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'A masterly mix of shrewd analysis, historical detail and telling quotes...Indispensable' Mail on Sunday 'Among a host of recent books on the 1980s, Turner's stands out as comfortably the most entertaining' Sunday Times When Margaret Thatcher became prime minister in 1979 she promised to bring harmony where once there had been discord. But Britain entered the 1980s bitterly divided over its future. At stake were the souls of the great population boom of the 1960s. Would they buy into the free-market, patriotic agenda of Thatcherism? Or the anti-racist, anti-sexist liberalism of the new left? From the miners' strike, the Falklands War and the spectre of AIDS, to Yes Minister, championship snooker and Boy George, Rejoice! Rejoice! steps back in time to relive the decade when the Iron Lady sought to remake Britain. What it discovers is a thoroughly foreign country.
On the morning of 21 November 1920, Jane Boyle walked to Sunday Mass in the church where she would be married five days later. That afternoon she went with her fiance to watch Tipperary and Dublin play a Gaelic football match at Croke Park. Across the city fourteen men lay dead in their beds after a synchronised IRA attack designed to cripple British intelligence services in Ireland. Trucks of police and military rumbled through the city streets as hundreds of people clamoured at the metal gates of Dublin Castle seeking refuge. Some of them were headed for Croke Park. Award-winning journalist and author Michael Foley recounts the extraordinary story of Bloody Sunday in Croke Park and the 90 seconds of shooting that changed Ireland forever. In a deeply intimate portrait he tells for the first time the stories of those killed, the police and military personnel who were in Croke Park that day, and the families left shattered in its aftermath, all against the backdrop of a fierce conflict that stretched from the streets of Dublin and the hedgerows of Tipperary to the halls of Westminster.
Part of the "Past in Perspective" series, this text provides a concise introduction to the events which led to the partition of Ireland, with a discussion of the subsequent development of the two Irish states which emerged from the events of 1920-1922. The author is even-handed in his treatment of the two Irish states and their politics, and deals sensitively with a very complex affair, especially when he deals with post-1968 developments. In addition to a core of chapters which explore a major theme in depth and from a number of angles, this book begins with a survey of the ways in which its theme has been treated in the past by historians and other writers; it includes a section of contemporary documents substantial enough to give an accurate flavour of the relevant theme, and it ends with a bibliography to give the guidance to further study. By these means, as well as the inexpensive format, the series aims to convey the facination of Irish history to a wider public.
On September 7, 1940, the Blitz began. The strategic bombing of London, by over one thousand planes on that night alone, was recognised at the time as being a direct measure to break the country's resistance, 'softening' Britain's shores for the planned Operation Sealion. It was a day long feared and anticipated, but the physical, political and personal shockwaves it sent through the British population outstripped all expectations."The First Day of the Blitz" tells of the enormous impact that this new terror from the skies had on the British people and the course of the war. From bureaucratic preparations, massively underestimating the decimation of housing, through the actual bombs dropped in the later afternoon and early evening, to the individual, collective and official responses, Peter Stansky argues that the first twelve hours of bombing determined much of the future of Britain. Not only was the country's ultimate victory over Germany in evidence; so too was the need for a transformation of British society. The wave of terror designed to demolish morale quite literally put into question what the British people were made of.The fact and idea of their stoicism and courage was fused into myth; with the intense feeling of camaraderie came a new consciousness of national identity, which paved the way towards the New Jerusalem of Beveridge and the 1945 Labour victory. The bombardment that so radically altered the physical face of London also changed the whole conception of what it meant - and means - to be 'British'.Weaving together a wide range of rich archival sources, among them newspaper reports, military documents, literary responses and unpublished testimonies, Peter Stansky gives a fascinating insight into the Blitz and a compelling analysis of what it signifies. It is an incisive account of British society at the very point of its transformation, and a timely examination of the first impact of terror in its modern form. We still live in the shadow of 'Black Saturday'; most relevantly to our concerns today, both the effectiveness of terror and its ultimate failure are made powerfully clear.
