Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Railway of Hell - War, Captivity and Forced Labour at the Hands of the Japanese, Reginald Burton.

Railway of Hell - War, Captivity and Forced Labour at the Hands of the Japanese, Reginald Burton.

A thoughtful autobiography, originally written in 1963 and revised in 2002, and recounting the author's experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese between 1942 and 1945, including a period spent building the infamous railway from Siam to Burma.

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Images of War: Berlin, Victory in Europe, Nik Cornish.

Images of War: Berlin, Victory in Europe, Nik Cornish.

A pictorial guide to the Soviet offensives that broke through the last German defensive lines in the East and the desperate battle for Berlin, the last major battle of the war against Nazi Germany. A good selection of Soviet and German photographs supported by useful captions and a concise account of the campaign.

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No.156 Squadron

No.156 Squadron was a bomber squadron that was a founder member of the Pathfinder Force, serving with it from August 1942 until the end of the war.

No.155 Squadron

No.155 Squadron was a fighter squadron that served in India and over Burma, performing reconnaissance, ground attack and bomber escort missions.

No.154 Squadron

No.154 Squadron was a fighter squadron that had two incarnations during the Second World War, first serving in the UK briefly late in 1942 before moving to the Mediterranean and second providing bomber escorts from the UK.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

No.153 Squadron

No.153 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a night fighter squadron which served both at home and in the Mediterranean, and then as a Lancaster squadron in Bomber Command.

No.152 'Hyderabad' Squadron

No.152 'Hyderabad' Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the Battle of Britain, and the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, before ending the war as a fighter bomber squadron operating over Burma.

No.146 Squadron

No.146 Squadron served as a defensive fighter and ground attack squadron in India and over Burma

Monday, December 27, 2010

No.145 Squadron

No.145 Squadron was a fighter squadron that fought in the Battle of Britain and the cross-channel sweeps of 1941 before moving to the Mediterranean, where it took part in the campaigns in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, ending the war as a fighter-bomber squadron.

No.143 Squadron

No.143 Squadron was part of Coastal Command, and formed part of the first 'Strike Wing' at Coates, as well as the Banff strike wing in Scotland

No.141 Squadron

No.141 Squadron began the war as a day-fighter squadron equipped with the two-seat Defiant turret fighter, but after a costly first contact with the Germans became a night fighter squadron, ending the war with Bomber Command's No.100 Group.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

No.140 Squadron

No.140 Squadron was a photo-reconnaissance squadron that was based in the UK for most of the war, before moving to Belgium in September 1944.

No.137 Squadron

No.137 Squadron was a fighter-bomber and ground attack squadron that was one of only two squadrons to receive the Westland Whirlwind, before moving on to the Hurricane and finally the Typhoon.

No.133 Squadron

No.133 Squadron was the third 'Eagle' Squadron, RAF fighter squadrons manned by American volunteers

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Polikarpov I-195

The Polikarpov I-195 was Nikolai Polikarpov's last design for a biplane fighter, and was to a more powerful version of the I-190.

Polikarpov I-190

The Polikarpov I-190 was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighter designs to take to the air, but only the first prototype was completed and the project was abandoned early in 1941

Polikarpov I-170

The Polikarpov I-170 was a design for version of the I-153 biplane fighter with a wooden fuselage structure in place of the metal tubing used on the standard aircraft.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lucius Scribonius Libo (fr.56-34 BC)

Lucius Scribonius Libo (fr.56-34 BC) was a supporter of Pompey the Great in the civil war between Caesar and the Senate, commanding part of Pompey's fleet in the first year of the war

Lucius Nasidius (fl.49-31 BC)

Lucius Nasidius (fl.49-31 BC) was a Roman naval commander who fought against Julius Caesar and later against Octavius, suffering defeats on both occasions.

Monday, December 20, 2010

No.136 Squadron

No.136 Squadron was a fighter squadron that was on its way to the Far East when the Japanese invaded Burma, and spent much of the war operating over that country.

No.135 Squadron

No.135 Squadron was a fighter squadron that was caught up in the retreat from Burma in 1942 and spent the rest of the war operating on the Burmese front.

No.134 Squadron

No.134 Squadron was formed to take Hurricanes to the Soviet Union to help defend Murmansk, before going on to serve in Northern Ireland, North Africa and Burma.

Gunner Sidney Fowler's Account of Dunkirk

This account of the British retreat to Dunkirk and the evacuation that followed was written by Gunner Sidney Fowler and was originally published in the Newsletter of the Friends' Hall Gooch Street, Birmingham.

Friday, December 17, 2010

No.132 Squadron

No.132 Squadron served as a fighter squadron based in Britain from 1941 until the end of 1944, before moving to the Far East in preparation for the invasion of Malaya

No.131 Squadron

No.131 Squadron was a fighter squadron that spent most of the Second World War operating from Britain, flying a mix of defensive and offensive duties, before moving to the Far East where it never began fully operational

No.130 Squadron

No.130 Squadron was a fighter squadron that spent most of the Second World War on offensive duties, including fighter sweeps in 1941-43 and armed reconnaissance over Germany towards the end of the war

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

L. Calpumius Bibulus (d.48 BC)

L. Calpumius Bibulus (d.48 BC) was a political opponent of Caesar's who was unable to stop his fleets crossing the Adriatic in 49 BC, and who died of a fever while isolated on his fleet

Sabura (d.46 BC)

Sabura (d.46 BC) was a Numidian general who fought against Caesar during the Great Roman Civil War, defeating one of his generals in 49 BC before dying in battle in 46 BC.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Polikarpov I-153 Chaika

The Polikarpov I-153 Chaika was the last of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighter aircraft to enter service, and despite being the most advanced entry in the series was already obsolete when it first entered service in 1939

Polikarpov I-152

The Polikarpov I-152 or I-15bis was the second in the series of biplanes that began with the I-15 and ended with the I-153, and in some ways was a step backwards from the earlier aircraft

Monday, December 13, 2010

No.129 Squadron

No.129 Squadron was a fighter squadron that was based in the UK from 1941 until the end of the Second World War, providing bomber escorts, taking part in the D-Day landings and the campaign against the V-1 flying bomb

No.128 Squadron

No.128 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a fighter squadron in West Africa and then as a night intruder squadron based in Britain.

No.127 Squadron

No.127 Squadron was a fighter squadron that spend much of the Second World War in the Mediterranean before returning to Britain to take part in the D-Day campaign.

Friday, December 10, 2010

No.126 Squadron

No.126 Squadron was a fighter squadron that took part in the defence of Malta in 1941 and 1942, the invasion of Italy in 1943 and the D-Day invasions in 1944.

No.125 Squadron

No.125 Squadron was a night fighter squadron that generally served in a defensive capacity, as well as taking part in the D-Day campaign

No.124 Squadron

No.124 Squadron was a fighter squadron that served as a high-altitude interception unit, before joining Fighter Command to carry out bomber escort duties, ending the war attacking V-2 sites

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Lucius Afranius (d.46 BC)

Lucius Afranius (d.46 BC) was a supporter of Pompey the Great who was defeated by Caesar in the first major battle of the Great Roman Civil War at Ilerda (49 BC), and who survived to be present at the battles of Dyrrhacium, Pharsalia and Thapsus, being killed soon after the last battle.

