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Books > History > World history > From 1900 > Second World War

The Last Hurrah - South Africa And The Royal Tour Of 1947 (Paperback): Graham Viney The Last Hurrah - South Africa And The Royal Tour Of 1947 (Paperback)
Graham Viney
R285 R225 Discovery Miles 2 250 Save R60 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

The Last Hurrah describes in vivid detail a pivotal moment not just in the history of South Africa, that far-flung imperial outpost, but of the British Empire itself. The year 1947 marked the high-water mark of the British Empire in Africa, but also the very moment at which it began to unravel, ahead of the Afrikaner Nationalist victory in South Africa in 1948, which led inexorably to the Republic of South Africa in 1961 and its departure from the Commonwealth.

Graham Viney's book not only superbly captures a moment in the life of a fractious, recently formed 'nation', before its descent into nearly five decades of darkness, but also gives us an intimate and revealing portrait of the royal family - King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret - hard at work in support of the national interest. It seems clear that the present Queen Elizabeth must have learned a great deal from her father, but perhaps particularly her mother, about duty and statecraft in the course of this three-month tour, during which the then princess celebrated her twenty-first birthday.

Viney evocatively details the background to the 1947 royal tour of southern Africa, which took in not just the length and breadth of what was then the Union of South Africa, but its neighbours, too: Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Swaziland (very recently renamed the Kingdom of eSwatini), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). The royal family travelled ceaselessly, from February to April that year, on a specially commissioned, white-painted train, meeting thousands of people at every stop along the way.

The tour was a show of imperial solidarity and a recognition of South Africa's contribution to the Allied cause during the Second World War, specifically that of South African prime minister Jan Smuts, who, though once an adversary in the Boer War and Churchill's jailer, had served in both British war cabinets and been nicknamed 'the handyman of Empire'. Despite concerns and ongoing controversy, wherever the tour took the Royal Family, South Africans of all kinds turned out in their thousands to cheer and welcome them. But India was to gain independence later that same year and just one year later, Smuts had been ousted from power and South Africa set on the path to becoming a republic.

The Last Hurrah draws skilfully on many diverse sources, including the Royal Archive at Windsor, to explore not just the troubled politics of the time, but also local society and the royal visitors in richly textured, telling detail. The book includes many photographs of the royal family on tour not previously published, including stills from film footage unearthed in the South African Railway Museum archives.

SAS: Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History (Paperback): Ben MacIntyre SAS: Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History (Paperback)
Ben MacIntyre 1
R238 R171 Discovery Miles 1 710 Save R67 (28%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS.

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict chaos and mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.

The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.

In Enemy Hands - South Africa's POWs In World War II (Paperback): Karen Horn In Enemy Hands - South Africa's POWs In World War II (Paperback)
Karen Horn
R260 R205 Discovery Miles 2 050 Save R55 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

Historian Karen Horn painstakingly tracked down a number of former POWs in which their interviews reveal rich narratives of hardship, endurance, humour, longing and self-discovery. Instead of fighting, these men adapted to another war, one which was fought on the inside of many prison camps.

In their interviews, all the POWs expressed surprise at being asked to share their experiences of almost 70 years earlier.They returned home in 1945 to a country which soon afterwards tried its utmost to promote national amnesia with regard to the country’s participation in the war.

With great insight and empathy, Karen Horn shines a light on a neglected corner of South African history. Karen Horn is a lecturer at Stellenbosch University.

Renia's Diary - A Girl's Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Hardcover): Renia Spiegel Renia's Diary - A Girl's Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Hardcover)
Renia Spiegel 1
R406 R335 Discovery Miles 3 350 Save R71 (17%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Introduction by Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denial July 15, 1942, Wednesday Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o'clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I'm separated from the world. Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia's world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto. But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia's diary. Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia's Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, it is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.

