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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 1,593 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

The Irish Brigade 1670-1745 – The Wild Geese in French Service, D P Graham. An excellent history of the Irish troops who went on to form the Wild Geese, the exiled Irish forces fighting for the French. At its best when looking at the Williamite War in Ireland in 1678-81 when the Irish troops were fighting directly for James II after he had been expelled from England, and on the period before that, when Irish troops served the French and Spanish because the Test Acts prevented most Catholics from joining the British forces (Read Full Review)
Runways to Freedom - The Special Duties Squadrons of RAF Tempsford, Robert Body. A splendid history of Nos.138 and 161 Squadrons, the Special Duties squadrons that carried agents in and out of occupied Europe, dropped supplies and generally supported the work of the resistance movements. Highly secret during the war, their records were declassified fairly quickly, but this is a rare full length study of the two squadrons, and is well overdue! Not quite a day-by-day history, but not far off, with coverage of just about every lost aircraft as well as many successful missions (Read Full Review)
The True Chronicles of Jean le Bel, 1290-1360, trans. Nigel Bryant. The first English translation of the True Chronicles of Jean le Bel, one of the most important primary sources for the reign of Edward III and the early part of the Hundred Years War, written at the time by someone who actually participated in Edward’s early campaigns in Scotland, and who talked to participants in the events that he described. A remarkable and surprisingly readable source that gives us a rare insight into how the participants in these events saw them(Read Full Review)
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 2: The English Invasion of Wales - The fall of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd Focuses on Edward I’s conquest of Wales and the fall of Llywelyn the Last, the last generally recognised independent native prince of Wales, with articles on the career of Edward I, Llywelyn’s slippery brother David, the war itself and Edward’s famous castles. Elsewhere ranges from Anglo-Saxon riddles to Korean peasant resistance to the Japanese during the Imjin War! [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeAncient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 3 Roman against Roman, Caesar and Pompey in the Balkans Focuses on the key campaign in the fall of the Roman Republic, where an outnumbered Caesar came back from an early defeat to overcome Pompey and the main defenders of the Republic, removing the main opposition to his personal rule. Also looks at the sources for Legionary cavalry, the difficult art of the ambush and the presence of the cataphract in north-western Europe [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeAncient Warfare Vol XII, Issue 1: Army for an Empire - Augustus’s new model military Focuses on the army used by Augustus during his rise to power and the reforms he put in place after the end of the civil war. Takes an unusual approach, built around a single long article on the main theme supported by small inserts to produce a useful study of the first Roman Imperial army. Supported by a series of articles on other Greek and Roman topics [see more]
Churchill's Last Wartime Secret – the 1943 German Raid Airbrushed from History, Adrian Searle. Although I’m not convinced by the author’s case for a German raid on the Isle of Wight, his historical methods are sound, and he prevents the evidence for and against the story, and includes a detailed examination and debunking of similar stories from elsewhere around the coast. The idea of a raid on a radar base in 1943 is at best unproven, but the case is presented fairly, with much more balance than is often the case in this sort of book(Read Full Review)
Modern Snipers, Leigh Neville. Looks at the uses of the sniper in the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, against the insurgencies that followed, and on domestic anti-terrorism and police duties. An interesting look at the surprising variety of roles carried out by modern snipers, from the obvious elimination of high value targets or military threats to long term reconnaissance duties. Also reveals just how many different organisations currently field snipers, from the world’s many Special Forces units to domestic police forces(Read Full Review)

 


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