Friday, December 30, 2016

Field Marshal Hans David Ludwig Yorck, Graf von Wartenburg (1759-1830)

Field Marshal Hans David Ludwig Yorck, Graf von Wartenburg (1759-1830) was a senior Prussian commander during the campaigns of 1813 and 1814, but his most important contribution to the defeat of Napoleon came late in 1812 when he agreed to make his corps, then operating with the French in Russia, neutral, a move that helped trigger the War of Liberation in Germany,

General Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst (1755-1813)

General Gerhard Johann David von Scharnhorst (1755-1813) was the most important of a group of military reformers who revived the Prussian army after the disasters of 1806 and turned it into an effective weapon during the War of Liberation of 1813 and the campaigns of 1813 and 1814.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Assault Tank T14

The Assault Tank T14 was a more heavily armoured version of the Sherman, designed to lead attacks.

Medium Tank M4A3(105)

The Medium Tank M4A3(105) was a version of the Sherman tank armed with a 105mm howitzer and that used the US Army's preferred Ford GAA V-8 engine.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Philip II of Macedon (r.359-336 BC)

Philip II of Macedon (r.359-336 BC) was one of the great conquerors of Greek history, inheriting his kingdom in the aftermath of a dangerous defeat in which his predecessor was killed, and ending his reign as the dominant power in Greece, with an empire that including Thessaly and large parts of Thrace.

Friday, December 23, 2016

USS Gwin (DD-71)

USS Gwin (DD-71) was a Caldwell class destroyer that had a limited career between the World Wars.

USS Craven (DD-70)

USS Craven (DD-70) was a Caldwell class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but entered Royal Navy service as HMS Lewes in 1940, serving in British Home Waters, from South Africa and in the Far East.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hitler's Swedes, A History of the Swedish Volunteers in the Waffen-SS, Lars T. Larsson.

Hitler's Swedes, A History of the Swedish Volunteers in the Waffen-SS, Lars T. Larsson
A detailed study of the motives and experiences of the comparatively small number of Swedes who volunteered for service with the Waffen SS during the Second World War, a group of just under 200 men, most of whom ended up fighting on the Eastern Front. Covers the stories of 144 of them in some detail, providing both a snapshot of the experiences of the SS on the Eastern Front, and an insight into why anyone from a safely neutral country would volunteer for the SS
[read full review]

In Hospital and in Camp - The Civil War through the eyes of its Doctors and Nurses, Harold Elk Straubing.

In Hospital and in Camp - The Civil War through the eyes of its Doctors and Nurses, Harold Elk Straubing
A selection of ten accounts of the medical services during the American Civil War, produced by a mix of doctors and nurses, mainly from the Union side. Includes diaries, letters and narrative accounts, and ends with some of Walt Whitmann's poems. Varies in tone from gruesome medical detail to Victorian sentimentality.
[read full review]

Imperial Chinese Armies, 1840-1911, Philip S. Jowett.

Imperial Chinese Armies, 1840-1911, Philip S. Jowett
 Looks at a period of somewhat chaotic and ultimately unsuccessful reform in the Chinese armies, which still saw a dramatic transformation from armies that would have been familiar to the original Manchu emperors to a recognisably modern, if somewhat chaotic army. As a result the book covers an unusually wide range of troop types, from bowmen to machine gunners! You'll probably struggle to find an Osprey that covers as much change and variety in such a short period
[read full review]

Monday, December 19, 2016

Medium Tank M4 (105)

The Medium Tank M4 (105) was a version of the Sherman tank that carried a 105mm howitzer, and was powered by the Wright-Continental R975 engine.

Medium Tank M4E5

The Medium Tank M4E5 was the designation given to two pilot vehicles for the 105mm armed version of the M4 Sherman.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Siege of Amphipolis (357 BC)

The siege of Amphipolis (357 BC) was an early victory for Philip II of Macedon, and saw him capture a key foothold in Thrace, although at the cost of permanently damaging his relationship with Athens.

Battle of Erigon Valley or the Lyncus Plain (358 BC)

The battle of Erigon Valley or the Lyncus Plain (358 BC) was the first major battle during the reign of Philip II of Macedon, and saw him defeat the Illyrian king Bardyllis.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Boulton Paul P.91

The Boulton Paul P.91 was a design for a heavy bomber that was produced to the specification that eventually produced the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Manchester and Lancaster.

Boulton Paul P.90

The Boulton Paul P.90 was a heavy bomber designed to the same specification as the Short Stirling.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

USS Caldwell (DD-69)

The USS Caldwell (DD-69) was the name ship of the Caldwell class of destroyers, and served at Queenstown and on experimental work during the First World War.

Caldwell Class Destroyers

The Caldwell Class Destroyers were the first of the famous 'flush-deckers' and were partly experimental ships that tested out the new design and a variety of power plants.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fall of the Double Eagle - The Battle for Galicia and the Demise of Austria-Hungary, John R. Schindler.

Fall of the Double Eagle - The Battle for Galicia and the Demise of Austria-Hungary, John R. Schindler
Looks at the opening clashes between Russia and Austria-Hungary on the Eastern Front of the First World War, some of the biggest battles of 1914, and a series of defeats that played a major part in the decline and fall of the Hapsburg Empire, destroying the pre-war Regular army that had been one of the strongest props of the Hapsburg realm and giving the Russians a rare clear-cut victory
[read full review]

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front: August 1914 - April 1915, Mons to Hill 60, Paul Oldfield.

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front: August 1914 - April 1915, Mons to Hill 60, Paul Oldfield
Covers those VCs won between the outbreak of the First World War and April 1915, using an unusual (and very successful) format, with a narrative of the combat operations involved filling the first half of the book and individual biographies of the VC winners in the second half. Covers the first 59 Victoria Crosses to be won on the Western Front, so is able to include far more detail than in more general books
[read full review]

Death of an Empire - The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City, Robert Booth.

Death of an Empire - The Rise and Murderous Fall of Salem, America's Richest City, Robert Booth
Looks at the decline and fall of the wealthy merchant port of Salem, a city that became rich through International Trade, in particular during the long Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, but then like other American ports suffered from the self inflicted wounds of the War of 1812 and the tariffs that followed, before eventually murder and scandal finished off the ports decline. Not directly military history, but a fascinating story, and one that is related to the events of the Napoleonic Wars and the War of 1812
[read full review]

Friday, December 09, 2016

Field Marshal August Wilhelm Anton, Graf Neithardt von Gneisenau (1760-1831)

Field Marshal August Wilhelm Anton, Graf Neithardt von Gneisenau (1760-1831) was one of the main Prussian military reformers after the disasters of 1806, but is most famous for his role as Blücher's chief of staff in the campaigns in 1813, 1814 and 1815.

Freidrich von Gentz (1764-1832)

Freidrich von Gentz (1764-1832) was a Prussian writer who was consistently hostile to Revolutionary and Napoleonic France and ended up working for the Austrians after his attitudes made his position in Prussia too difficult.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Medium Tank M4A4E1

The Medium Tank M4A4E1 was the first prototype for the 105mm howitzer armed versions of the M4 Sherman.

Medium Tank M4A3(76)W HVSS

The Medium Tank M4A3(76)W HVSS was the first production version of the Sherman to use a Horizontal Volute Spring Suspension system, which improved both the ground pressure of the tank and made the suspension more reliable.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Boulton Paul P.89

The Boulton Paul P.89 was a design for a twin engined cannon armed fighter, designed in response to Air Ministry Specification F.37/35.

Boulton Paul P.88

The Boulton Paul P.88 was a design for a cannon armed fighter, designed in response to the increased speed of bomber aircraft in the mid 1930s.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Rome Spreads Her Wings - Territorial Expansion between the Punic Wars, Gareth C. Sampson.

Rome Spreads Her Wings - Territorial Expansion between the Punic Wars, Gareth C. Sampson
Focuses on Rome's other wars in the period of the first two Punic Wars, including the first expansion east across the Adriatic into Greece and the Balkans and the conquest of Gallic northern Italy. This is a difficult period, with limited sources as ancient authors either concentrated on the more glamorous wars against Carthage, or have been lost to us. Sampson does a good job of guiding us through the difficult sources for this period, often providing alternative versions of key events, complete with their supporting sources. A useful book that helps fill a gap in the military history of Rome
[read full review]

VCs of the North - Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Alan Whitworth.

