Your cart is empty
'Fascinating, full of original material and shrewd insights ... a masterful historian of air power' Leo McKinstry, Literary Review The RAF was the world's first air force. This is the story of its founding in 1918, as a response to the new terror of aerial warfare, the struggles to keep it alive amid controversy and opposition, its crucial role in the Second World War and its unique place in Britain's history. 'Brilliantly lucid' Noel Malcolm, Daily Telegraph 'Richard Overy is to be congratulated on creating a concise exposition of the formation of the RAF ... this is a book that makes you think' Peter Hart, BBC History Magazine 'A skilful pocket history of the founding of the Royal Air Force in 1918 ... a fine introduction' Kirkus Reviews
A wartime romance, survival saga and murder mystery set in rural France during the First World War, from the bestselling author of `Operation Mincemeat' and `Agent Zig-Zag'. Four young British soldiers find themselves trapped behind enemy lines at the height of the fighting on the Western Front in August 1914. Unable to get back to their units, they shelter in the tiny French village of Villeret, where they are fed, clothed and protected by the villagers, including the local matriarch Madame Dessenne, the baker and his wife. The self-styled leader of the band of fugitives, Private Robert Digby, falls in love with the 20-year-old-daughter of one of his protectors, and in November 1915 she gives birth to a baby girl. The child is just six months old when someone betrays the men to the Germans. They are captured, tried as spies and summarily condemned to death. Using the testimonies of the daughter, the villagers, detailed town hall records and, most movingly, the soldiers' last letters, Ben Macintyre reconstructs an extraordinary story of love, duplicity and shame - ultimately seeking to discover through decades of village rumour the answer to the question, `Who betrayed Private Digby and his men?' In this new updated edition the mystery is finally solved.
Patrick Bishop looks at the lives and the extraordinary risks that the painfully young pilots of Bomber Command took during the air-offensive against Germany from 1940-1945. As featured on the BBC 1 documentary BOMBER BOYS, presented by Ewan McGregor. They came from every corner of Britain and its Empire. They were the best of their generation...heading for one of the worst tasks of WWII. Like RAF pilots, the thousands of brave young men who joined Bomber Command took to the air to help Britain triumph in World War Two. But in the glow of victory, the fighter pilots were lauded for their efforts while the Bomber Boys faded in national memory. Crucial in the heat of combat, they were politically awkward afterwards. Yet with an average life expectancy shorter than that of soldiers on the Western front in WWI, these men faced death, injury and capture time and again to send bombs through the shrieking flak onto enemy territory. `Bomber Boys' is a tribute to their strength, courage and heroism - filling in the historical blanks and immortalising their memory.
From best-selling author of `A Brilliant Little Operation', winner of the British Army Military History prize and the Royal marines History prize for 2013, comes the long neglected D-Day story of the Resistance uprising and subsequent massacre on the Vercors massif - the largest action by the French Resistance during the Second World War. In 1941 factions of the French Resistance began to plot against their German occupiers. Aided by Allied arms and secret agents, they would seize the mountainous Vercors plateau in south-eastern France in a D-Day uprising intended to divert the Nazis from the Normandy beaches. But when muddled Allied strategy in London and Algiers left them abandoned, the 4,500 young fighters were left to face the might of the German Army alone. `The Cruel Victory' gives voice to the young fighters who fought the largest Resistance battle of the war. It is a story of how early idealism can turn to despair, and of the cost to those on the front line of battle when those at the top know too little about the harsh realities of war. It is a human story of heroic proportion.
In the autumn of 1914 Europe was at war. The battling powers had already suffered casualties on a scale previously unimaginable. On both the Western and Eastern fronts elaborate war plans lay in ruins and had been discarded in favour of desperate improvisation. In the West this resulted in the remorseless world of the trenches; in the East all eyes were focused on the old, beleaguered Austro-Hungarian fortress of Przemysl. The great siege that unfolded at Przemysl was the longest of the whole war. In the defence of the fortress and the struggle to relieve it Austria-Hungary suffered some 800,000 casualties. Almost unknown in the West, this was one of the great turning points of the conflict. If the Russians had broken through they could have invaded Central Europe, but by the time the fortress fell their strength was so sapped they could go no further. Alexander Watson, prize-winning author of Ring of Steel, has written one of the great epics of the First World War. Comparable to Stalingrad in 1942-3, Przemysl shaped the course of Europe's future. Neither Russians nor Austro-Hungarians ever recovered from their disasters. Using a huge range of sources, Watson brilliantly recreates a world of long-gone empires, broken armies and a cut-off community sliding into chaos. The siege was central to the war itself, but also a chilling harbinger of what would engulf the entire region in the coming decades, as nationalism, anti-semitism and an exterminatory fury took hold.
