Sunday, December 08, 2019

US Army Green Beret in Afghanistan 2001-02, Leigh Neville

A look at the crucial role of the Green Berets in the fall of the Taliban in 2001-2 and the attempts to capture high value targets in the aftermath of the initial campaign. Provides a good overview of the Green Berets, and takes an unusual approach to the main campaign, following the exploits of a fictional Green Beret team during the initial campaign that led to the fall of the Taliban, before focusing on real events later in the war
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Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: A War for England - The Battle of Lincoln, 1217

Mainly focuses on the First Baron’s War, which began as a revolt against King John but later turned into a clash between Prince Louis of France and his supporters on one side and the supporters of John’s young son Henry III on the other. Includes articles on two key sieges – Rochester and Dover, and the battle of Lincoln, one of the decisive land battles of the campaign
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Medieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 3: The Battle of Vlaardingen - Frisian ‘pirates’ vs the Ottonians

Focuses on one of the rare occasions in which a mainstream feudal army was defeated by unrated foes, taking place in the same Low Countries setting as many of the more famous examples. Looks at the full context of the battle, including the rise of the Ottonians, the nature of the Frisian troops who defeated the Royal troops and the battle itself. An interesting examination of a little known battle that played a major role in the history of the Low Countries
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Thursday, December 05, 2019

Interstate O-63/ L-6 Grasshopper

The Interstate O-63/ L-6 Grasshopper was a potentially promising light liaison aircraft that failed to live up to expectations, and was produced in significantly smaller numbers than the similar Taylorcraft L-2, Aeronca L-3 or Piper L-4.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255)

USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as a seaplane tender in 1940-42, with the Bogue’s hunter killer group in 1943, sinking U-172, and as a fast transport in the Mediterranean and Pacific in 1944-45.

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

HMS Wear (1905)

HMS Wear (1905) was a River class destroyer that served with the Ninth Flotilla on the Tyne in 1914, at the Dardanelles in 1915 where she supported both the naval and land phases of the battle, then remained in the Mediterranean as part of the Fifth Destroyer Flotilla for the rest of the war.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Stinson O-54

The Stinson O-54 was the designation given to six Stinson Voyagers ordered for evaluation by the USAAC. More aircraft were ordered during the Second World War, and others taken over from civilian owners, becoming the L-9, and the basic design became the basis of the very successful Stinson L-5 Sentinel.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

The Irish Brigade 1670-1745 – The Wild Geese in French Service, D P Graham

An excellent history of the Irish troops who went on to form the Wild Geese, the exiled Irish forces fighting for the French. At its best when looking at the Williamite War in Ireland in 1678-81 when the Irish troops were fighting directly for James II after he had been expelled from England, and on the period before that, when Irish troops served the French and Spanish because the Test Acts prevented most Catholics from joining the British forces
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Runways to Freedom - The Special Duties Squadrons of RAF Tempsford, Robert Body

A splendid history of Nos.138 and 161 Squadrons, the Special Duties squadrons that carried agents in and out of occupied Europe, dropped supplies and generally supported the work of the resistance movements. Highly secret during the war, their records were declassified fairly quickly, but this is a rare full length study of the two squadrons, and is well overdue! Not quite a day-by-day history, but not far off, with coverage of just about every lost aircraft as well as many successful missions
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The True Chronicles of Jean le Bel, 1290-1360, trans. Nigel Bryant

The first English translation of the True Chronicles of Jean le Bel, one of the most important primary sources for the reign of Edward III and the early part of the Hundred Years War, written at the time by someone who actually participated in Edward’s early campaigns in Scotland, and who talked to participants in the events that he described. A remarkable and surprisingly readable source that gives us a rare insight into how the participants in these events saw them
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Thursday, November 28, 2019

USS Rodgers (DD-254)/ HMS Sherwood

USS Rodgers (DD-254)/ HMS Sherwood was a Clemson class destroyer that was transferred to the Royal Navy as part of the destroyers for bases deal. In British service she took part in the search for the survivors from the AMC Jervis Bay and the hunt for the Bismarck, but was mainly used on convoy escort duties.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

HMS Ure (1904)

HMS Ure (1904) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1915-16 when she helped sink U-8, the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla then the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber in 1917 and the First Destroyer Flotilla at Portsmouth in 1918.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Curtiss O-52 Owl

The Curtiss O-52 Owl was a large, advanced two-man observation aircraft that had been made obsolete by the nature of the fighting in the Low Countries and France in 1940, and mainly saw use as a trainer.

Monday, November 25, 2019

USS McCalla (DD-253)/ HMS Stanley

USS McCalla (DD-253)/ HMS Stanley was a Clemson class destroyer that went to Britain in 1940 and served on escort duties in the Atlantic during 1941 before being sunk by U-574 on 19 December 1941.

Friday, November 22, 2019

HMS Swale (1905)

HMS Swale (1905) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, at Portsmouth in 1915-1917, escorting troop ships across the Channel, the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1917-1918 before moving back to Portsmouth for most of 1918.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

USS McCook (DD-252)/ HMCS St. Croix

USS McCook (DD-252)/ HMCS St. Croix was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Royal Canadian Navy in the Atlantic and sank U-90 and helped sink U-89 before being sunk herself by U-305.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

HMS Dee (1903)

HMS Dee (1903) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, the North Channel Patrol in 1915, at Liverpool in 1915-17, and with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1917-18, escorting convoys in the North Sea.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bellanca O-50

The Bellanca O-50 was an observation aircraft developed alongside the Stinson O-49/ L-1 Vigilant, but that only ever reached the prototype stage.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Ancient Warfare Vol XII, Issue 1: Army for an Empire - Augustus’s new model military

Focuses on the army used by Augustus during his rise to power and the reforms he put in place after the end of the civil war. Takes an unusual approach, built around a single long article on the main theme supported by small inserts to produce a useful study of the first Roman Imperial army. Supported by a series of articles on other Greek and Roman topics
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Medieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 2: The English Invasion of Wales - The fall of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd

Focuses on Edward I’s conquest of Wales and the fall of Llywelyn the Last, the last generally recognised independent native prince of Wales, with articles on the career of Edward I, Llywelyn’s slippery brother David, the war itself and Edward’s famous castles. Elsewhere ranges from Anglo-Saxon riddles to Korean peasant resistance to the Japanese during the Imjin War!
 [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 3 Roman against Roman, Caesar and Pompey in the Balkans

Focuses on the key campaign in the fall of the Roman Republic, where an outnumbered Caesar came back from an early defeat to overcome Pompey and the main defenders of the Republic, removing the main opposition to his personal rule. Also looks at the sources for Legionary cavalry, the difficult art of the ambush and the presence of the cataphract in north-western Europe
[see more]

Thursday, November 14, 2019

USS Belknap (DD-251/ AVD-8/ APD-34)

USS Belknap (DD-251/ AVD-8/ APD-34) was a Clemson class destroyer that serving as a seaplane tender in 1940-42, with hunter-killer anti-submarine groups in 1942-43 and as a high speed transport in 1944-45, where she was badly damaged by a kamikaze attack.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

HMS Cherwell (1903)

HMS Cherwell (1903) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, at Portsmouth in 1915-17 and the second half of 1918 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber early in 1918.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

North American O-47

The North American O-47 was designed as a corps and division observation aircraft, but ended up serving as a trainer and target tug during the Second World War.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Churchill's Last Wartime Secret – the 1943 German Raid Airbrushed from History, Adrian Searle

Although I’m not convinced by the author’s case for a German raid on the Isle of Wight, his historical methods are sound, and he prevents the evidence for and against the story, and includes a detailed examination and debunking of similar stories from elsewhere around the coast. The idea of a raid on a radar base in 1943 is at best unproven, but the case is presented fairly, with much more balance than is often the case in this sort of book
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Modern Snipers, Leigh Neville

Looks at the uses of the sniper in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, against the insurgencies that followed, and on domestic anti-terrorism and police duties. An interesting look at the surprising variety of roles carried out by modern snipers, from the obvious elimination of high value targets or military threats to long term reconnaissance duties. Also reveals just how many different organisations currently field snipers, from the world’s many Special Forces units to domestic police forces
(Read Full Review)

The White Chariot, Richard Denning

Book Four in a series set amongst the warring kingdoms of early seventh century Britain. Follows two half brothers from Northumbria as they try to gain allies for the opposing sides in the ongoing dynastic struggles between the two Northumbrian sub-kingdoms of Deira and Bernicia, with each of the brothers largely engaged in their own plot. An entertaining tale, set amongst the crumbling remains of Roman Britain and the warring kingdoms that replaced it
 (Read Full Review)

Thursday, November 07, 2019

HMS Exe (1903)

HMS Exe (1903) was a River class destroyer that served with the Grand Fleet in 1914, the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla in 1915-17 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Martin YO-45

The Martin YO-45 was a temporary designation given to a Martin YB-10 while it was being evaluated as a high speed reconnaissance aircraft.

