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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 1,707 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 Mighty Warrior Kings – From the Ashes of the Roman Empire to the New Ruling Order, Philip J. Potter. A series of biographies of significant Medieval kings, largely focused on their military careers, with limited analysis of other aspects of their reign. Few if any surprises in the kings chosen, but the all-inclusive approach to their military careers does mean that we learn about many conflicts that are otherwise ignored or skipped over, such as the 1069-70 Viking invasion of England or Richard I’s extensive military experience before becoming king(Read Full Review)
Armies of Celtic Europe – 700BC – AD106 – History, Organization and Equipment, Gabriele Esposito. A look at the military history of the ancient Celts, from their origins in central Europe through their expansion west into modern France, Spain and Britain and east into the Balkans and Anatolia, and their long conflict with the expanding Roman empire. Especially strong on the armours and weaponry of the Celts, and illustrated with a large number of pictures of modern re-enactors showing a wide range of types of Celtic arms and armour (Read Full Review)
Rome’s Sicilian Slave Wars, Natale Barca. Looks at the first and second Servile Wars, massive slave uprisings that threatened Roman control of Sicily, and with it the grain supply to the city of Rome. Places them in the context of the wider Mediterranean world, the nature of the ancient slave trade, and the increasingly unstable nature of Roman politics. I don’t entirely agree with some of the author’s conclusions, but I did find this a useful book on two major conflicts that are often only mentioned in passing(Read Full Review)
God’s Viking – Harald Hardrada, the Life and Times of the Last Great Viking, Nic Fields. A look at the world in which Harald lived rather than an actual biography of the man, so has large sections on the history of the Vikings in Russia, the Varangian Guards, Viking warfare and so forth, often going some time without actually mentioning Harald. Includes plenty of interesting material on Harald’s world, but needed to focus more on its subject, or at least bring all of the pieces on Harald together before heading off into the background(Read Full Review)
German Soldier versus Polish Soldier, Poland 1939, David R. Higgins. Looks at three battles between German and Polish infantry from the early days of the German invasion, when the Poles were still able to put up a decent fight, including a brief account of the development of both armies, how they were trained and equipped before moving onto good accounts of the battles, with excellent material from both sides (Read Full Review)
US Air Cavalry Trooper versus North Vietnamese Soldier – Vietnam 1965-68, Chris McNab. Largely focuses on the combat record of the US 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in 1966-7, looking at how it performed in three battles against the North Vietnamese. Good on the US side, a bit thin in the Vietnamese side, so better seen as a examination of the airmobile concept than a direct comparison of the two units covered (Read Full Review)
Dettingen 1743 – Miracle on the Main, Michael McNally. Looks at the last battle at which a British monarch commanded troops (George II), and a battle in which the French skilfully drew the opposing Pragmatic Army into a trap, only for the actions of one of the subordinate French commanders to give the allies a chance to escape from the trap. A good account of a battle in which both sides made major mistakes, and both sides were able to claim a victory of sorts (Read Full Review)
Armies of the Italian-Turkish Wars – Conquest of Libya, 1911-1912, Gabriele Esposito. Focuses more on the war itself than the armies that fought it, with the main emphasis on the fighting in Libya, but also covers the conquest of the Dodecanese and the limited naval campaigns. Does include orders of battle and descriptions of the armies themselves, but these take up less space than is often the case in this series. The result is a useful introduction to this relatively little known but significant war (Read Full Review)
The French 75, Steven J. Zaloga. A look at the develop and combat record of the French 75mm M1897, the first modern field gun, explaining the technical advances that made it such an impressive weapons, as well as the flaws that were revealed after the outbreak of war in 1914, and its impressive post-war career (Read Full Review)
Soviet Armoured Cars 1936-45, Jamie Prenatt. A useful look at the main types of armoured cars produced in the Soviet Union before and during the Second World War, looking at nine main types and their use in combat in Spain, the Far East, Poland, Finland and during the Second World War, including an example of how the lessons of combat could be misleading, after the armoured cars were able to compete on an equal footing with the very light tanks found in the earlier battles (Read Full Review)
Peter the Great’s Revenge – The Russian Siege of Narva in 1704, Boris Megorsky. Looks at one of Peter the Great’s successes during the Great Northern War, the capture of the Swedish controlled fortified city of Narva, a key position on the western approaches to Peter’s new city at St Petersburg. An interesting mix of a day-by-day narrative of the attack and inserts explaining how the major figures were and discussing aspects of eighteenth century siege warfare. An effective approach that gives us a rounded picture of the nature of siege warfare during the Great Northern War, as well as looking at the only time the Russians actually needed to storm a major besieged city(Read Full Review)
King Philip’s War 1675-76, America’s Deadliest Colonial Conflict, Gabriele Esposito. Looks at the last real chance the Native Americans of New England had to reclaim their homeland from the Puritan colonists who had arrived fifty-five years earlier, and rapidly spread across the area, while the Native Americans had been devastated by disease and pushed out of many of their original areas as the colonies expanded. The result was a costly war, in which the Native Americans were able to inflict a series of costly defeats on the Colonists, but not able to realistically threaten their larger settlements, giving them little or no chance of defeating the more numerous colonists (Read Full Review)

 


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