Martin Pegler - Author

About the Author

Martin Pegler has a BA Hons in Medieval and Modern History and an MA in Museum Studies, both from University College, London, and was for many years the Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds. Martin has established The Somme Historical Centre (www.martinpegler.com), where visitors can see the technology used in the 1914-18 trench warfare. He is currently an author and firearms consultant and he also lectures at local Great War museums. He is the author of a number of books including The Military Sniper since 1914 (Osprey, 2001), Firearms in the American West 1700-1900 (The Crowood Press, 2002), and the highly acclaimed Out of Nowhere: A History of the Military Sniper (Osprey, 2004), and he has also contributed to a number of magazines. In the 1980s he had the privilege of interviewing many World War I veterans about their wartime experiences, and the recordings are now part of the sound archives of the Imperial War Museum, London.

Featured books by Martin Pegler

Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War

Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

This is a celebration of cheerful determination in the face of appalling adversity. Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War reveals the bawdy and satiric sense of humour of the Tommy in the trenches. Published to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, this collection of rousing marching songs, cheering ditties, evocative sing-alongs and complete diction of soldiers' slang reveals the best of British and Allied humour of the period. Wonderfully illustrated with Punch cartoons, posters and the soldiers' own Wipers' Times, this nostalgic book will not only delight but also give a real sense of daily life amidst the mud and blood of the trenches for American, Canadian, Australian and British soldiers.

Other books by Martin Pegler

Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War Colt, Sharps, Spencer, and Whitworth

Sharpshooting Rifles of the American Civil War Colt, Sharps, Spencer, and Whitworth

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/08/2017

At the outset of the American Civil War, the Union Army's sharpshooters were initially equipped with the M1855 Colt revolving rifle, but it was prone to malfunction. Instead, the North's sharpshooters preferred the Sharps rifle, an innovative breech-loading weapon capable of firing up to ten shots per minute - more than three times the rate of fire offered by the standard-issue Springfield .58-caliber rifled musket. Other Union sharpshooters were equipped with the standard-issue Springfield rifled musket or the .56-56-caliber Spencer Repeating Rifle. Conversely, the Confederacy favoured the Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled musket for its sharpshooters and also imported from Britain the Whitworth Rifle, a .45-caliber, single-shot, muzzle-loading weapon distinguished by its use of a twisted hexagonal barrel. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, this is the engrossing story of the innovative rifles that saw combat in the hands of sharpshooters on both sides during the Civil War.

Sniping in the Great War

Sniping in the Great War

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/04/2017

Military snipers are highly trained marksmen who target individual enemy soldiers. They are regarded as vital specialists in modern warfare, and their role evolved throughout the Great War. As Martin Pegler shows in this wide-ranging, authoritative study, the technique of sniping adapted rapidly to the conditions of static warfare that prevailed through much of the conflict. His account follows the development of sniping from the early battles of 1914, through the trench fighting and the attritional offensives of the middle years, to the renewed open warfare of 1918. He concentrates on the continuous British and German sniping war on the Western Front, but he also looks at how snipers operated in other theatres, at Gallipoli and Salonika and on the Eastern Front. Sniper training, fieldcraft and counter-sniping measures are described in detail. There is a full reference section giving the specification of the sniping rifles of the period and assessing their effectiveness in combat. Also featured are vivid memoirs and eyewitness accounts that offer a fascinating insight into the lethal skill of Great War snipers and their deadly trade.

Colt Single-Action Revolvers

Colt Single-Action Revolvers

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 26/01/2017

In 1836, Samuel Colt changed the face of warfare with the production of the first of a series of iconic and influential single-action revolvers, including the .44-calibre Colt Walker and the seminal .45-calibre Colt Single Action Army, which remains in production today. These weapons shifted the role of the pistol from single-shot weapon of last resort to a practical and powerful sidearm that gave the user the ability to defend himself once his primary armament was discharged. It transformed cavalry tactics and relegated the sword to a largely ceremonial role in many armies. Featuring full-colour artwork, expert analysis and gripping first-hand accounts, this is the absorbing story of Colt's family of single-action revolvers, covering their origins, development, use and lasting impact on the modern world.