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

USS Hopkins (DD-249/ DMS-13)

USS Hopkins (DD-249/ DMS-13) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in the invasion of Guadalcanal, the Solomon Islands campaign, the invasions of Saipan, Guam, the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Monday, November 04, 2019

HMS Ettrick (1903)

HMS Ettrick (1903) was a River class destroyer that began the war with the Ninth Destroyer Flotilla based on the Tyne, but soon moved south to join the Portsmouth Escort Flotilla, where she helped protect troop ships crossing the channel. In July 1917 she was hit by a torpedo, losing her bows. She many not have been fully repaired, but from December 1917 she was listed as an active warship in the Navy List, serving on the Humber and at Portsmouth

Sunday, November 03, 2019

Objective Saint-Lo, 7 June 1944-18 July 1944, Georges Bernage

Looks at the brutal battles in the bocage country as the Americans attempted to reach Saint-Lo, a key road junction and the starting point for the planned breakout from Normandy. A very detailed account of the fighting seen from both sides, giving us a good idea of what it was like to take part in this hard fought battle, following the experiences of one particular German unit and two American officers in great detail (perhaps at the cost of the overall picture)
(Read Full Review)

Hitler's Last Levy in East Prussia, Bruno Just

A difficult combination of a useful war diary and a troublesome introduction. The diary covers the struggles of a Volkssturm unit fighting in East Prussia, and rings true, but the introduction is appalling biased, distorting the nature of the war, exaggerating Soviet war crimes and ignoring the far worse German crimes. Worthwhile for Just’s account of the last few months of the war and the heavy cost paid by the Volkssturm for Hitler’s determination to fight to the last man, and his harsh criticism of the Nazi party and its leadership
(Read Full Review)

The Regiment - 15 Years in the SAS, Rusty Firmin

A likeable, if rather sweary, autobiography of a member of the SAS who took part in the Iranian Embassy Siege, the Falklands War and several tours of Northern Ireland. The first half of the book covers the author’s transformation from very reluctant recruit to an enthusiastic gunner, then into the Commandos then finally the SAS, the second half his time in the SAS itself, ending with his views on the First Gulf War. Provides a valuable view of life in the SAS in the period that saw it rise to prominence after the Embassy Siege
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Fokker O-27

The Fokker O-27 was a two engine observation that was produced in small numbers and saw front line service with the USAAC in the early 1930s.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

USS Barry (DD-248/ APD-29)

USS Barry (DD-248/ APD-29) was a Clemson class destroyer that served on escort duties early in the Second World War, with a hunter-killer anti-submarine group in 1943 and then as a fast transport, taking part in the invasion of the South of France and Okinawa, where she was so badly damaged by a kamikaze attack that she wasn’t worth repairing.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

HMS Erne (1903)

HMS Erne (1903) was a River class destroyer that was under the direct command of the C-in-C of the Grand Fleet early in the First World War, before being lost when she ran aground near Rattray Head on 6 February 1915

Monday, October 28, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-41

The Thomas-Morse O-41 was a version of the successful O-19 observation aircraft that was given sesquiplane wings and a Curtiss Conqueror engine, but failed in two attempts to win a USAAC contract, and was eventually sold to Republican Spain, although probably got no further than Mexico.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Hannibal’s Road, The Second Punic War in Italy, 213-203 BC, Mike Roberts

A history of the last ten years of Hannibal’s campaign in Italy, after the most famous victories had already been won, and he had won over large areas of southern Italy. Suffers somewhat from the author’s pro-Hannibal bias, which sees him discount any reports of Roman victories while believing every tale of Punic success, but is otherwise a useful account of an often neglected period in which Hannibal was still able to win battlefield victories, but was unable to defend his new allies, slowly being pushed back into the far south before eventually having to return to Africa
(Read Full Review)

A Tough Nut to Crack: Andersonstown, Steve Corbett

The story of a successful deployment of troops from an artillery battery in one of the most violent areas of Northern Ireland at the height of the troubles. A clear demonstration of the correct way to run a peacekeeping operation in difficult circumstances, a tour in which despite the best efforts of the IRA none of the soldiers were killed, and in which they managed to massively disrupt IRA operations in the Andersonstown area of Belfast. Covers the Bloody Sunday period, so we get to see the impact of that incident in Andersonstown
(Read Full Review)

The British Navy in the Mediterranean, John D. Grainger

A nice approach to a key aspect of British military history, looking at the rise and fall of British naval power in the Mediterranean, from the earliest appearance of British warships protecting merchant ships in the sixteenth century, through the intermittent presence of British fleets in the sea during the long sequence of wars with France and Spain and on to the almost century and a half of dominance that began late in the Napoleonic Wars and lasted well into the Second World War. A fascinating examination of one of the key elements of Britain’s naval power
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

USS Goff (DD-247)

USS Goff (DD-247) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on escort duties in the Caribbean and Atlantic, apart from spell in 1943 when she was part of the successful submarine hunting group built around the carrier USS Card.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

River Class Destroyers (E class)

The River Class Destroyers (E class) saw a significant change in the design of British destroyers, with a greater emphasis on seaworthiness and robustness at the cost of a reduction in the theoretical top speed.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-23

The Thomas-Morse O-23 was a version of the successful O-19 observation aircraft that was powered by a Curtiss Conqueror engine, making it the first member of the O-19 family to be powered by an inline engine since the original O-6 prototypes.

Monday, October 21, 2019

USS Bainbridge (DD-246)

USS Bainbridge (DD-246) was a Clemson class destroyer that escorted convoys to Iceland in 1941, served on escort duty along the US coast in 1942, trans-Atlantic convoys and one spell with a hunter-killer group in 1943 and helped training up new warships in 1944-45.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Somme 1916 Battlefield Companion, Commonwealth War Graves Commission

A guide to the battle of the Somme built around a series of battlefield trails that visit the many Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries on the battlefield. An effective approach to this familiar topic, linking the cemeteries to the battles fought in their vicinity and attempting to explain where the men buried in each one were killed. Well designed for use as a guide, ring bound with oversized covers fold out covers useable as bookmarks, as well as keeping rain off the book. The tours themselves are largely road based, with visits the key cemeteries
(Read Full Review)

Bayly’s War - The Battle for the Western Approaches in the First World War, Steve R. Dunn

A fascinating history of the first battle of the Atlantic in the Western Approaches, the waters around Ireland, looking at the overall course of the battle, the role of Admiral Bayly, commander-in-chief on the Irish station, and the impact of the American arrival in Ireland. Paints a picture of a very different battle to the more familiar one from the Second World War, with the key difference being the lack of any way to detect a submerged U-boat, leading to very heavy shipping losses. Also includes interesting material on the problems caused by Irish nationalism, peaking with the Easter uprising, but also causing more low key problems for most of the war
(Read Full Review)

Eagles over the Sea 1936-42, A History of Luftwaffe Maritime Operations, Lawrence Paterson

Looks at the origins of German naval air power during the First World War, its revival in the 1930s, the first combat tests of the Spanish Civil War and its role in the key battles during the first half of the Second World War, a period that included the battle of Norway, the battle of Britain, the forced German intervention in the Mediterranean, the battle of the Atlantic, the Arctic convoys and the period of most German success on the Eastern Front, all campaigns that involved naval aviation in some way
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

HMS Taku (1898)

HMS Taku (1898) was originally built in Germany for China, where it entered service as the Hai Nju, but she was captured by the British in 1900 and taken into the Royal Navy.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-33

The Thomas-Morse O-33 was a version of the successful O-19 observation aircraft that was powered by a Curtiss Conqueror engine and given a revised tail.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

USS Reuben James (DD-245)

USS Reuben James (DD-245) was a Clemson class destroyer that became famous as the first US warship to be sunk by enemy action during the Second World War, several weeks before the official US entry into the war.