Operation Swallow - American Soldiers' Remarkable Escape From Berga Concentration Camp (Hardcover): Mark Felton Operation Swallow - American Soldiers' Remarkable Escape From Berga Concentration Camp (Hardcover)
Mark Felton 1
R467 R379 Discovery Miles 3 790 Save R88 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

Operation Swallow is the true story of how a small group of American soldiers, inspired by a charismatic but reluctant leader named Hans Kasten, worked to save hundreds of fellow servicemen from a Nazi plan to turn Jewish prisoners of war into concentration camp slaves. It begins in the snowy forests of the Ardennes during Christmas 1944 and ends at the charnel house of Buchenwald concentration camp in spring 1945. It is a remarkable battle of wills between a young GI thrust into a leadership position he didn't want and an SS officer who will stop at nothing to complete his orders. Written from personal testimonies and official documents, it is an escape story replete with courage, sacrifice, torture, despair and salvation. Even more remarkably, it is a story that has barely been told before, a chapter of US military history that the American government tried to suppress for decades - and an uplifting story that deserves to be widely known.

Dunkirk - The History Behind the Major Motion Picture (Paperback, Film tie-in edition): Joshua Levine Dunkirk - The History Behind the Major Motion Picture (Paperback, Film tie-in edition)
Joshua Levine 1
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THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE EPIC TRUE STORY OF DUNKIRK - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN AND STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH, TOM HARDY AND MARK RYLANCE. In 1940, at the French port of Dunkirk, more than 300,000 trapped Allied troops were dramatically rescued from destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany by an extraordinary seaborne evacuation. The true history of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians involved in the nine-day skirmish has passed into legend. Now, the story Winston Churchill described as a 'miracle' is narrated by bestselling author Joshua Levine in its full, sweeping context, including new interviews with veterans and survivors. Told from the viewpoints of land, sea and air, Joshua Levine's Dunkirk is a dramatic account of a defeat that paved the way to ultimate victory and preserved liberty for generations to come.

Mapping the Second World War - The History of the War Through Maps from 1939 to 1945 (Hardcover): Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial... Mapping the Second World War - The History of the War Through Maps from 1939 to 1945 (Hardcover)
Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial War Museum 1
R747 R516 Discovery Miles 5 160 Save R231 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Follow the conflict of the Second World War from 1939 to 1945 in this unique volume, published in association with Imperial War Museums, London, featuring historical maps and photographs from their archives, and fascinating commentary from an expert historian. Over 150 maps tell the story of how this global war was fought. Types of maps featured: * Strategic maps showing theatres of war, frontiers and occupied territories * Maps covering key battles and offensives on major fronts * Planning and operations maps showing defences in detail * Propaganda and educational maps for the armed forces and general public * Maps showing dispositions of Allied and enemy forces * Bomber and V-weapon target maps Descriptions of key historical events accompany the maps, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian. Key topics covered include * 1939: Invasion of Poland * 1940: German invasion of Low Countries & France * 1940: Battle of Britain & German invasion threat * Dec 1941: Pearl Harbor * 1942: Turning points: Midway, Alamein, Stalingrad * 1941-45: Barbarossa and the Eastern Front * The War at Sea * The advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad * The War in the Air * 1944: Neptune & Overlord; D-Day & liberation of France

Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Paperback): Andrew Roberts Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Paperback)
Andrew Roberts 1
R320 R252 Discovery Miles 2 520 Save R68 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'

Hitler - Only the World Was Enough (Hardcover): Brendan Simms Hitler - Only the World Was Enough (Hardcover)
Brendan Simms 1
R570 R432 Discovery Miles 4 320 Save R138 (24%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

A revelatory new biography of Adolf Hitler from the acclaimed historian Brendan Simms Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied men in history, and yet the most important things we think we know about him are wrong. As Brendan Simms's major new biography shows, Hitler's main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-semitism and his determination to secure the 'living space' necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States. Drawing on new sources, Brendan Simms traces the way in which Hitler's ideology emerged after the First World War. The United States and the British Empire were, in his view, models for Germany's own empire, similarly founded on appropriation of land, racism and violence. Hitler's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany - a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but, through emigration and foreign influence, to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called the 'Anglo-Saxons'. In the end only dominance of the world would have been enough to achieve Hitler's objectives, and it ultimately required a coalition of virtually the entire world to defeat him. Brendan Simms's new book is the first to explain Hitler's beliefs fully, demonstrating how, as ever, it is ideas that are the ultimate source of the most murderous behaviour.