THE SUNDAY TIMES NON FICTION BESTSELLER WHSmith NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2018 'The best book you will ever read about Britain's greatest warplane.' Patrick Bishop, bestselling author of Fighter Boys. `A rich and heartfelt tribute to this most iconic British machine. By focussing on the men (and women) who flew the Spitfire, John Nichol has brought a fresh and powerful perspective to the story. And by recording their bravery, humility, camaraderie, tragedy and sheer joy in flying their beloved Spits he has done them - and us - a valuable service' Rowland White, bestselling author of Vulcan 607 'As the RAF marks its centenary, Nichol has created a thrilling and often moving tribute to some of its greatest heroes.' Jon Dennis, Mail on Sunday magazine. 'A stirring portrait of a piece of aviation art in motion flown by the bravest of the brave. Nichol's Spitfire is still a sky-borne prima ballerina that kicks like Bruce Lee.' RAF News 'A superb and compelling book. Brilliantly written with some incredible and astonishing stories; it is gripping, moving, emotional and sometimes humorous - just perfect' Squadron Leader (Ret) Clive Rowley, former Officer Commanding RAF Battle Of Britain Memorial Flight 'A superb journey through the remarkable tale of that British icon, the Spitfire. Brilliantly and engagingly written, this is the most readable story of the aircraft and her pilots that I have ever had the pleasure to read in a period spanning some forty-odd years of personal study and research. Truly stunning.' Andy Saunders, Editor, Britain at War Magazine. The perfect complementary narrative to the bestselling memoir by Geoffrey Wellum - First Light. Achtung, Spitfire! The iconic Spitfire found fame during the darkest early days of World War II. But what happened to the redoubtable fighter and its crews beyond the Battle of Britain, and why is it still so loved today? In late spring 1940, Nazi Germany's domination of Europe had looked unstoppable. With the British Isles in easy reach since the fall of France, Adolf Hitler was convinced that Great Britain would be defeated in the skies over her southern coast, confident his Messerschmitts and Heinkels would outclass anything the Royal Air Force threw at them. What Hitler hadn't planned for was the agility and resilience of a marvel of British engineering that would quickly pass into legend - the Spitfire. Bestselling author John Nichol's passionate portrait of this magnificent fighter aircraft, its many innovations and updates, and the people who flew and loved them, carries the reader beyond the dogfights over Kent and Sussex. Spanning the full global reach of the Spitfire's deployment during WWII, from Malta to North Africa and the Far East, then over the D-Day beaches, it is always accessible, effortlessly entertaining and full of extraordinary spirit. Here are edge-of-the-seat stories and heart-stopping first-hand accounts of battling pilots forced to bail out over occupied territory; of sacrifice and wartime love; of aristocratic female flyers, and of the mechanics who braved the Nazi onslaught to keep the aircraft in battle-ready condition. Nichol takes the reader on a hair-raising, nail-biting and moving wartime history of the iconic Spitfire populated by a cast of redoubtable, heroic characters that make you want to stand up and cheer.
As present-day political and military hostilities between Russia and the West threaten to escalate, The Cold War looks back at a global drama that positioned the world on the brink of nuclear Armageddon. Published 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of Communism in Europe that led to the end of the Cold War, it is a graphic account of a confrontation that encompassed moments of high tension, such as the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the nuclear alerts of 1973 and 1983. Written by leading defence analyst, Dr Norman Friedman, The Cold War is a fully illustrated account of this period of crisis, subterfuge and power. Showing rare documents, such as a 1963 nuclear attack protection booklet produced for homeowners by the British government, and an official pack for US troops passing through Checkpoint Charlie, the reader can witness events as they unfolded. The result is a vivid account of a historical period that is echoed in today's geopolitical climate. The Cold War is the perfect companion with which to examine the events of this tense period of history - events that resonate ever strongly in this modern era of paranoia and surveillance.