Monday, October 14, 2019

HMS Stag (1899)

HMS Stag (1899) was a D class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth, the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla during the First World War.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

British Cruiser Warfare – The Lessons of the Early War, 1939-1941, Alan Raven

A very detailed study of the first two years of cruiser warfare, looking at how the Royal Navy operated against its German and Italian enemies. A detailed chronological account of the fighting is followed by a series of invaluable studies of particular topics, providing an impressive level of detail of issues from anti-aircraft tactics and damage control to life onboard ship. Also includes a useful section on the impact of code breaking on both sides, and some excellent plans of key British cruisers

(Read Full Review)

The Normandy Battlefields - Bocage and Breakout, From the Beaches to the Falaise Gap, Simon Forty, Leo Marriott & George Forty

A good visual guide to the fighting in Normandy, combining a good narrative of the battle, with an impressive selection of photographs, including a series showing the locations of key battles as they were in 1944 and how they are now, supported by a good introduction to the campaign and a series of studies of key aspects of the battle, from Allied air power to the Tiger tank. A good combination of well written history and illustrations
(Read Full Review)

Courage After the Battle – Peter Jackson-Lee

A thought provoking look at the long term impact of combat on military veterans, how they cope, and the various systems in place in help. Written by an ex-Royal Marine and Falklands veteran, and covers an impressively wide range of subjects, from the basics of evacuation to the treatments of the many wounds suffered, to the non-physical problems suffered by many veterans. Each section includes a historical survey, looking at how things have changed over the last century or so. A book that will be of great value for anyone trying to understand the long term impact of combat on Britain’s veterans, both civilian and veteran
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-21

The Thomas-Morse O-21 was a version of the successful Thomas Morse O-19 observation aircraft that was powered by a Curtiss Chieftain engine then by a Wright Cyclone.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

USS Williamson (DD-244/ AVP-15/ AVD-2)

USS Williamson (DD-244/ AVP-15/ AVD-2) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as seaplane tender in the Aleutians, and was then used to refuel spotter aircraft to support the battleships and cruisers during the later stages of the island hopping campaign.

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

HMS Cynthia (1898)

HMS Cynthia (1898) was a D class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-20

The Thomas-Morse O-20 was a version of the successful O-19 observation aircraft that was powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Book of Five Rings and Other Works, Miyamoto Musashi

Not what I’d expected – often portrayed as more of a philosophical guide to the life of the Samurai, it actually comes across as an advert for the author’s dojo, describing the benefits of his fighting style and attacking the flaws of his rival’s styles and schools. Also includes a good biography of Musashi and the context of his life, and five other works that are also attributed to him, giving us a good single volume edition of his entire works
(Read Full Review)

Escaping Hitler - A Jewish Boy's Quest for Freedom and his Future, Phyllida Scrivens

The fascinating story of Gunter Stern, a Jewish boy from the rural Rhineland to came to Britain on one of the ‘kindertransports’, where he became Joe Stirling, served in the Army and later became a Labour Politian, and a very successful businessman, Sheriff of Norwich and charity fundraiser with the Lions Clubs. You’ll struggle to find a better case for the benefits of immigration!
(Read Full Review)

How Churchill Waged War - The Most Challenging Decisions of the Second World War, Allen Packwood

Looks at how Churchill operated as a war leader, the reasons behind many of his key decisions, the limits on his power and how he dealt with, and his changing level of influence as the war developed. Finishes with a look at his disasterous 1945 election campaign. Looks at his methods of working, and how he interacted with his military and political colleagues and international Allies to make the key decisions
(Read Full Review)

Friday, October 04, 2019

Panzergrenadier-Division Kurmark

History of Panzergrenadier-Division Kurmark, also known as Panzer Division Kurmark, and formed on 30 January 1945 on the Eastern Front

Thursday, October 03, 2019

USS Sands (DD-243/ APD-13)

USS Sands (DD-243/ APD-13) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in the early fighting in the Aleutians, supporting the fighting in the Solomons and on New Guinea, the invasion of the Palau Islands, Leyte, Lingayen Gulf, Iwo Jima and Okinawa

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

HMS Cygnet (1898)

HMS Cygnet (1898) was a D class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean early in her career and with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Thomas-Morse O-19

The Thomas-Morse O-19 was a two-man observation biplane loosely based on the Douglas O-2, but with an all metal structure. 171 production aircraft were ordered, and it became one of the standard US observation types at the start of the 1930s.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Antipater’s Dynasty – Alexander the Great’s Regent and his Successors, John D Grainger

A useful study of the short-lived dynasty founded by Antipater, Alexander the Great’s deputy in Macedonia during his great campaign, and continued by his son Cassander, who overthrew Alexander’s dynasty and declared himself to be king of Macedonia. A good choice of topic, filling a gap in the history of the period, and demonstrating just how significant this pair of father and son were in the creation and then the destruction of Alexander’s empire
(Read Full Review)

Lincoln's Bold Lion: The Life and Times of Brigadier General Martin Davis Hardin, James T. Huffstodt

A biography of a relatively minor Union general, with a unusually close relationship with President Lincoln, a friend and political colleague of his father. Not a terribly high ranking man, but one who was present at many of the major battles in the eastern theatre, and played a crucial role in the defence of Washington against Early’s raid and in the hunt for Lincoln’s assassins. Includes more material on his pre- and post- war lives than is often the case, which gives us a better view of the man and his times
(Read Full Review)

The Pope’s Army – The Papacy in Diplomacy and War, John Carr

A military and political history of the Papacy, from the earliest years under Roman rule, through the long period where the Pope was also the temporal ruler of the Papal States, through the unification of Italy and on to the present day. An entertaining dash through the almost two thousand long life of one of the oldest institutions in the world
(Read Full Review)

Friday, September 27, 2019

Führer-Grenadier Division

History of the short-lived Führer-Grenadier Division, created as a battalion in April 1943 as the Führer Grenadier Battalion when the Führer Begleit Battalion was split into two.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

USS King (DD-242)

USS King (DD-242) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in the fighting in the Aleutians in 1942-43 then served off the US West Coast for the rest of the war.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

HMS Coquette (1897)

HMS Coquette (1897) was a D class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla, before being sunk by a German mine on 7 March 1916

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thomas Morse O-6

The Thomas Morse O-6 was an all-metal version of the Douglas O-2, one of the main American observation aircraft of the mid 1920s.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

In Action with the Destroyers 1939-1945 - The Wartime memoirs of Commander J A J Dennis DSC RN, ed. Anthony Cumming

 A very engaging autobiography, covering the author’s wartime experiences in destroyers, and in particular his time on the Griffin, a modern destroyer, but with limited AA capability. Dennis’s wartime career included the Malta convoys, the Arctic convoys, anti-invasion duties in 1940, the D-Day landings of 1944, a brief foray into the Indian Ocean at the height of the threat from Japan, the evacuation from Crete and an impressively wide range of other battles and theatres
(Read Full Review)

British Naval Weapons of World War Two – The John Lambert Collection Vol II: Escort and Minesweeper Weapons, ed. Norman Friedman

Starts with a lengthy historical introduction looking at the development of the massive escort and minesweeping fleets and the weapons they used, written by the renowned Norman Friedman, before moving on to the incredibly detailed plans, which cover everything from full plans of the ships themselves to the tiniest details of their weapons, all supported by detailed annotations. Very useful for anyone looking to model these ships or attempting to identify particular weapons
(Read Full Review)

The Samurai, Stephen Turnbull

A good introduction to the history and culture of the Samurai, written by a renowned expert on the topic. Covers an impressively wide range of topics, including the overall history of the Samurai, their arms and armour, their attitude to death, the part they played in warfare, the impressive Samurai castles and the final end of the Samurai era after the Meiji Restoration (although their role as warriors had ended centuries earlier).
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, September 19, 2019

USS Childs (DD-241/ AVP-14/ AVD-1)

USS Childs (DD-241/ AVP-14/ AVD-1) was a Clemson class destroyer that survived the initial Japanese onslaught in the Pacific, and served as an aircraft tender in Australian waters for most of the rest of the war.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

D Class Destroyer

D Class Destroyer was the designation given to all of the early generation of 30 knotter destroyers with two funnels in 1912, and contained the Thornycroft built ships.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Stinson O-62/ L-5 Sentinel

The Stinson O-62/ L-5 Sentinel was a larger and more capable liaison aircraft, which operated alongside the L-2/ L-3 and L-4 Grasshoppers, although needed more complex support than the lighter aircraft.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Kleinkrieg - The German Experience with Guerrilla Warfare, from Clausewitz to Hitler, Charles D. Melson