Marcus Petreius

Marcus Petreius was an experienced solder and a supporter of Pompey during the Great Roman Civil War. He was defeated at Ilerda in Spain in the first year of the war, but survived to take part in the defeats at Pharsalus and at Thapsus, committing suicide after the second of these battles.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Battle of Ilerda (May-2 July 49 BC)

The battle of Ilerda (May-2 July 49 BC) was Caesar's first major military success during the Great Civil War, and saw him defeat Pompey's most experienced armies, posted in Spain where Pompey had gained one of his earliest victories, against the forces of the Roman rebel Sertorius, and which had been his proconsular province in 55 BC.

Siege of Gomphi (48 BC)

The siege of Gomphi (48 BC) was a minor victory won by Caesar in the period between his defeat at Dyrrhachium in May and his victory at Pharsalus in August.

The Amber Treasure, Richard Denning

The Amber Treasure, Richard Denning.

Well written and entertaining historical fiction set in the early days of the Angle invasion of northern England, one of the most obscure periods of the Dark Ages, following the adventures of a young man caught up in the conflict between the Angles and the peoples they had displaced.

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Fighter Aces - The Constable Maxwell Brothers, Alex Revell

Fighter Aces - The Constable Maxwell Brothers, Alex Revell.

An unusual double biography, looking at two brothers who served as fighter pilots, one in the First World War and one in the Second. As a result we get a clear picture of the vast increase in the complexity of aerial warfare in the two decades between the wars, from the standing fighter patrols of the first war to the radar guided interceptions of the Battle of Britain or the complexities of the night fighters, both on defensive and offensive duties.

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The Pacific: Hell was an Ocean Away, Hugh Ambrose

The Pacific: Hell was an Ocean Away, Hugh Ambrose.

Closely linked to the HBO TV series, this sizable book follows the experiences of five US servicemen (four Marines and a Navy aviator) during the four years of the Pacific War, tracing their experiences from the Japanese invasion of the Philippines to the preparations for the invasion of Japan, through the battles of Midway and Guadalcanal and the long island hopping campaign that followed.

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Some Desperate Glory - The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917, Edwin Campion Vaughan.

Some Desperate Glory - The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917, Edwin Campion Vaughan.

This diary covers the experiences of a young and very inexperienced infantry officer (as he admits himself) from his arrival in France in January 1917 to his participation in the Third Battle of Ypres in August. Casts an unusual light on the relationship between junior officers and the men under their command

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

No.123 Squadron

No.123 Squadron served as an army co-operation and fighter squadron in the Middle East in 1942-43, then provided fighter escorts over Burma before ending the war as a fighter-bomber squadron.

No.122 Squadron

No.122 Squadron was a fighter-bomber squadron that formed part of 2nd Tactical Air Force during the D-Day period, before flying bomber escort missions to the end of the war.

No.121 Squadron

No.121 Squadron was the second 'Eagle' squadron, manned by American volunteers

Monday, December 06, 2010

Polikarpov I-15

The Polikarpov I-15 was a gull-winged biplane that made its name fighting for the Republican cause in Spain, where it earned its nickname of 'Chato', or 'Snub Nose'.

Polikarpov I-13

The Polikarpov I-13 was a design for a sesquiplane fighter aircraft produced during a period of some turmoil in the Soviet aircraft industry and that never progressed beyond the design stage

Polikarpov I-11

The Polikarpov I-11 is one of the more obscure Soviet aircraft designs of the 1930

Friday, December 03, 2010

No.120 Squadron

No.120 Squadron was the first squadron in Coastal Command to receive the Very Long Range Liberator, the aircraft that closed the Atlantic Gap and played a major part in the defeat of the U-boats.

No.119 Squadron

No.119 Squadron had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as flying boat squadron originally formed to operate three Short S.26 class flying boats, and then as a land plane squadron operating against German E-boats

No.118 Squadron

No.118 Squadron was a fighter squadron that spent most of its existence flying fighter sweeps and escorting bombers over occupied Europe.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

No.117 Squadron

No.117 Squadron served as a transport squadron in the Middle East, before moving to Burma where it carried out parachute supply drops

No.116 Squadron

No.116 Squadron was a support squadron, providing aircraft to help anti-aircraft batteries calibrate their predictors and radar sets

No.113 Squadron

No.113 Squadron was a bomber and fighter-bomber squadron that served in North Africa and Greece before moving to the Far East to take part in both the unsuccessful defence of Burma and its eventual reconquest.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

P. Attius Varus (d.45 BC)

P. Attius Varus (d.45 BC) was one of Pompey's generals during the Great Roman Civil War, holding North Africa against Caesar's lieutenants in the first year of the war, thus ensuring that the Pompeian leaders still had a base after their defeat at Pharsalia in the following year

Juba I, king of Numidia (d.46 BC)

Juba I, king of Numidia (d.46 BC), was an Africa king who allied himself with Pompey during the Great Roman Civil War, defeating one of Caesar's armies in 49 BC before being defeated by Caesar in 46 BC.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Polikarpov I-6

The Polikarpov I-6 was a biplane of wooden construction designed to compete against the metal framed I-5, but that never progressed beyond the prototype stage

Polikarpov I-5

The Polikarpov I-5 was the second of Nikolai Polikarpov's biplane fighters to enter front line service, and was designed while he was working in a prison camp.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Siege of Salonae (49 BC)

The siege of Salonae (49 BC) was an unsuccessful attempt by Pompey's supporters in Illyricum to capture a town that supported Caesar (Great Roman Civil War)

Siege of Curicta (49 BC)

The siege of Curicta (49 BC) was a success for Pompey's supporters against Caesar's governor of Illyria early in the Great Roman Civil War

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Notes of a Russian Sniper, Vassili Zaitsev

Notes of a Russian Sniper, Vassili Zaitsev.

An utterly compelling account of the battle of Stalingrad as seen by Vassili Zaitsev, the sniper whose exploits inspired the film 'Enemy at the Gates'. A very well written memoir that gives the reader a clear idea of the nature of the fighting in the ruins of the city, and of the skills needed by a sniper in that environment

[read full review]

Wittmann v Ekins: The Death of a Panzer Ace (DVD)

Wittmann v Ekins: The Death of a Panzer Ace (DVD).

A low-key but effective documentary looking at the career and final defeat of the German Panzer Ace Michael Wittman and the experiences of Joe Ekins, a British tank gunner who may have fired the shots that killed him. Nicely presented with much of the filming done on the actual battlefields in Normandy

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Messines 1917: The zenith of siege warfare, Alexander Turner.

Messines 1917: The zenith of siege warfare, Alexander Turner.

A good clear account of one of the most successful British offensives of the First World War, and a classic example of the success possible when formal siege techniques were applied to the deadlock on the Western Front. The battle is best known for the massive mines that were detonated at its start, but also saw a significant improvement in the British use of artillery and the benefits of a well organised plan

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Tracing the Rifle Volunteers, Ray Westlake.

Tracing the Rifle Volunteers, Ray Westlake.

A comprehensive reference work detailing the history of the Volunteer Rifle Corps, the infantry component of the volunteer force that preceded the Territorial Force. Provides details of each of the hundreds of companies formed around England, Wales and Scotland, including location, date of formation and eventual fate

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Chitral Charlie, The Rise and Fall of Major General Charles Townshend, N. S. Nash

Chitral Charlie, The Rise and Fall of Major General Charles Townshend, N. S. Nash.

