Military History Encyclopedia on the Web

Military History Encyclopedia on the Web

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Index of New Book Reviews January -April 2010

New Releases January-April 2010

2018 onwards - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - April-December 2012 -November 2011-March 2012 -July-October 2011 - January-June 2011 - March-December 2010 - January-April 2010 - September-December 2009 - January-August 2009- 2008 - 2007

23 April 2010

Hatamoto Samurai Horse and Foot Guards: 1540-1724, Stephen Turnbull. An excellent Osprey from the leading authority of this period of warfare in Japan Stephen Turnbull. Lavishly illustrated to Osprey's high standard, it covers the samurai guards who served under the flag protecting their lord in battle and serving as officers and emissaries in peace time for nearly 200 years. A fascinating book with many examples of duty, honour and loyalty. [read full review]

SAS Operation Bulbasket, Behind the Lines in Occupied France 1944, Paul McCue. A detailed examination of one of the SAS's missions in occupied France after D-Day, an attempt to cut railway lines, delay German reinforcements and co-operate with the Maquis. A German raid on the SAS camp was followed by war-crimes and some of the most accurate Mosquito pin-point raids of the war, carried out in revenge for the murder of an SAS officer. [read full review]

Edward IV and the War of the Roses, David Santiuste. A look at the military career of Edward IV, the often overlooked winner of the main part of the War of the Roses, and a king who ruled peacefully for nearly twelve years before dying a natural death. [read full review]

18 April 2010

Periscope View, George Simpson. Autobiography written by the commander of the 10th Submarine Flotilla from 1941-43, focusing on his time in command of a unit that sank or damaged over one millions tons of Axis shipping in the Mediterranean but at a very heavy cost, losing half of its submarines [read full review]

Mons: The Retreat to Victory, John Terraine. A classic account of the first phase of the fighting on the Western Front as it affected the B.E.F., from their arrival in France, to the battle of Mons itself and on to the long retreat and the battle of the Marne, supported by a good account of the experience of the French and German armies and their commanders [read full review]

Stalingrad: How the Red Army triumphed, Michael J. Jones. Focusing on the first phase of the battle - the German assault on the city - this book attempts to discover how the outnumbered defenders of Stalingrad managed to hold on until the Soviet counter-attack turned the tables on the Germans. A valuable attempt to uncover the true events of a battle often hidden behind a layer of Soviet propaganda [read full review]

The Man who ran London during the Great War, Richard Morris. A biography of General Sir Francis Lloyd, General Officer Commanding London District for most of the First World War. Covers Lloyd's service in the Sudan, where he fought at Omdurman, during the Boer War, and his peace-time military and political career as well as his time in charge of London, its military hospitals, crucial rail networks and anti-invasion defences. [read full review]

Saladin - Hero of Islam, Geoffrey Hindley. An invaluable, evenly-paced, full length biography of Saladin that spends as much time looking at his activities within the Islamic world as at his better known campaigns against the Crusader Kingdoms and the conquest of Jerusalem. A valuable look at the life of a leader who was respected on both sides of the religious divide in the Holy Land [read full review]

29 March 2010

Back Bearing: A Navigator's Tale, 1942 to 1974, Group Captain Eric Cropper. A useful account of a period of rapid navigation in the science of navigation, seen from the point of view of an RAF Officer who served as a navigator with Bomber Command during the Second World War then remained in the RAF for thirty years, becoming a senior figure in navigation training [read full review]

Wellington's Highland Warriors, From the Black Watch Mutiny to the Battle of Waterloo, Stuart Reid. Starts with a detailed examination of the raising of the Highland regiments which sheds a valuable light on the changing status of the Highland aristocrats after the '45, before moving on to look at the role the regiments playing in India, Spain and at Waterloo [read full review]

Underground Warfare, 1914-1918, Simon Jones. Looks at the British, French. Turkish and German efforts at underground warfare on the Western Front and at Gallipoli, examining major and minor attacks, defence warfare and the changing technology used to dig ever more elaborate tunnels and galleries in this largely hidden form of warfare that still produced some of the most dramatic images of the Great War [read full review]

24 March 2010

Ancient Warfare Volume IV Issue 1 . A multitude of peoples: Before Rome ruled Italy. Focusing on the many different peoples who inhabited Italy before the Roman conquest, from their near neighbours in Etruria to the Greek cities of southern Italy, this edition of Ancient Warfare magazine gives us a glimpse of an unfamiliar version of Ancient Italy . [see more]