An examination of the German attitude to Guerrilla Warfare during the Second World War, centred on a reprint of two original documents – Kleinkrieg of 1935 and the wartime ‘Fighting the Guerrilla Bands’ of 1944. Both give an insight into the German techniques of anti-guerrilla warfare, the first giving some idea of the pre-war attitudes, the second the practical methods used
(Read Full Review)

Building the Gort Line – The BEF and its Defences in France 1939-40, Dave Thurlow

Looks at the fortifications built by the BEF in France in 1939-40, a set of fortifications that are often overlooked as they were abandoned at the start of the German campaign of 1940 and only briefly used during the retreat to Dunkirk, but that occupied much of the attention of the British army. Also looks at how the BEF’s work in France influenced the anti-invasion defences built in Britain after Dunkirk. An impressive amount of work went into these fortifications, but the events of 1940 proved that a thin crust was of no use against a powerful armoured assault
(Read Full Review)

Blake, Victoria, Far Away

Three overlapping stories – the experiences of two POWs in Italy, the stories they chose to write in captivity and the long term impact of the war on their descendents. The first is based on the author’s father’s experiences, the third presumably at least in part by the author’s own life and looks at the long term impact of the war on the POW’s relatives.  An engaging read that drew me in, with three stories that link together convincingly
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, September 12, 2019

USS Sturtevant (DD-240)

USS Sturtevant (DD-240) was a Clemson class destroyer that served on escort duties in the Atlantic after the US entry in the Second World War, before being sunk by a mine on 26 April 1942.

USS Sturtevant (DD-240)

USS Sturtevant (DD-240) was a Clemson class destroyer that served on escort duties in the Atlantic after the US entry in the Second World War, before being sunk by a mine on 26 April 1942.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

HMS Angler (1897)

HMS Angler (1897) was a D class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in the pre-war period and with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Piper O-59/ L-4 Grasshopper

The Piper O-59/ L-4 Grasshopper was the most successful of three models of commercial light aircraft that served as liaison and artillery spotter aircraft for the USAAF, filling a gap left by the slow development of the Stinson O-49/L-1 Vigilant

Sunday, September 08, 2019

The Dawn of the Carrier Strike and the World of Lieutenant W P Lucy DSO RN, David Hobbs

Looks at the development of British naval aviation between the wars, the damage done by the policy of dual control, the Navy’s battles to regain control of its own aircraft, and the first proper carrier campaign in history, the Norwegian campaign of 1940, where almost all of the types of carrier operations carried out later in the war were first attempted, although admittedly on a small scale. Shows how the Navy coped with the problems of dual control, and how quickly it learnt lessons during the Norwegian campaign
(Read Full Review)

Destroyer at War – The fighting life and loss of HMS Havock from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean 1939-1941, David Goodey and Richard Osborne

HMS Havock was one of the most active British destroyers of the Second World War, taking part in the Norwegian campaign, the fall of Holland, the battle of Matapan, the evacuation from Greece and Crete, the campaign in North Africa and the efforts to keep Tobruk and Malta supplied, before eventually being lost after running aground while attempting to escape from Malta
(Read Full Review)

Armies of the Greek-Turkish War 1919-22, Philip S. Jowett

Combines a look at the very varied armies of this war with a history of the war itself, which is now largely forgotten, despite involving sizable armies on both sides and ending with one of the first examples of large scale ethnic cleansing. Covers a wide range of troops, from the regular Greek and Nationalist armies to the varied irregular forces that fought on both sides, and in particular on the Turkish side
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, September 05, 2019

USS Overton (DD-239/ APD-23)

USS Overton (DD-239/ APD-23) was a Clemson class destroyer that served on escort duties in the Atlantic in 1942 and on the route to North Africa early in 1943 before being converted into a fast transport and taking part in the invasion of the Marshal Islands, Saipan, Taipan, the Philippines and Okinawa

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

HMS Mallard (1896)

HMS Mallard (1896) was a D class destroyer that spent much of the pre-war period in the Mediterranean, then served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth, the Scapa Local Defence Flotilla and finally with the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla during the First World War.

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Aeronca O-58/ L-3 Grasshopper

The Aeronca O-58/ L-3 Grasshopper was one of three models of commercial light aircraft that served as liaison and artillery spotter aircraft for the USAAF, filling a gap left by the slow development of the Stinson O-49/L-1 Vigilant

Monday, September 02, 2019

Panzer Lehr Division

A history of the Panzer Lehr Division, which fought in most of the battles from Normandy to the fall of Germany

Sunday, September 01, 2019

US Navy Battleships 1886-98 – The pre-dreadnoughts and monitors that fought the Spanish-American War, Brian Lane Herder

Looks at the first capital ships constructed for the ‘New Navy’, marking the rebirth of American naval power after the navy had been run down in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Built in response to a scare triggered by the purchase of modern warships by the major powers of North America, these ships won the naval battles of the Spanish-American War, a key step in the development of American imperialism and the rise of US naval power
(Read Full Review)

The Long Shadow of Waterloo – Myths, Memories and Debates, Timothy Fitzpatrick

An unusual approach to the battle of Waterloo, looking at the way in which the battle was remembered in the countries most closely involved, including the victors, where the main battle was over who had been responsible for the victory, in France, where the blame game began almost as soon as the fighting was over, and in Belgium, where the battle remained controversial for many years afterwards
(Read Full Review)

All Things Georgian – Tales from the Long Eighteenth Century, Joanne Major and Sarah Murden

An entertaining collection of stories from the long Georgian era, mainly focusing on the stories of interesting women, ranging from high ranking aristocrats to infamous fraudsters, with many involving brief bursts of fame or notoriety, often ending with a return to poverty. Lacking in any military releveance, but it does give a good idea of what life was life in Britain during a period of near constant warfare, and some idea of the often riotous nature of Georgian society
 (Read Full Review)

Thursday, August 29, 2019

USS James K Paulding (DD-238)

USS James K Paulding (DD-238) was a Clemson class destroyer that had a short career, mainly serving in US home waters during the 1920s, before being decommissioned on 31 October 1930.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

HMS Fame (1896)

HMS Fame (1896) was a D class destroyer that spent almost her entire career on the China station, from 1897 to 1921 when she was broken up.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Taylorcraft O-57/ L-2 Grasshopper

The Taylorcraft O-57/ L-2 Grasshopper was one of three models of commercial light aircraft that served as liaison and artillery spotter aircraft for the USAAF, filling a gap left by the slow development of the Stinson O-49/L-1 Vigilant

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

USS McFarland (DD-237/ AVD-14)

USS McFarland (DD-237/ AVD-14) was a Clemson class destroyer that was converted into an aircraft tender, taking part in the fighting at Guadalcanal where she was damaged by Japanese bombing.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

HMS Desperate (1896)

HMS Desperate (1896) was a D class destroyer that spent the entire First World War with the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Stinson O-49/ L1 Vigilant

The Stinson O-49/ L1 Vigilant was the first slow flying liaison aircraft to be ordered by the USAAC, but turned out to be too large and too expensive for the role, which was eventually carried out by a variety of military versions of civilian light aircraft

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Last British Battleship – HMS Vanguard 1946-1960, R A Burt

Looks at the long development and brief service career of the last British battleship (and the last battleship launched anywhere in the world), designed early in the Second World War but not completed until after the war had made battleships effectively obsolete. This book completed Burt’s study of the British battleship, filling the one gap left in his work. The lack of any really service record for the ship means that this is effectively a large design study, but an interesting one
(Read Full Review)

Malta Strikes Back - The Role of Malta in the Mediterranean Theatre 1940-1942, Ken Delve

Looks at the wider role of Malta during the defensive period of the war in the Mediterranean, a period normally dominated by accounts of the siege and the constant air attacks. Here we also get the offensive role of the island, the function that made Malta so valuable to the British cause. The focus is on the air war – this is part two of a three part history of the air war in the Mediterranean – so we learn about the medium bombers and torpedo bombers based on the island, sometimes operating in the middle of some of the heaviest enemy bombing
(Read Full Review)

To War with the 4th, Martin King, Michael Collins and Jason Nulton

A history of the US 4th Infantry Division, focusing on the First and Second World Wars, where the division fought in some of the most important American battles in Europe, with material on the Vietnam War and War on Terror. A good split between a clear narrative of the fighting and eyewitness accounts that gives both a clear history of the division’s role in the fighting, and a good feel for the nature of the battles
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, August 15, 2019

USS Humphreys (DD-236)

USS Humphreys (DD-236) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in the campaign in the Aleutains, New Guinea, New Britain, the Admiralty Islands, the return to the Philippines and Okinawa.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

