corps and US Army.
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Lockheed's SR-71 Blackbird is one of the most iconic and famous jets ever built. Assembled in secret at Lockheed's Skunkworks, the Blackbird's vital statistics remain phenomenal decades later. It holds the airspeed record for a manned jet aircraft, operated at an altitude other aircraft could barely touch and was a marvel of technical engineering. Drawing on declassified material, leading SR-71 expert Paul Crickmore reveals the history of the most fascinating of aircraft, accompanied by a range of fantastic illustrations, photographs and facts about the world's most secret spy plane.
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In the years after World War II, new guided missile technology offered surface ships the chance to destroy airborne threats from afar, thereby preserving their role in naval warfare. This book examines the technology and combat performance of Britain's guided missile destroyers over half a century. Uniquely among modern destroyers, three of these classes have been tested in battle against the aircraft and missiles of another modern navy - in the Falklands War - as well as being deployed during the Gulf War. Written by an expert on British naval technology, this book assess the changing technology of the Royal Navy's destroyers over half a century, including an examination of the Royal Navy's newest and most capable warship, the Type 45.
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Although military rockets have been used since the Middle Ages, it was not until the Soviet Union pioneered the concept of Multiple Rocket Launchers (MRLs) in the late 1930s that they emerged as a decisive weapon. In the modern era, these Soviet/Russian Katyushas have served in combat in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and Georgia. Developed to fill the operational need for massed artillery fire support, the MRL possesses enormous destructive power and a devastating psychological impact. This New Vanguard provides a survey of Soviet and Russian Federation MRLs from the beginning of their development in 1941 to the present. It focuses on the history, design, and specifications of self-propelled ground MRL systems, but also covers towed, static, railway, and naval mounts. It highlights the many variants of the principal systems and include MRL unit tables of organization and equipment, information on MRL munition types, and coverage of dedicated MRL resupply vehicles.
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The Conjuror on the Kwai is the incredibly moving story of Gus Anckorn, a British soldier who was captured by the Japanese and held for over three and a half years. Before the war, Gus was a magician and throughout the war, entertained both fellow soldiers and Japanese guards with his tricks. Gus has a brilliant sense of humour and a 'tell it as it is' attitude which got him into a number of scrapes with both the Japanese and his own side. He has a remarkable humility to his character and is extremely endearing, both in the book and face to face guaranteeing massive media attention. Gus experienced terrible ordeals that no one should have to face. He should have been killed on four or five occasions, but remarkably survived due to quick thinking and good luck. Gus also reveals the heartache of leaving his fiancee behind and not knowing if he would ever see her again. This is an incredibly moving book and will surely be considered as one of the classic Far East POW stories. Gus is still alive and active today, very publicity focused and well connected. He still holds the unique claim of being the youngest ever member of the Magic Circle and is now currently their oldest ever member.He is also a member of the Masons. Gus has appeared on BBC TV when they arranged for him to meet a Japanese POW camp guard on the bridge at Kwai.
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More so than in the past, the US is now embracing the logic of preventive force: using military force to counter potential threats around the globe before they have fully materialized. While popular with individuals who seek to avoid too many "boots on the ground," preventive force is controversial because of its potential for unnecessary collateral damage. Who decides what threats are 'imminent'? Is there an international legal basis to kill or harm individuals who have a connection to that threat? Do the benefits of preventive force justify the costs? And, perhaps most importantly, is the US setting a dangerous international precedent? In Preventive Force, editors Kerstin Fisk and Jennifer Ramos bring together legal scholars, political scientists, international relations scholars, and prominent defense specialists to examine these questions, whether in the context of full-scale preventive war or preventive drone strikes. In particular, the volume highlights preventive drones strikes, as they mark a complete transformation of how the US understands international norms regarding the use of force, and could potentially lead to a 'slippery slope' for the US and other nations in terms of engaging in preventive warfare as a matter of course. A comprehensive resource that speaks to the contours of preventive force as a security strategy as well as to the practical, legal, and ethical considerations of its implementation, Preventive Force is a useful guide for political scientists, international relations scholars, and policymakers who seek a thorough and current overview of this essential topic.
First published in 1968 and 1976, the two volumes of this work still constitute the only authoritative study of the broad geo-political, economic and strategic factors behind the inter-war development of the Royal Navy and, to a great extent, that of its principal rival, the United States Navy. Roskill conceived the work as a peacetime equivalent of the official naval histories, filling the gap between the First World War volumes and his own study of the Navy in the Second. As such it is marked by the extensive use of British and American sources, from which Roskill extracted shrewd and balanced conclusions that have stood the test of time. The main themes of the first volume are: the after-effects of the Armistice; the struggle to prevent a renewed naval arms race, despite the challenge from the USA and Japan, which culminated in the Washington Naval Treaty; and the broader attempts at peace-keeping through diplomacy and the fragile vehicle of the League of Nations. On a technical level, the primacy of big-gun battleships was increasingly challenged by air power, and the Navy fought an internal battle with the Air Force to obtain sufficient aviation assets for the fleet.Although the 1920s is largely ignored in naval history, this volume demonstrates that the period is key to understanding the development of the Navy that fought the Second World War.
