To War with Wellington: from the Peninsular to Waterloo, by Peter Snow

Wellington’s Peninsular campaign was waged amid a war that remains totally dominated by naval strategy within the British historical memory. Where glory was available at sea, land operations were relegated to colonial operations or, by borrowing enough cash – at more favourable terms than could the French – to paying other European powers to keep […]


Wavell: Soldier & Statesman by Victoria Schofield

Pen & Sword, £30 ISBN 978-0719563201 Archibald Wavell, as his name implies (his grandfather, father, and son were all soldiers, and all were called Archibald Wavell) was a General of the old school: conservative, steady as a rock, upright, unflappable – and often very unlucky. Of him, it can truly be said, as his fellow […]


The Soviet Union at War 1941–1945, edited by Professor David R Stone

Pen & Sword, £20.95 ISBN 978-0691008530 One thousand Soviets died on average every hour from June 1941 until May 1945. Modern studies of the Second World War have tended to focus on the western theatres of conflict and the role of the American and British armies. It is easy to forget that the Soviet Union […]


Haig, Master of the Field by Maj Gen Sir John Davidson

Pen & Sword, £19.99 ISBN 978-1848843622 It was Erich Ludendorff, who, in writing his memoirs in 1923, christened Haig ‘Master of the Field’; a telling and honest tribute paid to the Field Marshall by his most redoubtable opponent. Davidson’s account, first published just before his death in 1954, represents a valuable corrective to the popular […]


Empire and Espionage: Spies in the Zulu War by Stephen Wade

Pen & Sword, £19.99 ISBN 978-1848841802 This book provides an analysis of intelligence gathering and implementation during the Anglo-Zulu war of 1879. The author has correctly identified this as an overlooked area in the recent burgeoning of intelligence studies. A wide of range of individuals are covered in this engaging study, from commanders and diplomats, […]


The Command of the Air by Giulio Douhet : a Military Times Classic

The Command of the Air is the  greatest military treatise on air war ever written – a dogmatic manifesto promising victory through strategic bombing. Giulio Douhet (1869-1930), air war’s greatest prophet, ought to have been a First World War fighter ace. In fact, he may never have learnt to fly. He was an army officer, […]


Bouncing Bomb Man: The Science of Sir Barnes Wallis

Ian Murray Haynes Publishing, £25 ISBN 978-1844255887 Barnes Wallis came to the public’s attention with the release of The Dam Busters, the 1955 film that illustrated the success of bouncing bombs in the destruction of German dams in 1943, and the heroism of the men of 617 Squadron. Little else was generally known about the […]


Great War Lives: A Guide for Family Historians – Paul Reed

Fuelled by TV shows such as Who Do You Think You Are?, interest in family history has exploded in recent years. And because it was the first British war in which the whole nation – women workers, nurses, and ambulance drivers, as well as men; volunteers as well as conscripts and professional soldiers, sailors, and […]


Small Wars by Colonel C E Callwell : a Military Times Classic

We review Colonel C E Callwell’s famous Late Victorian counter-insurgency manual, Small Wars: Their Principles and Practice. The military academies are buzzing with counter-insurgency theory. Recent wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya, Somalia, Lebanon, Gaza, and elsewhere are putting a premium on anti-guerrilla doctrine. Little wonder, then, that Colonel C E Callwell’s Small Wars, a century-old manual […]

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