Friday, June 30, 2017

Battle of the Tolenus or Liris River (11 June 90 BC)

The battle of the Tolenus or Liris River (11 June 90 BC) was a victory for the Italian rebels in which they killed the consul Publius Rutilius Lupus, although Marius, who was serving under him, partly restored the situation.

Siege of Acerrae (90 BC)

The siege of Acerrae (90 BC) saw the Italian rebels defeat a series of Roman attempts to lift the siege, but frustratingly we don't actually know how it ended.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Battle of the Mareth Line (20-26 March 1943)

The battle of the Mareth Line (20-26 March 1943) was the Eighth Army's last major setpiece battle in North Africa, and saw Montgomery force the Germans and Italians to retreat from their last significant defensive position in southern Tunisia.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Consolidated PT-2

The Consolidated PT-2 was a single example of a PT-1 that was powered by the same Wright J-5 engine that was used in the Navy's Consolidated NY family.

Consolidated PT-1 'Trusty'

The Consolidated PT-1 'Trusty' was an excellent training aircraft that laid the foundations for the Consolidated Aircraft Company.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Heavy Assault Tank, A39, Tortoise

The Heavy Assault Tank, A39, Tortoise  was one of the largest armoured vehicles produced in Britain during the Second World War, and proved to be surprisingly reliable, but at the same time utterly impractical.

Shelled Area Infantry Tank A20

The Shelled Area Infantry Tank A20 was a heavy tank designed to operate in the muddy no-mans-land that might have developed between the Maginot and Siegfried Lines, but that was cancelled due to a combination of its own poor performance and the German blitzkrieg of 1940.

Monday, June 26, 2017

USS Ludlow (DD-112/ DM-10)

USS Ludlow (DD-112/ DM-10) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Atlantic Fleet in 1919-20 and the Pacific Fleet in 1921-29, after being converted into a light mine layer in 1920.

USS Ingraham (DD-111/ DM-9)

USS Ingraham (DD-111/ DM-9) was a Wickes class destroyer that carried out one cruise to Europe and then operated as a mine layer at Pearl Harbor in 1921-22.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Canaris - the Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster, Michael Mueller

A biography of one of the most intriguing and mysterious figures in the German hierarchy during the Second World War,  at the same time head of Hitler's military intelligence service and an early plotter against the Fuhrer, a man of uncertain loyalties and motives who had a distinguished naval career during the First World War, before getting drawn into the murky world of the far right in post-war Germany. Gives us a good idea of what Canaris actually did, but as the author admits, the why will probably remain a mystery
[read full review]

Warfare in Tenth-Century Germany, David S. Bachrach.

A look at warfare under Henry I and Otto I, two of the most successful of the medieval Kings of Germany, and argues convincingly that warfare during their reign was both more professional and carried out on a larger scale than many historians are willing to admit. Makes an excellent use of a wide range of sources to paint a picture of a sophisticated kingdom, capable of maintaining large armies, and carrying out operations across much of central and southern Europe, including a series of expeditions across the Alps.
[read full review]

Air Raids on South-West Essex in the Great War, Alan Simpson

 Looks at the impact of German air raids on the north-eastern suburbs of London, which at the time into south-west Essex, and on the rural approaches to the city. Despite the sub-title the book covers both the Zeppelin raids and the later aircraft raids. As well as looking at the raids themselves, the author also follows the British response, both on the ground and in the air, to provide a useful snapshot of the 'first blitz'.
[read full review]

Friday, June 23, 2017

Combat of Geiersberg (10 September 1813)

The combat of Geiersberg (10 September 1813) saw Napoleon get into a position from where he could attack the Prussian and Russian contingents of the Army of Bohemia, but then decide not to risk a descent into Bohemia.

Treaty of Teplitz (9 September 1813)

The treaty of Teplitz (9 September 1813) saw Austria formally join the Sixth Coalition, although she had been at war with France since mid-August, and had already fought and lost the major battle of Dresden.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Siege of Aesernia (90 BC)

The siege of Aesernia (90 BC) was a success for the Italian allies, and saw them capture the Latin colony of Aesernia after a lengthy siege (Italian Social War).

