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Books in the series: Cassell Military Paperbacks

General Jack's Diary 1914-18

General Jack's Diary 1914-18

Author: John Terraine Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2018

At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Captain J. L. Jack was serving with the First Cameronians, one of the earliest British regiments to arrive in France. Almost every day while serving in France and Flanders, Jack kept a secret diary. This diary is unique. It presents the detail of a regular officer's life at war during virtually the whole of the First World War on the Western Front. Jack was witness not only to the horror and wretchedness of much that happened in the trenches but also to the bravery and spirit that kept the British soldiers in the line going through to the momentous battles of 1918 and final victory. Poignant and moving, as well as describing the reality of war on the Western Front, these diaries have been edited and linked with commentaries by the distinguished military historian John Terraine.

Popski's Private Army

Popski's Private Army

Author: Vladimir Peniakoff Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/11/2018

In October 1942, with the sanction of the army, Vladimir Peniakoff (nicknamed Popski) formed his own elite fighting force. By befriending and enlisting desert Arabs, he was able to penetrate deep into German territory without being detected - over the next year, 'Popski's Private Army' carried out a series of raids behind the German lines that were truly spectacular. A bestseller when it was first published in 1950, POPSKI'S PRIVATE ARMY is a classic account of the war in the desert, and later in Italy, as seen through the eyes of a maverick soldier, hailed as the Second World War's answer to T.E. Lawrence.

Ill Met By Moonlight

Ill Met By Moonlight

Author: W. Stanley Moss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/03/2014

NOW WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY W. STANLEY MOSS'S DAUGHTER GABRIELLA BULLOCK AND AN AFTERWORD BY PATRICK LEIGH FERMOR Ill Met By Moonlight is the true story of one of the most hazardous missions of the Second World War. W. Stanley Moss is a young British officer who, along with Major Patrick Leigh Fermor, sets out in Nazi-occupied Crete to kidnap General Kreipe, Commander of the Sevastopool Division, and narrowly escaping the German manhunt, bring him off the island - a vital prisoner for British intelligence. As an account of derring-do and wartime adventure, made into a classic film starring Dirk Bogarde, Ill Met By Moonlight is one of the most brilliantly written, exciting and compelling stories to come out of the Second World War.

Paths of Glory

Paths of Glory

Author: Anthony Clayton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/04/2005

World War I from the French point of view: the first ever account in English Anthony Clayton is an acknowledged expert on the French military and his book is a major contribution to the study and understanding of the First World War. He reveals why and how the French army fought as it did. He profiles its senior commanders - Joffre, Petain, Nivelle and Foch - and analyses its major campaigns both on the Western Front and in the Near East and Africa. PATHS OF GLORY also considers in detail the officers, how they kept their trenches and how men from very different areas of France fought and died together. He scrutinises the make-up and performance of France's large colonial armies and investigates the mutinies of 1917. Ultimately, he reveals how the traumatic French experience of the 1914-18 war indelibly shaped a nation.

For Valour

For Valour

Author: Bryan Perrett Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/12/2004

Stories of outstanding bravery on the battlefield The Victoria Cross, a simple bronze cross inscribed For Valour on the front and engraved with the recipient's name, rank, number, unit and the date of the action on the reverse, was first awarded by Queen Victoria - in a ceremony in Hyde Park - in 1857, to heroes of the Crimea. The VC is the most prized British and Commonwealth decoration for gallantry, and is earned too often at the cost of the ultimate sacrifice. Only 1,354 VCs have been awarded, and this book, in Bryan Perrett's inimitable style, tells the story behind some of the most remarkable, from the Crimea through to the Second World War. Likewise, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the US equivalent decoration, is celebrated here in equal measure in his gripping episodes of outstanding gallantry in battle. The VC and the Medal of Honor have on occasion even been awarded for acts on the same battlefield.

