Books

BookAwards_Matters

MHM Book of the Year 2019: Shortlist

MHM has curated a list of 2018’s best military history titles: the nominees for this year’s MHM book awards. Our selection includes some of the best-researched, most-insightful, and most-readable titles reviewed in the magazine over the last year. But we need your help to select the winners! The shortlist of 12 books can be found below. Voting […]

Masters of Mayhem

Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British military mission to the Hejaz

The perhaps somewhat sensationalised title should not put one off. With great accuracy, detail, enthusiasm, and insight, Masters of Mayhem recounts the evolution of Allied combined operations against the Ottoman (Turkish) forces in the Hejaz, particularly during the latter stages of WWI. For those new to this theatre of WWI, the background and context of […]

Untitled

The British Civil Wars at Sea, 1638-1653

Edward Hyde, first Earl of Clarendon, described the desertion of the Royal Navy to Parliament in 1642 as an ‘unspeakable ill consequence to the King’s affairs’. For a monarch who was not unmindful of the importance of the Navy, this would have been particularly painful to Charles I. In response, the King attempted to create […]

WWII at Sea - cover

World War II at Sea: a global history

When first approached to review Craig L Symonds’ World War II at Sea, I was somewhat ambivalent about how much value another narrative history of this subject might add to the huge volume of extant literature. I really could not have been more wrong. Symonds’ work is gripping and well written, for sure, but it […]

Royal Navy's Air Service cover

The Royal Navy’s Air Service in the Great War

David Hobbs’ carefully chosen title gives some indication of the political complexities surrounding his latest subject, as a book about the actual Royal Naval Air Service would technically have to end on 1 April 1918 with the RNAS’s absorption into the newly created Royal Air Force, a service which, the author robustly argues, ‘cared little […]

Last Battle - cover

The Last Battle: endgame on the Western Front, 1918

The General commanding the Bollockyboos Has strictly revised all his previous views… He keeps his battalion, untiring, approving, All moving and firing and firing and moving; They know about guns, they know about tanks, They’ll take any risk you like with their flanks… They are all at one that training is fun And there’s nought […]

Norfolk Admirals

The Other Norfolk Admirals: Myngs, Narbrough, and Shovell

Close to Charing Cross station in London is the oddly named Ship and Shovell pub. Initially, this seems a strange combination, until you realise that the Shovell in question is not a misspelt digging implement but honours Sir Cloudesley Shovell (c.1650-1707), one of the most renowned admirals of the 17th century. Shovell is but one […]

Squadron

Squadron: ending the African slave trade

The West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy had more or less terminated the slave trade on the West African coast by the 1850s. This book is not about that story. It concerns another unfolding on the opposite side of the continent. As the West African trade collapsed, the East African trade soared. The trafficking […]

Stormtroopers

Stormtroopers: a new history of Hitler’s brownshirts

Daniel Siemens’s excellent new history of the Sturmabteilungen — the SA; better known as the Nazi Party’s Stormtroopers or Brownshirts — includes a lot of violence. It begins with the horrific murder of an innocent Polish down-and-out in German Upper Silesia in August 1932. Accused of being a Communist, he was savagely beaten to death […]

Brit Army WWI - cover

The British Army and the First World War

My heart sank slightly when I was asked to review this book. I expected yet another dirge about needless casualties, poor generalship, a reworking of ‘lions led by donkeys’. But, no, I was completely wrong: pusillanimous poets do not get a look in; instead we get rigorous analysis of facts, the figures that support them, […]

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