After a late and shaky start because of the jealousies of local agricultural societies, the Welsh National Agricultural Society founded in 1904 (to be renamed the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society in 1922) was to surmount many problems and difficulties in its first seventy years or so to become by the 1980s one of the three major agricultural societies in the United Kingdom. This remarkable success story is traced by David Howell in fourteen chapters which cover the holding of the show at Aberystwyth from 1904 to 1909, the migratory years between 1910 and 1962 when some 37 'canvass towns' were erected at different centres in north and south Wales in alternative years, and the society's fortunes on the permanent site at Llanelwedd from 1963.
In 1941, the United States was neutral ground, but Germany's killer forces were devouring Europe. The British Royal Air Force needed pilots fast, to fight the highly trained German combat forces. President Roosevelt and General ?Hap? Arnold knew the United States had to help turn the tide of war, and the Arnold Scheme was born. Lakeland and Arcadia, Florida. Camden, South Carolina. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Americus and Albany, Georgia. These were the Sunbelt towns that became the heart and soul of SEACTC (Southeast Air Corps Training Center) and welcomed thousands of British pilot trainees as they embarked on their dangerous missions. In excerpts from letters, diaries and journals, learn the inside story of the Arnold Scheme and the strategic offensive that would help prepare the nation for war.
The Girl from Hockley is a new, revised edition bringing together in one new volume this remarkable story. Born into the industrial slums of Birmingham in 1903, Kathleen Dayus became a legend in her own time. She vividly recalls her Edwardian childhood and her life as a young munitions worker during the war, marriage and life below the poverty line in the 1920s. Early widowhood and the Depression forced her to relinquish her children to Dr Barnado's homes until, eight long years later, she could afford a home for them again. Her autobiography is a testament to the indomitable spirit, humour and verve that characterised her life. Her extraordinary memory for the sights, sounds and smells of her youth, her marvellous sense of the comic and above all her spirited refusal to do anything but live life to the full, deservedly made her one of the most compelling storytellers of our time.
The acclaimed author of "Troublesome Young Men "reveals the behind-the-scenes story of how the United States forged its wartime alliance with Britain, told from the perspective of three key American players in London: Edward R. Murrow, the handsome, chain-smoking head of CBS News in Europe; Averell Harriman, the hard-driving millionaire who ran FDR's Lend-Lease program in London; and John Gilbert Winant, the shy, idealistic U.S. ambassador to Britain. Each man formed close ties with Winston Churchill--so much so that all became romantically involved with members of the prime minister's family. Drawing from a variety of primary sources, Lynne Olson skillfully depicts the dramatic personal journeys of these men who, determined to save Britain from Hitler, helped convince a cautious Franklin Roosevelt and reluctant American public to back the British at a critical time. Deeply human, brilliantly researched, and beautifully written, "Citizens of London" is a new triumph from an author swiftly becoming one of the finest in her field.
Live models display the many different costumes worn by women at war. Included are officers and rankers, mechanics and nurses, gun crews and drivers, boat crews and aircraft fitters, cooks and Military Police, technicians and stewards; in Britain, the Mediterranean and the Far East.
"The city is dead. There is no electricity, no trams. Warm rooms are rare. No water. Almost the only form of transport is sleds, carrying corpses in plain coffins, covered with rags or half clothed. Daily six to eight thousand die. The city is dying as it has lived for the last half year - clenching its teeth." - Nikolai Markevich's diary entry on January 24, 1942.
The casualties inflicted on all sides during World War II nearly defy belief, and even today estimates of the number of dead differ by tens of millions of people. Amid all of the destruction and carnage, perhaps nothing symbolizes the war quite like the Siege of Leningrad, one of the longest sieges in history and by far the deadliest.
