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Military history

See below for a selection of the latest books from Military history category. Presented with a red border are the Military history books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Military history books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!

The Spitfire Kids

The Spitfire Kids

Author: Alasdair Cross, BBC Worldwide Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/05/2021

'An inspirational read celebrating the incredible young people who gave so much for this iconic British aircraft'. John Nichol, bestselling author of Spitfire: A Very British Love Story Despite the many films and television programmes over the decades since the end of the Second World War that portrays our allied heroes as grown-up men and women, the Battle of Britain was in the main actually fought and won by teenagers. The average age of an RAF fighter pilot was just twenty years old. Many of the men and women who designed and built their planes were even younger. Based on the hit BBC Radio podcast Spitfire: The People's Story, we use contemporary diaries and memoirs, many of them previously unpublished, to tell the story of the Spitfire through the voices of the teenagers who risked everything to design, build and fly her. This isn't a story of stiff-upper lips, stoical moustaches and aerial heroics; it's a story of love and loss, a story of young people tested to the very limits of their endurance. Young people who won a battle that turned a war.

Bloody Okinawa

Bloody Okinawa

Author: Joseph Wheelan Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/05/2021

The last great battle of World War II began on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, when more than 184,000 began landing on the only Japanese home soil invaded during the Pacific war. The island of Okinawa was just 350 miles from mainland Japan, and the Allies planned to use it as its forward base for its invasion. On the island, nearly 140,000 Japanese and auxiliary soldiers resisted the US-led assault with suicidal tenacity from a Gibraltar of hollowed-out, fortified hills and ridges. Under constant fire and in the rain and mud, U.S. troops fought ferociously, battered the Japanese with artillery, aerial bombing, naval gunfire, and every infantry tool. The battle also marked the apotheosis of kamikaze air attacks, which sank 36 warships, damaged 368 others and killed almost 5,000 seamen. When the brutal slugfest ended, more than 125,00 enemy had been killed--and 7,500 American ground troops had died. And tragically, at least hundred thousand Okinawa civilians died violently while trapped between the battling armies. The Japanese had succeeded in preventing invasion, but the bloody campaign had convinced US leaders that only an atomic bomb could end the war. Utilizing vivid accounts written by US combatants, along with previously unused Japanese sources, Joseph Wheelan brings a strong human dimension to this rich story of the war's last great battle waged against an determined enemy and extreme conditions.

Battles Map by Map

Battles Map by Map

Author: DK, Peter Snow Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2021

Experience the world's most significant battles through bold, easy-to-grasp maps. Includes a foreword by Peter Snow, broadcaster and historian. Covering everything from the battlefields of the ancient world to the bomb-scarred landscapes of World War II and beyond, this book is packed with engrossing maps telling the story of history's most famous battles. Using brand new, in-depth maps and expert analysis, see for yourself how legendary military milestones were won and lost, and how tactics, technology, vision, and luck have all played a part in the outcome of wars throughout history. Additionally, historic maps, paintings, photographs, and objects take you to the heart of the action; famous commanders and military leaders are profiled; and the impact of groundbreaking weapons and battlefield innovations is revealed. Bursting with lavish illustrations and full of fascinating detail, Battles Map by Map is the ultimate history book for map lovers, military history enthusiasts, and armchair generals everywhere.

Hitler's South African Spies

Hitler's South African Spies

Author: Evert Kleynhans Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2021

The story of the intelligence war in South Africa during the Second World War is one of suspense, drama and dogged persistence. In 1939, when the Union of South Africa entered the war on Britain's side, the German government secretly reached out to the anti-war political opposition, and to the leadership of the pro-fascist Ossewabrandwag. The Nazis' aim was to spread sedition in South Africa and to undermine the Allied war effort. To this end, they even offered to supply weapons to the Ossewabrandwag. But the critical strategic importance of the sea route round the Cape of Good Hope meant that the Germans were also after naval intelligence. Soon U-boat packs were sent to operate in South African waters, to deadly effect. With the help of the Ossewabrandwag, a network of German spies was established to gather important political and military intelligence and relay it back to the Reich. Agents would use a variety of channels to send coded messages to Axis diplomats in nearby Mozambique. Meanwhile, police detectives and MI5 agents hunted in vain for illegal wireless transmitters. Drawing on numerous primary and archival sources, Hitler's South African Spies presents an unrivalled account of the German intelligence networks that operated in wartime South Africa and investigates the true threat level presented by Nazi Germany. It includes a fascinating account of the Royal Navy's signals intelligence network in southern Africa and also details the hunt in post-war Europe for witnesses to help the South African government bring charges of high treason against key Ossewabrandwag members.