Battle near Grumentum (90 BC)

The battle near Grumentum (90 BC) was an setback suffered by the Romans in Lucania early in the Social War.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Battle of Medenine (6 March 1943)

The battle of Medenine (6 March 1943) was Rommel's last offensive in Africa, and was an unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the Eighth Army's preparations for their upcoming attack on the Mareth Line, the main Axis defensive position in southern Tunisia.

Operation Ochenskopf (Oxhead) (26 February-19 March 1943)

Operation Ochenskopf (Oxhead) (26 February-19 March 1943) was a minor German offensive in northern Tunisia, carried out at the expense of Rommel's more promising assault on the Kasserine Pass.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Boulton Paul P.123

The Boulton Paul P.123 was a design for a radio guided surface-to-surface missile, produced to fill a gap between the entry into service of the post-war 'V' bombers.

Boulton Paul P.122

The Boulton Paul P.122 was a design for a rocket powered interceptor, designed in response to Specification F.124T.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Infantry Tank, Valiant, A38

The Infantry Tank, Valiant, A38, was an improved version of the Valentine infantry tank, but by the time the prototypes were ready there was no longer any need to it, and work stopped in 1945.

Heavy Assault Tank A33 (Excelsior)

The Heavy Assault Tank A33 (Excelsior) was a design for a heavier version of the Cromwell A27M and was produced when the Churchill infantry tank appeared to be a failure.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

In the Name of Lykourgos – The Rise and Fall of the Spartan Revolutionary Movement 243-146BC, Miltiadis Michalopoulos.

Looks at the last desperate attempts to restore the power of Sparta, nearly a century and a half after her defeat at Leuctra was followed by a collapse of Spartan power. Three Spartan rulers, Agis IV, Cleomenes III and Nabis, made revolutionary attempts to increase the power of the Spartan army and to return Spartan society to a perceived golden age, but these efforts ended in military defeat, occupation and eventually permanent conquest by the Romans.
[read full review]

Menus, Munitions & Keeping the Peace – The Home Front Diaries of Gabrielle West, 1914-1917, ed. Avalon Weston.

The wartime diaries of Gabrielle West, following her as she worked in (and set up) various canteens scattered around military hospitals the vast wartime armaments industry, before a chance of career saw her become a paid wartime Woman Police Office, serving in munitions factories. Provides a fascinating view of the munitions industry, and a very different view of the Home Front to any other I've read
[read full review]

The Seleukid Empire of Antiochus III 223-187 BC, John D. Grainger

Looks at the life and achievements of Antiochus III, one of the most successful of the Seleukid Emperors, but now best remembered for his defeats at the hands of the Romans. During a long reign he regained control of most areas that had been claimed by his predecessors, defeated the Ptolomies, secured most of Asia Minor, but overstretched himself with an invasion of Thrace and his activities in mainland Greece, which helped trigger the clash with Rome.
[read full review]

Friday, June 16, 2017

USS Hart (DD-110/ DM-8)

USS Hart (DD-110/ DM-8) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated in the Far East during the 1920s.

USS Crane (DD-109)

USS Crane (DD-109) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that served with the Neutrality Patrol and off the US West Coast during the Second World War.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Combat of Dohna (8 September 1813)

The combat of Dohna (8 September 1813) was a minor French victory over the troops of Barclay de Tolly, then advancing up the left bank of the Elbe towards Dresden.

Combat of Dahme (7 September 1813)

The combat of Dahme (7 September 1813) saw Allied troops capture 3,200 French prisoners in the aftermath of the battle of Dennewitz.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Italian Social war (91-88 BC)

The Italian Social war (91-88 BC) was a conflict between Rome and her Italian allies, triggered by the refusal of the Romans to give their allies Roman citizenship, and with it a say in the government of the empire that the allies had helped create and defend. 

Battle of Kasserine Pass (19-22 February 1943)

The battle of Kasserine Pass (19-22 February 1943) was Rommel's final success in North Africa, and saw the inexperienced Americans suffer a heavy defeat at the hands of the Germans.