When the Soviet-Nazi non-aggression pact of 1939 was broken by a German offensive against Russia, the surprised Red Army was quickly driven eastward away from the border with Poland, and Russian forces found themselves in a desperate attempt to defend major Russian cities from the Germany invaders. Leningrad, which had a population of roughly three million on the eve of the German attack, was one of the victims of the Russian unpreparedness, but once the siege began in the fall of 1941, the Soviets knew they were in a desperate struggle to the death. In fact, the Russians wouldn't have even been given a chance to surrender if they had wanted to, because the orders to the German forces instructed them to completely raze the city: "After the defeat of Soviet Russia there can be no interest in the continued existence of this large urban center...Following the city's encirclement, requests for surrender negotiations shall be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot and should not be solved by us. In this war for our very existence, we can have no interest in maintaining even a part of this very large urban population."
The Russians managed to barely supply the encircled city through a small corridor of land that connected to Lake Ladoga, with transports crossing the lake when it froze over in winter. This euphemistically became known as the Road of Life, but the precarious conditions and the Luftwaffe also left many referring to it as the Road of Death. And even though the Nazis never managed to entirely cut off that supply route, during the nearly 900 day siege, which lasted from September 1941 - January 1944, at least 750,000 civilians starved to death, one out of every three or four members of the pre-siege population. The siege was so devastating that estimates of civilian dead from all causes were estimated at over a million. To put the massive death toll of the siege of Leningrad in perspective, roughly 35 times more civilians died at Leningrad than in the London Blitz, and 4 times more died than in the bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.
Of course, the civilians were hardly the only ones struggling around Leningrad during the siege, because soldiers on both sides had to deal with combat and terrible weather conditions over the course of nearly 28 months. By the time the siege was lifted, the Germans had suffered an estimated 1 million casualties, while the Soviets suffered an estimated 1 million dead or missing and over 2 million wounded. Not surprisingly, the city itself was a hollow shell of itself, with over 11,000 buildings destroyed and wreckage strewn everywhere.
The Greatest Battles in History: The Siege of Leningrad comprehensively covers the entire military situation that led up to the siege, analyzes the decisions made by important leaders, and explains the aftermath of the Soviet victory. Along with a bibliography and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about the Siege of Leningrad like never before, in no time at all.
"The desert was quivering with heat. The gun detachments and the platoons squatted in their pits and trenches, the sweat running in rivers down their dust-caked faces. There was a terrible stench. The flies swarmed in black clouds upon the dead bodies and excreta and tormented the wounded. The place was strewn with burning tanks and carriers, wrecked guns and vehicles, and over all drifted the smoke and the dust from bursting high explosives and from the blasts of guns." - Cecil Ernest Lucas-Phillips
"It may almost be said, 'Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat.'" - Winston Churchill
The United States began 1942 determined to avenge Pearl Harbor, but the Allies, now including the Soviet Union by necessity, did not agree on war strategy. In 1941, both the Germans and British had moved armies into North Africa, where Italy had already tried and failed to reach the Suez Canal, and the British sought American help in North Africa, where British General Bernard Montgomery was fighting the legendary "Desert Fox," General Erwin Rommel. At the same time, Stalin was desperate for Allied action on the European continent that could free up the pressure on the besieged Soviets. Roosevelt eventually sided with Churchill and decided to land American forces on North Africa to assist the British against Rommel, much to Stalin's chagrin.
With the Axis forces trying to push through Egypt towards the Suez Canal and the British Mandate of Palestine, American forces landed to their west in North Africa, which ultimately compelled Rommel to try to break through before the Allies could build up and overwhelm them with superior numbers. Given that the combined Allied forces under Montgomery already had an advantage in manpower, Montgomery also wanted to be aggressive, and the fighting would start in late October 1942 with an Allied attack.
At Alamein, 195,000 troops in 11 divisions faced off against 50,000 Germans (four divisions) and 54,000 Italians (eight divisions), where they were able to use their superior numbers and weapons to defeat the Axis troops. Over the next few weeks, the Allies made steady progress and forced Rommel to conduct a fighting retreat to safety until his army linked up with another Axis army in Tunisia, but the fighting at the end of 1942 inevitably compelled all Axis forces to quit the theater, the first time since the beginning of the war that Africa was safe for the Allies.