Arnhem - The Battle for the Bridges, 1944: The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller (Paperback): Antony Beevor Arnhem - The Battle for the Bridges, 1944: The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller (Paperback)
Antony Beevor 1
R195 R154 Discovery Miles 1 540 Save R41 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad 'Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . his fans will love it' - Robert Fox, Evening Standard 'The eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity' Daily Mail On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war. The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war. 'In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character' - Ben Macintyre, The Times 'Superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written' - Saul David, Daily Telegraph 'Complete mastery of both the story and the sources' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review 'Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time' - Jay Elwes, Prospect Magazine 'The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic' - Giles Milton, Sunday Times 'He is a master of his craft . . . we have here a definitive account' - Piers Paul Read, The Tablet

Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Hardcover): Andrew Roberts Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Hardcover)
Andrew Roberts 1
R665 R500 Discovery Miles 5 000 Save R165 (25%) In stock

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'

World War II Map by Map (Hardcover): Dk World War II Map by Map (Hardcover)
Dk; Contributions by Smithsonian Institution; Foreword by Peter Snow 1
R475 R364 Discovery Miles 3 640 Save R111 (23%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

Trace the epic history of World War 2 across the globe with more than 100 maps. Includes a foreword by Peter Snow, broadcaster and historian. In this stunning visual history book, purpose-made maps tell the story of the Second World War from the rise of the Axis powers to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and beyond. Each map is rich with detail and graphics, helping you to chart the progress of key events of World War II on land, sea, and air, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the D-Day landings, and the siege of Stalingrad. As well as purpose-made maps, historical maps from both Allied and Axis countries offer unique insights into the events. There are also timelines to help you follow the story as it unfolds, while narrative overviews explain the social, economic, political, and technical developments at the time. Fascinating, large-scale pictures introduce topics such as the Holocaust, blitzkrieg, kamikaze warfare, and code-breaking. Written by a team of historians headed by Richard Overy as consultant, World War II Map by Map examines how the deadliest conflict in history changed the face of our world. It is perfect for students, general readers, and military history enthusiasts.

Hitler - A Life (Hardcover): Peter Longerich Hitler - A Life (Hardcover)
Peter Longerich 1
R829 R553 Discovery Miles 5 530 Save R276 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Tyrant, psychopath, and implementer of a ruthless programme of racial extermination, Adolf Hitler was also the charismatic Fuhrer of millions of dedicated followers. In this major new biography, internationally acclaimed German historian Peter Longerich brings Hitler back to centre-stage in the history of Nazism, revealing a far more active and interventionist dictator than we are familiar with from recent accounts, with a flexibility of approach that often surprises. Whether it was foreign policy, war-making, terror, mass murder, cultural and religious affairs, or even mundane everyday matters, Longerich reveals how decisive a force Hitler was in the formulation of policy, sometimes right down to the smallest details, in a way which until now has not been fully appreciated. Consistently and ruthlessly destroying both the people and the power structures that stood in his way, Longerich shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Fuhrer dictatorship' - with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.

First to Fight - The Polish War 1939 (Hardcover): Roger Moorhouse First to Fight - The Polish War 1939 (Hardcover)
Roger Moorhouse 1
R592 R467 Discovery Miles 4 670 Save R125 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Drawing for the first time on Polish, German and Soviet sources, First to Fight is the definitive history of the German invasion of Poland, which opened the war in September 1939. Roger Moorhouse provides a dramatic narrative of military events, brought to life by a select cast of generals and politicians, soldiers and civilians from all sides. In the process, First to Fight explodes many of the myths that still surround the campaign and challenge our understanding of how Britain and France entered the war. Did Britain and France assist their Polish ally to the best of their abilities when the German armies crossed the border on 1 September 1939? While they went to war with Germany, why did they not declare war on the Soviet Union when its troops invaded Poland from the east later in the month? And if the violation of Poland had been the reason to go to war in 1939, how could the Western Allies justify handing the country over on a plate to Stalin in 1945? Published to tie in with the eightieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War, First to Fight explodes many of the myths around what is a shameful chapter in both British and French history, and forensically examines a pivotal moment in the war's history.