A biography of the general best known for his part in the disastrous Mesopotamian campaign of 1915-16, which ended with the siege and fall of Kut. Townshend is revealed as an intelligent, ambitious and able officer, with a passionate interest in the conduct of military operations but with flaws in his character that combined with the anger caused by the poor treatment of his men in Turkish captivity to leave his reputation in tatters

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Pacific: Hell on Earth (DVD)

Pacific: Hell on Earth (DVD).

Eight documentaries looking at different battles of the Pacific War, from Pearl Harbor to Okinawa, with a bonus disc containing a biography of Eugene B. Sledge, author of 'With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa'. A good mix of interviews with surviving veterans, contemporary film and a nice use of wartime aerial reconnaissance photos overlaid onto a 3D map of the battlefields

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Casca 34: Devil's Horseman, Tony Roberts

Casca 34: Devil's Horseman, Tony Roberts.

This time Casca accompanies the Mongols as they invade eastern and central Europe, overwhelming Russian, Polish and Hungarian resistance on their way to a dramatic victory on the Saja River. With Ogatai Khan fading fast back in Mongolia the horde is split into rival factions as the princes jostle to become his heir, and Casca is dragged into the middle of the dynastic battle.

[read full review]

Friday, November 26, 2010

Polikarpov DI-2

The Polikarpov DI-2 was a two-seat fighter developed from the single-seat I-3. The only prototype crashed during 1929 ending work on the project

Polikarpov I-3

The Polikarpov I-3 was the first of Nikolai Polikarpov's fighter designs to enter front line service, and was the first of a long line of designs that reached their peak with the I-153.
The Polikarpov 2I-1N (DI-1) was a two seat fighter that was the first in a long line of biplane fighters designed by Nikolai Polikarpov.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Battle of the Bagradas River (24 July 49 BC)

The battle of the Bagradas River (24 July 49 BC) was a major defeat for Caesar's army in North Africa, and firmly established Pompey's control over the area.

Siege of Utica (49 BC)

The siege of Utica (49 BC) was a short-lived attempt by Caesar's lieutenant in North Africa, G. Scribonius Curio, to take advantage of his victory in a battle outside the city (Great Roman Civil War).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Fiat G.59

The Fiat G.59 was a post-war trainer producing by matching the fuselage of the G.55 Centauro with the Rolls Royce Merlin engine

Fiat G.56

The Fiat G.56 was a fighter aircraft that combined the fuselage of the successful G.55 Centauro with a 1,750hp Daimbler Benz DB 603A to produce the fastest Italian fighter aircraft of the Second World War.

Fiat G.55 Centauro (Centaur)

The Fiat G.55 Centauro (Centaur) was an improved version of the G.50, powered by a licence built DB 605 engine and armed with two machine guns and three 20mm cannon, thus solving most of the problems with the earlier aircraft

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fiat G.52

The Fiat G.52 was the designation given to a version of the G.50 Freccia that would have been powered by the Daimler Benz DB 601 engine

Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow)

The Fiat G.50 Freccia (Arrow) was the first all-metal monoplane fighter to enter service with the Italian Air Force, but it was underpowered and under-armed compared to its British and German contemporaries

Monday, November 22, 2010

Battle of Utica (49 BC)

The battle of Utica (49 BC) was an initial victory won by G. Scribonius, Caesar's commander in North Africa, over Pompey's supporters (Great Roman Civil War)

Naval battles of Massilia (49 BC)

The naval battles of Massilia (49 BC) were two victories won by Caesar's naval commander Decimus Brutus during the siege of the same town.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Siege of Massilia (March-September 49 BC)

The siege of Massilia (March-September 49 BC) was an early victory for Caesar during the Great Roman Civil War, largely won by his subordinates while Caesar himself campaigned in Spain.

Attack on Landguard Fort (2 July 1667)

The Dutch attack on Landguard Fort (2 July 1667) was intended to clear the way for an attack on the anchorage at Harwich, but was repulsed by one of the earliest precursors of the Royal Marines (Second Dutch War)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fiat CR.42 Falco

The Fiat CR.42 Falco was probably the best biplane fighter aircraft ever produced, but it didn’t make its maiden flight until 1938, by which time it was already verging on obsolescence

Fiat CR.41

The Fiat CR.41 was a version of the CR.40 that was given a much more powerful Gnome-Rhone Mistral Major 14Ksf engine

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tanks on the Somme, from Morval to Beaumont Hamel, Trevor Pidgeon

Tanks on the Somme, from Morval to Beaumont Hamel, Trevor Pidgeon.

A very detailed tank-by-tank account of the 'penny packet' operations that followed the initial larger scale introduction of the tank into warfare during the battle of the Somme. Supported by detailed maps and battlefield guides, this is one of the most detailed accounts of armoured warfare you will ever read!

[read full review]

The African Wars - Warriors and Soldiers of the Colonial Campaigns, Chris Peers

The African Wars - Warriors and Soldiers of the Colonial Campaigns, Chris Peers.

This is an invaluable examination of a number of the most successful African armies and societies of the nineteenth century, examining their organisation, weapons and success or failures against the Colonial powers, in particular Britain, Germany and the independent colony run by the king of Belgium.

[read full review]

Zacharie Jacques Theodore Allemand (1762-1826)

Zacharie Jacques Theodore Allemand (1762-1826) was one of the more capable French naval commanders of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, gaining his reputation in a series of successful raids against British shipping early in the wars.

Franco-Austrian War of 1809

The Franco-Austrian War of 1809 was part of the War of the Fifth Coalition, and was Napoleon's last successful military campaign, ending soon after his victory in the massive battle of Wagram in July 1809.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fiat CR.40

The Fiat CR.40 was developed alongside the better known Fiat CR.32, and differed from that aircraft both in its choice of engine and the design of the upper wing.

Fiat CR.32

The Fiat CR.32 was a refined version of the CR.30 and was the main Italian fighter aircraft during the second half of the 1930s

French Foreign Legion 1872-1914, Martin Windrow

French Foreign Legion 1872-1914, Martin Windrow

This is an excellent little book although only 48 pages long (standard size for osprey men at arms books) it covers a wide ranging period of this legendary military unit. Packed with colour plates of uniforms and equipment as well as line drawings, contemporary photographs and maps it’s a great introduction to both this famous unit and the French colonial wars. The book covers from 1872 up till the start of World War I so covers a wide range of conflicts in South East Asia (including Vietnam which was to be such a graveyard of French forces after World War II) and North and West Africa.

[read full review]

Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1954-75 , Gordon L. Rottman,

Army of the Republic of Vietnam 1954-75 , Gordon L. Rottman,

This Osprey Men at Arms book covers the Republic of Vietnam's forces which fought alongside the US and Australian forces. They remain a much maligned and little understood force which undertook the bulk of the fighting during the conflict and have an extremely mixed reputation. The author was a US Special Forces veteran of the Vietnam war and this helps give the book authority but at times it feels like he goes out of his way to defend the subject. The book is well illustrated with colour plates of uniforms and equipment and plenty of photographs but is brief at 48 pages and at times doesn’t make organisation that clear as organisational charts would have been helpful.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Battle of Znaim (10-11 July 1809)

The battle of Znaim (10-11 July 1809) was the last battle on the main front of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809, and was cut short after Napoleon agreed to Austrian offers of an armistice.