Swordfish

Swordfish

Author: David Wragg Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/11/2004

The daring British air raid that inspired the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In November 1940 Britain was isolated in its stand against Nazi Germany and its ally, Italy. The country could not afford to lose control of the Mediterranean, but the Royal Navy was already overstretched by the U-boat war and the threat of invasion. Italy's fleet of modern battleships presented a grave threat to our communications with Egypt and the Suez Canal. On the night of 11 November 1940, 42 members of the Fleet Air Arm took off in 21 obsolete 'Swordfish' biplanes, launched from HMS Illustrious. Their target: the Italian fleet anchorage at Taranto. Pressing home their attack in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and searchlights, they torpedoed and sank three battleships. Incredibly, all but two of the biplanes survived. The Italian fleet was crippled and the world took note that Britain was far from defeated. No-one was more impressed than the Japanese, who noted how a fleet in harbour could be demolished by air attack. In this new account of the Royal Navy's most daring operation of the Second World War, David Wragg draws on British and Italian records as well as interviews with the aircrew, to tell the full story of a night that changed the course of the war.

The War of the Running Dogs

The War of the Running Dogs

Author: Noel Barber Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/10/2004

'The story of the first all-out struggle in Asia between Communism and the West, vividly told in an exciting and engrossing book' Sunday Express Only three short years after the end of the Japanese occupation, war came again to Malaya. The Chinese-backed guerrillas called it the War of the Running Dogs - their contemptuous term for those in Malaya who remained loyal to the British. The British Government referred to this bloody and costly struggle as the 'Malayan Emergency'. Yet it was a war that lasted twelve years and cost thousands of lives. By the time it was over Malaya had obtained its independence - but on British, not on Chinese or Communist terms. Here is the war as it was. Here are the planters and their wives on their remote rubber estates, the policemen, the generals and the soldiers, the Malays, Chinese and Indians of a polyglot country, all fighting an astute, ruthless, and well organized enemy.

Acts of War

Acts of War

Author: Richard Holmes Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2004

The reality of what it is to be a soldier, by Britain's foremost military historian. This ambitious, wide-ranging, exhaustively researched book is a compelling attempt to grasp the very nature of war. It takes us through the soldier's experience in its entirety - from the humiliation of basic training and the intense comradeship of army life, to the terror, isolation and exhaustion of battle. What does it feel like to be in the firing line? How does killing change a man? And what do the extreme conditions of war reveal about a man's basic instincts, his courage or his fear, his urge for self-preservation or self-sacrifice? Covering several centuries of warfare, and including the personal recollections of veterans from two World Wars, from Korea, Vietnam, the Falklands and the Arab-Israeli conflicts, Richard Holmes gives us a powerful picture of what motivates the soldier and enables him to maintain the struggle in conditions of extreme degradation and danger.

Rising Sun And Tumbling Bear

Rising Sun And Tumbling Bear

Author: Richard Connaughton Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/06/2004

The definitive history of the Russo-Japanese war The Russians were wrong-footed from the start, fighting in Manchuria at the end of a 5,000 mile single track railway; the Japanese were a week or so from their bases. The Russian command structure was hopelessly confused, their generals old and incompetent, the Tsar cautious and uncertain. The Russian naval defeat at Tsushima was as farcical as it was complete. The Japanese had defeated a big European power, and the lessons for the West were there for all to see, had they cared to do so. From this curious war, so unsafely ignored for the most part by the military minds of the day, Richard Connaughton has woven a fascinating narrative to appeal to readers at all levels.

A Storm in Flanders

A Storm in Flanders

Author: Winston Groom Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/05/2004

A vivid page-turning narrative of the most horrific battle in history by a soldier turned bestselling novelist A fast-paced and vivid narrative of the most horrific campaign in history: the four-year slaughter around the Belgian town of Ypres 1914-18. Switching seamlessly between the generals' headquarters, the politicians' councils and -- above all -- the mud and blood of the trenches, this is a wonderfully accessible history. Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler both fought in the frontline at Ypres: Groom reveals what happened to both men. We see the campaign through their eyes and the experience of other officers and men, including the war poet Edmund Blunden (later professor of poetry at Oxford). From the desperate defence put up by the tiny British regular army in 1914 to the infamous Passchendaele offensive, this is popular history at its best.