The Battle of the Berezina, Napoleon's Great Escape, Alexander Mikaberidze. A very detailed account of the battles on the Berezina River that marked the end of the real fighting during Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812 and saw Napoleon and his Marshals escape from between three Russian armies, although at a heavy cost. [read full review]

Sea Flight: The Wartime Memoirs of a Fleet Air Arm Pilot, Hugh Popham. First published in 1954 this was the first memoir produced by a fighter pilot from the Fleet Air Arm, and captures the feel of the times while the nine year delay means that Popham had time to put his experiences into a wider context, both personally and within the framework of the war. [read full review]

Fw 200 Condor vs Atlantic Convoy 1941-43, Robert Forczyk. A well structured examination of the attacks made on Allied convoys by the Fw 200 Condor, described by Churchill as the 'scourge of the Atlantic', and Allied efforts to provide an effective defence against it, which after a slow start saw convoys protected by ever more anti-aircraft guns, fighter aircraft from escort carriers and long range land-based aircraft. [read full review]

11 March 2010

Battlefield Sniper - Over 100 Civil War Kills, Lt. Col. Tom C. McKenney. A flawed but fascinating account of one man's war against Union forces, triggered by the execution and mutilation of two of his sons, falsely identified as Confederate guerrillas. Acting as a lone sniper Hinson claimed at least thirty six victims before the end of the war [read full review]

The Riddles of Wipers, John Ivelaw-Chapman. A detailed examination of the articles contained in the Wipers Times, a newspaper published from the trenches during the First World War, looking at the in-jokes and hidden messages contained in them, and what they tell us about the British soldiers and the war they were fighting. Also includes one complete edition of the paper [read full review]

Save the Last Bullet for Yourself: A Soldier of Fortune in the Balkans and Somalia, Rob Krott. A compelling and convincing tale of life as a soldier of fortune in the Balkans and Somalia written by a former US Army officer, Harvard post-graduate student, looking at the first two years of his career as a successful soldier of fortune. [read full review]

Galloglass 1250-1600: Gaelic Mercenary Warrior, Fergus Cannan. An account of the life, equipment and battlefield experience of these mercenaries of Scottish descent who fought in Ireland between the mid 13th and early 17th centuries, taking part in battles between Irish lords and fighting both for and against the English. [read full review]

10 March 2010

The Awards of the George Cross, 1940-2009, John Frayn Turner. A chronological look at the 160 recipients of the George Cross, the highest ranked British award for gallantry away from the Front Line, stretching from the first awards in 1940 to that awarded to Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher in 2008. [read full review]

I was Hitler's Chauffeur, Erich Kempka. One of a series of memoirs written by Hitler's domestic staff, this account focuses on the last days of the Third Reich, and the descent into chaos and delusion in the Berlin bunker, ending with Kempka's role in the disposal of Hitler's corpse. Despite some flaws this is an invaluable eyewitness account from the heart of power in the Third Reich, and as such is of great value. [read full review]

The Forgotten Few: The Polish Air Force in World War II, Adam Zamoyski. A complete history of the Polish Air Force during the Second World War, taking is from the campaign in Poland in 1939, to the Fall of France and the Battle of Britain in 1940 and on through the long years of war to the tragic fate of Poland in 1945 and the post-war struggles of so many members of the Air Force. [read full review]

Tracing Your Liverpool Ancestors, Mike Royden. Mixes an economic and social history of Liverpool with a guide for the family historian, looking at both the general process of researching a family tree and topics that are specific to Liverpool, with a guide to relevant archives, print, online and sources. [read full review]

The Great German Escape: Uprising of Hitler's Nazis in Britain's POW Camps, Charles Whiting. A book with two themes - the first a daring plan by German POWs to break out of their camps late in 1944 and march on London, the second the fate of Baron Freiherr von der Heydte, a German paratrooper commander whose exploits in the Ardennes helped give the plot much of its credibility. [read full review]

19 February 2010

The Counterterrorist Manual: A Practical Guide to Elite International Units, Leroy Thompson. This well illustrated and up to date book covers the world of those who hunt the terrorists when an incident takes place, from Special Forces to special police teams. It covers the background and evolution of counter terrorism using some up to date examples of counterterrorism operations. Chapters also look at unit organization, training, selection and equipment, interspersed with many colour plates and diagrams. Its focus is very clearly on the teams that intervene during hostage or hijacking situations and does not cover the security and intelligence services and their operations against terrorist groups [read full review]