Combat of Schöngrabern (10 July 1809)

The combat of Schöngrabern (10 July 1809) was a second successful Austrian rearguard action in two days in the aftermath of their defeat at Wagram, and saw a small force from Reuss's V Corps hold up Massena's troops advancing on the main road towards Znaim

Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume IV, Issue 5, Fighting for the Gods: Warfare and Religion

Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume IV, Issue 5, Fighting for the Gods: Warfare and Religion.

All but one of the articles are focused on the central theme, while still covering a very wide range of time and of topics, from the first introduction of religion into warfare in Ancient Persia to the conversion of the Frankish king Clovis almost at the end of antiquity.

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Ancient Warfare Magazine: Volume IV, Issue 4, Darkness descends: End of the Bronze Age Empires.

Focuses on the collapse of the Bronze Age empires of the Eastern Mediterranean, a period that saw the Hittite and Mycenaean civilisations disappear and Egypt come under serious pressure. Also looks at unusual tactics in Greek battles, metal working and the Imperial Roman Fleet.

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Raglan: From the Peninsula to the Crimea, John Sweetman.

Raglan: From the Peninsula to the Crimea, John Sweetman.

A deservedly lengthy biography of Lord Raglan, most famous as the British commander in the Crimea and for his role in the Charge of the Light Brigade, but also a Peninsular War veteran and close associate of the Duke of Wellington, and a rather more successful commander than is generally realised.

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The Black Bull: From Normandy to the Baltic with the 11th Armoured Division, Patrick Delaforce.

The Black Bull: From Normandy to the Baltic with the 11th Armoured Division, Patrick Delaforce.

A narrative history of the role played by 11th Armoured Division in Normandy, northern France, Belgium, Holland and northern Germany, written by a professional historian and member of the division who took part in the events he describes. Well supported by eyewitness accounts, and with some interesting material on less familiar aspects of the fighting.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Combat of Hollabrunn (9 July 1809)

The combat of Hollabrunn (9 July 1809) was a successful Austrian rearguard action during their retreat after defeat at Wagram (5-6 July 1809) and saw Klenau's VI Corps hold up the French troops sent to find the retreating Austrian army

Battle of Linz (17 May 1809)

The battle of Linz (17 May 1809) was an unsuccessful Austrian attempt to threaten Napoleon's long lines of communication back from Vienna along the Danube, and to prevent French reinforcements from moving west to join Napoleon's main army

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fiat CR.33

The Fiat CR.33 was a modified version of the CR.32 biplane fighter, with a more powerful engine and an increased top speed.

Fiat CR.30

The Fiat CR.30 was the first entry in the series of biplane fighters that included the CR.32 and CR.42 Falco, and marked a clean break with the line of aircraft that included the CR.1 and CR.20

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Battle of Wagram (5-6 July 1809)

The battle of Wagram (5-6 July 1809) was the decisive (if not the final) battle of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 and was a costly French victory that saw Napoleon command a larger army than at any previous battle.

Combat of Laa (9 July 1809)

The combat of Laa (9 July 1809) was one of a number of minor clashes between the French and the retreating Austrians in the aftermath of the battle of Wagram, and helped the French identify the main Austrian line of retreat.

Historical Dreadnoughts - Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History, Barry Gough

Historical Dreadnoughts - Arthur Marder, Stephen Roskill and Battles for Naval History, Barry Gough.

An unexpectedly absorbing look at the careers of two of the twentieth century's greatest naval histories and the rivalry that developed between them when they were at the height of their fame. Should be of value to anyone interested in the writing of history, or in British naval history during the world wars

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Karl Philipp Freiherr von Wrede (1767-1838)

Karl Philipp Freiherr von Wrede (1767-1838) was a Bavarian general who fought both for and against Napoleon, fighting at Wagram in 1809 and taking part in both Napoleon's campaign in Russia in 1812 and the Allied invasion of France in 1813-14.

Johann, Freiherr von Hiller (1748-1819)

Johann, Freiherr von Hiller (1748-1819) was one of the more capable Austrian generals during the Franco-Austrian War of 1809, but his obvious ambition made him unpopular amongst his fellow generals and he missed the decisive battle of Wagram after asking to be relieved from command on grounds of sickness on the day before the battle

Monday, November 08, 2010

Churchill's Spearhead: The Development of Britain's Airborne Forces during World War II, John Greenacre

Churchill's Spearhead: The Development of Britain's Airborne Forces during World War II, John Greenacre.

This is an analytic study of the development of Britain's parachute and glider borne forces during the Second World War, looking at the reasons they were created, the way they were equipped and led, and the way in which a doctrine for the deployment developed over time.

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Kommando, Hitler's Special Forces in the Second World War, Charles Whiting

Kommando, Hitler's Special Forces in the Second World War, Charles Whiting.

An account of some of the main missions carried out by the Brandenburgers and later SS Commandos, supported by valuable eye witness accounts from some of the participants. Dominated by the very different figures of Canaris and Skorzeny this is an interesting look at the varied activities of some notorious units and individuals.

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The Rise of Militant Islam, Anthony Tucker-Jones,

The Rise of Militant Islam, Anthony Tucker-Jones,

Despite the rather sensationalist cover this is a highly detailed and thought provoking book which chronicles the Western powers campaigns against the threat of militant Islam. It looks at the countries involved in turn covering far more than the traditional look at the Middle East and Afghanistan, detailing conflicts from the Russian Republics and Bosnia to North Africa and Sudan. It helps the reader understand the wider context of Islamic terrorism and the complex international interactions where the misguided policies of West then had an impact across several countries and in many ways helped grow the problem. It is very up to date and detailed but at times the level of detail can be hard to follow across several countries with a wide range of names; it does end on a hopeful if cynical note about how effective Western efforts have been.

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Fiat CR.20

The Fiat CR.20 was the second Fiat fighter designed by Celestino Rosatelli to enter service with the Italian Air Force, following on from the CR.1

Fiat CR.10

The Fiat CR.10 was a version of the successful CR.1 biplane fighter that was powered by the Fiat A.20 engine

Friday, November 05, 2010

Battle of Aspern-Essling (21-22 May 1809)

The battle of Aspern-Essling (21-22 May 1809) was the first serious battlefield defeat suffered by Napoleon, and saw the Austrians repel a hasty French attempt to cross the Danube close to Vienna.

Siege of Vienna of 10-13 May 1809

The siege of Vienna of 10-13 May 1809 saw the Austrian capital fall to Napoleon for the second time in four years after a very short attempt to defend the city.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Battle of Ebelsberg (3 May 1809)

The battle of Ebelsberg (3 May 1809) was a costly French victory that saw them fight their way across the River Thaun during Napoleon's advance into Austria after his victories in Bavaria

Combat of Riedau (1 May 1809)

The combat of Riedau (1 May 1809) was a minor rearguard action fought during the retreat of the left wing of the main Austrian army after the failure of their invasion of Bavaria

Wellington's Peninsular War Generals & Their Battles, A Biographical and Historical Dictionary, T. A. Heathcote.

Wellington's Peninsular War Generals & Their Battles, A Biographical and Historical Dictionary, T. A. Heathcote.