Only the Valiant

Only the Valiant

Author: Lamar Underwood Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2021

Facing overwhelming dangers, with death looming, the heroes in these pages never gave up; nor did they flee or hide. Instead, in the firestorms of furious battles, their actions earned the nation's highest military decorations for courage. The medals are familiar-the Medal of Honor, Silver and Bronze Stars, Navy Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, and others. In true stories that reveal the actions that earned these decorations, ONLY THE VALIANT takes its readers into the very heart of battles in land, sea and air when heroes stepped forward. Join a group of daring Union soldiers in the Civil War as they capture a Confederate locomotive and railway; fly with hero ace Eddie Rickenbacker over the battlefields of WW I; hit the beaches with Marines at Tarawa and Iwo Jima; peer through the scopes of U.S. sniper sharpshooters in the mountains of Afghanistan. From the annals of America's earliest battles to those creating headlines today, Editor Lamar Underwood has pulled together the irresistible writings about decorated heroes whose actions deserve eternal attention of a grateful nation.

Air Power's Lost Cause

Air Power's Lost Cause

Author: Brian D. Laslie Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2021

The first comprehensive treatment of the air wars in Vietnam. Filling a substantial void in our understanding of the history of airpower in Vietnam, this book provides the first comprehensive treatment of the air wars in Vietnam. Brian Laslie traces the complete history of these air wars from the beginning of American involvement until final withdrawal. Detailing the competing roles and actions of the air elements of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force, the author considers the strategic, operational, and tactical levels of war. He also looks at the air war from the perspective of the North Vietnamese Air Force. Most important for understanding the US defeat, Laslie illustrates the perils of a nation building a one-dimensional fighting force capable of supporting only one type of war.

On the Trail of the Jacobites

On the Trail of the Jacobites

Author: Ian Whyte, Kathleen Whyte Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2021

Originally published in 1990 this book focusses on the main manoeuvres that took place in Scotland and England between 1688 and the Battle of Culloden in 1746. It provides a detailed chronological narrative of places, people and battles. Many of the sites associated with the Jacobites have not changed greatly in the last two centuries, and the book is extensively illustrated with photographs and specially drawn maps. The book examines objectively the often contradictory and imprecise accounts surviving from the time in order to discover the real events and significance of the Jacobite risings.

Tiger in the Sea

Tiger in the Sea

Author: Eric Lindner Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2021

In post-war America, when valor was judged by the hallowed yardstick of Iwo Jima and the Battle of the Bulge, hero wasn't a word thrown around lightly. But in 1962 a civilian pilot measured up. John Murray's selfless, stunning feats garnered global headlines, prime-time media appearances, and a formal letter of gratitude from an awe-struck President Kennedy. On a moonless September night in 1962, 900 miles from land, Flying Tiger flight 923 began to fall apart-at 21,000 feet. One by one its engines burst into flames. Most of its passengers were Special Forces, en route to West Berlin. Though highly trained and ready for anything the Soviets might throw their way, they were powerless over the North Atlantic. A crash was inevitable. Survival was Mission Impossible. Yet the scrappy pilot flouted protocol, rejected the recommended emergency procedure, landed his big plane in the middle of a raging sea-and evacuated all 76 on-board. Tragically, however, as the private charter wasn't properly equipped for the harrowing hours adrift in bone-chilling water, 28 died before they could be rescued. Murray didn't just save 48 people from near-certain death. His stunning feats-which remain unparalleled in the history of aviation-led to safety breakthroughs that have saved countless more lives. Billions still rely on them today. Humble and quick to disavow his historic role, John Murray was a pioneer who helped pave the way for modern-day heroes like Sully Sullenberger. Flying Tiger 923 is the story of that harrowing flight.

Bolts from the Blue

Bolts from the Blue

Author: Sir Richard Johns Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/04/2021

Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns was commissioned at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 1959 after completing flying training on Piston Provost and Meteor aircraft. For the next nine years, apart from a short intermission as an ADC, he served as an operational fast-jet pilot which included tours on Javelin night fighters and then fighter recce Hunters operating from Aden and Oman. Thereafter he qualified as a flying instructor, initially on the Gnat, and then the Jet Provost as a squadron commander at Cranwell. In his last year as a flying instructor he taught The Prince of Wales to wings standard. During the 1990s, Sir Richard held a succession of senior national and NATO appointments. During the first Gulf War, he was the Director of Operations in the National Joint Headquarters for all British Forces deployed to the Middle East. At the end of the conflict he led the British Recce Team to Turkey and north Iraq which resulted in the deployment of British land and air forces to the coalition that guaranteed the security of the Kurdish population in Iraq. Later, as a NATO C-in-C he was responsible for training and bringing to full operational capability the new Regional Command of Allied Forces, North West Europe. During this three-year tour, he acted as a supporting commander for joint operations in the Balkans while developing partnership for peace exercises with former Warsaw Pact countries. He returned to national duty in 1997 on his appointment as Chief of the Air Staff, responsible for the operational efficiency and morale of the Royal Air Force. During his last three years of service, the Air Chief Marshal was fully involved in the decision-making process of the Strategic Defence Review, the commitment of RAF aircraft to operations over and within Kosovo and continuing air operations over north and south Iraq. His illustrious career gave him the privilege of a rare, if not singular, perspective of the RAF, our sister services and national defence matters, witnessing a steady decline in the combat power of the UK's armed forces as financial management took precedence over identifying strategic priorities and maintaining the vital skill-set of service personnel. His views are forensic and forthright, balanced and thought-provoking and this autobiography should be essential reading for anyone interested in the development of Allied air power over the last fifty years.

