David Stahel’s latest book, Retreat from Moscow: a new history of Germany’s winter campaign, 1941-1942, is here to add vital nuance to discussion of the German Army in this crucial phase of the war. Over the last decade, his works on the Eastern Front have led the way in scholarly reassessment of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, demonstrating how Germany’s failure to decisively defeat the Red Army was a disaster, and left them in a highly vulnerable position for the winter of 1941-1942.
This book is written rather in the style of an excellent set of lecture notes produced by a diligent tutor. Frank Ledwidge, a Fellow of Law and Strategy at the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, leaves very few stones unturned as he leads the reader through the complete history of manned and unmanned flight, quoting liberally from a wide range of authoritative sources.
Like a sort of Second World War smorgasbord, you can take a look and pull tasty morsels out of Hidden Places of World War II. After digesting these, you look for some more titbits. The wartime stories are all linked to places that can be visited.
Few today can recall much about the Jacobites, other than Bonnie Prince Charlie, ‘the Young Chevalier’, and his noble defeat at Culloden in 1746. The better read might be able to talk about the ‘Glorious Revolution’ and the arrival in 1688 of King William III.
Most Britons are proud of their country’s role in helping to bring about victory in the Second World War. There is nothing to be proud of, however, in the way the government and its agencies ran the first nine months of war, from September 1939 to May 1940 – the period known as ‘the Phoney War’.
Imagine this scene: soldiers bring out the body parts of executed men and place them outside their barracks; their loved ones arrive bringing coffins on carts and begin identifying the body parts and placing them in the coffins; all the while a military band plays dance music.
The shock of the early Zeppelin raids initiated a host of unconventional countermeasures, including Professor Archibald Low’s project for a small radio-controlled pilotless aircraft carrying a 40kg command-detonated explosive charge.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Johns’ book can, in essence, be divided into two distinct sections: his ‘junior’ and ‘senior’ officer days, and then his days shouldering the responsibilities of air rank, culminating in his appointment as Chief of the Air Staff.
Although its subject matter is Germany, this slim volume is packed full of photographs garnered by the author from around the world, from the USA to such surprising places as Argentina, Turkey, and Israel.
MHM has curated a list of 2019’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 winner!