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Martin Windrow - Author

About the Author

Born in 1944 and educated at Wellington College, Martin Windrow is an Associate of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Foreign Legion Association of Great Britain. He has worked in publishing since the mid-1960s as a commissioning editor and author.

Featured books by Martin Windrow

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2014

'Perched on the back of a sunlit chair was something about 9 inches tall and shaped rather like a plump toy penguin with a nose-job. It appeared to be wearing a one-piece knitted jumpsuit of pale grey fluff with brown stitching, complete with an attached balaclava helmet. From the face-hole of the fuzzy balaclava, two big, shiny black eyes gazed up at me trustfully. Kweep, it said quietly.' When author Martin Windrow met the tawny owlet that he christened Mumble, it was love at first sight. Raising her from a fledgling, through adolescence and into her prime years, Windrow recorded every detail of their time living together (secretly) in a south London tower block, and later in a Sussex village. This is the touching, intriguing and eccentric story of their 15-year relationship, complete with photographs and illustrations of the beautiful Mumble. Along the way, we are given fascinating insight into the ornithology of owls - from their evolution and biology to their breeding habits and hunting tactics. The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar is a witty, quirky and utterly charming account of the companionship between one man and his owl.

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/02/2014

'Perched on the back of a sunlit chair was something about 9 inches tall and shaped rather like a plump toy penguin with a nose-job. It appeared to be wearing a one-piece knitted jumpsuit of pale grey fluff with brown stitching, complete with an attached balaclava helmet. From the face-hole of the fuzzy balaclava, two big, shiny black eyes gazed up at me trustfully. Kweep, it said quietly.' When author Martin Windrow met the tawny owlet that he christened Mumble, it was love at first sight. Raising her from a fledgling, through adolescence and into her prime years, Windrow recorded every detail of their time living together (secretly) in a south London tower block, and later in a Sussex village. This is the touching, intriguing and eccentric story of their 15-year relationship, complete with photographs and illustrations of the beautiful Mumble. Along the way, we are given fascinating insight into the ornithology of owls - from their evolution and biology to their breeding habits and hunting tactics. The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar is a witty, quirky and utterly charming account of the companionship between one man and his owl.

Other books by Martin Windrow

French Foreign Legionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent North Vietnam 1948-52

French Foreign Legionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent North Vietnam 1948-52

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/09/2018

The French Indochina War (1946-54) was the largest of the first generation of post-World War II wars of decolonization as Vietminh insurgents sought to topple their French colonial masters. It was also unique in that the insurgency evolved from low-level guerrilla activity to mobile operations by a large conventional army which finally defeated a large European-led expeditionary force, supported by artillery, armour and airpower. The war's progress was almost entirely dictated by the extreme terrain, and by the Chinese support enjoyed by the Vietnamese insurgents. The actions explored in this study cover three contrasting phases of the war in Tonkin during 1948-52, setting both sides on the path that would lead to the conflict's climactic encounter at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Featuring specially commissioned artwork and drawing upon a range of sources, this meticulously researched study casts new light on the troops who fought on both sides in this evolving and momentous conflict.

French Foreign Legion 1831-71

French Foreign Legion 1831-71

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/12/2016

Concluding his bestselling series on the French Foreign Legion, Martin Windrow explores the formation and development of the Legion during its 'first generation'. Raised in 1831, the Legion's formative years would see it fight continuous and savage campaigns in Algeria, aid the Spanish government in the Carlist War, join the British in the Crimean campaign and fight alongside the Swiss in the bloody battles of Magenta and Solferino. With the ever-changing combat environments they found themselves in, the Legion had to constantly adapt in order to survive. Taking advantage of the latest research, this lavishly illustrated study explores the evolution of the uniforms and kit of the French Foreign Legion, from their early campaigns in Algeria through to their iconic Battle of Camerone in Mexico and their role in the Franco-Prussian war.

Warriors Fighting men and their uniforms

Warriors Fighting men and their uniforms

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2015

From ancient times to the present day, the world's finest warriors have been marked out by a stunning variety of dress, tactics and equipment. This splendid collection of artwork and commentaries illustrates 100 of the most famous combatants from all the ages of military history, bringing them to life in incredible colour and detail. From the gleaming plate armour of the Roman Legionaries to the sleek gear of modern special ops forces, from the magnificent attire of Seminole warriors to the special equipment of the US Navy SEALs, this is an unmissable tour of history's most impressive fighting men.