A study of scale plastic models built by both semi-professional and amateur modellers, inspired by the three wars that Finland fought between 1939 and 1945, all related to ongoing hostilities between Finland and the expansionist Soviet Union: The Winter War, 1939-1940; The Continuation War, 1941-1944; The Lapland War, 1944-45. As the Soviet Union changed its allegiance from supporting Nazi Germany to battling the Nazis, this placed the Finns in the unusual situation of being for, then against, then for the overall interests of the Allied powers. Each model or series of models is covered by a 4- to 8-page section explaining the historical relevance of the subjects and illustrating them in a series of full colour photographs. Featured models include aircraft, tanks and vehicles and soldiers, all displaying their unique camouflage and markings.
'History's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can' -Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call 'An absolute triumph' -James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and national bestselling author of Target Tokyo and Rampage 'The unforgettable human drama of history's most consequential invasion' -John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day-The Big Red One at Omaha Beach Beginning in the pre-dawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows ten men attempting to carry out D-Day's most critical missions. Their actions would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe. The ten make a charismatic, unforgettable cast. They include the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the only British soldier that day to earn a Victoria's Cross; the Canadian brothers who led their decimated troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; the colonel who faced the powerful 150mm guns of the Merville Battery; as well as a French commando who helped destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach. The book will give authentic voice to the invaders' enemies, the German enlisted men and officers tasked with destroying the Allies as they hit the beaches. The result is an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven drama, an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on the Second World War's longest day. Praise for Alex Kershaw: `From the opening pages, when Kershaw...drops us into the invasion of Paris, we know that we are in good hands. This is classic narrative nonfiction, constructed and written like a thriller.' Chicago Tribune `Exceptional.... balances evocative prose with attention to detail and is a worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers.' Wall Street Journal `Kershaw's writing is seamless. He incorporates information from a vast array of sources, but it works--you get a sense of the different voices coming into the story....A gripping read.' Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Don't be too ready to listen to stories told by attractive women.
They may be acting under orders." This was only one of the many
warnings given to the 30,000 British troops preparing to land in
the enemy territory of Nazi Germany nine-and-a-half months after
D-Day. The newest addition to the Bodleian Library's bestselling
series of wartime pamphlets, "Instructions for British Servicemen
in Germany, 1944" opens an intriguing window into the politics and
military stratagems that brought about the end of World War
This remarkable account tells the story of how, in its first two years, the First World War reduced Europe's mightiest empires to rubble, and cracked the foundations of the world. On a summer day in 1914, a nineteen-year-old Serbian nationalist gunned down Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. In less than a month, a combination of ambition, deceit, fear, jealousy, missed opportunities and miscalculation sent Austro-Hungarian troops marching into Serbia, German troops streaming toward Paris, and a vast Russian army into war, with Britain as her ally. No one could guess what lay ahead: years of slaughter, physical and moral exhaustion, and the near collapse of a civilization that until that moment had dominated the globe.
Updated for the 30th anniversary of the Falklands War, this is the bestselling, highly-acclaimed and most famous account of the conflict, written by the commander of the British Task Force. On 5 April 1982, three days after the invasion of the Falkland Islands, British armed forces were ordered to sail 8,000 miles to the South Atlantic unaware of what lay ahead of them or whether they would be committed to war with Argentina. In these engrossing memoirs, Admiral Sandy Woodward, Task Force commander from the aircraft carrier Hermes, takes us from day one to day one hundred of the conflict; from sailing through the waters of the Atlantic with hopes of a political settlement fading, and war becoming increasingly likely, to the repulse of the Argentinian navy and the daring amphibious landing at San Carlos Water. The war, which cost the lives of over 1,000 men, has left a legacy of many historical debates and controversies, from the sinking of ships such as HMS Coventry, HMS Sheffield and Sir Galahad, and the Argentinian cruiser, the Belgrano, to wider issues such as what was it like to command and fight a modern air and naval war, the biggest naval action since World War II. `One Hundred Days' is unique as a dramatic portrayal of the world of modern naval warfare, where despite the use of sophisticated equipment and communications, the margins for human error and courage were as wide as they were in the days of Nelson.
