Knight: the medieval warrior’s (unofficial) manual by Michael Prestwich

If you are a medieval knight, how do you ‘ravage the land’? Well, you can probably leave the actual work of destruction to the common soldiers, and concentrate yourself on the more important business of plunder. ‘It is not a good idea to kill all the inhabitants; much better to ransom them. Even peasants can […]


How to Win on the Battlefield: the 25 key tactics of all time

by Rob Johnson, Michael Whitby, and John France The title of the book makes a big claim. Taken literally, it is in fact rather misleading. How to achieve victory in battle cannot be learnt from a book. Commanding an army on the battlefield requires far more than knowing a list of manoeuvres. What this book actually […]


Hitler’s First War by Thomas Weber

Biographies of Hitler are often frustratingly vague about his experiences as a soldier in WWI. Beyond the information that he: served as a message-carrying  ‘runner’ on the Western Front; achieved the rank of ‘Gefreiter’ ( not quite, as Thomas Weber assures us, the equivalent of  the ‘Corporal’ or even Lance-Corporal it is often translated as); […]


War In European History by Michael Howard

Not to be confused with the former Tory leader, Michael Howard, Emeritus Professor of Modern History at Oxford University, is, now approaching 90,  the undisputed doyen of Britain’s military historians. A veteran of the 1943 Salerno landings, he is also one of the few Military History writers who has personally experienced the (very) sharp end […]


GCHQ: the uncensored story of Britain’s most secret intelligence agency by Richard Aldrich

In an increasingly digital world, electronic communication is the deciding and dominant factor in making things happen. Markets move electronically; news and rumours of news are communicated electronically; people put their previously private thoughts not onto paper but into cyberspace – sometimes inadvertently – and, hey presto!, they find they are sharing them with the […]


The Medieval World at War

      The Medieval World at War Matthew Bennett (ed.) Spanning some 1,000 years from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the Renaissance and the Reformation, this book is an ambitious attempt to chart the evolution of warfare in the medieval period. Though it covers Central Asian, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese warfare, […]


Wings over the Desert by Desmond Seward

Desmond Seward’s Wings over the Desert is the story of his pugnacious Franco-Irish father, Eric, who used family connections to join the RFC and serve ‘in a hot climate’. He flew many sorties over the Sinai and Palestine, crashing 6 times and, in what was to become known as the ‘Seward Exploit’, ditching in the […]

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