HMS Velox (1902)

HMS Velox (1902) was the Navy’s third turbine destroyer, and although her turbines were a success she wasn’t terribly sea-worthy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

USS Kane (DD-235/ APD-18)

USS Kane (DD-235/ APD-18) was a Clemson class destroyer that took part in US reconquest of the western Aleutians, and the invasions of New Guinea, the Admiraly Islands, Saipan, Guam, Leyte and Okinawa

Monday, August 12, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190S

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190S was the designation given to a small number of dedicated two-man trainers produced to help convert pilots from two-seat bombers to the single seater Fw 190.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Confederate Artillery Organizations: An Alphabetical Listing of the Officers and Batteries of the Confederacy 1861-1865, F. Ray Sibley Jr

A very specialised book, giving an alphabetical listing of all known artillery units to serve in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War, with a list of their commanding officers, and brief notes about most of them, mainly in the footnotes. If you need this information this book with be invaluable
(Read Full Review)

Fight Like the Devil - The First Day at Gettysburg, July 1, 1863, Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, Daniel T. Davis

A detailed examination of the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, looking at how the battle developed on both sides, the many myths and debates of the first day, the role of the key officers on both sides, and the eventual result of the fighting. This was an encounter battle, with both sides pouring troops into the fight as the day went on, with limited interventions by Lee or Meade, so the emphasis is on the role of key commanders at a lower level, and the results of their efforts
(Read Full Review)

Dawn of Victory - Breakthrough at Petersburg, March 25-April 2, 1865, Edward Alexander

A look at the final week of the long sieges of Richmond and Petersburg, between Lee’s failed assault on Fort Stedman on 25 March and the evacuation of Richmond on 2 April. Although the retreat to Appomattox is more famous, it was these battles that really sealed the fate of Lee’s army, preventing him from making the clean break he needed if he had any chance of escaping into the south. This is a good clear account of that crucial last week
(Read Full Review)

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

HMS Albatross (1898)

HMS Albatross (1898) was a C class destroyer that was originally ordered as a 33-knot special, but that failed to achieve her target speed in normal service. During the First World War she served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914-1918 and the Lowestoft Local Flotilla in 1918.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

USS Fox (DD-234)

USS Fox (DD-234) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in Alaskan waters for most of the Second World War, mainly on escort and patrol duties.

Monday, July 29, 2019

York’s Military Legacy, Ian D. Rotherham

A look at the military history of a city that was for many years the most important in the north, effectively the northern capital of England for much of the medieval period, as well as sitting on a river that made it accessible from the sea, and on one of the two key routes between England and Scotland. Focuses on events that took place in and around the city, so we get plenty on 1066 or the English Civil War, but relatively little on the World Wars
(Read Full Review)

The Defence of Sevastopol 1941-1942 - The Soviet Perspective, Clayton Donnell

A look at the prolonged siege of Sevastopol, which saw the Soviet garrison pin down an increasingly sizable German force at a key point during their invasion of the Soviet Union, only finally falling in July 1942, after the start of the main German offensive of the year. A detailed study of the impressive Soviet defence of a city that had not really been prepared to be attacked from the land, but that sucked in a large German army and kept Manstein, one of Hitler’s most able generals, tied up in a side theatre at a key point in the war
(Read Full Review)

Lutzen and Bautzen - Napoleon's Spring Campaign of 1813, George Hafziger

A very detailed account of the spring campaign of 1813, starting at the end of the retreat from Moscow, tracing the creation of a fresh French army, Napoleon’s victories at Lutzen and Bautzen, and his inability to turn either of them into a war winner. This was Napoleon’s last realistic chance of saving his Empire, and thus a more significant campaign than is often acknowledged. Once the campaign ended in an armistice and Austrian joined the war against him, Napoleon’s last real chance of surviving had gone, so this campaign and its two main battles deserve this detailed examination
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190G

The Focke Wulf Fw 190G was a long range fighter bomber, based on the Fw 190A and originally produced with dedicated racks for fuel drop tanks under the wings.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

HMS Vigilant (1900)

HMS Vigilant (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla in 1914-1918 before becoming the only destroyer in the Portland Local Flotilla during 1918. After the war she remained in use into 1919, when she was used to ferry a British diplomat home from Copenhagen.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

USS Gilmer (DD-233/ APD-11)

USS Gilmer (DD-233/ APD-11) was a Clemson class destroyer that served as a fast transport, taking part in the New Guinea campaign, the invasions of Saipan and Taipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190F

The Focke Wulf Fw 190F was an armoured ground attack version of the aircraft, produced to replace the obsolete Ju 87 Stuka.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Eisenhower's Thorn on the Rhine - The Battle for the Colmar Pocket, 1944-45, Nathan N. Prefer

Looks at the fighting on the southern end of the Allied front in France in 1944-45, where American and French troops attempted to reach the Rhine, while the Germans held on to Colmar and parts of southern Alsace. Traces the course of the battle as well as the problems faced by the commanders on both sides of this hard fought backwater, at a time when both sides were running short of men but still had ambitious aims
(Read Full Review)

Air Combat – Dogfights of World War II, ed. Tony Holmes

A collection of four Ospreys, looking at the Spitfire vs Bf 109, F4F Wildcat vs A6M Zero, La 5/7 vs Fw 190 and F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 Frank, an interesting cross section of the fighter battles of the Second World War. Some are more crucial than others, but all are interesting, and the book costs less than buying any two of the existing volumes, so is good value for money
(Read Full Review)

The Two Handed Sword – History, Design and Use, Neil Melville

A detailed history of the European two handed sword, a surprising agile but still fairly rare weapon that was used in some numbers during the later Middle Ages and early modern periods. Looks at the development of the weapon (a surprisingly complex subject), its use in combat, the many regional variations, the evidence for how it was wielded, and its evolution into a prestige, non-combat weapon
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, July 18, 2019

HMS Thorn (1900)

HMS Thorn (1900) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, before moving to Scapa Flow at the end of 1914. In February 1915 she was used to found the North Channel Patrol, based at Larne, where she spent the rest of the war.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

USS Brooks (DD-232/ APD-10)

USS Brooks (DD-232/ APD-10) was a Clemson class destroyer that was converted into a fast transport, and took part in the New Guinea campaign and the invasion of the Philippines, before being badly damaged by a kamikaze attack and never repaired.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190E

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190E may have been a designation for a dedicated reconnaissance version of the aircraft, but none were produced under that designation.

Monday, July 15, 2019

HMS Ostrich (1900)

HMS Ostrich (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1918 and the Lowestoft Local Flotilla in 1918.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

USS Hatfield (DD-231)

USS Hatfield (DD-231) was a Clemson class destroyer that spent most of the Second World War on escort duties in Alaskan waters, before being used as an auxiliary.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190D

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190D was a high altitude version of the aircraft, powered by an inline engine hidden behind an extended version of the normal fuselage, making it look like a radial powered aircraft.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

HMS Falcon (1899)

HMS Falcon (1899) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla based at Dover throughout the First World War before being sunk in a collision with the naval trawler John Fitzgerald in 1918.

Monday, July 08, 2019

USS Paul Jones (DD-230)

USS Paul Jones (DD-230) was a Clemson class destroyer that survived the disastrous campaign in the Dutch East Indies in 1941-42, and spent most of the rest of the war on escort duties or working with hunter-killer anti-submarine groups.

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Focke Wulf Fw 190C

The Focke Wulf Fw 190C would have been powered by the Daimler-Benz DB 603 engine, but it never got past the development stage.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

HMS Vixen (1900)

HMS Vixen (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber from 1914 to 1917, with the East Coast Convoys formation in 1917 and the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1918.

Monday, July 01, 2019

Clemson class destroyer

USS Truxtun (DD-229) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in Pacific waters for ten years then in home waters, before being lost when she ran aground early in 1942.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190B

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190B was one of three attempts to improve the high altitude performance of the aircraft, in this case by giving it a longer wing, GM-1 engine boost and a pressurized cabin.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

HMS Roebuck (1901)

HMS Roebuck (1901) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War as par of the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla, but spent most of the war with the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

USS John D. Ford (DD-228)

USS John D. Ford (DD-228) was a Clemson class destroyer that began the Second World War in the Pacific, and survived the disastrous battle of the Java Sea, before spending most of the rest of the war on convoy escort or anti-submarine duties.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190A

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190A was the most important fighter version of the aircraft, and was one of the best fighters in the world when it first entered service in 1941-42.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

HMS Racehorse (1900)

HMS Racehorse (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover throughout the First World War, and that was at sea during several German raids into the area, without coming into contact with them.

