Roberts begins with a personal hero, Napoleon Bonaparte. There seemed to be an array of qualities that made the general great, including meticulous planning, steady nerves, superb timing, good speeches, and respect for the men who served under him.
The Battle of Waterloo is intrinsically linked to the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon, the towering military figures of the early 19th century.
Max Hastings, noted historian and journalist, is a titanic force in British history, with 27 books to his name – many of which cover conflict. In Chastise, he brings his expertise on warfare to bear on this critical episode in WWII history.
Simon de Montfort was a colossus in English affairs during the 13th century, as this biography skilfully explains. What is revealed is a man who was shaped by the mores of his times.
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.