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 23/10/2014

'Perched on the back of a sunlit chair was something about 9 inches tall and shaped rather like a plump toy penguin with a nose-job. It appeared to be wearing a one-piece knitted jumpsuit of pale grey fluff with brown stitching, complete with an attached balaclava helmet. From the face-hole of the fuzzy balaclava, two big, shiny black eyes gazed up at me trustfully. Kweep, it said quietly.' When author Martin Windrow met the tawny owlet that he christened Mumble, it was love at first sight. Raising her from a fledgling, through adolescence and into her prime years, Windrow recorded every detail of their time living together (secretly) in a south London tower block, and later in a Sussex village. This is the touching, intriguing and eccentric story of their 15-year relationship, complete with photographs and illustrations of the beautiful Mumble. Along the way, we are given fascinating insight into the ornithology of owls - from their evolution and biology to their breeding habits and hunting tactics. The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar is a witty, quirky and utterly charming account of the companionship between one man and his owl.

French Foreign Legionnaire 1890-1914

French Foreign Legionnaire 1890-1914

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/08/2011

As France emerged from the Franco-Prussian War she embarked on a period of active colonialism, acquiring territories in South-East Asia and Africa. By the turn of the century much of north, west and central Africa was under French control. In order to police all of these territories, the French needed an army and so the French Foreign Legion was born. In this book, world-renowned Legion expert Martin Windrow analyses what it would have been like to be a member of the French Foreign Legion and how the experience, equipment, tactics and training of the Legion developed in the 80 years between their foundation and the outbreak of the First World War. He investigates their glory years in North Africa and Indochina, and draws extensively on memoirs from two British legionnaires, peppering the text with extraordinary first-hand accounts of the French Foreign Legion.

Our Friends Beneath the Sands The Foreign Legion in France's Colonial Conquests 1870-1935

Our Friends Beneath the Sands The Foreign Legion in France's Colonial Conquests 1870-1935

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/04/2011

The gripping true story of the French Foreign Legion in the Sahara.Ever since the 1920s the popular legend of the French Foreign Legion has been formed by P.C. Wren's novel BEAU GESTE - a world of remote forts, warrior tribes, and desperate men of all nationalities enlisting under pseudonyms to fight and die under the desert sun. As with all cliches, the reality is far richer and more surprising than this. In this book Martin Windrow describes desert battles and famous last stands in gripping detail - but he also shows exactly what the Foreign Legion were doing in North Africa in the first place. He explains how French colonial methods there actually had their roots in the jungles of Vietnam, and how the political pressures that kept the empire expanding can be traced to battles on the streets of Paris itself. His description of the Berber tribesmen of Morocco also reveals some disturbing modern parallels: the formidable guerrillas of the 1920s were inspired by an Islamic fundamentalist who was adept at using the world's media to further his cause.Martin Windrow's previous book THE LAST VALLEY received fabulous reviews across the English-speaking world. This unique book, which is the first to examine the 'golden age' of the Foreign Legion has followed suit.

French Foreign Legion 1872-1914

French Foreign Legion 1872-1914

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/07/2010

This volume covers the classic 'Beau Geste' period, of the French Foreign Legion when the corps was expanded during the most dynamic years of French imperial expansion. Legion battalions fought in the deserts and mountains of southern Algeria and Morocco, as well as in the jungles of North Vietnam, West Africa and Madagascar. Their varied uniforms and equipments for each period and theatre are illustrated and examined. Written by a leading expert on the French Foreign Legion, this is a colourful introduction to the period when the Legion forged their legendary fighting reputation.

Last Valley

Last Valley

Author: Martin Windrow Format: eBook Release Date: 04/03/2009

In December 1953 French paratroopers, who had been searching for the elusive Vietnamese army, were quickly isolated by them and forced to retreat into their out-gunned and desolate jungle base-a small place called Dien Bien Phu. The Vietnamese besieged the French base for five long and desperate months. Eventually, the demoralized and weakened French were utterly depleted and withdrew in defeat. The siege at Dien Bien Phu was a landmark battle of the last century-the first defeat of modern western forces by an Asian guerilla army.The Last Valley is the first new account of the battle since the 1970s. The author has incorporated much new material from French and Vietnamese sources, including veteran interviews, making this the most complete account to-date. And Martin Windrow has received widespread praise from top historians such as John Keegan and Max Hastings (below), as well as reviewers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Last Valley Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam

The Last Valley Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/02/2005

Stalingrad in the jungle: the battle that doomed the French Empire and led America into Vietnam In winter 1953-54 the French army in Vietnam challenged its elusive enemy, General Giap's Viet Minh, to pitched battle. Ten thousand French paras and legionnaires, with artillery and tanks, were flown to the remote valley of Dien Bien Phu to build a fortress upon which Giap could smash his inexperienced regiments. The siege which followed became a Stalingrad in the jungle, and its outcome shocked the world.

French Foreign Legion, 1914-45

French Foreign Legion, 1914-45

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/1999

In this worthy addition to the Men-at-Arms series, Martin Windrow examines the history and uniforms of the French Foreign Legion from the start of the First World War to the end of the Second World War. The author's knowledgeable text covers such topics as a comprehensive battle history of the Legion on the Western Front 1914-18, the colonial campaigns in Morocco, Syria and Indochina, the Battle of France and campaign in Tunisia. This volume is splendidly illustrated throughout, containing a wealth of contemporary photographs and eight full page colour plates by Mike Chappell.