Fortress Malta

Fortress Malta

Author: James Holland Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/04/2004

The extraordinary drama of Malta's WWII victory against impossible odds told through the eyes of the people who were there. In March and April 1942, more explosives were dropped on the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta - smaller than the Isle of Wight - than on the whole of Britain during the first year of the Blitz. Malta had become one of the most strategically important places in the world. From there, the Allies could attack Axis supply lines to North Africa; without it, Rommel would be able to march unchecked into Egypt, Suez and the Middle East. For the Allies this would have been catastrophic. As Churchill said, Malta had to be held 'at all costs'. FORTRESS MALTA follows the story through the eyes of those who were there: young men such as twenty-year-old fighter pilot Raoul Daddo-Langlois, anti-aircraft gunner Ken Griffiths, American Art Roscoe and submariner Tubby Crawford - who served on the most successful Allied submarine of the Second World War; cabaret dancer-turned RAF plotter Christina Ratcliffe, and her lover, the brilliant and irrepressible reconnaissance pilot, Adrian Warburton. Their stories and others provide extraordinary first-hand accounts of heroism, resilience, love, and loss, highlighting one of the most remarkable stories of World War II.

Jutland, 1916

Jutland, 1916

Author: Nigel Steel, Peter Hart Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/02/2004

Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War. On 31 May, 1916, the great battle fleets of Britain and Germany met off Jutland in the North Sea. It was a climactic encounter, the culmination of a fantastically expensive naval race between the two countries, and expectations on both sides were high. For the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, there was the chance to win another Trafalgar. For the German High Seas Fleet, there was the opportunity to break the British blockade and so change the course of the war. But Jutland was a confused and controversial encounter. Tactically, it was a draw; strategically, it was a British victory. Naval historians have pored over the minutiae of Jutland ever since. Yet they have largely ignored what the battle was actually like for its thousands of participants. Full of drama and pathos, of chaos and courage, JUTLAND, 1916 describes the sea battle in the dreadnought era from the point of view of those who were there.

The Somme

The Somme

Author: Dr Gary, MA FRHistS Sheffield Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/01/2004

On 1 July 1916, after a stupendous 7-day artillery preparation, the British Army finally launched its attack on the German line around the River Somme. Over the next four and half months they continued to attack, with little or no gain, and with horrendous losses to both sides. This book, written by the world's foremost expert in the subject, describes in chilling detail everything from the grand strategy to the experience of the men on the ground. Illustrated throughout, it is a stunning and absorbing depiction of the horror that was the Somme in 1916.

The Fall of Carthage

The Fall of Carthage

Author: Adrian Goldsworthy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/10/2003

The greatest conflict of antiquity, the struggle for supremacy between Rome and Carthage. The struggle between Rome and Carthage in the Punic Wars was arguably the greatest and most desperate conflict of antiquity. The forces involved and the casualties suffered by both sides were far greater than in any wars fought before the modern era, while the eventual outcome had far-reaching consequences for the history of the Western World, namely the ascendancy of Rome. An epic of war and battle, this is also the story of famous generals and leaders: Hannibal, Fabius Maximus, Scipio Africanus, and his grandson Scipio Aemilianus, who would finally bring down the walls of Carthage.

Rorke's Drift

Rorke's Drift

Author: Adrian Greaves Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/09/2003

The story of the bravest battle ever fought. On 22nd January 1879 a force of 20,000 Zulus overwhelmed and destroyed the British invading force at Isandlwana, killing and ritually disemboweling over 1200 troops. That afternoon, the same Zulu force turned their attention on a small outpost at Rorke's Drift. The battle that ensued, one of the British Army's great epics, has since entered into legend. Throughout the night 85 men held off six full-scale Zulu attacks at the cost of only 27 casualties, forcing the Zulu army to withdraw. Eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for bravery shown on that night, the largest number for any one engagement in history. But as Adrian Greaves's new research shows there are several things about the myth of Rorke's Drift that don't add up. While it was the scene of undoubted bravery, it was also the scene of some astonishing cases of cowardice, and there is increasing evidence to suggest that the legend of Rorke's Drift was created to divert attention from the appalling British mistakes which caused the earlier defeat at Isandlwana.

Ice-Cold in Alex

Ice-Cold in Alex

Author: Christopher Landon Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/06/2003

The bestselling novel which inspired the Hollywood movie starring John Mills. They served it ice-cold in Alex - pale amber Rheingold beer in tall, dewy glasses. This is the image that haunts Captain George Anson. Stationed in the North African desert just before the fall of Tobruk, an ice-cold lager seems a million miles away. When Anson is detailed to escort two nursing sisters to Alexandria, it looks as though his wish is finally about to come true - a routine assignment, with a lager at the end of it as his reward. But what starts out as a routine journey soon becomes an epic. Forced to drive further and further south in order to escape the advancing German Army, Anson and his small party are soon on the edge of the Great Sand Sea. As they battle with the physical agonies of a six-hundred-mile drive through the desert it soon becomes apparent that each member of the group has his or her own private struggles to resolve. Not only that, but with a Nazi agent in their midst, it is clear that not all of them are going to make it to Alexandria ...

