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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 1,605 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

Steel Wall at Arnhem - The Destruction of 4 Parachute Brigade, 19 September 1944, David Truesdale. A detailed account of the part played by the 4th Parachute Brigade in the fighting at Arnhem – their arrival on the second day, their failed attempt to break through the German defensive line between the bridge and the landing grounds and the prolonged defence of the Division position at Oosterbeek. A very detailed account of the Brigade’s activities, focusing on the entire battle, not just the events of 19 September(Read Full Review)
Walcheren to Waterloo - The British Army in the Low Countries during the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815, Andrew Limm. A good history of the unsuccessful British campaigns in the Low Countries between 1793 and 1814, looking in detail at how each army was organised and led, and examining the reasons for their general lack of success. Less convincing when looking at the idea of a transformation of the British military, although this does provide a different viewpoint of these campaigns (Read Full Review)
Roman Emperor Zeno, Peter Crawford. A biography of the Eastern Roman Emperor most famous for being on the throne when the last western Emperor was deposed, but who managed to maintain his own position despite facing a wide range of internal and external opponents. Looks at his background, his rise to power, his difficult reign, his achievements, his rather negative later reputation, and if it was genuinely deserved (Read Full Review)
Luftwaffe Training Aircraft – The Training of Germany’s Pilots and Aircrew through rare archive photographs, Chris Goss. A comprehensive photographic study of the many types of aircraft used to train the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. Good quality pictures and useful captions, but could have done with brief introductions to each aircraft. A good selection of photographs covering a wide range of aircraft, with useful individual captions (Read Full Review)
Balloons and Airships – A Tale of Lighter Than Air Aviation, Anthony Burton. A rather fun look at the history of lighter than air aviation, going all the way from the earliest experiments with manned balloons, through the early 20th century heyday of the airship and finishing with today’s leasure ballooning and some of the attempts to revive the airship. A fascinating look at the brave pioneers of air flight, and the impact they had on the world. Also includes a look at the balloon at war – in the Franco-Prussian War and American Civil War and the use of the airship during the First World War(Read Full Review)
C-130 Hercules - A History, Martin W. Bowman. A look at the impressive career of the C-130 Hercules, one of the most successful military aircraft of all time, cover its six decades of service with the US military, as well its service with Australian, New Zealand and Great Britain, its use as a straightforward transport, as a gunship and in all sorts of specialist roles. A very readable account of the exploits of this remarkable aircraft and its crews (Read Full Review)
Foundations of an African Civilisation - Aksum and the Northern Horn 1000 BC-AD 1300, David W. Phillipson. Focuses on the Kingdom of Aksum, a major civilisation that thrived in the northern Horn of Africa, with material on the long period before it emerged and the dynasty that followed. A detailed academic study of the kingdom most famous for introducing Christianity to Ethiopia and the earlier rock cut churches, focusing largely on the archaeological evidence. Aksum emerges as a fascinating civilisation, capable of producing some impressive monuments and supporting a sizable population in the area around its capital (Read Full Review)
French Armoured Cruisers 1887-1932, John Jordan and Philippe Caresse. Looks at a group of ships that when first built posed a real threat to Britain’s naval lines of communication, but that have been largely forgotten because they were seen as badly outdated by the outbreak of the First World War. Includes a great deal of detail of the often complex design process, and some of the best plans of warships I’ve seen. An excellent study of some of the most powerful warships of their time(Read Full Review)

 


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