A useful reference work with biographies of forty one of Wellington's subordinates, mostly his divisional commanders, but also including staff officers and men from the support services. The biographies are supported by thirty-five articles looking at every campaign or battle that involved at least five of the men covered in the biographies.

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Guthrie's War: A surgeon of the Peninsula and Waterloo, Michael Crumplin

Guthrie's War: A surgeon of the Peninsula and Waterloo, Michael Crumplin.

A biography of George Guthrie, one of the most distinguished British military surgeons of the Napoleonic Wars, looking at both the outline of his career and the details of many of his surgical cases during the Peninsular War, complete with extracts from his own post-war publications.

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The Battle of Norway: April-June 1940, Geirr H. Haarr.

The Battle of Norway: April-June 1940, Geirr H. Haarr.

Following on from the same authors German Invasion of Norway, this volume looks at the battles that followed, with an emphasis of the naval aspects of the fighting, and on the cooperation between Norwegian, British and French forces. Brilliantly researched and very detailed, this will become the definitive work on this subject.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Dominique Vandamme (1770-1830)

Dominique Vandamme (1770-1830) was one of Napoleon's more capable generals, rising to command corps from 1809 until the final end of the wars in 1815.

Karl Peter Ott Freiherr von Bartokez (1738-1809)

Karl Peter Ott Freiherr von Bartokez (1738-1809) was an experienced Hungarian cavalry commander who proved to be a capable general during the fighting in Belgium and Italy during the Wars of the First and Second Coalitions

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Fiat CR.5

The Fiat CR.5 was a version of the CR.1 biplane that was powered by a licence-built Jupiter radial engine

Fiat CR.2

The Fiat CR.2 was a version of the CR.1 biplane fighter that was powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Lynx radial engine

Fiat CR.1

The Fiat CR.1 was the first in a long series of biplane fighters designed for Fiat by Celestino Rosatelli, and was an unusual sesquiplane aircraft, with larger lower and smaller upper wings

Monday, November 01, 2010

Macchi M.C.207

The Macchi M.C.207 was a more heavily armed version of the M.C.206

Macchi M.C.206

The Macchi M.C.206 was a further development of the M.C.205N, with the same long fuselage and licence-built DB605 engine as that aircraft, but with a wider wing span

Macchi M.C.205N Orione (Orion)

The Macchi M.C.205N Orione (Orion) was a major redesign of the M.C.205V, based on the same licence-built DB605 engine, but with a new longer fuselage

Killing the Bismarck - Destroying the Pride of Hitler's Fleet, Ian Ballantyne

Killing the Bismarck - Destroying the Pride of Hitler's Fleet, Ian Ballantyne.

A compelling account of the hunt for the Bismarck, told almost entirely from the British point of view, until the final battle between the crippled Bismarck and the British home fleet, when we are taken onboard the doomed German battleship for a graphic account of her fate.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Macchi M.C.205V Veltro (Greyhound)

The Macchi M.C.205V Veltro (Greyhound) was an interim design for a fighter produced by matching the fuselage of the M.C.202 with the Daimler Benz DB 605A engine

Macchi M.C.202 Folgore (Thunderbolt)

The Macchi M.C.202 Folgore (Thunderbolt) was probably the best Italian fighter aircraft to see service in significant numbers during the Second World War

Through Hitler's Back Door - SOE Operations in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, 1939-1945, Alan Ogden.

Through Hitler's Back Door - SOE Operations in Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria, 1939-1945, Alan Ogden.

A look at some of the most obscure operations carried out by SOE, in areas that became part of the Soviet sphere of influence before falling behind the iron curtain at the end of the war, after having sided with the Germans during the fighting.

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SS Charlemagne, Tony Le Tissier

SS Charlemagne, Tony Le Tissier.

An account of the military record of the French SS division, SS Charlemagne, as it fought in the German retreat towards Berlin and the final dramatic battle for that city. Told largely in the words of the general commanding the remains of the division in Berlin, and the captain in command of the remaining battalion, this account focuses tightly on one small unit's experiences of that battle.

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Combat of Salzburg, 29 April 1809

The combat of Salzburg, 29 April 1809, saw a small force of Napoleon's Bavarian allies capture the Austrian city of Salzburg, although they failed to intercept an Austrian column retreating from Munich (Franco-Austrian War of 1809)

Battle of Ratisbon or Regensburg (23 April 1809)

The battle of Ratisbon or Regensburg (23 April 1809) was the final major battle in the initial Bavarian phase of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 (Fifth Coalition), and saw the French push the Austrians out of their last foot hold on the southern bank of the Danube.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Battle of Neumarkt (24 April 1809)

The battle of Neumarkt (24 April 1809) was a rare French defeat during the Bavarian stage of the Franco-Austrian war of 1809 and saw the retreating Austrian left wing defeat Marshal Bessières' smaller pursuing column.

Battle of Landshut (21 April 1809)

The battle of Landshut (21 April 1809) saw the French force their way across the River Isar, completing the defeat of the left wing of the Austrian army that began on the previous day at Abensberg

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Macchi M.C.201

The Macchi M.C.201 was the designation given to a single prototype of an improved version of the Macchi M.C.200 Saetta

Macchi M.C.200 Saetta (Lightning)

The Macchi M.C.200 Saetta (Lightning) was one of the most important Italian fighter aircraft during the first years of Italian involvement in the Second World War, but was outclassed by its more modern opponents.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Unconditional Surrender, Walter Lüdde-Neurath.

Unconditional Surrender, Walter Lüdde-Neurath.

An account of the final days of the Third Reich as seen by Dönitz's adjutant during the last year of the war, a period that ended with Dönitz briefly succeeding Hitler as ruler of what was left of Nazi Germany. Lüdde-Neurath thus gives us an invaluable insider's view of the last days of the Third Reich.

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The British Army Against Napoleon - Facts, Lists and Trivia 1805-1815, Robert Burnham and Ron McGuigan.

The British Army Against Napoleon - Facts, Lists and Trivia 1805-1815, Robert Burnham and Ron McGuigan.

A useful collection of lists, statistics, regimental details, seniority charts, and endless bits and pieces of information about the British army during the wars against Napoleon - a very useful reference work, and an entertaining volume to dip into as well!

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1809 Thunder on the Danube: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume II: Aspern, John H. Gill

1809 Thunder on the Danube: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume II: Aspern, John H. Gill.

The second volume in this high quality series looks at the fall of Vienna and Napoleon's first defeat at Aspern-Essling, as well as widening the picture to look at events in Italy and Dalmatia. Brilliantly researched and yet thoroughly readable, this is an essential book for anyone interested in the period.

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US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans

US Air Force Special Operations Command, Rick Llinares and Andy Evans.

A look at eight types of aircraft either currently or recently in use with the US Air Force Special Operations Command, from the AC-130 Hercules Gunship to the CV-22 Osprey Tilt-Rotor aircraft, with a large number of impressive detailed photographs show each aircraft from a wide variety of angles.