The Road To Berlin

The Road To Berlin

Author: Prof John Erickson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 13/03/2003

A compelling account of the Red Army's epic struggle to drive the Germans out of Russia and back to Berlin. Beginning with the destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, THE ROAD TO BERLIN is the story of how the Red Army drove the Germans from its territory, and finally invaded the Reich. Using an enormous range of primary sources - Soviet, German and Eastern European - John Erickson describes fighting and hardship on a scale almost unimaginable in the West. He provides a detailed narrative of all the battles on all the fronts, and also of the Soviet system of war which achieved, under maximum stress, near impossible feats in the field and in the factories. The book also tells of the diplomatic moves and counter-moves, including the all-important conferences at Tehran and Yalta. Comprehensive, compelling, and immensely readable, it is an indispensable book for any student of the Second World War.

The Road To Stalingrad

The Road To Stalingrad

Author: Prof John Erickson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/02/2003

The first of two volumes in John Erickson's monumental history of the Soviet-German war. In THE ROAD TO STALINGRAD Professor Erickson takes us in detail from the inept command structures and strategic delusions of the pre-invasion Soviet Union, through the humiliations as her armies fell back on all fronts before the Barbarossa onslaught, until the tide turned at last at Stalingrad. Unsparingly he assesses the generals and political leaders, and analyses the confusions and wranglings within both Allied and Axis commands. The climax, the grinding battle for Stalingrad, leaves the Red Army poised for its majestic counter-offensive, Operation 'Uranus', discovering it had 'caught a tiger by the tail'.

Tobruk

Tobruk

Author: Frank Harrison Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/01/2003

The 'Desert Rats' defeat Rommel: ' ... an impressive book ... highly recommended.' John Pimlott, MILITARY ILLUSTRATED The siege of Tobruk in 1941 was the first time the British army succeeded in defeating a German army operation in World War II. Despite all the ingenuity of Erwin Rommel, the 'Desert Fox', and the bravery of his Afrika Korps, the outnumbered and outgunned British garrison held the port until a relief mission, 'Operation Battleaxe', drove back the German and Italian forces. It was during this epic siege that 'Lord Haw Haw', the German propaganda broadcaster, coined the phrase 'Desert Rats'. He intended it as an insult, but the soldiers at Tobruk took a perverse pride in the name which became the nickname of the 8th Army in general and the 7th Armoured division in particular.

Hitler's War

Hitler's War

Author: Heinz Magenheimer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/03/2002

This is the book that answers the question: Could Germany have won World War Two? This is a closely argued and wide-ranging assessment of just how, with so many alternatives open, the German High Command chose the path that led, ultimately, to its own destruction. Heinz Magenheimer examines in detail the options that were open to the Germans as the war progressed. He identifies the crucial moments at which fateful decisions needed to be taken and considers how decisions different from those actually taken could have propelled the conflict in entirely different directions. Using the very latest source material, in particular new research from Soviet/Russian sources, the author analyses motives and objectives and considers the opportunities taken or rejected, concentrating especially on specific phases of the conflict.

Officer Factory

Officer Factory

Author: Hans Hellmut Kirst Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/02/2002

The unfolding drama at the officers' training school is an incomparable picture of a conflict between honourable men and a barbaric regime in wartime Germany. THE OFFICER FACTORY is where the cream of Germany's youth are moulded into soldiers ready to fight for the Fatherland. But the training is not only military but ideological, and when a murder occurs inside the school all the underlying tensions begin to surface. A gripping story of wartime Germany by the internationally renowned author of GUNNER ASCH and A NIGHT OF THE GENERALS.

The Dirty Dozen

The Dirty Dozen

Author: E.M. Nathanson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2002

The story of a daring mission carried out by 12 army convicts, made famous by the film of the same name. Twelve bearded, filthy GIs wait behind barbed wire, prisoners of their own army. Murderers, thieves, rapists, they wait to be sentenced to death or hard labour for life. They are the damned of the American Army. But at the last moment they are offered the opportunity of salvation: a mission just before D-Day. The chances of their getting away with it are about one in a million, but the damned don't care, and certainly don't count chances ...

