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Here we offer a selection of our favourite books on military history. Some are the books we have used as sources for this site, some are good introductions to their subjects and others are interesting oddities.

We also have a selection of 1,438 longer book reviews.

All links on this site go straight to the relevant Amazon web site (currently we link to the UK, US and Canadian sites), where you can place orders for any of the books listed here.

Recent Reviews

Click for full list of recent reviews

You Can't Get Much Closer Than This, A.Z. Adkins Jr and Andrew Z Adkins, III. The often moving diaries of Captain A. Z. Adkins, an officer in the 317th Infantry Regiment, 80th Division, tracing his experiences as he fought his way from Normandy to the end of the war, serving with a heavy weapons company and then with 81mm mortars. A vivid picture of what it was like to be under fire at the front line, the painful nature of the Allied progress across Europe, and the sudden change as German resistance finally broke in the last days of the war (Read Full Review)
Seizing the Enigma - The Race to break the German U-Boat Codes, 1939-1943, David Kahn. A fascinating account of the struggle to crack the German Navy’s version of the Enigma, covering the development of the machine, the international efforts to break the code, and the long British efforts to get into the Navy Enigma, including the Navy expeditions to capture key parts of the machine and related documents. Does a good job of explaining this complex story, with the space to go into more detail of the specific naval aspects(Read Full Review)
Britain and the Widening War 1915-1916 – From Gallipoli to the Somme, ed. Peter Liddle. Covers a wide range of topics, from wartime to modern records of wartime archaeology, covering a rather wider date range than the title would suggest, and several articles that don’t directly relate to Britain. The result is an interesting selection of articles covering unusual aspects of the war, or unusual views of familiar topics such as Verdun or the Somme(Read Full Review)
Sea & Air Fighting – Those Who Were There, David Bilton. A series of lively accounts of air and naval exploits, clearly written while they were still fresh in the mind, and before the inter-war cynicism took root. As a result gives us a feel for how these actions must have felt at the time, covering an impressively wide range of topics. Serves as a reminder of the time the First World War was the most recent, most high technology war ever fought, and away from the trenches had more than enough dramatic incidents to fill several books like this (Read Full Review)
Gold Run - The Rescue of Norway's Gold Bullion from the Nazis, April 1940, Robert Pearson. Looks at the successful attempt to save the last batch of Norwegian gold still in the country when the Germans invaded, a lengthy journey that saw the gold taken off in British warships from different ports, with some reaching Tromso in the far north of Norway before being evacuated! A tale of dedication to duty in very difficult circumstances (Read Full Review)
Grouchy's Waterloo - The Battles of Ligny and Wavre, Andrew W. Field. Focuses on Marshal Grouchy’s performance during the key days of the Waterloo campaign - his own actions, the behaviour of his senior subordinates, Napoleon’s orders to him, and how they all combined to affect the outcome of the campaign. Covers some of the most controversial moments of the Waterloo campaign and the post-war battle of allocate blame for the French defeat(Read Full Review)
Rommel in his own words, ed. Dr John Pimlott. Starts with his inter-war account of his First World War experiences, then moves on to the Second World War, with some material on the 1940 campaign and the defence of France, but with the largest section covering his famous campaigns in the desert of North Africa. Includes private letters, official reports and published works, giving us a range of Rommel’s public and private views(Read Full Review)
Spearhead of the Fifth Army - the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment in Italy, from the Winter Line to Anzio, Frank van Lunteren. A very ‘up close’ study of the combat experiences of the 504th PIR, covering the advance to the Winter Line, the fighting at the Barbara and Bernhardt Lines and the regiments’ participation at Anzio. Very good on the day-to-day experiences of the combat troops, perhaps not so good on putting them in the wider context(Read Full Review)
British Commando 1940-45, Angus Konstam. A overview of the British Commandos, focusing on what made them different to the regular army, the sort of skills they were required to have, the training that made sure they gained them, and the wide range of equipment that they carried into combat. Also includes a good ‘On Campaign’ section that gives an overview of the sort of experiences the Commandos underwent in combat, but focuses mainly on their training and skills(Read Full Review)

 


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