VCs of the North - Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, Alan Whitworth
Looks at just under fifty winners of the Victoria Cross associated with the northern counties of Cumbria, Durham and Northumberland, covering the entire history of the award. The small number of recipients covered allows the author to include a great deal more background information than is normally the case in books on the V.C., allowing us to trace the impact of winning the V.C. on its recipients. Also allows the inclusion of many eyewitness accounts of the deeds themselves
[read full review]

No Room for Mistakes - British and Allied Submarine Warfare 1939-1940, Geirr H Haarr.

No Room for Mistakes - British and Allied Submarine Warfare 1939-1940, Geirr H Haarr
An excellent detailed history of Allied submarine warfare during the first sixteen months of the Second World War, a period of dramatic changes in the situation at sea, in which the British submarine service had to find a suitable role and absorb heavy losses, while coping with the Norwegian campaign and the sudden expansion of their duties after the Fall of France.
[read full review]

Friday, December 02, 2016

USS Shaw (DD-68)

USS Shaw (DD-68) was a Sampson class destroyer that survived having 90 feet cut off her bow in a collision late in 1918 while serving in European waters.

USS Wilkes (DD-67)

USS Wilkes (DD-67) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown after America entered the First World War, and helped support the first trans-Atlantic flight in 1919.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

General Karl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz (1780-1831)

General Karl Philipp Gottlieb von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian general, most famous for his studies of military theory, largely published after his death in 1831.

General Freidrich Wilhelm Graf Bülow von Dennewitz (16 February 1755-25 February 1816)

General Freidrich Wilhelm Graf Bülow von Dennewitz (16 February 1755-25 February 1816) was a Prussian commander who played a major part in the campaigns of 1813, 1814 and 1815, winning the first Prussian victory since the disasters of 1806 at Grossbeeren in 1813, and playing a major part in the Allied victory at Waterloo.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Roman Military Disasters - Dark Days and Lost Legions, Paul Chrystal.

Roman Military Disasters - Dark Days and Lost Legions, Paul Chrystal
Looks at Rome's military defeats, from the earliest wars within the Italian peninsula, through the great wars of expansion and the defence of the Empire, to the disasters of the fifth century and the first two sacks of Rome since the Celts almost at the start of Roman history. A useful book, although it does sometimes lose its focus a little, and in sections is more of a general military history of Rome
[read full review]

Triumph & Disasters - Eyewitness Accounts of the Netherlands Campaign 1813-1814, Andrew Bamford.

Triumph & Disasters - Eyewitness Accounts of the Netherlands Campaign 1813-1814, Andrew Bamford
Six eyewitness accounts of the British campaign in the Netherlands in 1813-1814, best known for the disastrous attack on Bergen-op-Zoom. The fairly vacuous diary of a young Guards officer will probably stick longest in the mind, but all six sources are of value for gaining an understanding of this campaign, and of the British military experience during the Napoleonic Wars, covering a wide range of topics from the pleasures of the hunt to the humiliation of being a prisoner
[read full review]

The Sailing Frigate - A History in Ship Models, Robert Gardiner.

The Sailing Frigate - A History in Ship Models, Robert Gardiner
A splendid visual history of the British frigate, based around the collection of scale ship models in the National Maritime Museum. Each change in design is illustrated by a high quality colour photograph of a model, with some key pictures included detailed annotations picking out key features. Also includes a number of special subject spreads, looking at the evolution of features such as bow or stern design. A splendid book, and a very good way of illustrating the development of the sailing frigate
[read full review]

Friday, November 25, 2016

Siege of Samos (356 BC)

The siege of Samos (356 BC) saw the rebels against Athens besiege one of the loyal members of the Athenian League (Social War).

Battle of Chios (357 or 356 BC)

The battle of Chios (357 or 356 BC) was the first fighting during the Social War, and saw the rebels defeat an Athenian land and sea attack on the island.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

USS Allen (DD-66)

USS Allen (DD-66) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown during the First World War, carrying out ten attacks on possible U-boats. She then survived to be the only one of the 1,000 tonner destroyers to see service during the Second World War.

USS Davis (DD-65)

USS Davis (DD-65) was a Sampson class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18, taking part in a significant number of attacks on U-boats as well as rescuing the survivors from U-103, sunk after she was rammed by the Titanic's sister ship Olympic

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Nisibis War - The Defence of the Roman East AD 337-363, John S. Harrel .

The Nisibis War - The Defence of the Roman East AD 337-363, John S. Harrel
 Looks at the lengthy conflict between the Romans and the Persian Emperor Shapur II, for possession of provinces lost to the Romans in 298. Covers the successful defensive strategy of Constantius II and the disastrous invasion of Persia led by the Emperor Julian, as well as the frequent civil wars that plagued the Roman Empire. A valuable look at one of the last major external wars fought before the fall of the Western Empire.
[read full review]

Military History of Late Rome 284-361, Ilkka Syvänne.

Military History of Late Rome 284-361, Ilkka Syvänne
Focuses on the successful Imperial recovery under Diocletian, Constantine the Great, Constantius II and their various co-rulers and rivals. Starts with a series of lengthy chapters looking at the Empire, its army and its neighbours, before moving onto the narrative account of a period in which the Roman Empire held its own against enemies that threatened from all sides, despite an apparently constant stream of civil wars
[read full review]

The Grand Old Duke of York - A Life of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763-1827, Derek Winterbottom .

The Grand Old Duke of York - A Life of Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, 1763-1827, Derek Winterbottom
The first biography of the British Commander-in-Chief during the Napoleonic Wars for sixty years, this paints a generally positive picture of the Duke, who emerges as a capable Commander-in-Chief who introduced a series of useful reforms in the British Army, and probably helped keep the army loyal during the long Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Good coverage of his period as a field commander in the Low Countries, and his fairly colourful private life
[read full review]

Monday, November 21, 2016

Frederick William, duke of Brunswick (1771-1815)

Frederick William, duke of Brunswick (1771-1815), was one of the most implacable enemies of Napoleonic France, and became known as the 'Black Duke'.

Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick (1735-1806)

Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand, duke of Brunswick (1735-1806), was an experienced military leader who proved to be unable to cope with the armies of both Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, suffering key defeats at Valmy in 1792 and Auerstädt in 1806

Friday, November 18, 2016

Medium Tank M4A1(76)W/ Sherman IIA

The Medium Tank M4A1(76)W/ Sherman IIA was the first 76mm armed version of the Sherman to enter production, and had a cast hull, wet shell storage and a Continental R975 engine.

Medium Tank M4(76)W

The Medium Tank M4(76)W was the designation given to a version of the M4 that would have been armed with a 76mm gun, but that was cancelled before any production vehicles were built.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Third Sacred War (355-346 BC)

The Third Sacred War (355-346 BC) began as a dispute between Thebes and their neighbours in Phocis over the cultivation of sacred land, but expanded to include most of the Greek powers and was ended by the intervention of Philip II of Macedon, helping to confirm his status as a major power in Greece.

Social War (357-355 BC)

The Social War (357-355 BC) was a conflict between Athens and a number of key members of the Athenian League. The war significantly weakened Athens, and also meant that she was unable to intervene as Philip II of Macedon expanded his kingdom.

Monday, November 14, 2016

USS Rowan (DD-64)

USS Rowan (DD-64) was a Sampson class destroyer that served in European waters in 1917-18, and took part in at least one attack on a suspected U-boat, but without success.

USS Sampson (DD-63)

USS Sampson (DD-63) was the name ship of the Sampson class of destroyers, and operated from Queenstown during the First World War, before helping support the first successful transatlantic flight after the war.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Medium Tank M4E6

The Medium Tank M4E6 was the second attempt to install a 76mm gun on a Sherman tank, and saw the introduction of a number of features that made their way into production tanks.