The Mongol Invasion of Japan 1274 and 1281, Stephen Turnbull. A high quality and beautifully illustrated account of the two Mongol invasions of Japan, drawing on Japanese, Korean, Mongol and Chinese sources and modern archaeology, to paint a detailed picture of a key moment in Japanese history. [read full review]

Over the Battlefield: Operation Bluecoat - Breakout from Normandy, Ian Daglish. A very detailed but still readable account of Operation Bluecoat, the British contribution to the final Allied breakout from Normandy, supported by an impressive number of small scale maps and aerial photographs. A very valuable piece of work. [read full review]

6 February 2010

Arctic Convoy PQ8: The Story of Capt Robert Brundle and the SS Harmatris, Michael Wadsworth. Combines an autobiography of the author's grandfather with the story of Arctic Convoys PQ8 and QP14 to produce a very human view of the arctic convoys and the struggles and suffering of the crews that helped get essential supplies to the Soviet Union. [read full review]

In All Things First - No.1 Squadron at War 1939-1945, Peter Caygill. A very details day-by-day history of the RAF's premier single engined fighter squadron during the Second World War, a period that saw them take part in just about every aspect of the air war, from the Battle of Britain to providing daylight bomber escorts over Germany. [read full review]

4 February 2010

Gunther Plüschow: Airman, Escaper, Explorer, Anton Rippon. The biography of a remarkable figure - a German airman who fought at Tsingtao in China, before become the only German POW to escape from Britain during either World War and returning to a hero's welcome in Germany. [read full review]

Tudor Sea Power - The Foundation of Greatness, David Childs. A wide ranging study of the Tudor navy from its rise under Henry VIII to the more famous clash with Spain under Elizabeth I, looking at every aspect of the fleet from the smallest details of equipment up to the great clashes with the French and Spanish. [read full review]

The Battle for Burma, Roy Conyers Nesbit. A well paced account of the series of campaigns fought in Burma between the Japanese invasion of 1942 and the Allied re-conquest of the country in 1945, covering the Japanese conquest of Burma, the campaigns on the Indian border, and the contribution made by India, American and Chinese troops to the eventual victory. [read full review]

3 February 2010

Searching for the Queen's Cowboys, Tony Maxwell. A book with three main strands: a travelogue that follows the author around South Africa as he filmed a documentary about the Strathcona Horse; reflections on his childhood in apartheid South Africa and on the history of the country; and an account of the role of the Strathcona Horse, a Canadian cavalry unit, in the fighting during the Boer War [read full review]

Alone I Fly - A Wellington Pilot's Desert War, Bill Bailey. Wider ranging than the title would suggest, Bailey served as a Wellington pilot in North Africa and from Malta, an airfield controller on Malta and as an instructor in the UK, all after surviving a fairly disastrous first mission in the desert. An engaging and wide ranging autobiography that gives an unusual view of the RAF at war. [read full review]

Mons, Anzac and Kut, by an MP, Lieutenant Colonel the Hon. Aubrey Herbert MP, ed. Edward Melotte. Three very different diaries from the same author that show how attitudes to the war changed in the first two years of the First World War as the promise of a short exciting war faded away. They also provide some valuable insights into the events they portray, illuminating the chaos of the early fighting in France and the hopelessness of the Allied position at Gallipoli. [read full review]

2 February 2010

The Real Tenko, Mark Felton. A grim account of the ordeals suffered by female prisoners of the Japanese during the Second World War, starting with a series of atrocities that took place during the initial conquests, and continuing throughout the war in the huge network on internment camps established across the new Japanese empire. [read full review]

Ancient Warfare Volume III Issue 6 .Carnyx, cornu and signa: Battlefield communications. With its main focus on military signals and standards this issue of Ancient Warfare magazine looks at the evolution of the battle standard from Persian to Roman times, and the various methods used to issue commands across the ancient battlefield, including musical instruments. Also includes a look at late Roman battle tactics, and the battle of Cunaxa. [see more]

Fleet Air Arm Carrier Warfare, Kev Darling. A complete history of the Fleet Air Arm's use of aircraft carriers, from the earliest experiments during the First World War, through the Second World War, where the carriers became the most important capital ships in the navy, the Korean War, which saw the Fleet Air Arm involved from the beginning to the end, the Falklands War, which re-emphasised the important of the carrier and right up to the current 'super-carriers'. [read full review]

