Recent reviews :
- Hitler's Ardennes Offensive (Danny S Parker Ed.)
- The Irish Guards in the Great War (Rudyard Kipling)
- 21 Days in Normandy (Angelo Caravaggio)
- Battle of the Bulge. The German View (Danny S Parker Ed.)
- Pepy's Navy. Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-1689 (J D Davies)
- Nelson's Navy (Brian Lavery)
- British Cruisers. Two World Wars and After (Norman Friedman)
- Warships of the Napoleonic Era (Robert Gardiner)
- The Very Thing (Jonathan Crook)
- Victory from fighting the Armada to Trafalgar and Beyond (Iain Ballantyne & Jonathan Eastland)
Book reviews for - General Military or Reference
British Cruisers. Two World Wars and After
Wow! Another book from this author and publisher with the 'wow' factor. Lavishly illustrated with a photograph or line plan on almost every page. The text is packed with technical information, detail, and description of design, construction and application of these important ships. I read it cover to cover finding many nuggets of information on the way. e.g. One particular cruiser fresh out of dock had a range of 12,000nm; the same ship after eight months cruising was 'deep and dirty' had a range of only 8,000nm. This book is a must for every Royal Navy enthusiast and would be of interest to the general reader. This is the kind of reference book where you find what you are looking for and are then temped to go on reading. Highly recommended.
Seaforth publishing. Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2010
Victory from fighting the Armada to Trafalgar and Beyond
Iain Ballantyne & Jonathan Eastland
The classical curate's egg of a book. My reading was coloured by the first page of the explanation of Nautical Terms at the start of the book. There 'Bear up;Bear away' are given the same definition when they really mean the exact opposites of each other. Only 36 of the 228 pages of text are about the pre-Trafalgar ships. However having put the negatives I did read it cover to cover and found some interesting snippets. It is well illustrated and easy reading; entertaining for the generalist reader.
Pen & Sword Maratime, 2013
British Aircraft Carriers
A wealth of knowledge presented in a most readable form for everyone from the novice to the initiated. Encyclopedic in scope it may be dipped into at any point but I found in reading cover to cover the fascinating story went from airships to future carriers. All aspects, design, development and service are dealt with. There are very many photographs, lots from the author's own collection, plus drawings and plans. An unusual but welcome feature are the fold out copies of Admiralty drawings which are in the middle of the book. At £45 this is not a cheap book, but a Rolls Royce is not a cheap car, and this is a Rolls Royce of a book.
Seaforth Publishing. Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2013
The 11th Hussars
A very good read, informative and well written. This is one of the Famous Regiments series edited by Lt. General Sir Brian Horrocks. It tells the story of the regiment from its creation as Honywood's Dragoons in 1715 up to its amalgamation with the 10th Hussars, to become The Royal Hussars, in 1969. A history from horses to Chieftain tanks. Sadly it has been out of print for quite some time, but worth searching for.
Leo Cooper Ltd., London, 1969
A History of Warfare
Montgomery of Alemein, Field-Marshal Viscount
The book covers, neccessarily without great depth, the whole of the world from ancient times up to the Nuclear Age. A great deal of information presented in a readable form, illustration and maps are accompanied with the military insights of one who held the highest commands.
William Collins, Sons and Co. Ltd., 1968
Pilot Cutters Under Sail
Not only an authorative review of the development of these special craft but a social history of a 'special' working group. There is plenty of well researched 'meat' for the specialist but it is so well written as to be accessible and to be enjoyed by the interested reader. Some previous knowledge of small boat sailing is helpful otherwise read the last two chapters first. Although it could be a 'coffee-table book' once started I found it difficult to put down.
Seaforth Publishing, Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2013
The Battles of the British Navy
The Victorian/Edwardian language and sentiments make this rewarding reading in themselves however the book also contains a wealth of detail of British navy engagements over a very wide range of time. If you can find a copy give it a try.
Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Est 1911
A Dictionary of Battles (1816-1976)
Young, Brig. Peter
A very useful collection of synopses of battles over the last 200 years. The battles are separated into geographic/chronoligical chapters with individual ones for major wars and a handy set of maps in the appendix. The individual entries give dates, combatants and strengths as well as a description of the action.
New English Library, London, 1977
The Battlefields of England
Originally published in 1950 and 1952 as two separate volumes, and can seem a little dated, it remains a classic on the major battles of England. More recent studies of the battles themselves may have revised Alfred Burne's conclusions, but they all pay hommage to his pathfinding.