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Battle of Abensberg (20 April 1809)

The battle of Abensberg (20 April 1809) was the first stage in Napoleon's counter-attack against the Austrian army invading Bavaria at the start of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809, and saw him split the main Austrian army in half, forcing it to retreat to separate directions

Combat of Pfaffenhoffen (19 April 1809)

The combat of Pfaffenhoffen (19 April 1809) was a minor clash between the left wing of the Austrian army invading Bavaria at the start of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 and elements of Marshal Oudinet's corps, advancing east on the right wing of the French army

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Kawasaki Ki-108

The Kawasaki Ki-108 was a twin-engined high-altitude fighter based on the Ki-96 and Ki-102 developments of the Ki-45 Toryu

Kawasaki Ki-102 Army Type 4 Assault Plane

The Kawasaki Ki-102 Army Type 4 Assault Plane was a twin-engined heavy fighter developed from the Ki-45 Toryu via the single-seat Ki-96, and which saw limited service over Okinawa

Kawasaki Ki-96

The Kawasaki Ki-96 was a single-seat twin-engine fighter based on the Ki-45 Toryu that reached the prototype stage before work moved onto the two-seat Ki-102.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

War for the Throne: The battle of Shrewsbury 1403, John Barratt.

War for the Throne: The battle of Shrewsbury 1403, John Barratt.

A military history of the turbulent early years of the reign of Henry IV, including his seizure of the throne, early conflicts with Scotland, the Glyn Dwr revolt in Wales and the rebellions by Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, and his son Hotspur, with a special focus on the battle of Shrewsbury

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Brief Glory - The Life of Arthur Rhys Davids DSO MC, Alex Revell.

Brief Glory - The Life of Arthur Rhys Davids DSO MC, Alex Revell.

A biography of a classic representative of the First World War's 'lost generation', a brilliant scholar with a promising future who went straight from Eton to the Royal Flying Corps, before gaining fame as a talented 'ace', shooting down Werner Voss just before his own death in battle over Ypres

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If the Allies had Fallen: Sixty Alternative Scenarios of World War II, ed. Dennis E. Showalter & Harold C. Deutsch

If the Allies had Fallen: Sixty Alternative Scenarios of World War II, ed. Dennis E. Showalter & Harold C. Deutsch.

A collection of alternative scenarios looking at sixty of the most familiar 'what ifs?' of the Second World War, with some articles examining why they didn't happen and others looking at what might have followed if they had

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Air War over Kursk - Turning Point in the East, Dmitriy B. Khazanov

Air War over Kursk - Turning Point in the East, Dmitriy B. Khazanov.

A detailed examination of the epic clash between the Luftwaffe and the Soviet Air Force in the skies of Kursk, with a slight emphasis on the Soviet experience and some good attempts to reconcile the often contradictory evidence about the battle

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Combat of Arnhofen (19 April 1809)

The combat of Arnhofen (19 April 1809) was a Bavarian victory over an Austrian brigade guarding the left flank of the main Austrian army during its invasion of Bavaria at the start of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809

Battle of Teugn-Hausen (19 April 1809)

The battle of Teugn-Hausen (19 April 1809) was the first large scale battle during the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 (Fifth Coalition) and saw the main Austrian army under Archduke Charles fail to take a chance to trap Marshal Davout's isolated 3rd Corps

Operation Sealion

Operation Sealion was the German plan for an invasion of Britain in the autumn of 1940, and was the reason that the Germans fought the Battle of Britain

Monday, October 18, 2010

Engagement on the Regen or of Reinhausen of 17 April 1809

The engagement on the Regen or of Reinhausen of 17 April 1809 was a minor skirmish found on the north bank of the Danube opposite Regensburg that saw part of the Austrian advance guard clash with elements of Marshal Davout's isolated 3rd Corps

Engagement at Landshut of 16 April 1809

The engagement at Landshut of 16 April 1809 was one of the few Austrian successes during their invasion of Bavaria at the start of the Franco-Austrian War of 1809 (War of the Fifth Coalition)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kawasaki Ki-64

The Kawasaki Ki-64 was a radical design for a high-speed single-seat fighter powered by two engines both mounted in the main fuselage
The Kawasaki Ki-60 was a single-engine heavy interceptor powered by the German DB 601A inline engine that reached the prototype stage during 1941 but that was rejected in favour of the lighter Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Kawasaki Ki-174

The Kawasaki Ki-174 was an obscure version of the Ki-48 twin-engine light bomber, probably designed as a single-seat suicide aircraft

Kawasaki Ki-48 Army Type 99 Twin-engined Light Bomber (Lily)

The Kawasaki Ki-48 Army Type 99 Twin-engined Light Bomber (Lily) was a fast but under-armed light bomber that performed well over China in 1940 but proved to be vulnerable when faced with more modern Allied fighters

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Arado Ar 396

The Arado Ar 396 was a training aircraft developed from the successful Arado Ar 96B, but using as little metal as possible in its construction. Despite its name the Ar 396 was developed in France, and none reached the Luftwaffe

Arado Ar 296

The Arado Ar 296 was a design for an improved version of the Arado Ar 96B advanced trainer, to be powered by the Argus As 411 inverted inline engine in place of the similar but less powerful Argus As 410

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Kawasaki Ki-81

The Kawasaki Ki-81 was a heavily armed escort fighter based on the Ki-48 Sokei light bomber

Kawasaki Ki-3 Army Type 93 Light Bomber

The Kawasaki Ki-3 Army Type 93 Light Bomber was one of the last biplane types to replaced by the Japanese Army, remaining in front-line service until 1938

Monday, October 04, 2010

Arado Ar 96

The Arado Ar 96 was the Luftwaffe's standard advanced trainer, and was a two-seat low-wing all-metal monoplane that first flew in 1938

Arado Ar 67

The Arado Ar 67 was a single-seat fighter produced in 1933 and powered by a Rolls Royce Kestral engine

Friday, October 01, 2010

Kawasaki Type 92 Fighter

The Kawasaki Type 92 Fighter was a German-designed biplane that saw some service during the fighting in Manchuria in 1933

Kawasaki Type 87 Night Bomber

The Kawasaki Type 87 Night Bomber was a version of the Dornier Do-N produced partly in Germany and completed in Japan

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Arado Ar 66

The Arado Ar 66 was a two-seat biplane trainer that became the Luftwaffe's most numerous primary training aircraft

Arado Ar 65

The Arado Ar 65 was the first front-line fighter to equip the fighter-squadrons of the Luftwaffe after Hitler's rise to power, although it was developed in the last years of the Weimar Republic

Ancient Warfare Special Issue 2010: Core of the Legion - The Roman Imperial centuria.

Ancient Warfare Special Issue 2010: Core of the Legion - The Roman Imperial centuria.

Ancient Warfare Special 2010 - Core of the Legion, The Roman Imperial centuria. Special issue looking at the early Imperial century, the best known sub-unit of the Roman Legion. Articles look at the organisation, equipment and battlefield role of the century and the careers of their centurions, as well as a fascinating look at the fragmentary administrative documents that have survived.

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Afrikakorps Soldier 1941-43, Pier Paolo Battistelli

Afrikakorps Soldier 1941-43, Pier Paolo Battistelli.