The Indochina War, 1946-54

The Indochina War, 1946-54

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/11/1998

The states of Indochina had been French colonies or protectorates since the 19th century. However, in March 1945 the Japanese interned all French troops and officials, and turned over all civil government to local authorities. The power vacuum caused by the Japanese surrender allowed the Viet Minh, a strong revolutionary organisation, to be established throughout Vietnam. When the French returned to the north, incidents between French and VM troops were inevitable, negotiations collapsed and the French opted for a military solution. This book examines the history of the conflict and the forces of both sides of the French Indochina War (1946-1954).

The Algerian War, 1954-62

The Algerian War, 1954-62

Author: Martin Windrow, Mike Chappell Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/11/1997

In the mid-1950s to early 1960s the Algerian war dominated the European press, comparable in impact to the Vietnam War. France was divided politically, and governments rose and fell regularly. Algeria was France's oldest, richest and most integrated colony, but during the war in Indochina an underground separatist movement began. Its armed wing, the ALN, began to act in 1954. The tactics they used are described in this text, ranging from assassination, including attempts on de Gaulle, to the intimidation of natives. The actions of the French military are covered, including the French Foreign Legion and the first use of airborne counter insurgency operations, now commonplace in modern warfare. The war is also considered the source of the reputaion now associated with paratroopers as crack troops.

French Foreign Legion Since 1945

French Foreign Legion Since 1945

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/11/1996

Men of action and elite soldiers with a young and dynamic spirit, the French Foreign Legion are capable of doing their duty anywhere anytime. Martin Windrow's superb text examines the history of this famous force from the end of the Second World War onward. This first class addition to the Men-at-Arms series not only contains the usual wealth of accompanying photographs and illustrations, including eight full page colour plates by Mike Chappell, but is extended by a further 16 pages, allowing the author to display the full range of his expert knowledge, including 11 pages devoted to uniforms.

French Foreign Legion Paratroopers

French Foreign Legion Paratroopers

Author: Martin Windrow, W. Braby Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/09/1985

The decision, in Spring 1948, to form two battalions of Foreign Legion paratroopers was prompted by the requirement for enlarged airborne forces in the First Indochina War (1946), and the healthy recruitment then employed by the Legion. There were some initial doubts. The Legion were known to be magnificent heavy infantry, but were felt by some to lack the flexibility and agility demanded by independent airborne operations. In the Legion itself there were some misgivings over the possible clash between the self-consciously exclusive 'para mentality', and the Legion's own very marked sprit de corps. Over time, however, all these doubts evaporated with experience.

The Waffen-SS

The Waffen-SS

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/03/1982

In the early 1920s, a tiny group was formed within the SA to serve as Hitler's personal bodyguard. Originally labelled the Stosstruppe Adolf Hitler, they later became known as the SS - Schutz Staffeln, or protection squads. From these humble beginnings, the SS rose to a nominal strength of 38 divisions of over 800,000 men by 1945, representing a sizeable portion of Germany's land forces and more importantly a quarter of her tank forces and a third of her mechanised infantry. Martin Windrow provides a splendid in-depth review of the history, uniforms and insignia of the infamous Waffen-SS of World War II.

The Panzer Divisions

The Panzer Divisions

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/03/1982

For the first three years of the Second World War the German Army's armored formations dominated the world's battlefields. During this period the Panzerwaffe swept away all that was before them, achieving victories over numerically superior and sometimes better equipped opponents. This remarkable book by Martin Windrow deals with one of the German Army's most effective and feared rapid attack forces, including a summary of every Panzer division's war record and an extensive examination of uniforms, equipment and decorations.

Rommel's Desert Army

Rommel's Desert Army

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/1976

The desert war produced commanders of dash and originality on both sides and the memory of the German commanding general, Erwin Rommel, has endured as the epitome of skill, daring and soldierly integrity. His victories in World War II were brilliant until he was bested by poor health, lack of reinforcements and an opposing commander who was his equal. The contribution of his various troops is detailed in a full order of battle which includes his veteran Afrika Korps and Italian allies, and their uniforms are shown in full color artwork.

French Foreign Legion

French Foreign Legion

Author: Martin Windrow Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/06/1971

It is arguable that no group of fighting men in the history of European arms has been so misrepresented by ill-informed publicity as the French Foreign Legion. Though initially conceived in 1831 as a means of drafting recently discharged foreign soldiers to Algeria, the Legion has developed into a sophisticated force of motorized infantry, airborne troops and light armor. In this book, acclaimed French Army expert Martin Windrow examines the history and uniforms of the French Foreign Legion, from its service in the Carlist War of 1835-36 to World War II and beyond, debunking many of the prevalent myths surrounding this formidable force.

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