Medium Tank M4A1 (76M1)

The Medium Tank M4A1 (76M1) was the first attempt to fit a more powerful gun in the Sherman tank, but was abandoned after objections by the Armored Force.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Medieval Warfare Vol V, Issue 6: A Scourge from the Steppes - The Mongol invasion of Europe

Medieval Warfare Vol V, Issue 6: A Scourge from the Steppes - The Mongol invasion of Europe
 Focuses on the destructive impact of the Mongols, looking at their invasions of Poland and Russia, their weapons and armour, the family of Genghis Khan, and the first Christian mission to reach the Mongol court at Karakorum. Away from the main theme covers Scandinavian honour systems, the Merovingian armies and the practical impact of Vegetius in the Middle Ages.  
 [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 2: Wars in Hellenistic Egypt, kingdom of the Ptolemies 
 Focuses on Ptolemaic Egypt, the most successful and long-lived of the successor kingdoms to the empire of Alexander the Great. Includes interesting articles on Julius Caesar's period of urban warfare in Alexandria, the massive warships of the Ptolemaic navy, and away from the theme on the value of 'Barbarian' troops to the Late Roman Empire. Nice to have a focus on Ptolemaic Egypt in its own right, rather than as part of someone else's story..
 [see more]

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 4: The Norman Invasion of Ireland - Contesting the Emerald Isle

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 4: The Norman Invasion of Ireland - Contesting the Emerald Isle 
Focuses on the 12th century Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, a fateful step that began with the English invited into Ireland by a defeated king of Leinster but that led to a direct royal intervention by Henry II. Includes interesting material on the Irish military system of the period, as well as the invasion itself, one of our main sources, and the fortifications built by the Normans. Also looks at the much earlier Irish ringworks and other fortifications, the Book of Kells and the value and pitfalls of battlefield archaeology..
 [see more]

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Battle of Argolas (Spring 354 BC)

The battle of Argolas (Spring 354 BC) was a Phocian victory over a Thessalian army early in the Third Sacred War, fought at an otherwise unknown hill somewhere in Locris

Battle of Phaedriades (355 BC)

The battle of Phaedriades (355 BC) was a Phocian victory early in the Third Sacred War, fought on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Boulton Paul P.79

The Boulton Paul P.79 was a design for a bomber that was produced to the same specification that resulted in the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley.

Boulton Paul P.75 Overstrand

The Boulton Paul P.75 Overstrand was the first RAF aircraft to have an enclosed powered gun turret, and was developed from the earlier Boulton & Paul Sidestrand. It was also the last biplane bomber to enter service with the RAF.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Paris '44 - The City of Light Redeemed, William Mortimer-Moore.

Paris '44 - The City of Light Redeemed, William Mortimer-Moore
Covers both the Resistance uprising within Paris and the military campaign to liberate the city, focusing on the role of the French 2e DB (armoured division), the Free French unit that liberated the centre of Paris. A moving account of the various strands that led to the comparatively painless liberation of Paris, a city that avoided the devastation ordered by Hitler. An excellent study of one of the more remarkable incidents of the liberation of France
[read full review]

Daring Raids of World War Two - Heroic Land, Sea & Air Attacks, Peter Jacobs.

Daring Raids of World War Two - Heroic Land, Sea & Air Attacks, Peter Jacobs
Covers an unexpectedly wide range of topics, including the sort of Special Forces raid that I was expected, but also including air raids and specific parts of larger operations, such as the disaster at Dieppe or the sinking of the Bismarck. Covers thirty raids, including a good mix of the familiar and the almost unknown, and provides a good cross section of the smaller scale British operations of the Second World War.
[read full review]

Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin: Vol 1: January 1943-June 1944, Igor Nebolsin.

Stalin's Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin: Vol 1: January 1943-June 1944, Igor Nebolsin
Excellent reference work covering the first eighteen months of the combat career of the 2nd Tank Army, one of the elite formations within the Red Army. Follows the army from its difficult combat debut in the winter offensive of 1942-43, through the Battle of Kursk and onto the victorious Soviet offensives that eventually saw the Army push west across the Soviet border. The first book of this type that I've seen for a Soviet combat unit, and of great value for that, as well as for the massive amount of information that is packed into the text.
 [read full review]

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Sampson Class Destroyers

The Sampson Class Destroyers were the final batch of '1,000 tonner' destroyers produced for the US Navy, and were the first to be built with anti-aircraft guns.

USS Wainwright (DD-62)

USS Wainwright (DD-62) was a Tucker class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 and from Brest in 1918, and had a series of possible encounters with U-boats, but without any successes.

Friday, October 21, 2016

406th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 406th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day landings, the break out from Normandy, the sieges of St Malo and Brest, the advance across France, the Battle of the Bulge and the advance into Germany.

405th Fighter Group (USSAF)

The 405th Fighter Group (USSAF) served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day landings, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge, the crossing of the Rhine and the invasion of Germany.

404th Fighter Group (USAAF)

The 404th Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge, the crossing of the Rhine and the invasion of Germany.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

German U-Boat Losses During World War II, Axel Niestlé.

German U-Boat Losses During World War II, Axel Niestlé
An excellent well documented and credible summary of the current state of knowledge on U-Boat losses during the Second World War, reflecting the discoveries made in German archives and in underwater explanation in the sixty years since the original post-war assessments were made. Each change is supported by a clear explanation of why the original assessment is wrong, and the evidence for the new assessment
[read full review]

Wanton Troops - Buckinghamshire in the Civil Wars 1640-1660, Ian F.W. Beckett.

Wanton Troops - Buckinghamshire in the Civil Wars 1640-1660, Ian F.W. Beckett
Looks at the impact of the Civil Wars on a county that didn’t see any major battles or host any of the major garrisons, but was instead placed between them, suffering from raids, garrisons and passing armies. Looks at County Community before, during and after the war, and the impact of the fighting on the local communities of Buckinghamshire to produce a useful cross section of the disruption caused by the Civil War
[read full review]

War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, Clifford J. Rogers.

War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, Clifford J. Rogers
Looks at the first phase of the Wars of the Roses, to the Peace of Bretigny of 1360, and argues that Edward III's victory was due to a deliberate strategy of seeking battle. Makes a very well argued case, supported by a detailed knowledge of the primary sources, built around a narrative account of Edward's campaigns in Scotland, where he learnt his craft, and in France.
[read full review]

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

USS Jacob Jones (DD-61)

USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) was a Tucker class destroyer that became the only US destroyer lost to enemy action during the First World War, when she was sunk by U-53.

USS Wadsworth (DD-60)

USS Wadsworth (DD-60) was a Tucker class destroyer that operated from Queenstown and then Brest during the American involvement in the First World war, carrying out a large number of attacks on possible U-boats without recorded success.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Frederick William III (1770-1840, r.1797-1840)

Frederick William III (1770-1840, r.1797-1840) was king of Prussia during the Napoleonic Wars, and led Prussia during one of the most disastrous periods in her history in 1806-7 and during her revival in 1813-15.

Frederick William II of Prussia (1744-1797, r.1786-1797)

Frederick William II of Prussia (1744-1797, r.1786-1797) was the king of Prussia at the start of the French Revolutionary Wars, and led Prussia into the War of the First Coalition, before losing interest and taking his country out of the war early in 1795.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Medium Tank M4A6

The Medium Tank M4A6 was the final production version of the Sherman, and used the composite hull introduced late in the production of the M4 and a modified version of the Wright Cyclone engine that could use diesel fuel.

Medium Tank M4E1

The Medium Tank M4E1 was an experimental version of the Sherman that used a diesel version of the Wright G200 Cyclone air-cooled radial engine.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Victory was Beyond Their Grasp, Douglas E. Nash.

Victory was Beyond Their Grasp, Douglas E. Nash
A history of the 272nd Volks-Grenadier Division, based around the company records of Fusilier Company 272, and tracing the unit from its formation, through the bitter fighting in the Hürtgen Forest, and on to the brief defence of the Rhine and the final chaotic retreat into the heart of Germany. An excellent history of a division that suffered a huge number of casualties, with the Fusilier Company alone suffered over 200% casualties
[read full review]

Frontline Medic: Gallipoli, Somme, Ypres: The Diary of Captain George Pirie, R.A.M.C. 1914-17, Michael Lucas.

