ARmy Rumour SErvice

Review: Cameos of War by Brian Guy (Swordman)

Many ARRSERs and some from other sites will be well acquainted with the tales of “Swordman” on the ARRSE Military History Forum “Swordman 1941-1944”.  Now some may ask why only 1944, well Brian lost an argument with a particular bangy thing, which to this day he does not know if it was a mine or a shell, just that it left him somewhat short of the issued number of limbs.  Hence the royalties and profits from the sale of this book are going to BLESMA – the British Limbless Ex-Servicemans’ Association. Read more ›

Review: Military Detention Colchester by Carole McEntee-Taylor

The Military Corrective Training Centre (MCTC) Colchester has always been a place of mystery and suspicion for those of us lucky enough never to have been sent there.  The tales about the treatment of soldiers, and those detailed to escort them there, are legendary.  This book, written by someone who works at MCTC, helps to draw back the veil of that mystery. Read more ›

Review: The Great War: The People’s Story by Isobel Charman

There have been many instances where television programmes and series have been based on existing books but it is unusual to find a book written as a form of spin off from a television programme. This is exactly what Isobel Charman has done as a result of information found while carrying out research for the The Great War: The People’s Story, a series to be shown on television.

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Review: The Jail Busters by Robert Lyman

The Amiens raid was a precision strike by nineteen Mosquito fighter bombers with an escort of Typhoon fighters in February 1944. It breached the walls of a prison used to hold captured members of the French resistance, killing some but allowing others to escape. Because of the involvement of the UK’s intelligence services, news of the raid was not made public until November – nine months after the raid. Read more ›

Review: A Month at the Front – July 1917 : Anonymous

This is a short book published by the Bodleian Library and came from a set of papers handed in to the Library as part of a larger donation although the donator did not have any information regarding its provenance.  There is no indication of who wrote the diary but the unit can be identified as 12th Bn The East Surrey Regiment. Read more ›

Review: Black Flag by Jake Morris.

Jake Morris is an ex soldier turned author, this is his debut novel, the sequel is due for release soon. This book is a political thriller set in the modern day. The story revolves around the main character who is introduced within the first couple of opening lines, an ex soldier by the name of Owen Gallagher, it soon becomes apparent that Gallagher likes a drink as he is suffering from a grade one hangover on page one and cures this by having a hair of the dog in his favourite establishment.  Read more ›

Review: The Bosch Deception by Alex Connor

I previously reviewed “The Caravaggio Conspiracy” by this author and this book is written in the same vain and retains at its core the secretive and dangerous world of fine art.

In this book, a disgraced and defrocked priest is told that a mysterious message reputedly by Hieronymus Bosch, the Dutch painter famous for his visions of Hell and who died in 1516; or did he?  Read more ›

Review: Why The Japanese Lost by Bryan Perrett

Subtitled ‘The Red Sun’s Setting’, this book sets out to determine the reasons behind Japan’s defeat in World War Two.  The author, describes the development of Japan from a medieval samurai culture to being able to wage an expansionist war with relatively modern naval forces.

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Review: 1 Group Bomber Command by C Ward

Having recently finished reading Bomber Harris’s “Bomber Command Dispatch on War Operations 1942-1945“, this book gave me the opportunity to look at the work of an individual Group of Bomber Command. The book starts with the formation of the group in 1940. Equipped with Fairey Battles, it deployed to France as the Advanced Air Striking Force, and received a mauling trying to hold back the Blitzkrieg. Returning to England, it re-equipped with the Vickers Wellington and then the Avro Lancaster, and had a brief dalliance with the Handley Page Halifax. The book takes us through all of these developments and details the squadrons, their triumphs and tragedies, and other key events. Conventionally laid out, the first half of the book takes us year by year through the history. The second half of the book is a comprehensive reference work detailing the Squadrons, stations, commanding officers, aircraft statistics and individual aircraft histories within 1 Group. Read more ›

Railways of the Great War, by Michael Portillo

It was the war to end all wars. It was the first truly mechanised war, and it required the movement of massive amounts of material and people, movement that road transport – still really in it’s infancy – could not handle, but there were the railroads. Mobilisation depended on it, the feeding of the millions of troops depended on it and the huge amounts of munitions required were moved by the railways. Read more ›


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