A look at the recruitment, training, equipment and daily life of the soldiers of the Afrikakorps, with useful details on how things changed over the life of the Korps, as the nature of the desert war changed and the Axis powers went onto the defensive

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kawasaki Type 88 Light Bomber

The Kawasaki Type 88 Light Bomber was based on the Type 88-II Reconnaissance Biplane, but with the ability to carry a 200kg (441lb) bomb load

Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane

The Kawasaki Type 88 Reconnaissance Biplane was a single-engined biplane designed by the German Dr Richard Vogt that served with the Imperial Japanese Army during the early 1930s

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arado Ar 64

The Arado Ar 64 was the first Arado fighter design to progress past the prototype stage, although it never entered service, being superseded by the Ar 65

Arado SSD I

The Arado SSD I was a single-seat float biplane produced in 1929 and that was designed to be launched by catapult from ships at sea.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Blohm und Voss Bv 222 Wiking

The Blohm und Voss Bv 222 Wiking was the largest flying boat to reach operational status during the Second World War, although it was produced in tiny numbers, and indeed never really reached full production status

Blohm und Voss Bv 142

The Blohm und Voss Bv 142 was a land-plane version of the Ha 139 float seaplane, also designed as a trans-Atlantic mail plane, and that was also taken into Luftwaffe service

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Arado SD III

The Arado SD III was a single-seat sesquiplane fighter produced alongside the similar SD II and that became the basis for the Arado Ar 65

Arado SD II

The Arado SD II was a single-seat sesquiplane fighter produced alongside the similar SD III and that became the basis for the Arado Ar 64

Arado SD I

The Arado SD I was one of the first new fighter aircraft designed in Germany after the First World War and was a single-seat sesquiplane produced in 1927.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In a Bosnia Trench, A Wartime Memoir of a Muslim Bosnian Soldier, Elvir Kulin with Maury Hirschkorn

In a Bosnia Trench, A Wartime Memoir of a Muslim Bosnian Soldier, Elvir Kulin with Maury Hirschkorn.

A impressively un-judgemental account of the Bosnia War as seen by a young Bosnian Muslim from the Sarajevo area, of value both for its account of the fighting, and of the rapid descent into civil war in the former Yugoslavia.

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The Battle of Britain, John Frayn Turner

The Battle of Britain, John Frayn Turner.

A account of the battle of Britain centred around a day-by-day account of the fighting, and with a bias towards Leigh Mallory, Douglas Bader and the 'Big Wing'. A refreshing change from some of the drier recent works on the battle, although presenting one particular view of events.

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Colditz: Oflag IV-C, Michael McNally.

Colditz: Oflag IV-C, Michael McNally.

An interesting approach to a familiar subject, covering the historical development of Colditz castle from the earliest wooden fort of the eleventh century to the modern attempts to restore the castle, as well as looking at its time as a Prisoner of War camp and location for some famously ambitious escape attempts

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The Right of the Line: The Role of the RAF in World War Two, John Terraine.

The Right of the Line: The Role of the RAF in World War Two, John Terraine.

This is the classic account of the RAF's role in the Second World War, a massive piece of work that focuses on the main threads of the air war, from pre-war preparations to the final victory in Europe, through the Battles of Britain and the Atlantic and the long and costly strategic bombing campaign. An essential read on an crucial part of the war

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A Soldier of the Seventy-first, From De la Plata to Waterloo 1806-1815, Joseph Sinclair.

A Soldier of the Seventy-first, From De la Plata to Waterloo 1806-1815, Joseph Sinclair.

The memoir of an educated private soldier who enlisted in the British after a family argument, and who went on to serve in South American, Walcheren and the Peninsular War, producing a thoughtful and literate account of the life of a private soldier in a period when very few of his fellow private soldiers left any record of their experiences

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Blohm und Voss Bv 139

The Blohm und Voss Bv 139 was the designation given to three four-engined flying boats produced as mail planes for Lufthansa, but that served with the Luftwaffe during the Second World War

Blohm und Voss Bv 138

The Blohm und Voss Bv 138 was a three-engined long-range reconnaissance flying boat that was the most numerous of their own aircraft produced by Blohm und Voss.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito

The Focke-Wulf Ta 154 Moskito was a twin-engined night fighter of wooden construction that was cancelled soon after entering production, partly because of problems with the glue holding it together

Focke-Wulf Ta 211

The Focke-Wulf Ta 211 was the original designation given to the Ta 154 twin-engined fighter, at a time when it was being developed as a high-speed bomber.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Siege of Isfizar (1383)

The siege of Isfizar (1383) saw Tamerlane put down a revolt in a city south of Herat, and ended with yet another of his trademark atrocities

Revolt of Herat of 1383

The revolt of Herat of 1383 was a short-lived rebellion against Tamerlane that ended with a massacre and the increasingly familiar site of towers of skulls outside the city

Friday, September 17, 2010

Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe, From Normandy to Berlin, Patrick Delaforce.

Churchill's Desert Rats in North-West Europe, From Normandy to Berlin, Patrick Delaforce.

An account of 7th Armoured Division's part in the fighting between D-Day and the final German surrender, a period that saw the Desert Rats take part in some of the most famous battles in Normandy, the 'Great Swan' across France, the liberation of parts of Belgium, the crossing of the Rhine and the capture of Hamburg

[read full review]

The Royal Air Force at Home, The History of RAF Air Displays From 1920, Ian Smith Watson.

The Royal Air Force at Home, The History of RAF Air Displays From 1920, Ian Smith Watson.

A comprehensive look at the history of RAF air displays and the aircraft that took part in them, focusing to a large extend on the post-war displays, including the huge number of 'at-home' displays inaugurated to commemorate the Battle of Britain

[read full review]

V Weapons Hunt - Defeating German Secret Weapons, Colonel Roy M. Stanley II, USAF (Ret).

V Weapons Hunt - Defeating German Secret Weapons, Colonel Roy M. Stanley II, USAF (Ret).

An utterly fascinating look at the role photo reconnaissance played in the hunt for the German 'V' weapons during the Second World War, written by a former photo-interpreter and illustrated with a vast number of well annotated wartime aerial photographs.

[read full review]

heffield City Battalion, The 12th (Service) Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment, Ralph Gibson & Paul Oldfield.

Sheffield City Battalion, The 12th (Service) Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment, Ralph Gibson & Paul Oldfield.

An excellent battalion history, looking at a unit that went to Egypt for a short period before returning to Europe to take part in the disastrous first day of the Battle of the Somme. Includes a good section on the reasons for the failure at the Somme, providing more detailed background material than is often the case in regimental histories.[read full review]

heffield City Battalion, The 12th (Service) Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment, Ralph Gibson & Paul Oldfield.

Sheffield City Battalion, The 12th (Service) Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment, Ralph Gibson & Paul Oldfield.

