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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 1,650 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

Torpedo Bombers 1900-1950, Jean-Denis Lepage. Looks at the fairly short history of the torpedo bomber, focusingly mainly on the aircraft themselves, with a series of historical introductions looking at the development of the torpedo and torpedo bomber, and each of the historical periods the book is split into. The book is built around hundreds of short articles on the individual aircraft, each supported by at least one of the author’s own illustrations. Very useful for the earlier period, and well into the Second World War, perhaps less so later on, reflecting the decline of the actual torpedo bomber!(Read Full Review)
Malaya and Singapore 1941-42, Mark Stille. Looks at one of the most disastrous campaigns in British military history, from the Japanese landings in northern Malaya and southern Thailand to the failed attempt to defend Singapore. Starts with an examination of the justifiably criticised British commanders and their more experienced and capable Japanese opponents, and of the opposing forces, before moving on to a good clear account of the skilful Japanese advance and the often woeful British defence, which led to the eventual surrender of Singapore and over 130,000 POWs. (Read Full Review)
North Africa and the Middle East – Wargames Terrain & Buildings, Tony Harwood. Part two in a series on scratch building wargaming terrain, looking at North Africa and the Middle East, but with no particular time period in mind. Contains a mix of fairly simple and more complex models, mainly buildings but also including a gunboat and an entire oasis scene. The many and varied techniques look fairly achievable, and the instructions are nice and clear. Now I just need an excuse to build myself a model mud brick hut! (Read Full Review)
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeAncient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 5: Riding into Battle - Ancient mounted warfare Focuses on mounted warfare in the ancient world, but with a wider remit than horse cavalry, so includes a look at dromedary troops, two articles on war elephants and one on a type of infantry that found alongside the cavalry, as well as the evidence for cavalry on the Pydna monument, and an examination of how the Legions cared for their horses. Also includes an alternative theory on how the Legions fought, and a look at a mystery troop type mentioned in a Roman military manual [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 4: From Priest to King - Sverrir Sigurdsson and his saga Focuses on the career of Sverri Sigurdsson who rose from humble origins and early training to be a priest to win the crown of Norway after a successful rebellion against an apparently popular king. One of those historical figures who life reads more like a novel than real life, at least in part because many of the details come from a saga that he probably just about co-authored!  Also looks at the impact of the Black Death on warfare, in particular the Hundred Years, which was in its early stages at the time [see more]
Try Ancient Warfare magazine for 6 months. Click to subscribeMedieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 5: Early Arab Assaults on Byzantium Focuses on the early Arab attacks on the city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine armies that defeated them, including a convincing argument that the first Arab siege, of 674-8, probably didn’t happen in that form as well as a look at the siege of 717-8 that very much did. Includes a fascinating account of the contacts between the Spanish in the Philippines and Japanese exiles, including as enemies and as much admired mercenaries [see more]
Special Forces in the War on Terror, Leigh Neville. Looks at the used of the many Special Forces units available to the Americans and their allies during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and during the wider war on Terror, looking both at how they were organised and directed at a top level, and at many of their individual missions on the ground, as well as how their equipment and techniques evolved over time. Ends before the rise of ISIS to prominence, although there are a few mentions along the way (Read Full Review)
Run to the Sound of the Guns, Nicholas Moore & Mir Bahmanyar. A very atmospheric account of the experiences of a US Army Ranger who was involved in the War of Terror from the start in 2001 until being wounded in 2011. This period saw the Rangers evolve from a unit that carried out large scale operations, to one capable of carrying out the sort of small scale raids previous left to the Special Forces, and Moore is an engaging guide to that development. We get a convincing mix of successful and unsuccessful operations, and a real feel for what it was like to carry out operations in the Afghan mountains or the Iraqi urban landscape (Read Full Review)
Prisoners on Cannock Chase, Richard Purehouse. A rare history of a First World War era Prisoner of War camp in Britain, looking at a camp built on Cannock Chase, combining a normal POW camp and a hospital camp. Covers the physical layout of the camp, life within the camp, entertainment, discipline and complaints about the commandant. An interesting account of an unusual topic, with good material from the German point of view, that of the camp’s garrison as well as from the locals in the Cannock area. (Read Full Review)
The Battleships of the Iowa Class, Philippe Caresse. An impressive history of the Iowa class battleships, translated flawlessly from French, and with the space within its 500 pages to contain a detailed technical history of the ships, accounts of each of their long service careers and to have more photographs than most pictorial guides could ever hope to have! The photographs benefit greatly from the survival of all four of these ships, to show us fascinating views of their interioirs, of the type that almost never survive for their contemporary warships (Read Full Review)

 


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