General Jannie Geldenhuys is widely regarded as one of the leading military commanders South Africa has ever produced. As Chief of the South African Defence Force from 1985 to 1990 he brought his experience to bear on the South African Border War, and was part of the negotiating team which brought an end to the conflict in 1989. In this edition, Geldenhuys reflects on a life defined as much by a military career spanning more than four decades as it was by politics and indeed the need for peace on the African sub-continent. At the Front covers the years before and during the protracted Border War. But rather than a blow-by-blow official history, it consists of Geldenhuys’ personal experiences and insights. These include facts unknown to civilians and even to some high-ranking military officials. In particular, Geldenhuys sheds light on the final years of the conflict and the negotiated settlement. Geldenhuys also writes of his early years, as he evolved from a rugby-mad young subaltern officer to a deep-thinking, reflective man with ever-sharpening insights into, war, peace, politics and, most of all, himself.
From bestselling and prize-winning author Paddy Ashdown, a revelatory new history of German opposition to Hitler. `Ashdown has a great gift for narrative history. He unearths little known stories and places them in context with great dexterity. His new book throws fresh and important light on a crucial topic.' JONATHAN DIMBLEBY In his last days, Adolf Hitler raged in his bunker that he had been betrayed by his own people, defeated from the inside. In part, he was right. By 1945, his armies were being crushed on all fronts, his regime collapsing with many fleeing retribution for their crimes. Yet, even before the war started, there were Germans very high in Hitler's command committed to bringing about his death and defeat. Paddy Ashdown tells, for the first time, the story of those at the very top of Hitler's Germany who tried first to prevent the Second World War and then to deny Hitler victory. Based on newly released files, the repeated attempts of the plotters to warn the Allies about Hitler's plans are revealed. What is revealed is that the anti-Hitler bomb plots, which have received so much attention are, in fact only a small part of a much wider story; one in which those at the highest levels of the German state used every means possible - conspiracy, assassination, espionage - to ensure that, for the sake of the long-term reputation of their country and the survival of liberal and democratic values, Hitler could not be allowed to win the war. It is a matter of record that the European Union we have today and the nature and central position of Germany within it, is, in very large measure, the future envisaged by the plotters and for which they gave their lives.
How does one play bridge in a gas mask? Or enjoy motoring without consuming petrol? Or deal with a nationwide shortage of pea-sticks? For this compact little book Heath Robinson joined forces with writer Cecil Hunt to show civilians `how to make the best of things' during the air raids, rationing, allotment tending and blackouts of the Second World War. The result is a warm celebration of the British population's ability to `make do and mend'.
The German bestseller on the final days of Nazi Germany One of the last untold stories of the Third Reich is that of the extraordinary wave of suicides, carried out not just by much of the Nazi leadership, but by thousands of ordinary Germans, in the war's closing period. Some of these were provoked by straightforward terror in the face of advancing Soviet troops or by personal guilt, but many could not be explained in such relatively straightforward terms. Florian Huber's remarkable book, a bestseller in Germany, confronts this terrible phenomenon. Other countries have suffered defeat, but not responded in the same way. What drove whole families, who in many cases had already withstood years of deprivation, aerial bombing and deaths in battle, to do this? In a brilliantly written, thoughtful and original work, Huber sees the entire project of the Third Reich as a sequence of almost overwhelming emotions and scenes for many Germans. He describes some of the key events which shaped the period from the First World War to the end of the Second, showing how the sheer intensity, allure and ferocity of Hitler's regime swept along millions. Its sudden end was, for many of them, simply impossible to absorb.
'A riveting, unvarnished and wholly unforgettable portrait of America's most storied commandos at war.' - Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction A stirringly evocative, thought-provoking, and often jaw-dropping account of SEAL Team Operator Robert O'Neill's awe-inspiring 400-mission career. O'Neill describes his idyllic childhood in Butte, Montana; his impulsive decision to join the SEALs; the arduous evaluation and training process; and the even tougher gauntlet he had to run to join the SEALs' most elite unit. The Operatordescribes the nonstop action of O'Neill's deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, evoking the black humor of years-long combat, and reveals firsthand details of the most discussed anti-terrorist operation in military history.
Soldiers disguised as a herd of cows, cork bath mats for troops crossing streams and a tank with a piano attachment for camp concerts are just some of the absurd inventions to be found in this book of cartoons designed to keep spirits up during the Second World War. These intricate comic drawings poke gentle fun at both the instruments of war and the indignity of the air-raid shelter in Heath Robinson's inimitable style.