Monday, June 17, 2019

USS Pillsbury (DD-227)

USS Pillsbury (DD-227) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922, and was sunk by Japanese surface ships on 2 March 1942, after apparently attacking a much larger Japanese force.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Royal Navy 1793-1800 – Birth of a Superpower, Mark Jessop

An unusual approach to the history of the Royal Navy during the Revolutionary Wars, with each chapter starting with an account of the life of a semi-fictional character, tracing their experiences in key aspects of the war, before moving on to a more historical narrative.  Covers the main events of the war, including the early battles, the mutinies, and the various theatres of war, as well as the life of the normal sailor
(Read Full Review)

General Sir Ralph Abercromby and the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792-1801, Carole Divall

A biography of one of the more competent British generals of the Revolutionary Wars, killed at the height of his success during the expulsion of the French from Egypt. Inevitably most of his experiences during the Revolutionary War came during the unsuccessful campaigns in northern Europe, but he managed to emerge from these campaigns with his reputation largely intact, and won fame with his death during a successful campaign. An interesting study of a less familiar part of the British struggle against revolutionary France
(Read Full Review)

Fontenoy 1745 - Cumberland's Bloody Defeat, Michael McNally

Looks at a key French victory during the War of the Austrian Succession, where the British infantry enhanced their reputation after advancing into a trap and nearly winning an improbably victory despite being attacked from three sides. Traces the campaign that led to the British being drawn into that trap, and the failures elsewhere on the battlefield that meant that the famous infantry attack had little real chance of success, leading to a French victory that began a successful conquest of the Austrian Netherlands
(Read Full Review)

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

HMS Greyhound (1900)

HMS Greyhound (1900) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover from 1914-1918 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

USS Peary (DD-226)

USS Peary (DD-226) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922 and was sunk by Japanese aircraft at Darwin on 19 February 1942.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Focke-Wulf Fw 190

The Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was designed in response for a request for a ‘back-up’ to the Messerschmitt Bf 109, and went on to be one of the most important German military aircraft of the Second World War, with around 20,000 produced.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

USS Pope (DD-225)

USS Pope (DD-225) was a Clemson class destroyer that served with the Asiatic Fleet from 1922 until she was sunk by Japanese aircraft on 1 March 1942.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

HMS Leven (1898)

HMS Leven (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover during the First World War, and that sank UB-35 off Calais on 26 January 1918.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 153

The Focke-Wulf Ta 153 was one of Kurt Tank’s early designs for a replacement for the Fw 190, and a partial prototype was constructed late in 1943, before the entire programme was cancelled for the second time.

Focke-Wulf Ta 152S

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152S was a planned two-man tandem trainer version of the Ta 152, which was ordered into production but never delivered.

Monday, June 03, 2019

HMS Leopard (1897)

HMS Leopard (1897) was a C class destroyer that began the First World War with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber, but was soon moved north to Scapa Flow. From 1917 she served as a convoy escort, taking part in the first Norwegian convoy. She ended the war with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

USS Stewart (DD-224)

USS Stewart (DD-224) was a Clemson class destroyer that was deliberately sunk in the floating drydock at Surabaya during the disasterous defence of the Dutch East Indies in 1942 but later raised by the Japanese and pressed into their service as a patrol boat.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

HMS Fawn (1897)

HMS Fawn (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1914-1918 and the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Operation Craftsman or the battle of Bologna (14 April-2 May 1945)

Operation Craftsman or the battle of Bologna (14 April-2 May 1945) was the Fifth Army's part of the final Allied offensive in Italy and saw the army break out into the Po valley to the west of Bologna then advance rapidly to the Po before occupying the central and western parts of the Po valley.

Monday, May 27, 2019

HMS Flirt (1897)

HMS Flirt (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover during the First World War, and that was sunk by German destroyers during their raid into the Dover Straits on 26 October 1916.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

German Destroyers, Robert Brown

 A guide to the German destroyers of the Second World War targeting those who wish to build models of these modern but flawed warships. Lots of good detail on their technical specs, physical appearance and how it changed over time, along with reviews of the various kits available, and examples of some high quality builds. Could do with brief service histories, but otherwise useful
(Read Full Review)

Sir Alan Cobham – The Flying Legend who brought Aviation to the Masses, Colin Cruddas

A biography of one of the most famous British airmen of the inter-war period, a pioneer of long distance aviation, publicist for air power (running a series of popular touring air shows) and a pioneer of air-to-air refuelling, most famous for ‘Cobham’s Flying Circus’, four years of touring air shows that were seen by 75% of wartime aircrew volunteers!
(Read Full Review)

The Composite Bow, Mike Loades

A splendid examination of this complex but elegant weapon, looking at its construction, the skills needed to use it effectively, the types of bows, arrows and supporting equipment in use, the different national traditions and the military use of the bow by both mounted and foot soldiers. An impressive book that packs a great deal of information into its 80 pages, and greatly benefits from its author's own experience as an archer
(Read Full Review)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152H

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152H was designed as a high altitude version of the standard Ta 152, but as a result of a series of poor decisions by the German Air Ministry it became the only version of the aircraft to actually enter combat, and only in tiny numbers and too late to have any impact on the course of the war.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

HMS Kestrel (1898)

HMS Kestrel (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918 and the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla for most of 1918.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

USS McCormick (DD-223)

USS McCormick (DD-223) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the eastern Mediterranean in 1922-24, the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-38 and the Atlantic from 1939 onwards, mainly as a convoy escort. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

HMS Bullfinch (1898)

HMS Bullfinch (1898) was a C class destroyer that suffered a disastrous boiler explosion in 1899, then served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914 and the Scapa Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Operation Buckland or the battle of the Argenta Gap (12-19 April 1945)

Operation Buckland or the battle of the Argenta Gap (12-19 April 1945) was the Eighth Army’s contribution to the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy, and saw them bypass the last series of river defences facing them and break out into the Po plains.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

War Bows, Mike Loades

Looks at the longbow, crossbow, composite bow and Japanese Yumi, largely based on previously published Osprey books, but updated for this combined edition. Brings together four fascinating topics to provide a useful overview of the many types of war bow that were used from western Europe to Japan, and the varied types of archery that developed around them.  Useful to have all four together in a single volume, allowing a more direct comparison between the different types
(Read Full Review)

Aboard the Farragut Class Destroyers in World War II, Leo Block

Looks at life onboard the eight ships of the Farragut class, the first newly designed destroyers built for the US Navy after the First World War, and the prototypes for the ‘1,500 ton’ destroyers. Written by a veteran of these ships, using his own knowledge and the memories of the decreasing number of surviving crewmen to produce an in-depth picture of the life of the enlisted men on these small but hard hitting warships
(Read Full Review)

Period Ship Modelmaking – An Illustrated Masterclass, Philip Reed

 A lavishily illustrated account of the creation of two models of the American privateer Prince de Neufchatel, one waterline model and one with a full hull. I’ve no idea how useful it will be for the ship modeller, not being an experienced scratch builder, but it is a very pretty book, and the end results are very impressive. Most of the work is covered in great detail (apart from the original creation of the ship’s hull, which only gets a single short paragraph!)
(Read Full Review)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

HMS Dove (1898)

HMS Dove (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, briefly at Scapa in 1914-15 then helped form the North Channel Patrol in February 1915. She was officially part of that force for the rest of the war, but was taken over by the senior naval officer at Liverpool in February 1915 and never returned to Larne.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152E

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152E was a reconnaissance version of the Ta 152, and was on the verge of entering production at the end of the war.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

HMS Osprey (1897)

HMS Osprey (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, was part of the East Coast Convoys organisation in 1917 and ended the war with the North Channel Patrol based at Larne.