Frontline Medic: Gallipoli, Somme, Ypres: The Diary of Captain George Pirie, R.A.M.C. 1914-17, Michael Lucas
Follows the experiences of a South African doctor from a Scottish family through some of the most notorious battles of the First World War, following Pirie in and out of the lines. An uncut diary that includes both dramatic accounts of major Allied attacks and rest time out of the trenches, as well as the day-to-day life in and around the trenches. Unedited after the war, this gives a contemporary day by day view of Pirie's view of the war.
[read full review]

The War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714, James Falkner.

The War of the Spanish Succession 1701-1714, James Falkner
An excellent new single volume history of this important conflict, covering all of the areas of conflict and the related diplomatic manoeuvres. Provides a clear example of a war in which outstanding military victories didn’t lead to the sort of political results that one might have expected, but one that still greatly reduced the power of France and set the tone for the series of wars that dominated the Eighteenth Century
[read full review]

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.69

The Boulton & Paul P.69 was a design for a bomber/ transport aircraft, based on the earlier P.64 mail carrier

Boulton & Paul P.67

The Boulton & Paul P.67 was a design for a monoplane fighter produced to satisfy Air Ministry Specification F.7/30.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Medium Tank M4A4/ Sherman V

The Medium Tank M4A4/ Sherman V had a welded hull and used the Chrysler multibank engine. The engine was rejected for use by the US Army, but proved to be very reliable in Britain, where over 7,000 tanks were received

Medium Tank M4A3/ Sherman IV

The Medium Tank M4A3/ Sherman IV had a welded hull and Ford V-8 engine, and was one of the main US service versions. It was also the version chosen for use after the end of the Second World War.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.66

The Boulton & Paul P.66 was a design for a general purpose aircraft, to replace the numerous Westland Wapati and Fairey Gordon biplanes.

Boulton & Paul P.63 Streamline

The Boulton & Paul P.63 Streamline was a design for a high performance interceptor that came at the end of a family of similar designs.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

USS Porter (DD-59)

USS Porter (DD-59) was a Tucker class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18, damaging U-108 in April 1918, and then from Brest later 1918.

USS Conyngham (DD-58)

USS Conyngham (DD-58) was a Tucker class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 then with the US Coast Guard from 1924-1933.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The Fall of the Seleukid Empire, 187-75 BC, John D. Grainger.

The Fall of the Seleukid Empire, 187-75 BC, John D. Grainger
Looks at the last century of the Seleukid Empire, a period of near constant decline, repeated civil wars and family disputes that eventually saw this powerful empire dwindle away and disappear. A good, convincing narrative produced from a limited number of available sources, following the decline of what was once the largest of the successor states to Alexander the Great
[read full review]

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol3 : The Documentary Companion. Tables, Orders and Reports prepared by participating Red Army forces, David M. Glantz

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol3 : The Documentary Companion. Tables, Orders and Reports prepared by participating Red Army forces, David M. Glantz
Contains the supporting evidence to go with the first two narrative volumes in this series. Organised largely to match the chapters in the first two volumes, the aim to allow the reader to confirm Glantz's conclusions. This volume will be of fairly limited appeal, but it will be of great value for the serious student of the fighting on the Eastern Front
[read full review]

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz.

Barbarossa Derailed: The Battle for Smolensk 10 July-10 September 1941: Vol 2: The German Advance on the Flanks and the Third Soviet Counteroffensive, 25 August-10 September 1941, David M. Glantz
Makes the case that the repeated Soviet counterattacks around Smolensk played a major part in shaping German strategy in 1941, proving that the Red Army would put up more resistance than expected, and diverting German attention away from Moscow and onto their flanks, where they would win a spectacular victory around Kiev. This volume focuses on the third Soviet counterattack and Guderian's move south towards Kiev. Heavily supported by documents, Glantz makes a very convincing case.
[read full review]

Monday, September 26, 2016

Marshal Dominique-Catherine, marquis de Pérignon (1734-1818)

Marshal Dominique-Catherine, marquis de Pérignon (1734-1818) combined military and political careers, with his main military achievements coming against Spain during the War of the First Coalition.

Marshal Bon Adrien Jeannot de Moncey, duc de Congeliano (1754-1842)

Marshal Bon Adrien Jeannot de Moncey, duc de Congeliano (1754-1842) was a Napoleonic marshal who took part in three separate wars against Spain, successfully in the first and last, but suffering a loss of reputation during the second.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Medium Tank M4A2/ Sherman III

The Medium Tank M4A2/ Sherman III was the third version of the tank to be standardized, but the second to enter production. It used the welded hull of the M4 and a General Motors diesel engine, and was mainly used for Lend Lease, with most going to the UK and others to the Soviet Union.

Medium Tank M4A1/ Sherman II

The Medium Tank M4A1/ Sherman II was the second version of the Medium Tank M4 to be standardized but the first to enter production. It combined a cast upper hull and a Wright radial engine, and was used by US and UK forces.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Artaxerxes III (r.359-338 BC)

Artaxerxes III (r.359-338 BC) was the third-from-last Persian emperor of the Achaemenid dynasty, and restored Persian control of Egypt after just over sixty years of independence. Before he came to the throne he was called Ochus, but he took his father's name after becoming Emperor.

Artaxerxes II (r.404-359 BC)

Artaxerxes II (r.404-359 BC) was a Persian Emperor whose long reign was marred by a series of rebellions, most of which failed, although Egypt managed to win its independence in 405 and defeated all of Artaxerxes's attempts to restore Persian control.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.58

The Boulton & Paul P.58 was the designation given to a series of designs for a fleet spotter, produced in response to Specification S.9/30.

Boulton & Paul P.37 Streamline

The Boulton & Paul P.37 Streamline was a design for a sesquiplane day bomber that was the first in a series of similar designs, none of which entered production.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Seeds of Disaster: The Development of French Army Doctrine, 1919-39, Robert A. Doughty.

The Seeds of Disaster: The Development of French Army Doctrine, 1919-39, Robert A. Doughty
Looks at the problems faced by the French army between the wars, the doctrine of the methodical battle that was developed in an attempt to solve those problems, the structure of the French high command, and the debate over the correct use of tanks. A surprisingly interesting book that looks at the perfectly understandable reasons why the French army adopted the plans that led to disaster in 1940.
[read full review]

Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks.

Death of the Leaping Horseman: The 24th Panzer Division in Stalingrad, Jason D. Marks
A day by day history of the 24th Panzer Division taking it from the approaches to Stalingrad to the day that the Russian offensive that trapped the Germans in the city began. Rather too one sided, but does go a good job of tracing the first part of the destruction of this unit. A shame that it finishes before the battle is completely over
[read full review]

Murderous Elite: The Waffen-SS and its complete record of war crimes, James Pontolillo .

Murderous Elite: The Waffen-SS and its complete record of war crimes, James Pontolillo
A very valuable study of the many crimes committed by almost every unit of the Waffen-SS, demonstrating that the original 'classic' German units were by far the worst offenders, and that the Waffen-SS committed war crimes in every theatre of the war, and in every year of the conflict. Finishes with an examination of the reasons for these crimes and the various excuses used by various apologists and deniers.
 [read full review]

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

USS Tucker (DD-57)

USS Tucker (DD-57) was the name ship of the Tucker class of destroyers and served at Queenstown in 1917-18 and Brest from June 1918.

Tucker Class Destroyers

The Tucker Class Destroyers were an improved version of the previous O'Brien class, and were the first US destroyers that had the ability to lay mines.

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Marshal Claude Perrin Victor, duc de Bellune (1764-1841)

Marshal Claude Perrin Victor, duc de Bellune (1764-1841) was a capable battlefield commander who was never part of Napoleon's inner circle, and tarnished his reputation by voting for the condemnation of Marshal Nay in 1815.

Friday, September 02, 2016

402nd Fighter Group

The 402nd Fighter Group went through two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a medium bomber formation in China and then as a home based fighter training unit.

373rd Fighter Group

The 373rd Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

372nd Fighter Group

The 372nd Fighter Group was a home based training unit that served with the Fourth and Third Air Forces.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Medium Tank M4

The Medium Tank M4 was the first version of the M4 Sherman to be standardized, but only the third to enter production. It used a welded hull and Wright R-975 air cooled radial engine, and was used by the United States and Britain.