The Second Battle of El Alamein was a turning point in the two-year conflict between Allied forces and a combined German-Italian force in North Africa. While the scale of the battle paled in comparison to the battles of the Eastern Front, where the majority of German troops were concentrated, it still marked an important victory in World War II, especially from the British perspective. The British, who had suffered through three years of war in which they seemed to teeter on the brink of defeat, were able to hang their hats on the victory, reviving the nation's morale and reaffirming its military might.
The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of El Alamein comprehensively covers the entire military situation that led up to the two battles of El Alamein, analyzes the decisions made by the battles' most important leaders, and explains the aftermath of the Allied victory. Along with a bibliography and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about El Alamein like never before, in no time at all.
Over the course of its history, England has engaged in an uncountable number of battles, but a select few have been celebrated like the Battle of Trafalgar, one of the most important naval battles in history. Before the battle, Napoleon still harbored dreams of sailing an invasion force across the English Channel and subduing England, but that would be dashed on October 21, 1805 by a British fleet that was outnumbered and outgunned. That morning, Admiral Horatio Nelson's fleet, 27 strong, bore down on the Franco-Spanish fleet, approaching at right angles in two columns. French Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve's disposition was conventional - a single line of battle, ill formed due to the very light winds and the poor seamanship of many of the crews. Traditional naval warfare strategies called for approaching an enemy fleet in one line and then creating a parallel line that allowed as many guns as possible to fire. At the same time, that kind of line of battle allowed for admirals to signal during battle, and it made retreating in an orderly fashion easier. After all, if an enemy's ships pursued during a retreat, they would break their own line. The problem with that strategy as Nelson saw it is that the ability to retreat meant fighting a decisive naval battle would be made much more difficult. Thus, at Trafalgar he employed a completely innovative strategy. The British plan was to punch straight through the enemy line with two approaching columns of ships, which would cut the Franco-Spanish fleet's line in three, prompting the melee that they knew would capitalize on their tactical superiority.
By the time the Battle of Trafalgar was finished, Nelson had scored arguably the most decisive victory in the history of naval warfare. The British took 22 vessels of the Franco-Spanish fleet and lost none, but as fate would have it, the man most responsible for the victory in one of history's most famous naval battles did not get to enjoy his crowning experience. Nelson's tactics were bold and innovative, but they also unquestionably exposed the advancing column to merciless fire during the approach, especially the Victory, which was naturally at the head of the advance. Around 1:00, the Victory herself was locked in combat with the French ship Redoutable when a sniper on the French ship's mizzentop took aim at Nelson from about 50 feet away. From such a distance, Nelson was an unquestionably conspicuous target, since he was impeccably dressed in his finest military attire. It was a habit that had caused great consternation before among his men, who had asked that he cover the stars on his uniform so that enemies wouldn't recognize his rank. Nevertheless, Nelson insisted on wearing them, famously countering, "In honour I gained them, and in honour I will die with them."
The impact of Trafalgar cannot be overstated, as it literally set the stage for the rest of the Napoleonic Era. Unable to invade England, Napoleon was limited to conducting war on the European continent, and while he spent the better part of a decade frustrating the British and their allies, he was eventually undone at Leipzig and then Waterloo nearly a decade after Nelson's victory at Trafalgar.
The Greatest Battles in History: The Battle of Trafalgar comprehensively covers the entire campaign, analyzes the decisions made by the battle's most important leaders, and explains the aftermath of the British victory. Along with a bibliography, maps of the battle, and pictures of important people and places, you will learn about the Battle of Trafalgar like you never have before, in no time at all.