In Millions Like Us Virginia Nicholson tells the story of the women's Second World War, through a host of individual women's experiences. We tend to see the Second World War as a man's war, featuring Spitfire crews and brave deeds on the Normandy beaches. But in conditions of "Total War" millions of women - in the Services and on the Home Front - demonstrated that they were cleverer, more broad-minded and altogether more complex than anyone had ever guessed. Millions Like Us tells the story of how these women loved, suffered, laughed, grieved and dared; how they re-made their world in peacetime. And how they would never be the same again ... 'Vividly entertaining, uplifting and humbling, Millions Like Us deserves to be a bestseller' Bel Mooney, The Daily Mail 'Passionate, fascinating, profoundly sympathetic' Artemis Cooper, Evening Standard Virginia Nicholson was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and grew up in Yorkshire and Sussex. She studied at Cambridge University and lived abroad in France and Italy, then worked as a documentary researcher for BBC Television. Her books include the acclaimed social history Among the Bohemians - Experiments in Living 1900-1939, and Singled Out - How Two Million Women Survived Without Men after the First World War, both published by Penguin in 2002 and 2007. She is married to a writer, has three children and lives in Sussex.
Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict, precipitating a battlefield humiliation for France in 1954, then a vastly greater one for the United States in 1975. Max Hastings has spent the past three years interviewing scores of participants on both sides, as well as researching a multitude of American and Vietnamese documents and memoirs, to create an epic narrative of an epic struggle. He portrays the set pieces of Dienbienphu, the Tet offensive, the air blitz of North Vietnam, and less familiar battles such as the bloodbath at Daido, where a US Marine battalion was almost wiped out, together with extraordinary recollections of Ho Chi Minh’s warriors. Here are the vivid realities of strife amid jungle and paddies that killed 2 million people.
Many writers treat the war as a US tragedy, yet Hastings sees it as overwhelmingly that of the Vietnamese people, of whom forty died for every American. US blunders and atrocities were matched by those committed by their enemies. While all the world has seen the image of a screaming, naked girl seared by napalm, it forgets countless eviscerations, beheadings and murders carried out by the communists. The people of both former Vietnams paid a bitter price for the Northerners’ victory in privation and oppression. Here is testimony from Vietcong guerrillas, Southern paratroopers, Saigon bargirls and Hanoi students alongside that of infantrymen from South Dakota, Marines from North Carolina, Huey pilots from Arkansas.
No past volume has blended a political and military narrative of the entire conflict with heart-stopping personal experiences, in the fashion that Max Hastings’ readers know so well. The author suggests that neither side deserved to win this struggle with so many lessons for the 21st century about the misuse of military might to confront intractable political and cultural challenges. He marshals testimony from warlords and peasants, statesmen and soldiers, to create an extraordinary record.
The Hachette Essentials series comprises a collection of titles that are regarded as modern classics. A carefully and lovingly curated selection of distinctive, ground-breaking fiction and non-fiction titles published since 1950. Timeless. Relevant. Passionate. Unified as a series - distinctive as books. A good book is great. A great book is essential. With the moral stamina and intellectual pose of a twentieth-century Titan, this slightly built, duitful, unassuming chemist set out systematically to remember the German hell on earth, steadfastly to think it through, and then to render it comprehensible in lucid, unpretentious prose. He was profoundly in touch with the minutest workings of the most endearing human events and with the most contempible. What has survived in Levi's writing isn't just his memory of the unbearable, but also, in THE PERIODIC TABLE and THE WRENCH, his delight in what made the world exquisite to him. He was himself a "magically endearing man, the most delicately forceful enchanter I've ever known" - PHILIP ROTH
You may like...
Renia's Diary - A Girl's Life in the…
Renia Spiegel Hardcover (1)
The Natal Campaign - A Sacrifice…
Hugh Rethman Paperback (4)
Blood Money - Stories Of An Ex-Recce's…Not available
Johan Raath Paperback (2)
Louis Botha - A Man Apart
Richard Steyn Paperback
Emily Hobhouse: Geliefde Verraaier
Elsabe Brits Paperback (4)
Oor Berge En Dale - Op Reis Met 'n…
Jackie Grobler Paperback (2)
Code Name: Johnny Walker - The…
Johnny Walker, Jim DeFelice Paperback
Ratels Aan Die Lomba - Die Storie Van…
Leopold Scholtz Paperback (4)
Ratels On The Lomba - The Story Of…
Leopold Scholtz Paperback (2)