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Kill Chain is the essential history of drone warfare, a development in military technology that, as Andrew Cockburn demonstrates, has its origins in long-buried secret programmes dating to US military interventions in Vietnam and Yugoslavia. Cockburn follows the links in a chain that stretches from the White House, through the drone command center in Nevada, to the skies of Helmand Province. The book reveals the powerful interests-military, CIA and corporate-that turned the Pentagon away from manned aircraft and boots on the ground to killing by remote control. Cockburn uncovers the technological breakthroughs, the revolution in military philosophy, and the devastating collateral damage resulting from assassinations allegedly targeted with pinpoint precision. Vivid, powerful and chilling, Kill Chain draws on sources deep in the military and intelligence establishment to lay bare the failure of the modern American way of war.
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Camp Borden: A Century of Service is an overview of the history of this iconic institution. Over ten decades Borden has been a temporary posting, as either instructor or trainee, for countless thousands of military men and women who have served Canada in peace and war. For generations it has been a home to military families. And for a century it has been a part of the local community fabric of Ontario. This book, in a small way, pays tribute to Camp Borden as a unique part of Canada's history and heritage. It is not the complete story of Camp Borden, but hopefully it will inspire the reader to dig deeper into the layered history of a Canadian military treasure. Profusely illustrated with a good number of photos published here for the first time. For one hundred years Camp Borden has been part of the Canadian military landscape. During that time it has become an integral part of the history of the country, the province and the local counties. Thousands of men and women who have passed through Borden's gates have gone on to the serve the nation in peace and war leaving their mark on the Camp in countless ways. Families have called it home, even if for the short period of time that makes up a military posting, creating stories and memories of their own. Units have come and gone; some with the startling rapidity that is a hallmark of military life, while others have resided at Borden for decades and each has a rich history of its own. To put it simple, the history of Camp Borden is too large a tale to be captured in a book of this size. So the reader should consider this but a taste of the sumptuous banquet that is Borden's story. Commissioned by Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart Beaton (Retired), the Director of the Base Borden Military Museum, this book commemorates one hundred years of a very unique institution, but it does not tell the complete tale. There is much more work to be done. And an excellent starting place would be a visit to the Military Museum, and its Air Force Annex, where one will discover elements of Camp Borden's history that could not be covered in so slim a publication. Reaching out and touching one of the armoured vehicles in the Major-General Worthington Memorial Tank Park, or visiting the restored First World War training trench, will give the visitor a concrete link to the words in this book. Wrinkles and all, Camp Borden is still going strong and will "soldier on" for many years to come. The landscape may change, buildings will come and go, and its role will adapt to changing times, but the men and women who are the heart and soul of Borden will see to it that the camp continues to serve Canada with honour. The stories that will fill the next chapter of Borden's history are even now being written. Enjoy the read.
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The Chieftain was the British Army's Main Battle Tank from 1966 to 1986, providing the backbone of its heavy armour during the Cold War. Incorporating a host of revolutionary design features, Chieftains saw combat in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War; Kuwaiti Chieftains fought the Iraqi Army during the invasion of 1990; and British Army specialist engineer Chieftains were used in 1991 during Desert Storm. Author Dick Taylor is a former Chieftain and Challenger tank commander. The Haynes Chieftain Tank Manual is published in association with the Tank Museum.
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1944 Atomic testing at Los Alamos opens a rift in the fabric of space, while the detonation of the Fat Boy atomic bomb over Dresden creates a second. German and American scientists determine that signals are being transmitted through the rifts, many indecipherable, but some containing revolutionary scientific and technological theorems. Desperate for any military advantage, Germany and the US swiftly apply these discoveries to their war efforts, and incredible new weapons begin to appear on the battlefield. Angered by America's refusal to share the secrets of Rift-tech, Stalin declares war on the US and Britain, and the Allies are fractured. 1947 World War II has entered a completely new phase. Power-armoured infantry armed with personal wonder-weapons follow super-heavy tanks and mechanised walkers into battle, smashing defences with colossal firepower, while genetic monstrosities are sent out to hunt and terrorise enemy forces. This is the new nature of war. This is Konflikt '47. *** With rules inspired by the award-winning Bolt Action system, this standalone game takes World War II to a completely new level, and offers everything required to harness the incredible weapons and technologies made possible by the rift signals, and to engage in tabletop battles for supremacy and survival.
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Thirty-five years ago, Sir John Hackett published The Third World War, which speculated how WW3 might start and how it would be fought. Since it is now fashionable to call WW3 the Cold War, the time is right to publish a book about WW4, how it might start and most likely be fought. War planners must envision the unexpected and plan for the improbable, and the 20th century's theories of total war are going to be rendered obsolete by the 21st century's nuclear-enforced concept of limited war. In the future, with mutual acceptance of national survival in place, Mutually Assured Survival (MAS) wars can be waged between nuclear powers without introducing nuclear weapons. Author Doug Cohn offers in WW4 nine scenarios for how these might play out.
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Welcome to the Drone Age. Where self-defense has become naked aggression. Where courage has become cowardice. Where black ops have become standard operating procedure. In this remarkable and often shocking book, Laurie Calhoun dissects the moral, psychological, and cultural impact of remote-control killing in the twenty-first century. Can a drone operator conducting a targeted killing be likened to a mafia hitman? What difference, if any, is there between the Trayvon Martin case and the drone killing of a teen in Yemen? We Kill Because We Can takes a scalpel to the dark heart of Western foreign policy in order to answer these and many other troubling questions.
- RRP £9.99
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