Medium Tank T6

The Medium Tank T6 was the prototype for the Medium Tank M4 Sherman, the most important American tank of the Second World War.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Battle of the Bulge: Volume Three: The 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division in Action, December 1944-January 1945, Hans Wijers.

Battle of the Bulge: Volume Three: The 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division in Action, December 1944-January 1945, Hans Wijers
 Focuses on the battles of a single German division and their opponents on the northern flank of the Battle of the Bulge, where the Germans made the least progress. Could do with a bit more background, and at least a basic map, but will still be of value to those with an interest in this massive battle
[read full review]

The Ardennes 1944-1945 Hitler's Winter Offensive, Christer Bergström.

The Ardennes 1944-1945 Hitler's Winter Offensive, Christer Bergström
 A splendid account of the Ardennes Offensive, covering the entire battle, from the impressive German planning, the surprise attack and the costly battle of attrition that followed, up to the final end of the campaign at the start of February 1945. Combines detailed accounts of individual battles for villages, with regular overviews of the entire campaign, to produce a rare example of a really large scale account of a campaign that also produces a clear picture of how these details fit into the wider picture
[read full review]

Get Tough Stay Tough: Shaping the Canadian Corps, 1914-1918, Kenneth Radley.

Get Tough Stay Tough: Shaping the Canadian Corps, 1914-1918, Kenneth Radley
Uses the Canadian Army Corps of the First World War to examine the nature of morale and discipline and the role they played in producing a successful army. The author has produced a well argued case, supported by a detailed knowledge of his topic. Does have some infuriating moments, but despite that is a valuable, well researched and useful examination of the way in which the Canadian Corps, and by extension most of the British army, operated during the First World War. 
[read full review]

Friday, August 26, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.35

The Boulton & Paul P.35 was a design for a fighter with an upwards firing Coventry Ordnance Works 37mm cannon.

Boulton & Paul P.34

The Boulton & Paul P.34 was a naval version of the P.33 Partridge single seat fighter, and like the land based version didn't enter production.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk II

The Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk II, was the definitive version of a medium tank based on the American M3, but produced in Canada and armed with a 6 pounder anti-tank gun in a cast turret.

Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk I

The Cruiser Tank, Ram Mk I, was a Canadian tank that combined the engine, transmission and running gear from the Medium Tank M3 with a new hull and its main gun carried in a turret.

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Siege of Petersburg - The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864, John Horn.

The Siege of Petersburg - The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864, John Horn
 Focuses on Grant's fourth Petersburg offensive, the attempt to cut the Weldon Railroad south of the city, and at the same time prevent Lee moving troops to other theatres. Combines very detailed material on the three battles with an interesting examination of why the Union army performed so poorly in them, with an examination of the long term strategic results of the constant application of pressure at Petersburg.
[read full review]

Artillery Scout: The Story of a Forward Observer with the U.S. Field Artillery in World War I, James G. Bilder.

Artillery Scout: The Story of a Forward Observer with the U.S. Field Artillery in World War I, James G. Bilder
Tells the story of the author's grandfather, who served with American Expeditionary Force during the First World War, and took part in the battle of St. Mihiel and the Argonne offensive. Provides two unusual viewpoints for the Western Front for the British reader - that of a US soldier and that of an Artillery Scout, better known as a Forward Observer.
[read full review]

MI5 at War 1909-1918: How MI5 Foiled the Spies of the Kaiser in the First World War, Chris Northcott.

MI5 at War 1909-1918: How MI5 Foiled the Spies of the Kaiser in the First World War, Chris Northcott
A sober look at the performance of MI5 between its formation in 1908 and the end of the First World War, focusing as much on the internal structure of MI5, and the laws that allowed it to operate as on its activities and individual cases. This helps explain how MI5 achieved its successes, and also what sort of threats they believed they faced.
[read full review]

Friday, August 19, 2016

Cambyses II (r.529-522 BC)

Cambyses II (r.529-522 BC) was the second Achaemenid Emperor of Persia, succeeding his father and founder of the Empire, Cyrus II the Great. His most notable achievement was the conquest of Egypt, but he died under mysterious circumstances while rushing home to deal with a revolt against his authority

Artaxerxes I (r.464-425 BC)

Artaxerxes I (r.464-425 BC) was the Persian Emperor during the last stage of the Greco-Persian War and the first part of the Great Peloponnesian War, ending the first of those wars with the Peace of Callias, in which the Athenians acknowledged Persian authority in Asia Minor. The Greeks called him Artaxerxes Macrocheir (Long hand)

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.33 Partridge

The Boulton & Paul P.33 Partridge was a single seat biplane fighter designed to the same specification as the Bristol Bulldog.

Boulton & Paul P.32

The Boulton & Paul P.32 was a design for a heavy bomber that reached the prototype stage, but wasn't ordered into production.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Oder Front 1945 Vol 2: Documents, Reports and Personal Accounts, A. Stephan Hamilton.

The Oder Front 1945 Vol 2: Documents, Reports and Personal Accounts, A. Stephan Hamilton
A volume of supporting material for volume one's account of the fighting, covering a very wide range of topics. Includes Hitler's official instructions for the Eastern Front, a large section of combat histories of every major unit involved in the fighting, and detailed accounts of each of the sieges of the German 'fortress cities' or Festung on the Oder Front. Supported by a sizable selection of documents on CD
[read full review]

Montcalm's Crushing Blow - French and Indian Raids along New York's Oswego River 1756, René Chartrand.

Montcalm's Crushing Blow - French and Indian Raids along New York's Oswego River 1756, René Chartrand
Looks at Montcalm's first campaign after arriving in Canada, the elimination of the British foothold on Lake Ontario. Covers two attacks - the destruction of Fort Bull on the vulnerable supply route to Oswego (before Montcalm's arrival), and Montcalm's impressive naval expedition and the resulting siege of Oswego. Includes plenty of valuable background information, as well as detailed accounts of the two brief sieges.
[read full review]

Battles of a Gunner Officer: Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy and the Long Road to Germany, John Philip Jones & Major Peter Pettit.

Battles of a Gunner Officer: Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy and the Long Road to Germany, John Philip Jones & Major Peter Pettit
The edited diaries of an officer in the Artillery, tracing his progress from Tunisia to northern Germany via Sicily, Normandy and north-western Europe. Demonstrates how dangerous life in the Artillery could be, with many of his colleagues killed in combat, as well as giving us a valuable picture of how the very efficient British artillery operated during the Second World War.
[read full review]

Monday, August 15, 2016

USS McDougal (DD-54)

USS McDougal (DD-54) was a O'Brien class destroyer that served from Queenstown and Brest during the First World War, then served with the US Coast Guard.

USS Winslow (DD-53)

USS Winslow (DD-53) was an O'Brien class destroyer that served from Queenstown and Brest during the First World War, carrying out at least ten attacks on suspected U-boats.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Marshal Jacques Etienne Joseph Alexandre Macdonald (1765-1840)

Marshal Jacques Etienne Joseph Alexandre Macdonald (1765-1840) was the son of a Scottish immigrant who served under every regime from the pre-revolutionary Royal army, through the revolutionary and Napoleonic periods and on to the restored Bourbons. His career was a mix of triumph, in particular at Wagram, and defeat in Italy and Germany, and was interrupted by a spell out of favour

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Prime Mover M33

The Prime Mover M33 was an artillery tractor based on the M31 Tank Recovery Vehicle, itself based on the Medium Tank M3.

Tank Recovery Vehicle M31

The Tank Recovery Vehicle M31 was based on the Medium Tank M3, and over 800 were produced in 1942-45.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Cyrus II the Great (c.575-530 BC)

Cyrus II the Great (c.575-530 BC) was the founder of the Persian Empire, and one of the most successful conquerors of the Ancient World, creating an empire that lasted for over two hundred years.

Artabanus or Ardaban (d.465/464 BC)

Artabanus or Ardaban (d.465/464 BC), was a Persian minister and commander of the royal guard who murdered Xerxes I and was later killed by his son and successor Artaxerxes I.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Escape from the Japanese - The Amazing Story of a PoW's Journey from Hong Kong to Freedom, Lt. Cmdr Ralph Burton Goodwin.