Backroom Boys

Backroom Boys

Author: Edward Smithies Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 10/01/2002

Nostalgic and moving stories from the RAF staff who kept Britain's aircraft flying and fighting during the Second World War. When we remember the Second World War in the air, we think of fighter pilots and bomber crews. But what was it like for the men and women working as ground crew and in the aircraft factories who also played a crucial role in defeating Hitler? What was it like making history? What sense did these individuals have of what they were doing, either at the time or later? Did they feel they were caught up in the tide of great events? Or were they simply doing their demanding and often dangerous duty?

Bugles and a Tiger

Bugles and a Tiger

Author: John Masters Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2002

The first of John Master's evocative memoirs about life in the Gurkhas in India on the cusp of WWII John Masters was a soldier before he became a bestselling novelist. He went to Sandhurst in 1933 at the age of eighteen and was commissioned into the 4th Gurkha Rifles in time to take part in some of the last campaigns on the turbulent north-west frontier of India. John Masters joined a Gurhka regiment on receiving his commission, and his depiction of garrison life and campaigning on the North-West Frontier has never been surpassed. BUGLES AND A TIGER is a matchless evocation of the British Army in India on the eve of the Second World War. Still very much the army depicted by Kipling, it stands on the threshold of a war that will transform the world. This book is the first of three volumes of autobiography that touched a chord in the post-war world.

The Road Past Mandalay

The Road Past Mandalay

Author: John Masters Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/2002

The second part of the bestselling novelist's autobiography about his time in the Gurkhas during the second world war This is the second part of John Masters' autobiography: how he fought with his Gurkha regiment during World War II until his promotion to command one of the Chindit columns behind enemy lines in Burma. Written by a bestselling novelist at the height of his powers, it is an exceptionally moving story that culminates in him having to personally shoot a number of wounded British soldiers who cannot be evacuated before their position is overrun by the Japanese. It is an uncomfortable reminder that Churchill's obsession with 'special forces' squandered thousands of Allied lives in operations that owed more to public relations than strategic calculation. This military and moral odyssey is one of the greatest of World War II frontline memoirs.

Tales By Japanese Soldiers

Tales By Japanese Soldiers

Author: Kazuo Tamayama, John Nunneley Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/10/2001

An absolutely unique book, this is the Second World War in Burma as seen through the eyes of ordinary Japanese soldiers Over 305,000 Japanese soldiers fought in Burma between 1942 and 1945; 180,000 of them died. This book, uniquely, tells how the common soldier of the Imperial Japanese Army lived, fought and died in that terrible conflict. Here are straightforward accounts, sometimes moving, often shocking, of what it was like to fight a war in a strange country, far from home, short of food and weapons, confused, facing death from disease and starvation as well as enemy action. Sixty-two 'tales', translated from the Japanese, trace the Burma campaign in chronological sequence and together offer a new perspective on a terrible war. Japanese soldiers, navy men, fighter pilots, and others were from a different culture, but they were not the devils of popular legend. Just like their enemies, they were scared young men, fighting to the death a war they didn't understand.

Barbarossa

Barbarossa

Author: Alan Clark Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/07/2001

The classic account of the war on the Eastern Front between the Russians and the Germans - the greatest clash of arms the world has ever seen. Carefully researched and beautifully written, this book is a classic of military history. Alan Clark vividly narrates the course of the dramatic and brutal war between the German and Russians on the Eastern Front during the Second World War. From the invasion of Russia mounted on Midsummer's Day 1941 and the German Army's advance to the outskirts of Moscow, to the terrible turning point of Stalingrad and the eventual defeat of the Nazis at the Fall of Berlin after the hard years of fighting and advance by the Red Army, this is epic history narrated by a master.

The Kappillan of Malta

The Kappillan of Malta

Author: Nicholas Monsarrat Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/03/2001

'One of the most memorable characters of post-war fiction' Daily Express A classic novel set in the siege of Malta 1940-1942 from the bestselling author of The Cruel Sea Father Salvatore was a simple, lumbering priest, a Kappillan serving the poor Valetta, when war came out of the blue skies to pound the island to dust. Now amid the catacombs discovered by a chance bomb, he cared for the flood of homeless, starving, frightened people who sought shelter from the death that fell unceasingly from the sky. His story, and the story of Malta, is told in superbly graphic pictures of six days during the siege. Each of those days brought forth from the Kappillan a message of inspiration to keep them going - the legendary tales of six mighty events of Malta's history which shone through the centuries and gathered them together in a fervent belief in their survival.

