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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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).
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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