Operation Morgenluft (16-18 February 1943)

Operation Morgenluft (16-18 February 1943) was Rommel's contribution to a joint operation with von Arnim's Fifth Panzer Army, and saw his forces expel the Americans from Gafsa and then advance north to Kasserine.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Boulton Paul P.121

The Boulton Paul P.121 was a design for a supersonic fighter that was produced with fixed or variable sweep wings.

Boulton Paul P.120

The Boulton Paul P.120 was a modified version of the delta winged P.111, briefly used to test an all-moving horizontal tail, before being lost in a crash.

Friday, June 09, 2017

TOG II Heavy Tank

The TOG II Heavy Tank was the second design produced by a group of First World War tank experts in 1940-41, and was a more modern looking vehicle than the TOG I, carrying its main gun in a large turret.

TOG I Heavy Tank

The TOG I Heavy Tank was a design for a massive tank that was developed by a group of tank experts from the First World War. Despite several years of effort and tests on the sole prototype very little came of their efforts.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

USS Williams (DD-108)

USS Williams (DD-108) was a Wickes class destroyer that was completed too late for service in the First World War, but that saw extensive use as a convoy escort as HMCS St. Clair during the Second World War.

USS Hazelwood (DD-107)

USS Hazelwood (DD-107) was a Wickes class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean just after the First World War, off the US West Coast in the early 1920s, and as a training ship in the second half of the 1920s.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Battle of Dennewitz (6 September 1813)

The battle of Dennewitz (6 September 1813) was a French defeat that ended Napoleon's second attempt to take Berlin during the autumn campaign of 1813.

Combat of Zahna (5 September 1813)

The combat of Zahna (5 September 1813) was a French success during Marshal Ney's attempt to capture Berlin, but on the following day Ney suffered a defeat at Dennewitz and was forced to abandon the attempt.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017


Phalacus was the last leader of the Phocians during the Third Sacred War, and survived the defeat of Phocis, only to die during a siege on Crete.


Phayllus was the third leader of the Phocians during the Third Sacred War, succeeding his brother Onomarchus. After a fairly unsuccessful period in command he died of natural causes, and was succeeded by his nephew Phalacus.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

'Allies are a Tiresome Lot' - The British Army in Italy in the First World War, John Dillon.

 Looks at the experience of the British Italian Expeditionary Force, sent to support the Italian war effort in the aftermath of their defeat at Caporetto. Organised by theme, covering topics such as morale, discipline, relations with the Italians and how these all impacted on the two main British battles in Italy, one defensive battle and their participation in the battle of Vittorio Veneto. An interesting study of a less familiar part of the British war effort
[read full review]

1 Group Bomber Command - An Operational Record, Chris Ward with Greg Harrison and Grzegorz Korcz

Split into two halves – a narrative account of the Group's activities within Bomber Command and a reference section covering each squadron and its aircraft. The narrative takes us day-by-day through the Group's main raids, including losses and a look at the success or failure of the raids. A useful reference work, and also a sobering reminder of the scale of losses suffered by Bomber Command throughout the war.
[read full review]

The Vikings and their Enemies: Warfare in Northern Europe 750-1100, Philip Line.

Looks at who the Vikings were, how and why their fought and how they compared to their neighbours and victims. Does a good job of dealing with the limited sources, which were either written by the Viking's victims, or produced in Scandinavia centuries after the events they portray. Makes good use of contemporary accounts of warfare elsewhere in Europe, and the limited reliable sources for the Vikings, to produce a detailed picture of their military world
[read full review]

Friday, June 02, 2017

Supermarine Type 545

The Supermarine Type 545 was a design for a jet fighter to replace the Supermarine Swift.

Supermarine Swift

The Supermarine Swift was the first British swept wing jet to enter service, the first RAF aircraft to use power-operated ailerons and the first to be armed with guided missiles, it served for a fighter for about a year then became a low level reconnaissance aircraft

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Black Prince Infantry Tank (A43)

The Black Prince Infantry Tank (A43) was produced in an attempt to mount the 17-pounder anti-tank gun on a tank that used as many components from the Churchill as possible.


The Alecto was a self-propelled gun based on the chassis of the Light Tank Mk VIII 'Harry Hopkins'.