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.
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.
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.
With this book, Paul Rahe continues his projected six-volume account of the history of the Spartan state.