Escape from the Japanese - The Amazing Story of a PoW's Journey from Hong Kong to Freedom, Lt. Cmdr Ralph Burton Goodwin
Compelling story of a rare successful escape from Japanese captivity, followed by a journey across war-torn China. The author was captured at the fall of Hong Kong. After two and a half years he escaped, and made his way across very difficult terrain into Chinese-held territory. We then trace his journey across wartime China, from the Communist held area around Hong Kong to the Nationalist capital at Kunming, so the fascinating escape story is followed by a very valuable insight into conditions within China.
[read full review]

Leaders of the Storm Troops: Vol I, Michael D. Miller & Andreas Schulz.

Leaders of the Storm Troops: Vol I, Michael D. Miller & Andreas Schulz
 Looks at the senior leadership of the SA, covering the ten men who served as head of the organisation and the first half of the Obergruppenführers, the equivalent of lieutenant-generals within the organisation. Paints a picture of a very varied group, with members ranging from major war criminals to members of the German resistance. The first part of a very useful reference work on this key group within the Nazi hierarchy
[read full review]

Mortars in World War II, John Norris.

Mortars in World War II, John Norris
Looks at one of the most important infantry support weapons of the Second World War. Contains a great deal of material, looking at each area of conflict from Poland in 1939 to the final fighting in 1945, the way mortars were used by each army and the type of mortars in use. Suffers from a rather odd structure, which can make it a bit confusing on occasions, but still a useful book.
[read full review]

Monday, August 08, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.31 Bittern

The Boulton & Paul P.31 Bittern was an ambitious design for a monoplane night fighter that was let down by underpowered engines.

Boulton & Paul P.29 Sidestrand

The Boulton & Paul P.29 Sidestrand was a twin engined bomber that was the company's first military aircraft to enter production.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

USS Nicholson (DD-52)

USS Nicholson (DD-52) was an O'Brien class destroyer that served from Queenstown and later Brest during the First World War.

USS O'Brien (DD-51)

USS O'Brien (DD-51) was the name ship of the O'Brien class of destroyers. She served from Queenstown in 1917-1918 and then from Brest for the last few months of the First World War.

Monday, August 01, 2016

Marshal Joachim Murat (1767-1815)

Marshal Joachim Murat (1767-1815) was one of Napoleon's most flamboyant and dashing cavalry commanders, but he was less impressive later in the wars, when he was promoted beyond his abilities.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Wilderness and Spotsylvania 1864, Andy Nunez.

Wilderness and Spotsylvania 1864, Andy Nunez
Looks at two very different battles - the Wilderness, fought in dense woodland and notable for the confusion on both sides, and Spotsylvania, where Union forces made a series of attempts to storm strong Confederate field works. These were the battles where Grant began to come to grips with the abilities and limits of the Army of the Potomac, and in particular a command structure that included political appointees and officers appointed by a series of previous commanders of the army. 
 [read full review]

Flakhelfer to Grenadier - Memoir of a Boy Soldier, 1943-1945, Karl Heinz Schlesier.

Flakhelfer to Grenadier - Memoir of a Boy Soldier, 1943-1945, Karl Heinz Schlesier
Follows a young German during his time serving on anti-aircraft batteries, first close to his home town and later defending a hidden factory, then through a short period of army training and an even shorter time on the front line as a grenadier, finishing with his time as a POW. A thought-provoking account of life at the receiving end of the Allied bombing campaign.
[read full review]

Helmand to the Himalayas - One Soldier's Inspiration Journey, David Wiseman.

Helmand to the Himalayas - One Soldier's Inspiration Journey, David Wiseman
A two-part memoir, starting with the author's experiences in Afghanistan, where he took part in the British deployment to Helmand, where he was involved in the aftermath of a traumatic attack on British troops by bogus Afghan policemen, then moving on to his recovery from the physical and mental trauma the author suffered after being badly wounded in combat. This second section is the most valuable, with an unflinching account of the impact of post traumatic stress and an entertaining account of the Everest expedition that helped with the author's recovery
[read full review]

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sentinel AC IV

The Sentinel AC IV was a version of the Australian Sentinel AC I cruiser tank, modified to carry a 17pdr high velocity anti tank gun.  

Sentinel AC III

The Sentinel AC III was a version of the Australian Sentinel AC I cruiser tank, modified to carry a 25pdr howitzer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Siege of Sestus (c.367-6 BC)

The siege of Sestus (c.367-6 BC) saw forces loyal to the Persian emperor Artaxerxes II unsuccessful besiege allies of the rebel satrap Ariobarzanes, during the second stage of the Satrap's revolt.

Siege of Adramyttium or Assus, c.367-6 BC,

The siege of Adramyttium or Assus, c.367-6 BC, saw forces loyal to Artaxerxes II besiege the rebel satrap Ariobarzanes before withdrawing after King Agesilaus of Sparta arrived to help the rebels.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.27

The Boulton & Paul P.27 was a further development in the company's family of twin engined bombers, and although it didn’t get built itself, it did play a part in the development of the P.29 Sidestrand.

Boulton & Paul P.25 Bugle

The Boulton & Paul P.25 Bugle was a further development of the P.7 Bourges and all-metal P.15 Bolton twin engined bombers, and was produced in small numbers as part of the Air Ministries attempt to keep as many aircraft companies working as possible with limited funds.

Monday, July 25, 2016

371st Fighter Group

The 371st Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

370th Fighter Group

The 370th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force and took part in the D-Day landings, the advance across France, Operation Market Garden, the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

369th Fighter Group

The 369th Fighter Group was a home based training unit that was active for two years from August 1943.

Friday, July 22, 2016

O'Brien Class Destroyers

The O'Brien Class Destroyers were an improved version of the Cassin class, armed with new 21in twin torpedo tubes

USS Balch (DD-50)

USS Balch (DD-50) was a Cassin class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914 then served from Queenstown in 1917-18.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

German Infantry vs Soviet Rifleman, Barbarossa 1941, David Campbell.

German Infantry vs Soviet Rifleman, Barbarossa 1941, David Campbell
Looks at three clashes between German motorized infantry and Red Army infantry during the battles around Smolensk in 1941, early in the German invasion of the Soviet Union. All three ended as German victories, but the third reveals some of the problems that the Germans would face later in the war, as an outnumbered German unit came under heavy pressure.
[read full review]

The Great War Through Picture Postcards, Guus de Vries.

The Great War Through Picture Postcards, Guus de Vries
Looks at the vast numbers of postcards produced on every side during the Great War, covering an impressively wide range of topics, and giving us an idea of the sort of visual images that were being sent to and from the front lines and the messages that were being sent. Provides a much more colourful image of the First World War that is normal, with at least half of the cards having some colour in them.
 [read full review]

British Submarines at War 1914-1918, Edwyn Gray .

British Submarines at War 1914-1918, Edwyn Gray
Looks at the costly exploits of the young British submarine service during the First World War, including their daring exploits in the Sea of Marmora and the Baltic, as well as the costly routine of operations in the North Sea, where a constant stream of submarines were lost without the same chances for success. Focuses on the exploits of individual subs, but also covers their development and the debates on how they should best be use.
[read full review]

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sentinel AC II

The Sentinel AC II was an Australian design for a cruiser tank that could be produced using existing truck engines and components.

Sentinel AC I cruiser tank

The Sentinel AC I cruiser tank was an Australian tank designed to help defend the country against a potential Japanese threat. Despite being a impressive technical achievement, the AC I entered production too late for its primary purpose, and instead was using as a training vehicle.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Battle of Leuctra (371 BC)

The battle of Leuctra (371 BC) was the first major defeat suffered by the main Spartan hoplite army, and played a major part in the collapse of Spartan power after their triumph in the Great Peloponnesian War.

Xenophon (431-c.348 BC)

Xenophon (431-c.348 BC) was a Greek soldier and writer most famous for his role in the revolt of the Persian Prince Cyrus the Younger and the Anabasis, his account of that revolt and its aftermath.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Douglas Haig - As I Knew Him, George S. Duncan .