War In A Stringbag

War In A Stringbag

Author: Charles Lamb Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/01/2001

A classic autobiography by the best known Second World War Fleet Air Arm pilot. A story of real life adventure, action and heroism. Commander Charles Lamb fought an exceptional war flying the slow and obsolete Fairey Swordfish for the Fleet Air Arm. It was an antiquated machine, but it could outmanoeuvre almost any other aircraft, and in Charles Lamb's hands, the 'Stringbag' - as the torpedo bomber was affectionately known - was a deadly weapon. Charles Lamb fought in the thick of the action. This is his story, from the first day of war as a Lieutenant on board Courageous, to the accident aboard Implacable in action against the Japanese in June 1945 which ended his war. A rare account of determination, action and spirit by a man who was an inspiration to those around him.

The White Rabbit

The White Rabbit

Author: Bruce Marshall Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/12/2000

The harrowing, and inspiring, story of the capture of one of Britain's top SOE agents in World War Two, his refusal to crack under the most horrific torture, and his final imprisonment in a concentration camp. 'The White Rabbit' was the code name of Wing Commander F.F.E. Yeo-Thomas when he parachuted into France in 1942 as a member of the Special Operations Executive with the Resistance. For the next eighteen months he was responsible for organising all the separate factions of the French Resistance into one combined 'secret army'. On three separate missions into occupied France he met with the heads of Resistance movements all over the country, and he spoke personally with Winston Churchill in order to ensure they were properly supplied. His capture by the Gestapo in March 1944 was therefore a terrible blow for the Resistance movement. For months he was submitted to the most horrific torture in an attempt to get him to spill his unparalleled knowledge of the Resistance, but he refused to crack. Finally he was sentenced to death, and sent to Buchenwald, one of the most infamous German concentration camps. The story of his endurance, and survival, is an inspiring study in the triumph of the human spirit over the most terrible adversity.

Sea Harrier Over The Falklands

Sea Harrier Over The Falklands

Author: Commander Sharkey Ward Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/12/2000

The controversial account of what really happened in the south Atlantic skies Sharkey Ward commanded 801 Naval Air Squadron, HMS Invincible, was senior Sea Harrier adviser to the Command, flew over sixty missions and was awarded DSC. Yet had he followed all his instructions to the letter, Britain might well have lost the Falklands War. His dramatic first-hand story of the air war in the South Atlantic is also an extraordinary, outspoken account of inter-Service rivalries, bureaucratic interference, and dangerous ignorance of the realities of air combat among many senior commanders. As Sharkey Ward reveals, the 801 pilots were fighting not just the enemy, exhaustion, and the hostile weather, but also the prejudice and ignorance of their own side.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape

Author: Paul Brickhill Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/11/2000

The famous story of mass escape from a WWII German PoW camp that inspired the classic film. One of the most famous true stories from the last war, The GREAT ESCAPE tells how more than six hundred men in a German prisoner-of-war camp worked together to achieve an extraordinary break-out. Every night for a year they dug tunnels, and those who weren't digging forged passports, drew maps, faked weapons and tailored German uniforms and civilian clothes to wear once they had escaped. All of this was conducted under the very noses of their prison guards. When the right night came, the actual escape itself was timed to the split second - but of course, not everything went according to plan...

Cochrane

Cochrane

Author: Donald Thomas Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/09/2000

Bestselling account of the life of a real Horatio Hornblower The life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane, later 10th Earl of Dundonald, was more extraordinary than that of Nelson, more far fetched than that of Hornblower or Patrick O'Brien's Jack Aubrey. Born the son of an eccentric and indigent Scottish peer, he entered the Royal Navy in 1793. In a series of outstanding and heroic actions, often against seemingly overwhelming odds, he made his name fighting Napoleon's navy as one of the most dashing and daring frigate captains of his day, before embarking on a career as a mercenary admiral.