First Wave - The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in the Second World War (Hardcover): Alex Kershaw First Wave - The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in the Second World War (Hardcover)
Alex Kershaw 1
R473 R302 Discovery Miles 3 020 Save R171 (36%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'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

South Africans Versus Rommel - The Untold Story of the Desert War in World War II (Paperback): David Brock Katz South Africans Versus Rommel - The Untold Story of the Desert War in World War II (Paperback)
David Brock Katz
R280 R221 Discovery Miles 2 210 Save R59 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

South Africa’s Union Defence Force played an important part in World War II and also made tremendous sacrifices. By early 1941 South Africa had 30 000 troops in East Africa, where it helped drive the Italians out of Abyssinia and Somalia. This campaign was mere prelude to the operations it would conduct as part of the British Eighth Army against Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa.

In November 1941 the battle-hardened Afrika Korps decimated a South African force at Sidi Rezegh in Libya. Six weeks later, South Africans captured the ports of Bardia and Sollum, after Rommel withdrew to the west. Rommel regrouped and attacked again, driving the South Africans and British back toward the vital port of Tobruk. The situation was tenuous at best ‒ South African general Hendrik Klopper surrendered his trapped force of 35 000 men, including 10 000 South Africans, in June 1942.

When Rommel attacked El Alamein a week later, his lead elements were pinned down by South Africans, who went on to play a significant role in the month-long battle that halted Rommel’s advance into Egypt.

The Lost Boys - A Family Ripped Apart by War (Hardcover): Catherine Bailey The Lost Boys - A Family Ripped Apart by War (Hardcover)
Catherine Bailey 1
R479 R331 Discovery Miles 3 310 Save R148 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Catherine Bailey has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories . . . Wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying' Kate Atkinson ___________________________________________________________ Berlin, September 1944. Ulrich von Hassell, former ambassador to Italy and a key member of the German Resistance, is executed for his part in an assassination plot against Hitler. In response to the attack, Himmler, leader of the SS, orders the arrest of all the families of the plotters. In a remote castle in Italy, von Hassell's beloved daughter, Fey, is discovered just when she thought she had escaped the Nazi net. She is arrested and her two sons, aged three and two are seized by the SS. Fey has no idea of her children's fate as she is dragged away on a terrifying journey to the darkest corners of a Europe savaged by war. Moving from a palazzo in the heart of the Italian countryside to the horrors of Buchenwald, Catherine Bailey tells an extraordinary story of resistance at the heart of the Second World War. The Lost Boys is an illuminating and devastating account of great personal sacrifice, of loss and, above all, of defiance. ___________________________________________________________ 'Catherine Bailey demonstrates a truly remarkable ability to intertwine searing family histories with great historical events' Andrew Roberts