Douglas Haig - As I Knew Him, George S. Duncan
A view of Douglas Haig as seen by his favourite chaplain during the First World War, George Duncan of the Church of Scotland. Splits into three - an introduction that explains how they met and looks at life at Haig's HQ, an examination of their relationship and Haig's behaviour at different stages of the war, and a look at Haig's character and religion. Produces a positive and convincing view of Haig the man and Haig the commander-in-chief, a reminder of the pressures that he was under, and a view of life at Haig's head quarters
[read full review]

Horses of the Great War - The Story in Art, John Fairley.

Horses of the Great War - The Story in Art, John Fairley
A splendidly illustrated look at the portrayal of the horse in art during the First World War, a conflict in which Britain alone used around one million horses. Covers a wide range of topics, from the classic cavalry charge to the humble transport mule, and a wide variety of artistic styles from classic oils and watercolours to modernist works
[read full review]

The Somme - The Epic Battle in the Soldier's own Words and Photograph, Richard van Emden.

The Somme - The Epic Battle in the Soldier's own Words and Photograph, Richard van Emden
Covers the entire period that the British army spent on the original Somme front, from its arrival late in 1915, through the battle of the Somme and up to the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line. Mainly uses the writings and private photos taken by British soldiers, but also includes some material from the German side
[read full review]

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.15 Bolton

The Boulton & Paul P.15 Bolton was the first all-metal aircraft to be delivered to the RAF, and was largely based on the earlier Boulton & Paul P.7 Bourges fighter-bomber.

Boulton & Paul P.12 Bodmin

The Boulton & Paul P.12 Bodmin was a large experimental multi-engined aircraft, produced to test out the possibility of mounting an aircraft's engines within the fuselage.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

USS Benham (DD-49)

USS Benham (DD-49) was a Cassin class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 and Brest in 1918.

USS Parker (DD-48)

USS Parker (DD-48) was a Cassin class destroyer that served from Queenstown in 1917-18 and from Plymouth from July-November 1918, winning praise for her role in rescuing survivors from the hospital ship Glenart Castle in February 1918.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Battle of Montmartre or Paris (30 March 1814)

The battle of Montmartre or Paris (30 March 1814) was the last battle of the 1814 Allied invasion of north-eastern France. Although the French defenders of Paris managed to hold off the first Allied attack on the city, it was clear that they couldn't hope to hold out much longer, and early on 31 March an armistice came into effect and Allied troops entered the French capital.

Honoré Charles M. J. Reille (1775-1860)

Honoré Charles M. J. Reille (1775-1860) was a French general who rose to high command in Spain, and commanded part of the French army during the defeat at Vittoria that effectively ended any chance of maintaining French rule in Spain. He also commanded a corps at Waterloo, although without much success.

Monday, July 04, 2016

Medium Tank M3A5

The Medium Tank M3A5 was the designation given to M3 medium tanks that combined the General Motors diesel engine with a riveted hull.

Medium Tank M3A4

The Medium Tank M3A4 used a multi-bank Chrysler engine, designed to overcome a potential shortage of tank engines in 1941-42.

Friday, July 01, 2016

The Battle of the Somme, ed. Matthew Strohn.

The Battle of the Somme, ed. Matthew Strohn
Looks at the wider issues that surround the battle, from its place in the British, French and German strategy for 1916 to the long term impact of the battle, as well as the development of tactics during the battle, and the long term impact of the Somme. A useful volume that gives equal weight to the British, French and German experiences of the Somme, and helps place the battle in its true context. 
[read full review]

Somme 1916 - Success and Failure on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, Paul Kendall.

Somme 1916 - Success and Failure on the First Day of the Battle of the Somme, Paul Kendall
Traces the fate of each British division to take part in the disastrous attack on the first day of the Somme, moving from north to south, so from total failure to relative success. Allows the reader to see what elements the unsuccessful attacks had in common, as well as acknowledging the more successful fighting on the British right, close to the French lines
[read full review]

The First Day on the Somme (Revised Edition), Martin Middlebrook.

The First Day on the Somme (Revised Edition), Martin Middlebrook
A classic work that help found an entire genre of military history, combining a detailed history of the first day of the battle of the Somme with extensive extracts from eyewitness accounts of the fighting. The result is a truly excellent and moving account of the costly disaster of the First Day of the Somme, with a deserved reputation as a classic, and that hasn’t been out of print since 1971.
[read full review]

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Siege and battle of Corcyra (373-2 BC)

The siege and battle of Corcyra (373-2 BC) saw the defeat of a Spartan attempt to seize control of the Ionian Sea, and triggered a resumption of warfare in the Theban-Spartan or Boeotian War (379-381 BC).

Battle of Tegyra (Spring 375 BC)

The battle of Tegyra (Spring 375 BC) saw an outnumbered Theben defeat a force of Spartan hoplites twice its own size, an early sign that the Thebans were no longer intimidated by the impressive reputation of the Spartans (Theban-Spartan War, 379-371 BC).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

USS Aylwin (DD-47)

USS Aylwin (DD-47) was a Cassin class destroyer that was used in experimental work in 1917 then operated from Queenstown, Portsmouth and Devonport during the First World War. She inspected German ports after the end of the war, then returned to the US for a brief post-war career.

USS Duncan (DD-46)

USS Duncan (DD-46) was a Cassin class destroyer that served from Queenstown during the First World War.

Monday, June 27, 2016

French campaign of 1814

The French campaign of 1814 saw Napoleon's last great military achievements. Although the campaign ended with an Allied victory and Napoleon's first abdication, he had managed to inflict a series of defeats on the Allied armies invading France in a campaign that recalled his great achievements in Italy at the start of his career, and demonstrated that Napoleon was still very adept at leading small armies.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Medium Tank M3A3

The Medium Tank M3A3 was the main production version of the M3 to use a welded hull in place of the original riveted hull.

Medium Tank M3A2

The Medium Tank M3A2 was the first version of the tank to use a welded hull, but only a handful were built before production moved onto the M3A3.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 2: Two Kings Duelling - The War of the Sicilian Vespers .

Medieval Warfare Vol VI, Issue 2: Two Kings Duelling - The War of the Sicilian Vespers .  
Focuses on one of the most important wars in the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages, a clash that helped undermine the political authority of the Holy Roman Emperors, and the moral authority of the Papacy, while also causing devastation in the formerly prosperous areas of southern Italy and Sicily. This was a very varied war, with naval battles, political crusades and even a potential duel between the two original claimants to Sicily. Also looks at the Anarchy, the battle of Shrewsbury and the Anglo-Scottish conflict..
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Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 6: The Lombard Invasions: The Loss of Byzantine Italy .

Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 6: The Lombard Invasions: The Loss of Byzantine Italy .  
Focuses on the Lombard invasion of Italy and the various failed Byzantine attempts to regain control of the country. Although earlier waves of invaders had been responsible for the collapse of the Western Empire, it was the Lombards who made that loss permanent, defeating a series of Byzantine expeditions to Italy and slowly capturing most of the remaining Byzantine positions across northern Italy..
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Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 5: Richard the Lionheart - Mediterranean adventures .

Medieval Warfare Vol IV Issue 5: Richard the Lionheart - Mediterranean adventures .  
Focuses on the adventures of Richard the Lionheart in the Mediterranean, where he campaigned on Sicily and Cyprus before even reaching the Holy Land, then won long lasting fame during his struggle with Saladin. Also looks at arm armour, castles on Cyprus and the evidence for post traumatic stress in the medieval world.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Battle of Alyzeia (June or July 375 BC)

The battle of Alyzeia (June or July 375 BC) saw the Athenians defeat a Spartan fleet that was supporting an attempt to move troops across the Corinthian Gulf into Boeotia (Theban-Spartan or Boeotian War, 379-371 BC).

Battle of Naxos (September 376 BC)

The battle of Naxos (September 376 BC) was the first naval victory won by an official Athenian fleet since the end of the Great Peloponnesian War, and saw a fleet besieging Naxos defeat a Spartan fleet sent to lift the siege.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Boulton & Paul P.7 Bourges

The Boulton & Paul P.7 Bourges was a promising design for a fighter-bomber that was produced in 1918, and disappeared after the end of the First World War.

