ARmy Rumour SErvice

A Soldier’s Best Friend. By Stephen Paul Stewart

With so many books having been written about Afghanistan and with the British withdrawal virtually complete, it is hard to imagine that a book of such striking originality could emerge at this late stage.

However, the author, a self-confessed dog lover, has tapped a seam which will appeal to a wide audience including military enthusiasts, dog lovers and the wider general public. There is something here for everyone. Read more ›

Review:The Battle of Bellewaarde by Carole McEntee-Taylor

2am , a quiet sector of the Ypres salient was shrouded in mist. By the end of the day 4000 men fought and died in a half mile square. The British 3rd Division planned to take the ridge and deny it’s observation posts to the entrenched German Army.This book tells the story of a small but bloody battle long since passed into history. Until now there has been no fitting memorial at Bellewaarde and royalties from the book will go towards a memorial on site Read more ›

Review: Type 45 Destroyer Haynes Owners’ Workshop Manual by Prof. Jonathan Gates

Haynes here present a first class, and extraordinarily comprehensive, description of the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer, covering its genesis, design, development, building, construction, hull, machinery, weapons systems and operation. The author is ex-RCNC and BAE and was part of the T45 design team. This is the real thing, produced with the support of the RN, the MoD and BAE and with contributions from these and a galaxy of suppliers and contractors. These have also provided information for the author’s own pertinent and clear diagrams and drawings. I had the considerable privilege of a brief tour of a T45 a couple of months ago. I now understand what I was seeing. Read more ›

Review: The Chemists’ War 1914-1918 by Michael Fremantle

As the title suggests this book concerns the chemistry that went on during the war.  We are all no doubt aware of the Germans use of Mustard Gas during this bloody conflict but this book casts light on how the British and Americans also used gas such as Chlorine gas something I was not aware of.

This book goes into great detail about the chemists on both sides of the conflict and how different the German mentality was in employing chemists in chemical factories both before and during the war.  It explains, and somehow I think this country has never caught up, how the German companies employed chemists on the board of directors, whereas in Britain no chemist sat on a board in any British chemical company, quite extraordinary. Read more ›

Review: Constant Vigilance – The RAF Regiment in the Burma Campaign by Nigel W.M. Warwick

‘The Royal Air Force Regiment’, which came into existence in the United Kingdom on 1st February 1942 following the signing of the Royal Warrant by King George VI, was the title conferred upon the newest Corps of the RAF. Its personnel were drawn from the old ‘Ground Defense Branch’ of the RAF and the intent, expressed in the Air Ministry memorandum of 5th February 1942, was to be more than just a formation of Aerodrome guards.

(Para 2 of Page 2 of this book) Read more ›

Review: Stilwell and the Chindits Jon Diamond.

Stilwell and the Chindits The Allied Campaign in Northern Burma 1943-1944. Rare photographs from wartime archives . Read more ›

Review: The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth

Forsyth is a master storyteller and his previous books such as Day of the Jackal, The Odessa File and many more have been contemporary thrillers, dealing with events that are relevant to the era.  In this book he has continued this trend in that the story is about young men being radicalised to Islam, being brainwashed into committing acts of terrorism against the country in which they live.  Some are immigrants and asylum seekers, others are second generation or indeed converts to Islam.  The brainwashing has been done over the internet by a man known as The Preacher; he sends out sermons as video-casts which are placed in a closed area of the web to which people are invited rather than find by error.  The sermons encourage and entice young men to rise up in Jihad by attacking a prominent member of their community in suicide attacks.  Politicians and prominent businessmen in the USA, UK and other areas or the world are killed for no apparent reason but in each case forensic work finds the sermons on their computers. Read more ›

Review of Lost Legend of the Thryberg Hawk by Jack Holroyd

The wars of the Roses is usually remembered as being a series of battles between Yorkshire and Lancashire in order to decide who would rule England whereas it was actually the struggles between two branches of the House of Plantagenet which lasted for some forty years. Essentially between the north and the south, some of the bloodiest battles took place across England while the monarchy of the country was being established and Jack Holroyd has used this period in history, which includes the battle of Towton in 1461, to write the fictional tale of two boys who were involved at that time.

Read more ›

Review: Stout Hearts: The British and Canadians in Normandy 1944 by Ben Kite

Quite a few new books about the Normandy campaign have issued in 2014, the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. This one is a bit different. Most of the books that I have read focus on the conduct of the various battles, describing the factors that influenced their outcome and debating about the relative merits of the armies and their commanders. Read more ›

Review: Companions by Peter Darman

Companions is the fifth novel in a series by Peter Darman about a Middle Eastern warrior king in Roman times.  The previous four books (The Parthian, Parthian Dawn, Parthian Vengeance and Carrhae) had followed King Parcorus from life as a slave alongside Spartacus through to the end of his reign; this book returns to a point mid-way through his reign.  This is great news as it appeared the last book might have taken the series to its natural conclusion – with this book, the possibility of plenty more now looks hopeful.  As I have commented before, this series of Parthian Chronicles compares well to the Sharpe series, with many similarities especially the comfortable writing style that keeps the reader gripped and entertained. Read more ›


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