Congress's Own

Congress's Own

Author: Holly A. Mayer Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/04/2021

Colonel Moses Hazen's 2nd Canadian Regiment was one of the first 'national' regiments in the American army. Created by the Continental Congress, it drew members from Canada, eleven states, and foreign forces. 'Congress's Own' was among the most culturally, ethnically, and regionally diverse of the Continental Army's regiments - a distinction that makes it an apt reflection of the union that was struggling to create a nation. The 2nd Canadian, like the larger army, represented and pushed the transition from a colonial, continental alliance to a national association. The problems the regiment raised and encountered underscored the complications of managing a confederation of states and troops. In this enterprising study of an intriguing and at times 'infernal' regiment, Holly A. Mayer marshals personal and official accounts - from the letters and journals of Continentals and congressmen to the pension applications of veterans and their widows - to reveal what the personal passions, hardships, and accommodations of the 2nd Canadian can tell us about the greater military and civil dynamics of the American Revolution. Congress's Own follows congressmen, commanders, and soldiers through the Revolutionary War as the regiment's story shifts from tents and trenches to the halls of power and back. Interweaving insights from borderlands and community studies with military history, Mayer tracks key battles and traces debates that raged within the Revolution's military and political borderlands wherein subjects became rebels, soldiers, and citizens. Her book offers fresh, vivid accounts of the Revolution that disclose how 'Congress's Own' regiment embodied the dreams, diversity, and divisions within and between the Continental Army, Congress, and the emergent union of states during the War for American Independence.

A Ceaseless Watch

A Ceaseless Watch

Author: Angus Britts Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/04/2021

A Ceaseless Watch: Australia's Third Party Naval Defense, 1919-1942 illustrates how Australia confronted the need to base its post-World War I defense planning around the security provided by a major naval power: in the first instance, Britain, and later the United States. Spanning the period leading up to Australia's greatest security crisis--the military threat posed by Japan throughout the majority of 1942--the work takes the reader all the way up to the defeat of the Imperial Japanese Navy by the United States Navy in the Solomon Islands campaign. Angus Britts focuses on Anglo-Australian defense relations from 1919-42 when the British were Australia's primary naval protectors until they were superseded in the Pacific by the United States in May 1942 at the battle of the Coral Sea. Britts traces the process of the alignment or divergence of differing strategic interests between Australia and Britain in particular. Taking place against the backdrop of Imperial Japan's expansionism debates within Australian political and defense circles during this period, namely the nature of the most likely threat to the continent itself, [what became?] became an important subplot to the events then unfolding in the Pacific. Looking at the development of the Singapore strategy which utilized the British fleet at Singapore to protect Australia's interests, Britts lays out how the cornerstone for Australian defense planning was based on the continued assurances from successive British governments that they would honor their naval commitments should Australia itself eventually come under serious threat from Japanese aggression. The Australian-American defense relationship evolved at a later stage within the timeframe in this work, but the varying interactions between both nations throughout the interwar years are likewise addressed, as is the foundation of their wartime relations. Britts illustrates the difficulty in forming a defense relationship between small and great powers, where the needs of the former are not subsumed by the interests of the latter, from the interwar years to the start of World War II. In an era when the entire Pacific region was at war, the inability of a larger power to fulfill its side of a defensive pact with a smaller power shaped the future of the region itself.

The Fall and Rise of French Sea Power

The Fall and Rise of French Sea Power

Author: Hugues Canuel Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/04/2021

The Fall and Rise of French Sea Power explores the renewal of French naval power from the fall of France in 1940 through the first two decades of the Cold War. The Marine national continued fighting after the Armistice, a service divided against itself. The destruction of French sea power--at the hands of the Allies, the Axis, and fratricidal confrontations in the colonies--continued unabated until the scuttling of the Vichy fleet in 1942. And yet, just over twenty years after this dark day, Charles de Gaulle announced a plan to complement the country's nuclear deterrent with a force of nuclear-powered, ballistic missile-carrying submarines. Completing the rebuilding effort that followed the nadir in Toulon, this force provided the means to make the Marine national a fully-fledged blue-water navy again, ready to face the complex circumstances of the Cold War. An important continuum of cooperation and bitter tensions shaped naval relations between France and the Anglo-Americans from World War II to the Cold War. The rejuvenation of a fleet nearly wiped out during the hostilities was underpinned by a succession of forced compromises, often the least bad possible, reluctantly accepted by French politicians and admirals but effectively leveraged in their pursuit of an independent naval policy within a strategy of alliance. Hugues Canuel demonstrates that the renaissance of French sea power was shaped by a naval policy formulated within a strategy of alliance closely adapted to the needs of a continental state with worldwide interests. This work fills a distinct void in the literature concerned with the evolution of naval affairs from World War II to the 1960s. The author, drawing upon extensive research through French, British, American, and NATO archives (including those made public only recently regarding the sensitive circumstances surrounding the French nuclear deterrent) maps out for readers the unique path adopted in France to rebuild a blue-water fleet during unprecedented circumstances.