Boulton & Paul P.3 Bobolink

The Boulton & Paul P.3 Bobolink was the company's first internally designed aircraft, and was produced in response to a competition to replace the Sopwith Camel.

Monday, June 20, 2016

USS Downes (DD-45)

USS Downes (DD-45) was a Cassin class destroyer that was based at Queenstown during the period of American involvement in the First World War and later served with the Coast Guard.

USS Cummings (DD-44)

USS Cummings (DD-44) was a Cassin class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914, operated from Queenstown in 1917-1918 and with the Coast Guard in the 1920s.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Marshal Jean Lannes (1769-1809)

Marshal Jean Lannes (1769-1809) was one of Napoleon's most able generals, and probably his closest friend amongst his marshals. His death at Aspern-Essling meant that Napoleon had to fight his later campaigns without one of his most capable subordinates.

General Jean, comte Rapp (1771-1821)

General Jean, comte Rapp (1771-1821) was one of Napoleon's aides and was famous for being wounded repeatedly during a successful military career.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Medium Tank M3A1

The Medium Tank M3A1 was the only version of the Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee to use a cast upper hull.

Medium Tank M3

The Medium Tank M3 was the main production version of the Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee, and used a riveted hull and a Wright air-cooled radial engine. It was used in North Africa in 1942, but was then largely replaced by the M4 Sherman.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Despatches from the Front: The Boer War 1899-1902, John Grehan and Martin Mace.

Despatches from the Front: The Boer War 1899-1902, John Grehan and Martin Mace
A selection of official reports written during the Boer War, giving us a view of the war as seen by the senior British commanders. Most of these accounts are fairly factual, although few of the commanders are willing to accept the blame for their setbacks early in the war. Focuses on the major battles of the war, so is strongest on the first year or so, and less so on the period of guerilla warfare that came after the occupation of the Boer republics.
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The Civil War: The Story of the War with Maps, M. David Detweiler.

The Civil War: The Story of the War with Maps, M. David Detweiler
A useful historical atlas of the American Civil War, focusing on the overview across the entire campaign area, so we see Grant advancing while the fighting is bogged down in the east, or Sherman making progress while Grant is bogged down in the east. Also includes good clear battle maps, all accompanied by an engaging text.
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Apache Warrior 1860-86, Robert N. Watt.

Apache Warrior 1860-86, Robert N. Watt
An interesting look at the Chiricahua Apaches and their twenty five year long struggle against encroaching Americans and Mexicans, ending with the final surrender of Geronimo and Mangus in 1886. Looks at how the Apache trained for conflict, the distinction between war and raiding, and the risk avoidance that dominated Apache planning, supported by a good mix of successful and unsuccessful raids.
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Monday, June 13, 2016

Battle of Cithaeron (376 BC)

The battle of Cithaeron (376 BC) was a minor Spartan defeat that prevented them from conducting a fourth invasion of Boeotia in four years (Theban-Spartan War).

Theban campaign of 377 BC

The Theban campaign of 377 BC was the second attempt by King Agesilaus II of Sparta to force Thebes to accept Spartan control, but like his first attempt in the previous year the campaign ended in failure.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Watanabe K8W1 Experimental 12-Shi Primary Seaplane Trainer

The Watanabe K8W1 Experimental 12-Shi Primary Seaplane Trainer was designed to replace the Yokosuka K4Y1 Type 90 Seaplane Trainer, but lost out to a Kawanishi design.

Boeing C-75

The Boeing C-75 was the military designation given to five Model 307 Stratoliners that were commandeered by the USAAF in 1942.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

USS Cassin (DD-43)

USS Cassin (DD-43) was the name ship of the Cassin class of destroyers. She took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914, operated from Queenstown during the First World War and then served with the Coast Guard in the 1920s.

Cassin Class Destroyers

The Cassin Class Destroyers were the first of four classes of '1,000 ton' destroyers that weren't popular with the Destroyer community when they first appeared, but that proved their worth during the First World War.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

The Battle of Marengo, 1800, Olivier Lapray.

The Battle of Marengo, 1800, Olivier Lapray
An account of the battle of Marango told largely from the French point of view, starting with northern Italy back in Austrian hands and tracing Napoleon's successful efforts to restore his earlier conquests. The main strength of this book is the excellent selection of pictures, covering Napoleon's dramatic crossing of the Alps, the advance into Italy, the two armies and the battle itself.
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The Normandy Battlefields D-Day and the Bridgehead, Leo Marriott & Simon Forty.

The Normandy Battlefields D-Day and the Bridgehead, Leo Marriott & Simon Forty
A good photographic history of the Normandy invasion, with a good mix of well chosen contemporary and modern photographs of the battlefields. Focuses on the five D-Day beaches and the areas immediately behind them, so each area is covered in some detail. Includes a good set of modern aerial photographs with useful annotations showing key areas of the battlefield and war memorials.
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Objectif Cherbourg 22-30 Juin 1944, Georges Bernage.

Objectif Cherbourg 22-30 Juin 1944, Georges Bernage
A heavily illustrated but French language account of the battle for Cherbourg of late June 1944, the one of the first major US victories during the Normandy campaign. Well over half of the book is devoted to an excellent selection of photos and supporting maps, each with useful captions (at least as far as my limited French allows me to tell!).
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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Battle of St. Dizier (26 March 1814)

The battle of St. Dizier (26 March 1814) was Napoleon's last battle during the campaign of 1814, and was a meaningless French victory fought while the main Allied armies were heading for Paris.

Battle of La-Fere-Champenoise (25 March 1814)

The battle of La-Fere-Champenoise (25 March 1814) was a French defeat that signalled the failure of Napoleon's last gamble during the campaign of 1814 and saw Schwarzenberg defeat Marmont and Mortier on the road to Paris.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee

The Medium Tank M3/ Grant/ Lee was the first American medium tank to carry a 75mm gun, and played a significant part in the fighting in North Africa in 1942, but it was always seen as a interim design as its main gun was carried in the right of the hull, and it had been rushed into production to fill a gap before the arrival of the Medium Tank M4 Sherman.

Medium Tank M2

The Medium Tank M2 was the first US medium tank to be produced in reasonable numbers, but was already obsolete by the time it entered production in 1939, and was soon replaced by the M3, itself seen as an interim design while work was completed on the M4 Sherman.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

On the Precipice: Stalin, the Red Army Leadership and the Road to Stalingrad 1931-42, Peter Mezhiritsky.

On the Precipice: Stalin, the Red Army Leadership and the Road to Stalingrad 1931-42, Peter Mezhiritsky
 An account of the road to Stalingrad loosely based around a discussion of Marshal Zhukov's memoirs, but focusing on Stalin's role in the catastrophes that almost overwhelmed the Soviet Union after the German invasion of 1941. Often conversational in tone, and with a tendency to indulge in flights of fantasy and speculation, this is still an entertaining read that provides an interesting point of view on this devastating period.
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Watershed - Angola and Mozambique: A Photo-History - The Portuguese Collapse in Africa, 1974-75, Wilf Nussey.

Watershed - Angola and Mozambique: A Photo-History - The Portuguese Collapse in Africa, 1974-75, Wilf Nussey
 An excellent photographic history of the end of the Portuguese Empire in Africa, triggered by the overthrow of the Fascist regime back in Portugal. Based around the photos take by the Argus Africa News Service, supported by a text written by  the then head of the service. Follows a tragic tale of great but disappointed expectations after Independence was followed by prolonged civil wars in both countries.
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A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth Century Royal Navy: Volume 1 Admirals of the Fleet and Admirals, Alastair Wilson .

A Biographical Dictionary of the Twentieth Century Royal Navy: Volume 1 Admirals of the Fleet and Admirals, Alastair Wilson
The start of a large project to produce a dictionary of 20th Century British Naval Biography, starting with Admirals and Admirals of the Fleet. Split into two, with the biographies in pdf form on CD and a printed volume to explain the format and contents of the biography. This is a very useful reference work in its own right – it'll certainly be of great use for me as I try and track down some of the more obscure wartime admirals – and the complete series will be a very impressive achievement.  
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