Monday, May 13, 2019

USS Bulmer (DD-222)

USS Bulmer (DD-222) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1922-24, and with the Asiatic Fleet from 1925 onwards. She survived the disasterous campaign in the Dutch East Indies in 1942, and went on to serve with anti-submarine hunter-killer groups in the Atlantic in 1943-44.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Empire and Espionage, Spies in the Zulu War, Stephen Wade

Looks at the use of military intelligence by both sides in the Zulu War, demonstrating that the Zulus actually began the war with the better intelligence capabilities, and a clearer idea of their opponents plans and abilities than the British did. Also looks at the wider context of British military intelligence, including its development over time and its place in the world of the 1870s and Britain’s increasing obsession about Russian expansionism, including a fear that they might be about to attack the Suez canal, cutting the British Empire in half
(Read Full Review)

Waterloo - The Campaign of 1815 Volume 2 - From Waterloo to the Restoration of Peace in Europe, John Hussey

A good history of Waterloo and its aftermath using the most recent research and ignoring long held ideas that have since been disproved. Has a useful focus on the command decisions made by the senior leaders on each side, and how they impacted on the eventual result of the campaign. Provides a well balanced examination of the successes and mistakes on both sides, as well as placing Waterloo in the wider context of the 1815 campaign
(Read Full Review)

A Military History of China, David Richard Petriello

An ambitious attempt to cover several thousand years of Chinese history in a single volume, from the earlier legends to the conflicts of Communist China. A generally successful book, despite getting a little too bogged down in the fine details of many of the ancient and medieval campaigns, with a useful examination of the motivation behind China’s external wars. Supported by over 100 maps, which make it easier to trace the course of events and identify the very many kingdoms that appeared in the area now covered by modern China
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Thursday, May 09, 2019

HMS Gipsy (1897)

HMS Gipsy (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover throughout the First World War, playing a role in sinking U-48 in November 1917. She survived into the 1970s after being used as a pontoon at Dartmouth.

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Operation Blimey (6-24 April 1945)

Operation Blimey (6-24 April 1945) was the final SAS operation in the north-west of Italy, and was an attempt to repeat the success of Operation Galia, but the area was overrun by the advancing Allies before it could achieve much

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

HMS Fairy (1897)

HMS Fairy (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Cromarty Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917, then the East Coast Convoys in 1917. She sank after ramming and sinking UC-75 on 31 May 1918.

Monday, May 06, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152C

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152C was the third attempt to produce a standard version of the Ta 152, and reached the prototype stage but too late in the war to actually enter production.

Thursday, May 02, 2019

HMS Cheerful (1897)

HMS Cheerful (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Eighth Destroyer Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, then moved to the East Coast Convoys organisation, but was sunk by a mine off the Shetlands on 30 June 1917.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

USS Simpson (DD-221)

USS Simpson (DD-221) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1922-4, the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-1932 and on convoy escort duties and anti-submarine duties in the Atlantic during the Second World War

Monday, April 29, 2019

HMS Mermaid (1898)

HMS Mermaid (1898) was a C class destroyer that served with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1914-1918, taking part in a series of bombardments of the Belgian coast, but ended the war with the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Operation Impact Royal (14-15 April 1945)

Operation Impact Royal (14-15 April 1945) was the second of two amphibious assaults carried out to support the right flank of the Eighth Army’s advance towards Argenta, and the narrow ‘Argenta Gap’ leading out onto the Po plains.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

HMS Sylvia (1897)

HMS Sylvia (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, then with the Scapa Local Defence Flotilla for most of the rest of the war, often serving on convoy escort duties. She ended the war with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152B

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152B was the original design for a version of the Ta 152 optimised for higher altitudes, but suffered from problems with its Jumo 213E engine, and never got beyond the prototype stage. However a modified ‘Destroyer’ version, the B-5, did reach the prototype stage late in the war.

Monday, April 22, 2019

HMS Violet (1897)

HMS Violet (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914-1917, East Coast Convoys in 1917, briefly with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla and then with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover in 1918.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

USS MacLeish (DD-220)

USS MacLeish (DD-220) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the eastern Mediterranean in 1922-24, with the Asiatic Fleet in 1925-31 and on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic and US Home Waters for much of the Second World War.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

HMS Vulture (1898)

HMS Vulture (1898) was a C Class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla from 1914 to early in 1917, and was present when the Lighting was sunk by a mine in 1915.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Operation Impact Plain (11 April 1945)

Operation Impact Plain (11 April 1945) was the first of two amphibious operations carried out to support the right flank of the British advance into the Argenta Gap, the final battle for the Eighth Army in Italy.

Monday, April 15, 2019

HMS Recruit (1896)

HMS Recruit (1896) was a C Class destroyer that was part of the Nore Local Defence Flotilla at the start of the First World War, but was sunk by UB-6 near the Galloper Light Vessel on 1 May 1915.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Apache Warrior vs US Cavalryman, Sean McLachlan

Looks at the forty-year long struggle between the US Cavalry and the Apache tribes of the US south-west, which lasted from the US conquest of the area in 1848 to the final surrender of Geronimo in 1886. Benefits from focusing on the two main combatants in these was – the entire fighting force of the Apache tribes and the US Cavalry, to present an overview of how the conflict was eventually won by the United States
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Murat’s Army - The Army of the Kingdom of Naples 1806-1815, Digby Smith

A very pretty book, based on the paintings of Henri Boiselier, produced in the first half of the 20th Century. The book is dominated by full colour, full page reproductions of his illustrations of the many and varied uniforms worn in Murat’s small and not terribly effective army of Naples. Each comes with a brief caption that explains what we are looking at, and any errors in the original painting (normally fairly trivial).
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F4U Corsair vs Ki-84 'Frank' Pacific Theatre 1945, Edward M. Young

Looks at the development of these two advanced fighters, the training of their pilots and the handful of clashes between the two types – only around twenty in total, mainly over the Japanese Home Islands and Okinawa. Includes good sections on the development of the two fighters, the training of their pilots, with a detailed look at the limited number of clashes between them. An interesting read that does demonstrate some of the flaws in some entries in this series, in this case that the clash being examined wasn’t an especially important part of the overall battle in the air
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Friday, April 12, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152A

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152A was the original design for the standard version of the Ta 152, but the project was cancelled just as it was about to go into production.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

HMS Electra (1896)

HMS Electra (1896) was a C Class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla throughout the First World War.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

USS Edsall (DD-219)

USS Edsall (DD-219) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Middle East and Far East in the interwar period, then took part in the disasterous attempt to defend the Dutch East Indies before being sunk by overwhelming Japanese naval forces on 1 March 1942.

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

HMS Brazen (1896)

HMS Brazen (1896) was a C class destroyer that served with the Nore Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1917 and the Portsmouth Local Defence Flotilla in 1917-1918, supporting the torpedo school HMS Vernon.

Monday, April 08, 2019

Operation Fry (4-5 April 1945)

Operation Fry (4-5 April 1945) was a minor SBS operation that saw them capture a series of undefended islands in Lake Commachio.

Thursday, April 04, 2019

HMS Flying Fish (1897)

HMS Flying Fish (1897) was a C class destroyer that served with the Cromarty Patrol of the Grand Fleet for most of the First World War, before joining East Coast Convoys on the Humber in 1917 and then the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla.

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Focke-Wulf Ta 152

The Focke-Wulf Ta 152 was the final evolution of the Fw 190, and entered combat very late in the war as the high altitude Ta 152H, which was only available in tiny numbers and proved to be an impressive but unreliable fighter.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Operation Roast (1-3 April 1945)

Operation Roast (1-3 April 1945) saw the 2nd Commando Brigade clear the narrow spit of land between Lake Commachio and the Adriatic in a preliminary operation before the start of the Eighth Army’s spring offensive in Italy, Operation Buckland.

Monday, April 01, 2019

HMS Crane (1896)

HMS Crane (1896) was a C class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1902-5, and with the Sixth Destroyer Flotilla at Dover from 1914-18 then the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Operation Barbarossa 1941 - Hitler against Stalin, Christer Bergström

A splendid account of Operation Barbarossa that clears away many of the misrepresentations that have often distorted our picture of this massive campaign. Takes advantage of the opening of Soviet archives after the fall of the Soviet Union to provide a balance to the more readily available German sources, and relies more on working documents and contemporary reports than on the often badly biased post-war memoirs. Gives a clear idea of how the Germans won their early victories, the surprise of their collapse outside Moscow at the end of the year, and of the importance of both German and Soviet aviation in the eventual result of the conflict
(Read Full Review)

Saladin and the Fall of Jerusalem, Stanley Lane-Poole

Originally published in 1898, but relying mainly on Arabic sources written by Saladin’s contemporaries, supported by accounts of the Third Crusade for the later part of the book. Provides a very readable account of Saladin’s career, from his unexpected promotion to ruler of Egypt, through his conquest of Syria and on to the defeat of the Crusaders at Hattin, the conquest of Jerusalem and the successful defence of the city against the forces of the Third Crusade. Generally favourable towards Saladin, although without becoming overly biased, and largely accurate due to the reliance on the main contemporary sources
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Cruiser Birmingham - detailed in the original builder’s plans, Conrad Waters

Fascinating study of the cruiser, built around the builder’s plans from 1937, the wartime refit of 1943 and the major reconstruction of 1952. These are impressively well drawn, colourful documents, that contain a wealth of detailed information on the layout of these cruisers, allowing us both to appreciate the care and attention required to produce these powerful weapons of war, and their second nature as a large floating village, complete with band, workshops, kitchens, and eventually a cinema
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Thursday, March 28, 2019

USS Parrott (DD-218)

USS Parrott (DD-218) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1922-25 and with the Asiatic Fleet from 1925 onwards. She survived the disastrous attempt to defend the Malay Barrier early in 1942, and returned to the US, from where she carried out escort duties and took part in anti-submarine hunter killer operations, before being decommissioned after she was badly damaged in a collision in 1944.