Winchester Lever-Action Rifles

Winchester Lever-Action Rifles

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2015

Winchester lever-action repeating rifles are an integral part of the folklore of the American West. Introduced after the American Civil War, the first Winchester, the M1866, would go on to see military service as far afield as Bulgaria, but it was in the hands of civilians that it would become known as `The gun that won the west'. Offering a lethal combination of portability, ruggedness and ammunition interchangeability with pistol sidearms, the Winchesters and their innovative and elegant breech-loading system represented a revolutionary design. They were used by a staggering variety of military and civilian groups - gold-miners, trappers, hunters, farmers, lawmen, professional gunmen and Native Americans. It equipped a whole generation of settlers and as such left an imprint on American culture that continues to resonate today. This book explores the Winchesters' unique place in history, revealing the technical secrets of their success with a full array of colour artwork, period illustrations and close-up photographs.

Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War

Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/08/2014

This is a celebration of cheerful determination in the face of appalling adversity. Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War reveals the bawdy and satiric sense of humour of the Tommy in the trenches. Published to coincide with the centenary of the First World War, this collection of rousing marching songs, cheering ditties, evocative sing-alongs and complete diction of soldiers' slang reveals the best of British and Allied humour of the period. Wonderfully illustrated with Punch cartoons, posters and the soldiers' own Wipers' Times, this nostalgic book will not only delight but also give a real sense of daily life amidst the mud and blood of the trenches for American, Canadian, Australian and British soldiers.

The Vickers-Maxim Machine Gun

The Vickers-Maxim Machine Gun

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/05/2013

The world's first self-powered machine gun, the Maxim gun became a potent symbol of Victorian colonialism in the closing years of the 19th century. It was the brainchild of Sir Hiram Maxim, the American-born firearms inventor who founded the company bearing his name with financing from Albert Vickers, who became the company's chairman; Maxim's company was absorbed by Vickers, Sons and Company in 1897. Subsequent variants in British, German and Russian service - the .303in Vickers (1912), 7.92mm MG 08 (1908) and 7.62mm PM M1910, respectively - dominated both the Eastern and Western Fronts during World War I and soldiered on into World War II, while the Vickers remained in front-line British service essentially unchanged until 1968. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and written by a noted authority, this is the engaging story of the Maxim and its descendants, the innovative rapid-fire weapons that saw combat with British, German, Russian and other forces in the late Victorian era and throughout the world wars.

The Lee-Enfield Rifle

The Lee-Enfield Rifle

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/01/2012

The Lee-Enfield is one of the 20th century's most recognisable and longest-serving military rifles. It was adopted by the British Army in 1895 and only replaced by the L1A1 SLR in 1957. It saw combat from the Boer War onwards, and thousands are still in use today; it is estimated that 17 million have been produced. Soldier's recollections of the rifle are overwhelmingly affectionate (it was known as the Smellie); today it remains a very popular target rifle for competitive shooting, and modern copies are being manufactured to meet demand. Featuring first-hand accounts, brand-new full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, this is the story of the Lee-Enfield, the innovative, reliable and long-lived rifle that equipped British and other forces through the world wars and beyond.

Sniper Anthology Snipers of World War II

Sniper Anthology Snipers of World War II

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/09/2011

Revered by some as the ultimate warrior and condemned by others as ruthless assassins - the combat sniper is more than just a crack shot. They are highly disciplined, calm professionals skilled in marksmanship, reconnaissance and camouflage. During the Second World War these lethal fighters were deployed by both sides to deadly effect. This new collection of biographies, written by leading military historians, explores the careers of the top snipers of the war. Each author supplies full details of their subject - drawing on remarkable first-hand accounts that have never been published before - to give a graphic insight into a sniper's skill. As well as providing incisive technical information, each author offers a glimpse of the character and personality of their chosen sniper, giving them a human face that is missing in standard portrayals. These gripping, in-depth narratives go beyond the cursory treatment in existing histories and will be essential reading for anyone wanting to learn about the role and technique of the sniper during the Second World War.& #8232; The impressive list of contributors includes: ADRIAN GILBERT writing on the Werhmacht sharpshooter and 'lone wolf ' Sepp AllerbergerTOM C. MCKENNEY on West Tennesee-born marksman Bert Wilson KempDAN MILLS on the British Army sniper Patrick DevlinROGER MOORHOUSE on Simo Hayha - the most prolific shooter of the Second World WarTIM NEWARK on Operation Foxley, British sniping and the hunt for HitlerMARTIN PEGLER on the Soviet sniper Vassili ZaitsevCHARLES W. SASSER on the deadly Soviet markswomen Lyudmila PavlichenkoMARK SPICER on Harry Furness - the last surviving British sniper who went ashore on D-DayLEROY THOMPSON on Captain C. Shore - the British sniper, trainer, theorist and historianJOHN B. TONKIN on Japanese snipersThe book also includes an Introduction by John L. Plaster, leading sniper expert and bestselling author of The Ultimate Sniper: An Advanced Training Manual for Military and Police Snipers.