Penguin Classic Military History Series, 2002
A Traveller's Guide to the Battlefields of Europe Vols 1 and 2
Full of useful detail for the Battlefield enthusiast if beginning to look a little out-dated. It is also available in a single-volume, revised format and contains plenty of numerical information on forces engaged, casualties, actual location of the battlefields again although nearly 40 years out of date. A good place to start if wanting to visit the sites.
Hugh Evelyn London, 1965
The Dictionary of Battles
Chandler, David. Ed.
Details of a large number of battles from 480BC up to the Falklands War are supported by essays on tactics, the context and the commanders.
Book Club Associates, 1987
Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World
Creasy, Sir Edward
A learned text originally published in 1851 with chapters on early classical battles like Marathon, Syracuse, and The Metaurus through Hastings and Orleans up to Blenheim, Valmy and Waterloo. Definitely showing its age, written in high Victorian English but well worth the effort for the serious historian.
Bently & Son, London, 1894
The Hinges of Battle
Hodder and Stoughton, 2002
Regiments and Corps of the British Army
Hallows, Ian S.
A valuable reference book.
New Orchard Editions, 1994
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Artillery
Hogg, Ian V.
A good A-Z reference text of artillery, terminology and techniques mostly from the 19th century onwards but with a brief history of the development of artillery included. Also given are useful comparative tables of the guns of all the major nations.
Quarto, London, 1987
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Military Vehicles
Hogg, Ian V. and Weeks, John
A reprint of a 1980 work, a little out of date but comprehensive listings for all Tanks, AFV's, APC's, SP Artillery and other military vehicles from around the world up to that point. An excellent reference including a brief history of their development from World War I onwards.
Quantum, London, 2003
The Oxford Companion to Military History
Holmes, Richard Ed.
A valuable point of reference.
Oxford University Press, 2001
Subtitled "The British Soldier in the Age of Horse and Musket" this is an account of the British Redcoat, his life, trials and tribulations from the 7 Yeasr War in the mid 18th century, to the Indian Mutiny and the Crimea in the mid 19th century. It's a Richard Holmes, so you can't go far wrong!
Harper Collins, London, 2001
The Great Admirals
A series of accounts of the achievements of twenty one Admirals from the 16th Century to the Second World War.
William Morrow & Co. Inc., 1977
Who's Who in Military History; From 1453 to the Present Day.
Keegan, John & Wheatcroft, Andrew
A useful reference work.
Book Club Associates, 1976
Dictionary of Wars
Kohn. George Childs,
An impressive overview of 4000 years of conflict. A useful source of easily accessible information.
Checkmark Books, 1999
The Damned die Hard, The story of the French Foreign Legion
Narative history of the Legion from it's formation in Spain in 1831 to its mutiny and withdrawal from Algieria in 1962. Short on detail such as dates and figures, but full of dramatic story.
Saxon House, 1974
Battle Honours of the British Army
Norman, C B
A re-print of a 1911 work covering the period 1662 to 1901. It takes a campaign, details the regiments (British and Colonial) of the British Army which are permitted to bear the battle honours on their colours with a precis of the battles themselves, casualty figures by regiment (again, Crown regiments only, not their opponents) and other useful information.
David & Charles Ltd, Devon, 1971
Military Uniforms 1686 - 1918
A slim volume but a rather nice overview of the development of uniforms. Well illustrated.
A weighty volume incredibly listing over 500 battlefields, and it just covers England. By their nature, some of the entries are short as historical records can be sketchy, but many of the entries are lengthy, detailed and the book is full of maps, diagrams and illustrations. An essential text for anyone interested in the military heritage of England.
The Guiness Book of Military Blunders
A number of bungled battles are grouped under eight headings. Amusement and disbelief at the immense stupidity of military people is moderated for as the introduction says; '...we must never forget that they were paid for in blood and human suffering.' Well worth a read and perhaps a re-read.
Guiness Publishing Ltd., 1991
The Safeguard of the Sea
Well written thoroughly researched story of the English Navy 660 to 1649. Left me wanting the continuation of the story 1650- ?
Penguin Books, 2004
Battles in Britain 1066 - 1547
Accounts of the battles are supported by illustrations and, in many cases, photographs and/or maps of the landscape today.
Book Club Associates, 1975
The Complete Guide to the Battlefields of Britain
A page or two explains the battle and the imposition of drawings of combattants positions on to modern O.S. maps make this a useful book for the battlefield explorer.
Michael Joseph Ltd. 1993, 1984
Great Raids in History; From Drake to Desert One
Southworth, Samuel A. Ed.
Chapters on nineteen raids are written by various authors. Interesting but will probably leave you wanting to know more.
Hastings to Culloden, Battles of Britain
Young, Peter & Adair, John