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

HMS Bat (1896)

HMS Bat (1896) was a C class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1902-5 and in home waters for the rest of her career. During the First World War she was attached to the Grand Fleet from 1914-1917, mainly serving with the Cromarty Patrol. In 1917 she formed part of the East Coast Convoys organisation, before joining the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Operation Second Wind (5-19 April 1945)

Operation Second Wind (5-19 April 1945) was a diversionary attack on the far left of the Allied front line in Italy that saw the US 92nd Division capture the town of Massa, forcing the Germans to move precious reinforcements west to try and hold their line.

Monday, March 25, 2019

HMS Whiting (1896)

HMS Whiting (1896) was a C class destroyer that was allocated to the China Station soon after being commissioned, and that spent the rest of her career in eastern waters, remaining on active duty throughout the First World War.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

14in Gun on Railway Mount Model E

The 14in Gun on Railway Mount Model E was a coastal defence weapon that was being designed before the US entry into the First World War, and that could be used either as a sliding type gun or from a fixed firing emplacement.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

HMS Star (1896)

HMS Star (1896) was a C class destroyer that was part of the Shetlands Patrol at the start of the First World War, served with the Cromarty Patrol from 1915-1917 and then with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1918.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

USS Whipple (DD-217)

USS Whipple (DD-217) was a Clemson class destroyer that served in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea in 1920-21, with the Asiatic Fleet in 1921-25 and again from 1929. She survived the disasterous battles in the Dutch East Indies early in 1942, and escaped to Australian waters. She was then withdraw to the United States, where she was converted into an escort. She spent the rest of the war on a mix of convoy escort and anti-submarine duties, playing a part in the sinking of U-544.

Monday, March 18, 2019

HMS Otter (1986)

HMS Otter (1986) was a C class destroyer that spent most of her career on the China station, briefly returning to active service after the outbreak of the First World War, before being sold off in 1916.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Operation Grapeshot, or the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy (9 April-2 May 1945)

Operation Grapeshot, or the Allied Spring Offensive in Italy (9 April-2 May 1945) saw the Allied armies in Italy finally break their German opponents, leading to the first large scale German capitulation in Europe, signed only 20 days after the start of the offensive.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Operation Encore (19 February-5 March 1945)

Operation Encore (19 February-5 March 1945) was a limited offensive carried out by the US Fifth Army in an attempt to improve its position in the Apennines and prepare for the upcoming spring offensive.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

HMS Avon (1896)

HMS Avon (1896) was a C class destroyer that served with the Seventh Destroyer Flotilla on the Humber in 1914-1917, before moving to the North Channel Patrol at the northern entrance to the Irish Sea in 1918. However she was soon ‘borrowed’ by the Senior Naval Officer at Liverpool, where she spent most of 1918

Monday, March 11, 2019

12in Howitzer on Railway Mount

The 12in Howitzer on Railway Mount was one of the more advanced designs of railway artillery produced for the US Army, but like most American designs didn’t arrive in time to see service in the First World War.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Greek and Macedonian Land Battles of the 4th Century BC, Fred Eugene Ray Jr

Looks at 187 battles fought during one of the most dramatic centuries of Ancient History, a period that started with Sparta the dominant power of Greece and ended with the successors of Alexander the Great squabbling over the ruins of his Empire. An interesting study of a period in which Greek warfare evolved dramatically, ending the dominance of the simple Hoplite army and seeing the rise of cavalry as a battle winning weapon
(Read Full Review)

Battles on the Seven Seas - German Cruiser Battles 1914-1918, Gary Staff

Looks at the activities of German cruisers during the First World War, covering the major naval battles in the North Sea, the exploits of the surface raiders early in the war, the role of the two German cruisers in Turkish service and the limited fighting in the Baltic. A useful counter to the tendency to see these events from the British point of view, made possible by the author’s impressive use of German sources
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Augustus at War - the struggle for the Pax Augusta, Lindsay Powell

A year-by-year study of all of the wars fought during Augustus’s reign, covering a suprising amount of offensive wars, in which Augustus and his generals doubled the size of the Roman Empire. Looks at both the central role of Augustus and his family and the part played by other Roman aristocrats, who were still willing to struggle for glory during this period, buying in to the idea that the Republic still existed under Augustus
(Read Full Review)

Friday, March 08, 2019

HMS Bittern (1897)

HMS Bittern (1897) was a C class destroyer that served in home waters for her entire career. She was part of the Devonport Local Defence Flotilla in 1914-1918, and was lost with her entire crew after she collided with SS Kenilworth in thick fog on 4 April 1918.

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Gridley class destroyers

The Gridley class destroyers marked a victory for those in the US Navy who saw the destroyer as primarily an offensive ship, and the torpedo as its main weapon.

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

‘C Class destroyer’

‘C Class destroyer’ was the designation given to those pre-First World War 30-knot destroyers that had three funnels in the general reorganisation of destroyer classes in 1912.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Operation Tombola (4 March-24 April 1945)

Operation Tombola (4 March-24 April 1945) was a successful SAS operation in northern Italy that saw them form a battle group along with Italian partisans and escaped Russian POWS, causing a great deal of disruption before the start of the Allied spring offensive of 1945.

Monday, March 04, 2019

HMS Arab (1901)

HMS Arab (1901) was the third of three 33-knot ‘specials’ that all failed to reach their target speed. She became a standard B class destroyer, and served with the Seventh Flotilla on the Humber in 1914, the Scapa Patrol in 1915-17 before returning to the Seventh Flotilla in 1918.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Martin T4M

The Martin T4M was a version of the earlier T3M torpedo bomber, powered by a Pratt & Whitney Hornet engine.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

HMS Express (1897)

HMS Express (1897) was ordered as a 33-knot ‘special’, but never achieved her target speed and became a ‘B class destroyer’, serving with the Eighth Flotilla on the Firth of Forth in 1914-1917, the East Coast Convoys in 1917 and the North Channel Patrol at the top of the Irish Sea in 1918.

Monday, February 25, 2019

12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount

The 12in 50 calibre gun on railway mount combined American guns originally built for export with French sliding railway gun mounts. Three had been completed by the end of the war in 1918, but none reached France and the type was soon scrapped after the war.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Clan Fabius Defenders of Rome - A History of the Republic’s Most Illustrious Family, Jeremiah McCall

Traces the history of one of the most important families in the early and middle Republic, from their legendary origins, through the Samnite Wars and peaking with the career of the famous ‘delayer’, a key figure in the Second Punic War who played a major part in saving the city from Hannibal. Finishes with the slow decline of the family, which began before the collapse of the Republic, and ended as the family disappeared from the records in the early Empire.
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Agent Michael Trotobas and SOE in Northern France, Steward Kent & Nick Nicholas

A compelling account of the creation of one of the more successful SOE circuits in northern France, the death of its charismatic leader and creator, and its activities after his death. Includes a satisfying large amount of information about the ‘Farmer’ circuit’s operations, as well as the events that led to Trotobas’s death. Also provides an insight into the problems that can be caused by placing unsuitable agents into the field, where everyone had to trust each other, often under intense pressure
(Read Full Review)

America's Commandos: U.S. Special Operations Forces of World War II and Korea, Leroy Thompson

Starts with a brief overview of the creation and use of American special force units during the Second World War and in Korea, before moving onto a good but not well organised selection of photographs. Does its job of illustrating the uniforms and equipment of these units, but needs chapter headings!
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Thursday, February 21, 2019

HMS Lively (1900)

HMS Lively (1900) was a B class destroyer that served in the Mediterranean in 1904-6, but spend the rest of her career in home waters. At the start of the First World War she was part of the Seventh Flotilla on the East Coast, but late in 1914 she was moved to Scapa, where she was based until 1918, when she joined the Irish Sea Hunting Flotilla.