Sniper Rifles From the 19th to the 21st Century

Sniper Rifles From the 19th to the 21st Century

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/11/2010

This is a technical outline of the history of the sniper rifle, from its introduction in warfare during the Napoleonic wars, through the US Civil War to its current apogee as the most frequently used combat rifle in Iraq and Afghanistan. This book details the development of ammunition, different weapons types including single shot, magazine loading and semi-automatic, as well as the introduction and use of optical sights. Martin Pegler, a leading expert on the history of sniping and former Senior Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Leeds, also details the current advances in technology, such as laser range - finding sights and night vision devices. Using first-hand accounts, the book brings the dangerous world of the sniper to life revealing their training and concealment techniques as well as their mastering of their weapon of choice.

The Thompson Submachine Gun From Prohibition Chicago to World War II

The Thompson Submachine Gun From Prohibition Chicago to World War II

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2010

The Thompson submachine gun, or Tommy gun developed an almost iconic status during the 20th century. It had an unusual beginning, for it was developed during the dying days of World War I as a 'one-man, hand-held machine gun'. The war ended before these first prototypes could be shipped to Europe but once the M1921 Thompson formally entered production it was used by the criminals working in Chicago and New York during the 1920s. With the police increasingly outgunned they too were forced to equip themselves with the Tommy gun. It quickly came to be used in Hollywood films, and by the end of the 1930s it would have probably faded from view had history not intervened. With the entry of the US into World War II there was an urgent need to equip and arm a force of epic proportions; the Thompson submachine gun began a second career as part of the US Army. It also became the weapon of choice for the small band of British commandos as they conducted a number of daring raids against the heart of occupied Europe.

The Military Sniper Since 1914

The Military Sniper Since 1914

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/01/2001

It was only in World War I that the combination of high quality service nifles and new telescopic sights brought the true 'sniper' to the battlefield as a distinct specialist, By 1918 the scout-sniper's value as an observer and gatherer of intelligence was as important as his lethal skills, but these were disregarded in the interwar years. In 1939-45 most anmies had to train and equip snipers from scratch, but they were to play a major role in all theatres of wan on the Russian Front, famously, it was a role in which women excelled. Fireams specialist Martin Pegler's detailed but accessible text recounts the development of weapons, sights, tactics and clothing in all major armies, illustrated by some 50 photographs: and Ramiro Bujeiro's 12 striking colour plates put the sniper vivdly in the context of the battlefield, from Flanders to the Gulf.

The British Tommy 1914-18

The British Tommy 1914-18

Author: Martin Pegler, Mike Chappell Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/07/1996

World War I (1914-1918) was a watershed in British military and social history, and even now the repercussions can still be felt. No town or village in the British Isles escaped casualty, and the creative genius of a generation was wiped out, at an incalculable loss to society. This book looks in detail at how the British soldier lived, fought and died during the traumatic war years. Enlistment, training and all aspects of life on active service are carefully examined, including discipline, relaxation and even the type and quality of food that soldiers ate. The analysis of the British infantryman's experience is greatly aided by the memories of old soldiers, which provide an interesting and often vivid account of life on the Western Front.

US Cavalryman, 1865-90

US Cavalryman, 1865-90

Author: Martin Pegler Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/07/1993

The period 1865-90 was one of unparalleled change in American frontier history. This span of 25 years witnessed the end of the traditional nomadic lifestyle of the plains Indians, the colonisation of the West by white settlers, and the first experience of the US army in fighting a form of irregular warfare for which its soldiers and commanders were untrained, and its equipment unsuited. That they acquitted themselves so well in the face of bureaucratic meddling, poor supply and appalling climatic conditions, speaks highly of the tenacity and physical toughness of the volunteers who served in the West during campaigns such as the Comanche Campaign (1867-1875), the Red River War (1874-1875), the Nez Perce War (1877), and the Ghost Dance War (1890-1891) among others.

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