Stalin's Curse - Battling for Communism in War and Cold War (Paperback): Robert Gellately Stalin's Curse - Battling for Communism in War and Cold War (Paperback)
Robert Gellately
R328 R265 Discovery Miles 2 650 Save R63 (19%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The Second World War almost destroyed Stalin's Soviet Union. But victory over Nazi Germany provided the dictator with his great opportunity: to expand Soviet power way beyond the borders of the Soviet state. Well before the shooting stopped in 1945, the Soviet leader methodically set about the unprecedented task of creating a Red Empire that would soon stretch into the heart of Europe and Asia, displaying a supreme realism and ruthlessness that Machiavelli would surely have envied. By the time of his death in 1953, his new imperium was firmly in place, defining the contours of a Cold War world that was seemingly permanent and indestructible - and would last until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But what were Stalin's motives in this spectacular power grab? Was he no more than a latter-day Russian tsar, for whom Communist ideology was little more than a smoke-screen? Or was he simply a psychopathic killer? In Stalin's Curse, best-selling historian Robert Gellately firmly rejects both these simplifications of the man and his motives. Using a wealth of previously unavailable documentation, Gellately shows instead how Stalin's crimes are more accurately understood as the deeds of a ruthless and life-long Leninist revolutionary. Far from being a latter day 'Red Tsar' intent simply upon imperial expansion for its own sake, Stalin was in fact deeply inspired by the rhetoric of the Russian revolution and what Lenin had accomplished during the Great War. As Gellately convincingly shows, Stalin remained throughout these years steadfastly committed to a 'boundless faith' in Communism - and saw the Second World War as his chance to take up once again the old revolutionary mission to carry the Red Flag to the world.

Secret Pigeon Service - Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe (Paperback): Gordon Corera Secret Pigeon Service - Operation Columba, Resistance and the Struggle to Liberate Europe (Paperback)
Gordon Corera 1
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Gordon Corera uses declassified documents and extensive original research to tell the story of MI14(d) and the Secret Pigeon Service for the first time. `This is an amazing story' Simon Mayo, BBC Radio 2 Between 1941 and 1944, sixteen thousand plucky homing pigeons were dropped in an arc from Bordeaux to Copenhagen as part of 'Columba' - a secret British operation to bring back intelligence from those living under Nazi occupation. The messages flooded back written on tiny pieces of rice paper tucked into canisters and tied to the legs of the birds. Authentic voices from rural France, the Netherlands and Belgium - they were sometimes comic, often tragic and occasionally invaluable with details of German troop movements and fortifications, new Nazi weapons, radar system or the deployment of the feared V-1 and V-2 rockets that terrorized London. Who were the people who provided this rich seam of intelligence? Many were not trained agents nor, with a few exceptions, people with any experience of spying. At the centre of this book is the `Leopold Vindictive' network - a small group of Belgian villagers prepared to take huge risks. They were led by an extraordinary priest, Joseph Raskin - a man connected to royalty and whose intelligence was so valuable it was shown to Churchill, leading MI6 to parachute agents in to assist him. A powerful and tragic tale of wartime espionage, the book brings together the British and Belgian sides of the Leopold Vindictive's story and reveals for the first time the wider history of a quirky, quarrelsome band of spy masters and their special wartime operations, as well as how bitter rivalries in London placed the lives of secret agents at risk. It is a book not so much about pigeons as the remarkable people living in occupied Europe who were faced with the choice of how to respond to a call for help, and took the decision to resist.

Last Witnesses - Unchildlike Stories (Paperback): Svetlana Alexievich Last Witnesses - Unchildlike Stories (Paperback)
Svetlana Alexievich; Translated by Richard Pevear, Larissa Volokhonsky 1
R346 R213 Discovery Miles 2 130 Save R133 (38%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Stunning stories about what it was like to be a Soviet child during the upheaval and horror of the Second World War, from Nobel Laureate Svetlana Alexievich I finished first grade in May of 41, and my parents took me for the summer to the Pioneer camp. I came there, went for a swim once, and two days later the war began. German planes flew over, and we shouted "Hurray!" We didn't understand that they could be enemy planes. Until they began to bomb us... Then all colours disappeared. All shades. What did it mean to grow up in the Soviet Union during the Second World War? In the late 1970s, Svetlana Alexievich started interviewing people who had experienced war as children, the generation that survived and had to live with the trauma that would forever change the course of the Russian nation. With remarkable care and empathy, Alexievich gives voice to those whose stories are lost in the official narratives, uncovering a powerful, hidden history of one of the most important events of the twentieth century. Published to great acclaim in the USSR in 1985 and now available in English for the first time, this masterpiece offers a kaleidoscopic portrait of the human consequences of the war - and an extraordinary chronicle of the Russian soul.

