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Peter Reese served for almost thirty years in the Army, where his concerns included the professional training of officers. He has both an MA and MPhil in war-related studies from King's College, London
Reading like a novel, Peter Reese recreates the drama and calamity of of one of the most famous battles in history fought just south of the River Tweed on 9 September 1513.The defeat of the Scottish at Flodden by the English under the hand of the Earl of Surrey changed forever the fate of a country, but with superior numbers and arms what went wrong?Thoroughly researched, accessible and realistic, a must for any history buff. A Piece of Passion from the publisher... ‘There is no more poignant, nor more important battle than Flodden. Before it Scotland was a proud country emerging as a distinct and flourishing nation within Europe, afterwards it was weak, exposed and leaderless. With defeat the inevitability of Scotland’s Reformation and union with England is hard to deny. Peter Reese vividly recreates the drama and calamity of the battle, drawing together the political, military and historical background to the conflict but in a readable and accessible style which belie the complexity and importance of the battle and its aftermath.’ – Andrew Simmons, Managing Editor, Birlinn
In 1945 confidence in British aviation was high, but it wasn't long before problems arose. The Brabazon Committee's ideas for civil aviation proved flawed while enforced cancellations restricted the advancement of military aircraft. De Havilland's audacious attempts to gain commercial advantage over its American competitors resulted in the flawed Comet, while Defence Minister Duncan Sandys turned his back prematurely against aircraft in favour of missiles. British aviation's small domestic market restricted the development of British civilian airliners and so failed to secure vital international sales. The country's indigenous helicopters and iconic Harrier jump jet were not fully exploited, while unrealistic performance requirements brought about the cancellation of TSR2. By the 1960s the gulf between the ideal and the possible was becoming only too apparent. Peter Reese thoughtfully explores how repeated financial crises combined with a lack of rigour and fatal self-satisfaction led British aviation to miss vital opportunities across this turbulent period in Britain's skies.
This book tells the story of Samuel Cody, who in the late 19th century experimented with manned flight and created the Cody War-Kites, which were used as a smaller alternative for balloons in World War I.
Following the Armistice of 1918, the British Air Industry and the newly founded RAF held a low place in national priorities. The RAF was rapidly run down, with the infant airlines being given the least possible help, and this neglect continued during the 1920s. The RAF's role was questioned and civilian air travel remained a dream for most and the province of the well-heeled few. But the breakdown of the Geneva Disarmament Talks led to renewed interest in the National Air Force, and the rise of the European dictators brought calls for rapid modernisation and interceptor aircraft, together with the development of further European civilian air routes. Here, Peter Reese charts the dramatic changes that swept aviation across the dynamic interwar period, revealing the transformative last-minute preparations for defence in a world where much depended on the contributions of some outstanding individuals.
1314. On a marsh-fringed plain south of Stirling Castle, King Robert the Bruce led the Scottish army in a singularly devastating victory over the English. Bannockburn was Scotland's greatest battlefield triumph, achieved against the odds by a combination of brilliant tactical leadership and the fatal overconfidence of the English King, Edward II. On the 700th anniversary of the battle, Peter Reese's definitive history shines a spotlight on this pivotal moment in Scottish History and considers the wider implications of this momentous victory.
Why did the British, then the leading nation in science and technology, fall far behind in the race to develop the aeroplane before the First World War? Despite their initial advantage, they were overtaken by the Wright brothers in America, by the French and the Germans. Peter Reese, in this highly readable and highly illustrated account, delves into the fascinating early history of aviation as he describes what happened and why. He recalls the brilliant theoretical work of Sir George Cayley, the inventions of other pioneers of the nineteenth century and the daring exploits of the next generation of airmen, among them Samuel Cody, A.V. Roe, Bertram Dickson, Charles Rolls and Tommy Sopwith. His narrative is illustrated with a wonderful selection of over 120 archive drawings and photographs which record the men and the primitive flying machines of a century ago.
General George Monck is famous for the key role he played in the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 - his actions changed the course of British history. But his statesmanship in the dangerous time between the death of Cromwell and the bloodless return of Charles II distracts attention from his extraordinary career as a soldier and general, admiral, governor and administrator. During the confused, often bloody era of the English Civil Wars and the Protectorate he was one of the great survivors. Peter Reese, in this perceptive new study, follows Monck through his long, varied career, from his impoverished upbringing in the West Country and his military apprenticeship on the Continent, to his experience as a commander on both sides during the civil wars. He distinguished himself on the battlefields of Ireland and Scotland, and as a general-at-sea for both Cromwell and Charles II. His shrewdness and firmness of character, his skill as a leader, his high popularity with his troops and his occasional ruthlessness gained for him a formidable reputation. And on Cromwell's death he was one of the few men in England with the power, personal authority and political skill to secure the restoration of Charles II and to bring to an end twenty years of conflict.
'I have brought you to the ring, now hop if you can.' Wallace's famous injunction before the battle of Falkirk is still remembered today. The first section of this major new biography deals with the history of Wallace and his time. According to legend, born and brought up in Elderslie, Wallace's courage and heroism during Scotland's darkest days were instrumental in creating a sense of national identity. From the early killing of the Sheriff of Lanark, Sir William Haslerigg, through his crowning triumph at Stirling Bridge to his terrible end, Wallace was unswerving in his devotion to the cause of Scottish freedom. The brutality of his end is a testament to the fear and humiliation his name inspired in Edward I. The second section of the book studies the impact of the man and the myth on later generations. The guerrilla tactics initiated by Wallace were later used by Robert the Bruce to great success. Blind Harry's epic poem (1478) personifies the will and desire of Scottish people for independence in the figure of Wallace. Over 200 years after his death Scotland's greatest knight continues to inspire nationalists in this country and throughout the world. Peter Reese's objective and lucid text concludes with the judgement that Wallace's martyrdom was a greater legacy to the Scots than even the achievements of his lifetime. While he was alive, the power of his personality galvanised a nation. Since his death, the memory of William Wallace has endured as an inspiration for unity.