An excellent battalion history, looking at a unit that went to Egypt for a short period before returning to Europe to take part in the disastrous first day of the Battle of the Somme. Includes a good section on the reasons for the failure at the Somme, providing more detailed background material than is often the case in regimental histories.[read full review]

Focke-Wulf Fw 189 'Uhu' (Eagle Owl)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 189 'Uhu' (Eagle Owl) was the most successful German short-range reconnaissance aircraft of the Second World War, entering service in time to take part in the invasion of the Soviet Union and remaining in use in its main role well into 1944

Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe (Kite)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 58 Weihe (Kite) was a twin-engined aircraft that was used as a light transport, air-ambulance and navigational trainer by the Luftwaffe

Arado Ar 198

The Arado Ar 198 was a short-range reconnaissance aircraft designed to the same specifications as the Fw 189 but that never progressed beyond the prototype stage.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Blohm und Voss Bv 237

The Blohm und Voss Bv 237 was a design for an asymmetric dive-bomber largely based on the earlier Bv 141 reconnaissance aircraft

Blohm und Voss Bv 141

The Blohm und Voss Bv 141 was an asymmetric reconnaissance aircraft designed in response to the same specification that led to the Focke-Wulf 189

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

HMS Tracker

HMS Tracker was an Attacker class escort carrier that was one of the few members of her class to be used extensively on convoy escort duties, before spending the first part of 1945 acting as a ferry carrier for the US Navy

HMS Striker

HMS Striker was an Attacker class escort carrier that took part in operations off the Norwegian coast during 1944, as well as playing a part in the D-Day landings and escorting convoys to Russia

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Siege of Fushanj (1381)

The siege of Fushanj (1381) was Tamerlane's first military successes in Khorasan, and a precursor to his first short siege of Herat

Siege of Herat of 1381

The siege of Herat of 1381 was an easy success that ended Tamerlane's first major campaign in Khorasan and saw his empire expand out of its original base in Transoxiana into the former empire of the Il-Khans in Persian for the first time

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Focke-Wulf Fw 187 Falke (Falcon)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 187 Falke (Falcon) was a high performance twin-engined fighter that was developed in single and two seat versions, but that never attracted the support of the German air ministry, and didn't enter production

Focke-Wulf Fw 57

The Focke-Wulf Fw 57 was a twin-engined heavy fighter that never developed beyond the prototype stage, although it did make its maiden flight in 1936

Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Stösser (Falcon)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 56 Stösser (Falcon) was an advanced training aircraft that was used at German fighter pilot schools throughout the Second World War.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Siege of Urganch of 1379

The siege of Urganch of 1379 was the key victory during Tamerlane's fourth war in Khwarezm, and saw the city fall after a siege of three months.

Siege of Kath (1372)

The siege of Kath (1372) was an early success during Tamerlane's first expedition into Khwarezm, and was followed by one of the first examples of the atrocities that so often followed when Tamerlane captured a city.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HMS Stalker

HMS Stalker was an Attacker class escort carrier that took part in the Salerno landings in 1943, the invasion of the south of France and the liberation of Greece in 1944 and the liberations of Penang, Rangoon and Malaya during 1945

HMS Searcher

HMS Searcher was an Attacker class escort carrier that spent most of her carrier operating off the Norwegian coast, although she also took part in the invasion of southern France and the liberation of Greece

Monday, August 30, 2010

Focke-Wulf Fw 191

The Focke-Wulf Fw 191 was a medium bomber designed in response to the German Air Ministry's 'Bomber B' specification of 1939, but that was let down by the failure of the engines it was designed to use and that never entered production.

Focke-Wulf Fw 44 'Stieglitz' (Goldfinch)

The Focke-Wulf Fw 44 'Stieglitz' (Goldfinch) was a sports and primary training aircraft that helped establish Focke-Wulf as a major aircraft manufacturer

Friday, August 27, 2010

Report on Experience, John Mulgan

Report on Experience, John Mulgan.

A thoughtful if often rather melancholy account of one man's experiences of the British Army during the Second World War, encompassing time spent in England, in the Western Desert and in Greece, cooperating with the partisans, focusing more on his views on war and the British at war than on the battles he took part in. [read full review]

1809 Thunder on the Danube: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume I: Abensberg, John H. Gill.

1809 Thunder on the Danube: Napoleon's Defeat of the Habsburgs, Volume I: Abensberg, John H. Gill.

The first volume in a monumental account of the 1809 war between France and the Habsburg Empire, Napoleon's last victorious war, looking at the reasons behind the Austrian declaration of war and the early battles that ended the Austrian invasion of Bavaria and paved the war for Napoleon's campaign around Vienna. [read full review]

US Combat Engineer 1941-45, Gordon Rottman

US Combat Engineer 1941-45, Gordon Rottman.

A look at the impressively large US Army Corps of Engineers - the selection of its men, their training and equipment and the role its combat engineer battalions played in the successful Allied campaigns in North Africa and Europe. [read full review]

Blitzkreig no Longer - The German Wehrmacht in Battle, 1943, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr

Blitzkreig no Longer - The German Wehrmacht in Battle, 1943, Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr.

A look at the campaigns fought by the German armed forces during 1943, the year that saw the initiative permanently slip from their hands, with the failure of the Kursk offensive, defeat in the Atlantic, Tunisia, Sicily and southern Italy and the collapse of fascist power in Italy. [read full review]

The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron

The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron.

A much needed full-length biography of a commander who led a corps during the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy and the British Second Army on D-Day and during the campaign in Normandy, the break-out from Normandy, the advance across France, at Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine [read full review]

German Commerce Raider vs British Cruiser, Robert Forczyk.

German Commerce Raider vs British Cruiser, Robert Forczyk.

A look at the series of six battles between German commerce raiders and British and Australian cruisers and armed merchants cruisers during 1940 and 1941, a period that saw the converted German warships perform surprisingly well against more powerful opponents while at the same time taking a toll of Allied shipping [read full review]

Siege of Yazd (1396)

The siege of Yazd (1396) saw an army led by two of Tamerlane's grandsons defeat a rebellion centred on the city of Yazd and ended with a rare example of clemency on the part of Tamerlane.

Battle of the Terek River (22 April 1395)

The battle of the Terek River (22 April 1395) was the final clash between Tamerlane and Toktamish, leader of the Golden Horde, and ended in a decisive victory for Tamerlane.

Siege of Takrit (20 November-11 December 1393)

The siege of Takrit (20 November-11 December 1393) was an example of Tamerlane's skills in siege warfare and saw his army capture a bandit stronghold said to be impregnable

HMS Pursuer

HMS Pursuer was an Attacker class escort carrier that served on convoy escort duty as well as taking part in the April 1944 attack on Tirpitz, the D-Day landings, the liberations of the south of France and of Greece, before ending the war with the East Indies Fleet

HMS Ravager

HMS Ravager was an Attacker class escort carrier that was used for deck landing training for most of its service career

HMS Fencer

HMS Fencer was an Attacker class escort carrier that served with the Home Fleet in 1944, sinking three U-boats at the start of May, before joining the British Pacific Fleet as a ferry carrier during 1945

HMS Hunter

HMS Hunter was an Attacker class escort carrier that took part in the Salerno landings in 1943 and Operation Dragoon and the liberation of Greece in 1944 before joining the East Indies Fleet in 1945

HMS Battler

HMS Battler was an Attacker class escort carrier that served on convoy escort duty between Britain and Africa in 1943, took part in the Salerno landings, and spent 1944 operating with the Eastern Fleet then the East Indies Fleet, before becoming a deck landing training carrier in 1945

HMS Attacker

HMS Attacker was the name ship for the Attacker class of escort carriers. She took part in the landings at Salerno in 1943 and in the south of France and Greece in 1944, before moving to the Far East in time to take part in the liberation of Penang and the re-occupation of Singapore

battle of the Mire or Tashkent (1365)

The battle of the Mire or Tashkent (1365) was a rare defeat for Tamerlane, and came during a struggle for power within the divided Chaghatay Khanate.

battle of Balkh (1370)

The battle of Balkh (1370) was a key success in Tamerlane's rise to power, and established him as the ruler of the western Chaghatay in Transoxiana