ARmy Rumour SErvice

Review: Seaforth World Naval Review 2015

A welcome arrival at the Subsunk RHQ is this year’s Seaforth World Naval Review, which is starting to become the reviewer’s annual ‘state of the nation’ for global naval affairs. 2015’s volume follows the standard SWNR format, broken down as it is into a global overview, a high-level summary of world fleets, a series of articles on significant ships, and a look at emerging technology trends.
SWNR, as always, is a far more measured affair than, say, the monthly ‘Warships International Fleet Review‘ and has a more dispassionate tone. Read more ›

Review: The Death’s Heads Chess Club by John DONOGHUE

This is a fictional story set in the darkest of places, Auschwitz at the height of The Final Solution.  It is also set in 1962 in the city of Amsterdam which is the venue for a chess tournament, the winner of which will be able to take part in the world chess championships.

Emil Clement, a Jew from France is been interviewed on local radio the subject matter touches on his book which tells of the horrors and his first-hand experience of surviving the Death Camp, Auschwitz.  Emil explains that there is no such thing as a good German.

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Review: Rome’s Lost Son by Robert Fabbri

Nero is two steps away from Emperorship, his father Emperor Claudius (the stutterer) has many enemies and favours his other son Britannicus , Messalina plots ruthlessly for Britannicus and with a weak emperor in control, lethal factions jockey for position. In the middle of all of this Vespasian delivers the captured British leader Caratacus to Rome expecting the death of Caratacus and a promotion for himself. Read more ›

The Secret World of the Victorian Lodging House Joseph O’Neill.

“Criminals, Drifters, Beggars and the Shoeless plus all manner of itinerant persons of the underclass passed at some time or another through the Victorian Lodging House.  These places were to be found in every town or city  where they were seen as the schools for  prostitutes and apprenticed thieves.   The houses provided some  shelter for those who refused to go on the parish, otherwise known as going into the workhouse. Joseph O’Neill’s fresh  research brings a greater insight of this world of wandering  labourers, pedlars and those with no hope who were prepared to share a straw bed with whomever else was in the room as well  the army of lice and bedbugs.” Read more ›

Review: The Prey by Tony Park

Seen by some as the successor to Wilbur Smith, Tony Park’s love and knowledge of the South African bush is obvious to the reader and forms the backdrop to his latest novel.
The hero of the piece is Cameron McMurtrie, manager of a gold mine that is having problems with illegal mining in it’s old working areas. McMurtrie has previously dealt with such illegal operations by sending armed personnel to forcefully expel the “illegals” and destroy their equipment. Casualties were accepted as an inevitable outcome of such robust tactics. However, the mines new owners will not allow this type of approach following the underground kidnapping of one worker and the killing of two others. They are also intent on side-lining McMurtrie, seeing him as a relic of a bygone era. What is not apparent to the new owners is the power of the illegal miners leader and the bitter feud that exists between him and McMurtrie. Each is determined to destroy the other. Read more ›

Review: The War In Italy 1943 – 1944. By John Grehan and Martin Mace

As the authors say “The objective of this book is to reproduce the despatches of Alexander and Cunningham……….they have not been modified in any way and are therefore the original and unique words of the commanding officers as they saw things at the time“.
There are three shorter despatches:
1.Viscount Alexander’s, regarding the Conquest of Sicily, 10th July to 17th August, 1943.
2. Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham’s regarding the Invasion of Sicily.
3. Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham’s regarding the Landings in the Gulf of Salerno, 9th September,1943.
Finally, there is the much longer despatch by Field Marshall, Lord Alexander which details the campaign in Italy, 3rd September 1943 to 12th December, 1944. Read more ›

Review: The Saxon Network by Norman Hartley

An easy to follow and difficult to put down detective story based on a character who is ex-military and an ex MI6 intelligence officer.

Without giving too much away, John Saxon finds himself confronted in his new job at the BBC World Service by well-connected bad guys from his past, one of whom raped and killed his wife.

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Review: Brothers in Blood by Simon Scarrow

Continuing the series following Prefect Cato and his sidekick Centurion Macro, this book sees them in cold damp Britain as part of a battle depleted 14th Legion.  Having fallen foul of the powers that be by actually winning a battle, Cato has been assigned the task of looking after the camp followers and baggage train.  Ostensibly this is because his command has been so depleted that they can’t take their place in the ORBAT, but it is made clear that he is not exactly flavour of the month.

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Review: Memoirs From the British Expeditionary Force 1914-1915 by Lord Edward Gleichen

Edward Gleichen commanded the 15th Infantry Brigade during the confused and tumultuous opening battles of the First World War. This book is a gem, the author writes with the usual understatement and sang froid of the period, but this does not detract from his obvious affection and admiration for “His Battalions” and his loathing for pointless casualties.

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Book Review: Blast Radius by R L McKinney

Sean McNicol is an ex-Marine Sergeant who has been discharged after an IED in Afghanistan left him partially deafened and with post-traumatic stress disorder. Having returned to his childhood home in the Scottish borders south of Edinburgh he is confronted by the remnants of his tough upbringing while fighting the demons arising from his military experiences since leaving. This charming novel describes his journey to redemption or desolation. Read more ›


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