ARmy Rumour SErvice

Review: The Iron Castle – Angus Donald.

This latest book in The Outlaw Chronicles (a series based around the mythical Robin Hood) continues the War between France’s Philip II and England’s hated King John – this time at the infamous ‘Saucy’ Castle Gaillard in Normandy, France. The Castle was built by Richard the Lion heart, and was described as impregnable and unbeatable. Certainly it was the Jewel in the crown of the English Kings lands in North and West France. Read more ›


Review: Major and Mrs Holt’s Battlefield Guides x 3

 3 Books covering:  Ypres, Western Front – North and D-Day Normandy Landing Beaches

As someone who has run Battlefield Studies to various sites around Europe, I know only too well the issues facing those trying to match maps to books to ground.  A decent guide which does all three makes life much easier.  The authors, Major and Mrs Holt, were among the first to introduce the modern battlefield tour in the 1970s and have retained their place at the top of the trade ever since despite a proliferation of rivals.  Regarded as experts in their field, they have also been used as consultants to help many of the towns and cities mentioned in their tours make appropriate commemorations on important anniversaries. Read more ›


Review: WEEP FOR AFRICA by Jeremy Hall

This is a straightforward memoir of the author’s life in apartheid South Africa and three years of fighting the Rhodesian war against FRELIMO, ZANU and ZIPLA.

The first third of the book describes growing up in the 60s and 70s in apartheid South Africa.  Although Jeremy’s lifestyle was privileged, with plenty of servants and an expensive education, his family were not wealthy by white South African standards. There was instability as his father moved from farm to farm seeking elusive profits.  There are some interesting vignettes of life in an indefensible political structure and the author is clearly uncomfortable with it.  The white fear of black pervades every aspect of life. Read more ›


Review: Defending Britain’s Skies by Mace and Grehan

This is a book containing four of the Official Despatches written by commanders in the Second World War. The first is Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding’s covering the Battle of Britain. The second is General Sir Frederic Pile’s describing his command of home based anti-aircraft guns for the whole of the war. The third of the despatches is that of Marshall of the Royal Air Force Sir Sholto Douglas. It covers the period from when he took over from Dowding – November 1940 to December 1941. Douglas was tasked with defeating the Luftwaffe’s night bombing campaign and carrying out offensive operations over France. The final despatch is Air Chief Marshall Sir Roderic Hill’s from 1944 and 1945 covering the struggle to defeat the V weapons. Read more ›


Review: Hove and Portslade in the Great War – Judy Middleton

I’ll start by saying this is a book written for a specialist market; those interested in local history or those with a general interest in the area. I fall into the latter category, having been born in Portslade and lived the first twenty five years of my life there. I still have family in the area and have been a regular visitor ever since I moved away. I am thus familiar with the locations in the book.

The author – Judy Middleton – worked in Hove library for over thirty years. By using the material there and in other locations she has become a prolific author of books on local history. In consequence this book is very well researched and contains lots of facts that come as a surprise; even to someone like me with a lot of local knowledge. Read more ›


Review: Spymaster:- The Secret Life of Kendrick by Helen Fry

Following on from her successful  “The M Room“, Helen Fry  has written a very  detailed look at one of the unsung heroes of the 1930’s and 40’s. “Spymaster:  The Secret Life of Kendrick” examines the career of Colonel Thomas Kendrick, whose work with the SIS and MI19 made a significant contribution to the successful outcome of World War Two – and whilst serving as Passport Control Officer in Vienna, saved the lives of thousands of Jews in Austria and Germany helping them to escape the policies of the Hitler and the NAZI regime. Read more ›


Review: BAC-SI, A Green Beret Medic’s War In Vietnam Jerry Krizan & Robert Dumont.

This book describes the then, cutting edge of the American effort during the Vietnam war, specifically the U S Special Forces A teams. Bac Si is the Vietnamese term for medic  and is the story of Sgt. Jerry Krizan, who was assigned to Special Forces Camp A-331 only ten miles from the Cambodian border. Because of it’s proximity to a major north-south NVA infiltration route, there were constant enemy movements and many attacks on camp A-331. Krizan was nicknamed ‘firefight’  as it seemed that every time he went out side the wire the enemy were encountered. It was only after the war that Krizan realised that his SF base at Loc Ninh had infact been only four miles away from an NVA divisional HQ.

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Review: The BEF In France 1939-1940 John Grehan and Martin Mace.

Despatches from the front the BEF in France  manning the front through to the Dunkirk Evacuation.

This is a book for the purest historian, for it is what it says it is,  the Despatches from General Gort’s BEF and Admiral Ramsey’s’ Official account of Operation Dynamo. Also contained are General Sir Alan Brookes Second BEF in France, June 1940, and the evacuation from Cherbourg.

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Review: The Killers of the King by Charles Spencer

 

At school, most people were taught about the Civil War in England in the seventeenth century and learned that it was between the roundheads and cavaliers. The roundheads won and the King’s head was cut off. After that, Cromwell ruled the country until another king came along who was accepted by the people. That is the generally accepted version for those who are not historians. But, of course, it was not quite so and Charles Spencer has written a new book which looks at one aspect of that period in history while providing adequate general background to the situation.

List Price: £20.00 GBP
New From: £8.55 GBP In Stock
Used from: £9.10 GBP In Stock
Release date September 11, 2014.
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Review: The Battle of the Atlantic by Donald Macintyre

This is a re-print of the 1961 book by Captain Donald Macintyre. In fact it is an exact copy and has that lovely typewriter typeface that gives it an added air of authority. As a participant of the battle at sea he has brought a fluid and at times frank assessment of those events leading up to and during what can be argued as the decisive battle of WWII. As he so elegantly writes the survival of the nation lay with those merchant ships keeping the critical goods flowing in and out of the country. The style of the book is engaging, informative and never dull. With the beginnings of the convoy pre-WWI, the lessons learnt in the Great War and then forgotten to only be learnt again, but with the loss of men and ships, as WWII raged. Students of naval warfare will find this a must but to the casual reader it will bring in to sharp focus how close Germany was to choking the countries supply lanes to the extent that surrender would have been a real option.

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