Reach for the Sky

Reach for the Sky

Author: Paul Brickhill Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/08/2000

The bestselling story of Britain's most courageous and most famous flyer, the Second World War hero Sir Douglas Bader. In 1931, at the age of 21, Douglas Bader was the golden boy of the RAF. Excelling in everything he did he represented the Royal Air Force in aerobatics displays, played rugby for Harlequins, and was tipped to be the next England fly half. But one afternoon in December all his ambitions came to an abrupt end when he crashed his plane doing a particularly difficult and illegal aerobatic trick. His injuries were so bad that surgeons were forced to amputate both his legs to save his life. Douglas Bader did not fly again until the outbreak of the Second World War, when his undoubted skill in the air was enough to convince a desperate air force to give him his own squadron. The rest of his story is the stuff of legend. Flying Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain he led his squadron to kill after kill, keeping them all going with his unstoppable banter. Shot down in occupied France, his German captors had to confiscate his tin legs in order to stop him trying to escape. Bader faced it all, disability, leadership and capture, with the same charm, charisma and determination that was an inspiration to all around him.

Achtung Panzer!

Achtung Panzer!

Author: Heinz Guderian Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/09/1999

This is one of the most significant military books of the twentieth century. By an outstanding soldier of independent mind, it pushed forward the evolution of land warfare and was directly responsible for German armoured supremacy in the early years of the Second World War. Published in 1937, the result of 15 years of careful study since his days on the German General Staff in the First World War, Achtung Panzer! argues how vital the proper use of tanks and supporting armoured vehicles would be in the conduct of a future war. When that war came, just two years later, he proved it, leading his Panzers with distinction in the Polish, French and Russian campaigns. Panzer warfare had come of age, exactly as he had forecast.This first English translation of Heinz Guderian's classic book - used as a textbook by Panzer officers in the war - has an introduction and extensive background notes by the modern English historian Paul Harris.

The Forgotten Soldier

The Forgotten Soldier

Author: Guy Sajer Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 15/07/1999

An international bestseller, this is a German soldier's first-hand account of life on Russian front during the second half of the Second World War. When Guy Sajer joins the infantry full of ideals in the summer of 1942, the German army is enjoying unparalleled success in Russia. However, he quickly finds that for the foot soldier the glory of military success hides a much harsher reality of hunger, fatigue and constant deprivation. Posted to the crack Grosse Deutschland division, with its sadistic instructors who shoot down those who fail to make the grade, he enters a violent and remorseless world where all youthful hope is gradually ground down, and all that matters is the brute will to survive. As the biting cold of the Russian winter sets in, and the tide begins to turn against the Germans, life becomes an endless round of pounding artillery attacks and vicious combat against a relentless and merciless Red Army. A book of stunning force, this is an unforgettable reminder of the horrors of war.

Das Boot

Das Boot

Author: Lothar Gunther Buchheim Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/06/1999

Filled with almost unbearable tension and excitement, DAS BOOT is one of the best stories ever written about war, a supreme novel of the Second World War and an acclaimed film and TV drama. It is autumn 1941 and a German U-boat commander and his crew set out on yet another hazardous patrol in the Battle of the Atlantic. Over the coming weeks they must brave the stormy waters of the Atlantic in their mission to seek out and destroy British supply ships. But the tide is beginning to turn against the Germans in the war for the North Atlantic. Their targets now travel in convoys, fiercely guarded by Royal Navy destroyers, and when contact is finally made the hunters rapidly become the hunted. As the U-boat is forced to hide beneath the surface of the sea a cat-and-mouse game begins, where the increasing claustrophobia of the submarine becomes an enemy just as frightening as the depth charges that explode around it. Of the 40,000 men who served on German submarines, 30,000 never returned. Written by a survivor of the U-boat fleet, DAS BOOT is a psychological drama merciless in its intensity, and a classic novel of the Second World War.

The Dambusters Raid

The Dambusters Raid

Author: Dr John Sweetman Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/03/1999

A comprehensive account of the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War. Operation Chastise - the Dambusters Raid, as it became known - undertaken by 19 Lancasters of 617 Squadron on the night of 16 May 1943, was the most audacious bombing raid of the Second World War. For the loss of 11 aircraft, the Mohne and Eder dams in Germany's industrial heartland were breached, and a famous if controversial victory won. John Sweetman's book is the most comprehensive account of this legendary mission, from the development of Barnes Wallis' 'bouncing bomb' (in reality a revolving depth-charge) to every moment of the raid itself, under the charismatic command of Guy Gibson, VC. It recalls a time of commitment, perseverance and sheer dogged determination in the face of dangerous and improbable odds.