"Approaching this place, soldiers used to say: 'We are entering hell.' And after spending one or two days here, they say: 'No, this isn't hell, this is ten times worse than hell.'" - Soviet general Vasily Chuikov
World War II was fought on a scale unlike anything before or since in human history, and the unfathomable casualty counts are attributable in large measure to the carnage inflicted between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union during Hitler's invasion of Russia and Stalin's desperate defense. The invasion came in 1941 following a nonaggression pact signed between the two in 1939, which allowed Hitler to focus his attention on the west without having to worry about an attack from the eastern front. While Germany was focusing on the west, the Soviet Union sent large contingents of troops to the border region between the two countries, and Stalin's plan to take territory in Poland and the Baltic States angered Hitler. By 1940, Hitler viewed Stalin as a major threat and had made the decision to invade Russia: "In the course of this contest, Russia must be disposed of...Spring 1941. The quicker we smash Russia the better." (Hoyt, p. 17)
The surprise achieved by the German invasion in 1941 allowed their armies to advance rapidly across an incredibly wide front, but once winter set in, the two sides had to dig in and brace for German sieges of Russian cities. In the spring of 1942, Germany once more made inroads toward Stalingrad, Stalin's own pet city. Not surprisingly, he ordered that it be held no matter what. There was more than vanity at stake though. Stalingrad was all that stood between Hitler and Moscow. It also was the last major obstacle to the Russian oil fields in the Caucuses which Stalin needed and Hitler coveted. If the city fell, so would the rest of the country, and Hitler would have an invaluable resource to fuel his armies.
Stalin chose his best general, Marshal Georgy Zhukov, to lead the more than one million soldiers who would stand between Germany and the precious city. Stalin made sure that they were continually supplied with every sort of military paraphernalia available, from tanks and aircraft to guns and ammunition. Zhukov, who had never been defeated, held the line until November 19, when Stalin ordered him to attack the now weary Germans. In a carefully planned pincer maneuver, the Soviet armies attacked from both the north and the south, carefully encircling the German troops until the German general, Friedrich Paulus, begged Hitler to allow him to withdraw. But by then the Fuhrer was obsessed with capturing the city that he refused his general's pleas, so the Germans attempted to hold on, losing thousands of additional men without taking the city. When the remains of the German 6th Army finally surrendered in February 1943, they had lost about 1.5 million men and over 6,000 tanks and aircraft in a little more than 5 months of fighting. The Soviets lost a staggering number as well, with estimates of over 1 million casualties.
Altogether, the Battle of Stalingrad was the deadliest battle in the history of warfare, and the Soviets' decisive victory there is considered one of the biggest turning points in the entire war, and certainly in the European theater. Over the next two years, the German gains in Russia were steadily reversed, and the Red Army eventually began pushing west towards Berlin. Fittingly, the importance of Stalingrad was commemorated in several ways, from Churchill presenting Stalin with a "Sword of Stalingrad" to the Russians' decision not to rebuild parts of the battle scarred city as a reminder of what happened there.
Cunningham was the best-known and most celebrated British admiral of the Second World War. He held one of the two major fleet commands between 1939 and 1942, and in 1942-43, he was Allied naval commander for the great amphibious operations in the Mediterranean. From 1943 to 1946, he was the First Sea Lord and a participant in the wartime conferences with Churchill, Stalin, Roosevelt and the US Chiefs of Staff, deliberating the global strategy for Allied victory. He also led a very active public life for almost twenty years after his retirement in 1946. Cunningham's papers are abundant for the period 1939-63 and are supplemented here by Cabinet and Admiralty records, papers of his service contemporaries and of Churchill, and by memories of his family and friends, as well as extensive US archives and private papers.