The Shortest History of Germany (Paperback): James Hawes The Shortest History of Germany (Paperback)
James Hawes 1
R211 R172 Discovery Miles 1 720 Save R39 (18%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days
Game of Spies - The Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi, Bordeaux 1942-1944 (Paperback): Paddy Ashdown Game of Spies - The Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi, Bordeaux 1942-1944 (Paperback)
Paddy Ashdown
R242 R178 Discovery Miles 1 780 Save R64 (26%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Spies, bed-hopping, treachery and executions - this story of espionage in wartime Bordeaux is told for the first time. Game of Spies uncovers a lethal spy triangle at work during the Second World War. The story centres on three men - on British, one French and one German - and the duels they fought out in an atmosphere of collaboration, betrayal and assassination, in which comrades sold fellow comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots to the Germans, as casually as they would a bottle of wine. In this thrilling history of how ordinary, untrained people in occupied Europe faced the great questions of life, death and survival, Paddy Ashdown tells a fast-paced tale of SOE, betrayal and bloodshed in the city labelled `la plus belle collaboratrice' in the whole of France.

Britain in the Blitz (Paperback): Brenda Williams Britain in the Blitz (Paperback)
Brenda Williams
R138 R102 Discovery Miles 1 020 Save R36 (26%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The Blitz was a defining moment of the Second World War when civilians faced total war from the air with bombing raids over Britain. This title brings back the effect of the chilling wail of the air-raid siren followed by anxious, sleepless nights and stories of bravery from ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Well-illustrated with contemporary photographs, this book explores the Blitz and its effect on places and people.

Renia's Diary - A Girl's Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Paperback): Renia Spiegel Renia's Diary - A Girl's Life in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Paperback)
Renia Spiegel 1
R320 R252 Discovery Miles 2 520 Save R68 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

Introduction by Deborah Lipstadt, author of Denial

July 15, 1942, Wednesday

Remember this day; remember it well. You will tell generations to come. Since 8 o’clock today we have been shut away in the ghetto. I live here now. The world is separated from me and I’m separated from the world.

Renia is a young girl who dreams of becoming a poet. But Renia is Jewish, she lives in Poland and the year is 1939. When Russia and Germany invade her country, Renia's world shatters. Separated from her mother, her life takes on a new urgency as she flees Przemysl to escape night bombing raids, observes the disappearances of other Jewish families and, finally, witnesses the creation of the ghetto.

But alongside the terror of war, there is also great beauty, as she begins to find her voice as a writer and falls in love for the first time. She and the boy she falls in love with, Zygmunt, share their first kiss a few hours before the Nazis reach her hometown. And it is Zygmunt who writes the final, heartbreaking entry in Renia’s diary.

Recently rediscovered after seventy years, Renia’s Diary is already being described as a classic of Holocaust literature. Written with a clarity and skill that is reminiscent of Anne Frank, it is an extraordinary testament to both the horrors of war, and to the life that can exist even in the darkest times.

Waiting for War - Britain 1939-1940 (Hardcover): Barry Turner Waiting for War - Britain 1939-1940 (Hardcover)
Barry Turner 1
R476 R383 Discovery Miles 3 830 Save R93 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

At the outbreak of war in 1939, ordinary people were quickly forced to adapt to the realities of a nation under dire threat.

But it soon became known as the Phoney War, a time when official incompetence reigned supreme. Theatres and cinemas were closed and football matches cancelled, only for the government to realise belatedly that morale was plunging as a result. Thousands of women and children were evacuated to the countryside, only for many to flood back to the cities, preferring the dangers to separation from their families. Censorship of news was heavy-handed and bred widespread resentment.

In fact, the period from September 1939 to May 1940 was a time of intense political and military activity – the blitzkrieg on Poland, the start of the U-boat menace, the disastrous Norwegian campaign, the political manoeuvrings that brought Churchill to power. Barry Turner skilfully weaves these events into a compelling home front narrative which evokes the fears and dangers but also the humour and the absurdities of everyday life in the dark days of 1939–1940.

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