Book Reviews

 
‘Winston Churchill and the Art of Leadership’ is a new book by William Nester that explores how Churchill’s leadership style developed and was shaped by the different experiences through his life. Nester is a well published historian, who has several military history book awards to his name: that experience shines through here in what is both a well written and thought-provokingly fresh take on a popular subject. The book follows Churchill through his life from schoolboy to young adventurer...
 
Logistics in World War II 1939-1945 by John Norris sets out to explain the logistic systems II 1939-1945 employed by the major warring nations in World War II. It covers a range of issues and examines a number of theatres. I was interested in this book for professional and academic reasons (I fear that this may make me some form of service support swot) but I was disappointed in what I found. Norris has ambition, there's no denying it. He's picked one of the biggest subjects in one of the...
 
Clearly artillery played a major part in the Second World War and, like every weapon system, evolved rapidly with advances in engineering, manufacturing, communications and tactics. Calibres and barrel lengths (and thus payload and ranges) increased, yet somehow Wehrmacht heavy artillery remained largely horse drawn. There is surely a fascinating tale to be told. Unfortunately this book is not it. It comprises a huge number of pictures, extracts from manuals, memories from some...
 
This is one of those books that reassuringly does what it says on the cover. It covers, chapter by chapter the anti-air battle in wars from Yom Kippur (1973) onwards. The author, an Indian Army officer, has perhaps a more open and objective view of weapon and crew performances than others might, simply because none of the weapons are of Indian origin. He is not afraid to challenge, for example, the performance of Rapier in the Falklands or Patriot on the First Gulf War. The tales are...
 
The Marines of First Battalion, Ninth Marines earned their macabre moniker 'The Walking Dead' in the Vietnam War. _Into Helmand with the Walking Dead_ follows the experiences of two Marine infantrymen from 1/9 fighting in Afghanistan. Following the 11 September attacks in 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom catalysed the longest war in United States history. The lives of thousands of Afghans, Americans, and many others were forever altered due to the ensuing war. The book is a brutally honest...
 
It’s the end of the world…….. How many times have you heard those words in your life in relation to a book a film, series or even a game? More than a few I’d wager. It turns out that as a race we are obsessed with our own demise. It is this aspect of our psyche that Professor Adam Roberts chooses to explore in this book. I have a friend who writes post apocalyptic fiction and earns a very respectable living doing so, when I explained that I would be reviewing this book he stated “It’s going...
 
307 pages, including Epilogue, bibliography and index, plus notes, acknowledgements, foreword and prologue. Aviation minded readers will be aware of Dilip Sarkar. His output amounts to 35 books prior to this one, and I believe that several more are in the pipeline. His driver appears to tell the human story of war. His publications are mainly aviation related, but he has also produced some naval and military publications. Over the years, he has corresponded with many Battle of Britain...
 
This book is from Pen and Sword as part of their Your Towns and Cities in World War 2 series. As such it may have a limited appeal on here but as such I will review it as part of the Series so that others may form an opinion of whether to buy a copy of the one that covers their area. Pen and Sword Books: Your Towns & Cities in World War Two. It's a reasonably slim book for what is a huge subject considering that Orkney housed a major Royal Naval base, 4 airfields and numerous Army units...
 
Wolfgang Fleischer is a historian and works at the Bundeswehr Military History Museum in Dresden. His many publications include: Military Technology of the First World War; German Artillery 1914-1918; Panzerfaust and other German Infantry Anti-Tank Weapons; The Wehrmacht Weapons Testing Ground at Kummersdorf; Russian Tanks and Armoured Vehicles 1917-1945; Military Vehicles of the Reichswehr; German Infantry Carts, Army Field Wagons and Army Sleds 1900-1945. (Don't some of those titles just...
 
June 1944 and a small group of Special Air Service troops under the command of Captain Patrick Garstin MC are dropped into occupied France with instructions to create mayhem and pave the way for the invasion by delaying or preventing Hitler and his generals rushing their Panzer divisions to the D Day landing zones and pushing the Allies back. Captain Garstin should have been invalided out of the army because of injuries sustained in a previous operation but his grit and determination as well...
 
This is the second volume of a two part history of the Light Division in the Peninsular War. It does justice to the story of the light troops, infantry cavalry and gunners, that screened the British Armies in the Peninsular. It tells of actions missed in big picture accounts that skip from one big battle to the next. By contrast to old fashioned formation histories, it uses individual testimony from officers and soldiers to provide insight into the human experience in this long arduous...
 
A hard book to review this one. I don't think I really "got it" in all honesty. It's really well researched certainly and covers all aspects of how religion related to the Roman world of the period. That is also the problem, it reads like a collection of articles cobbled into a book. Each chapter has an author and ends with a long list of notes which only reinforces that feeling. I think this is one for the real Roman enthusiast rather than the general or even slightly interested reader...
 
This is a well researched book which studies the Roman Soldier, how he was recruited, paid, led and how he retired. While battles do form, part of life their service was not just one battle after another, so this looks at the life of the soldier. Much of what remains is written by officers but information on gravestones and monuments gives the author much information about how soldiers lived. The book is titled ‘Gladius’ purely as this was the weapon carried by most Roman soldiers during...
 
This book is somewhat different from the usual Images of War series in that there is a lot of text, very interesting text. There are a lot of photographs but this 214 page book gives us a much more in-depth look at the subject matter. This is great. The book covers the formation of the LRDG in early 1940 when it was recognised that a reconnaissance group was required to let commanders know what the enemy were doing and where they are. Travelling across the desert is a lot like travelling at...

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