In the early days of the 20th century times were hard for a rural economy under pressure. Wealthy Suffolk business-owner, Felix Thornley Cobbold made a financial bequest which, on his death in 1909, was to 'help create a better rural economy' and change the future for many rural labourers. This detailed book is an account of his legacy over 100 years. Rosalind's account begins by looking at the man himself and the pressures and upheaval of the rural economy in his time. She recounts the vision that he had and the changes that he sought to make. She then follows the trust's history as it developed alongside the changes in agriculture from the Second World War through to the recent decline in farming. Over the years it has taken a large number of dedicated people to keep the trust running through the changes and difficulties which it faced. These people feature significantly in the book. While this book was in development, Otley College reached its 40th anniversary. To celebrate, an additional chapter covers the history of this widely respected institution, built on Cobbold land. This account is not simply a history of the development of the charitable trust but a story of the agricultural history of Suffolk, and similar arable areas throughout England, over 100 years.
This is a detailed, single volume analysis of Britain's changing position in the world during the twentieth century. It places British policy making in the appropriate domestic and international contexts, offers an alternative to the more negative, 'decline'-obsessed assessments of Britain's role and influence in global affairs. This book suggests that Britain's leaders did a better job than some historians think. Michael Turner, in order to understand why they took the options they did, investigates their motives and aims within the international environment within which they operated. >
Liam A" Duibhir charts the struggle for independence, both militarily and politically, in Donegal from before the events of Easter 1916 until the truce in 1921.Donegal has long been seen as one of the quietest counties during the War of Independence but this reputation belies an intriguing story of how republican sentiment grew in the county. From the first mention of Sinn Fein, through the conscription crisis and the success of the 1918 elections, A" Duibhir charts the rise of the new political leadership in Donegal and how they built their own system of justice and local government.Alongside the practical politics, he also highlights the role of the IRB and the activities of the volunteers in resisting and thwarting the British efforts to retain control and impose order. Featuring new information and a fresh look at events of the period, The Donegal Awakening offers an updated account of this crucial period.
Alison Halford was the most senior police woman in the United Kingdom when she was forced into retirement, her reputation in ruins after a viciously defended discrimination battle. After moving into the even more challenging world of Welsh politics, Halford became a County Councillor and a member of the North Wales Police Authority, although her presence was deeply resented after she uncovered injustices in the complaints procedure. Alison moved on to become one of the 60 Assembly Members in the newly devolved Welsh Assembly Government, as the Assembly Member for Delyn. In this book, Halford gives a graphic account of how she reached Cardiff, and a fresh insight into Welsh Labour's first four years of power, a struggle due to the Party's tiny majority. At the same time, she exposes the unjust treatment of a senior civilian employee who is suspended and subject to rank discrimination when she loses the trust of Chief Officers. Leeks from the Back Benches is a highly personal account of a political career, written almost exclusively from the author's diaries. It is also, however, a fascinating look at the world of Welsh politics, exploring issues such as the secretive world of the Police Authority, the North-South divide, governmental waste, and, above all, providing a real insight into the day-to-day activities of those who run the country.
Flamboyant, cultured and refined, aristocracy is often seen as a national treasure. Lords of Misrule takes a different view and considers the role of an aristocracy behaving badly. This is a book about the political, social and moral failings of aristocracy and the ways in which they have featured in political rhetoric. Drawing on the views of critics of aristocracy, it explores the dark side of power without responsibility. Less 'patrician paragons' than dissolute and debauched debtors, the aristocrats featured here undermined, rather than augmented, the fabric of national life. For the first time, Lords of Misrule recaptures the views of those radicals and reformers who were prepared to contemplate a Britain without aristocrats.
Critical acclaim for William B. Breuer
"A first-class historian."
Top Secret Tales of World War II
"A book for rainy days and long solitary nights by the fire. If there were a genre for cozy nonfiction, this would be the template."
"Perfect for the curious and adventure readers and those who love exotic tales and especially history buffs who will be surprised at what they didn’t know. Recommended for nearly everyone."
Daring Missions of World War II
"The author brings to light many previously unknown stories of behind-the-scenes bravery and covert activities that helped the Allies win critical victories."
Secret Weapons of World War II
"Rip-roaring tales . . . a delightful addition to the niche that Breuer has so successfully carved out."
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