Roman Conquests: Macedonia and Greece, Philip Matyszak. A lucid account of the eighty years that saw the Romans go from virtually unknown outsiders in Greece to become the dominate power in the peninsula having beaten the Macedonians in a series of devastating victories that helped established the superiority of the Legions over the Phalanx [read full review]

Yamato Class Battleships, Steve Wiper. Aimed at the modeller, this volume contains reviews of the best kits of the massive Yamato class of battleships and book reviews written from the point of view of their usefulness for the modeller. Also contains a good section on the design, construction, service record and eventual fate of the two battleships and one aircraft carrier in the class. [read full review]

US Destroyers 1934-45 Pre-war classes, Dave McComb. A look at the design, construction and service record of the ten classes of destroyers built for the US Navy between the resumption of destroyer construction in the early 1930s and the American entry into the Second World War, from the Farragut class of 1934 to the massive Gleaves class, of which sixty-six were funded between 1938 and 1942. [read full review]

24 January 2010

A Conscript in Korea, Neville Williams. An autobiographic account of the life of a National Serviceman during the Korean War, from training, through the journey to Korea and onto the front line, where Williams served in signals, responsible for fixing broken phone lines, often under heavy fire. An unusual perspective on an often forgotten war [read full review]

British Destroyers From Earliest Days to the Second World War, Norman Friedman. A very detailed look at the design of British destroyers from their earliest roots as torpedo boat destroyers, though the First World War and up to the start of the Second World War, supported by vast numbers of plans and well chosen photographs [read full review]

The History of 30 Assault Unit: Ian Fleming's Red Indians, Craig Cabell. An account of the history of a British Special Forces unit formed to capture intelligence from just behind enemy lines, and that served in North Africa, Italy and Northern Europe, carrying out some very daring missions under difficult conditions and seizing a great deal of valuable intelligence material [read full review]

Assault on Germany: The Battle of Geilenkirchen, Ken Ford. This is a very detailed account of the Allied assault on the German border town of Geilenkirchen at the end of 1944. This was the first battle fought by British troops on German soil during the Second World War, and also a good example of Anglo-American co-operation, with troops from both countries playing a major part in the assault. [read full review]

Lost Souls of the River Kwai, Bill Reed with Mitch Peeke. An often harrowing account of the suffering inflicted on British Prisoners of War who were forced to build the Burma Railway for the Japanese. Reed's vivid memories of these events tell a tale that needs to be remembered [read full review]

Cameos of the Western Front: Salient Points Five, Ypres and Picardy 1914-18, Tony Spagnoly and Ted Smith. A collection of ten short accounts of incidents in the fighting around the Ypres salient from the earliest battles of 1914 into 1917. A useful volume for anyone planning to visit the battlefields that can be used to guide them to the sites of some of the less well known moments of the fighting. [read full review]

9 January 2010

Foreign Planes in the Service of the Luftwaffe, Jean-Louis Roba. A lavishly illustrated look at the fate of the thousands of foreign military aircraft captured by the Germans during the Second World War (including particularly large numbers of Czech, French and Italian types), many of which went on to play important roles within the Luftwaffe. [read full review]

The Fourth Force: The Untold Story of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary since 1945, Geoff Puddefoot. A look at the development and deployment of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, which provides support services (including transporting fuel, ammunition and supplies) to the Royal Navy, from 1950 to the present day, a period in which the RFA was involved in the retreat from Empire, the Korean, Falklands and Iraq wars and a series of less well known operations, playing a vital role on each occasion. [read full review]

The Six Day War 1967: Jordan and Syria, Simon Dunstan. A well balanced account of the fighting on the Syrian and Jordanian fronts of the Six Day War, two short but critically important campaigns that saw the Israelis capture all of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, with an interesting post-script on the war's political impact in Israel and the Arab world. [read full review]

British Military Medals, Peter Duckers. A very useful guide to British campaign and gallantry medals, starting with a look at the early history of medals, before moving on to a chronological examination of campaign medals, and finishing with a look at gallantry medals. Each section is supported by a valuable guide to the sources available to anyone researching these medals, especially those in the National Archive at Kew. [read full review]

Operation Dragoon: The Liberation of Southern France, Anthony Tucker-Jones. A useful book that places this controversial campaign in its wider context, looking at the debates between the Allied leaders and its role in the revival of French power, as well as following the troops that landed in southern France up to Belfort and Lorraine. [read full review]

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