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Here we offer a selection of our favourite books on military history. Some are the books we have used as sources for this site, some are good introductions to their subjects and others are interesting oddities.

We also have a selection of 1,698 longer book reviews.

All links on this site go straight to the relevant Amazon web site (currently we link to the UK, US and Canadian sites), where you can place orders for any of the books listed here.

Recent Reviews

Click for full list of recent reviews

Soviet Armoured Cars 1936-45, Jamie Prenatt. A useful look at the main types of armoured cars produced in the Soviet Union before and during the Second World War, looking at nine main types and their use in combat in Spain, the Far East, Poland, Finland and during the Second World War, including an example of how the lessons of combat could be misleading, after the armoured cars were able to compete on an equal footing with the very light tanks found in the earlier battles (Read Full Review)
Peter the Great’s Revenge – The Russian Siege of Narva in 1704, Boris Megorsky. Looks at one of Peter the Great’s successes during the Great Northern War, the capture of the Swedish controlled fortified city of Narva, a key position on the western approaches to Peter’s new city at St Petersburg. An interesting mix of a day-by-day narrative of the attack and inserts explaining how the major figures were and discussing aspects of eighteenth century siege warfare. An effective approach that gives us a rounded picture of the nature of siege warfare during the Great Northern War, as well as looking at the only time the Russians actually needed to storm a major besieged city(Read Full Review)
King Philip’s War 1675-76, America’s Deadliest Colonial Conflict, Gabriele Esposito. Looks at the last real chance the Native Americans of New England had to reclaim their homeland from the Puritan colonists who had arrived fifty-five years earlier, and rapidly spread across the area, while the Native Americans had been devastated by disease and pushed out of many of their original areas as the colonies expanded. The result was a costly war, in which the Native Americans were able to inflict a series of costly defeats on the Colonists, but not able to realistically threaten their larger settlements, giving them little or no chance of defeating the more numerous colonists (Read Full Review)
Britain’s War Against the Slave Trade, Anthony Sullivan. Focuses on Britain’s long naval campaign against the African slave trade, which combined with a prolonged diplomatic effort eventually ended that trade. Largely taken up with accounts of every clash between the Royal Navy and slaving ships along the coast, the fate of those slavers and the people found onboard, but also looks at the attempts to win over the major slaving nations, and the difficulties caused by jointly run courts set up to decide the eventual fate of the captured ships(Read Full Review)
Cromwell’s Failed State and the Monarchy, Timothy Venning. Looks at the political and military history of the period between the end of the First Civil War and the establishment of Cromwell’s Protectorate, largely to ask if the Protectorate or something similar was an almost inevitable result, or if there had ever been a possibility of an agreement with Charles I or another Stuart, or that Parliament might have stayed in power. A bit ramshackle and lacking any introduction to explain its purpose, but otherwise a useful look at key elements of this period that are often skipped over quite quickly.(Read Full Review)
The Frontiers of Imperial Rome, David J. Breeze. Looks at the entire length of the Roman frontier, from the familiar Hadrian’s Wall to the long desert frontiers in Africa and the Middle East, including the man made lines of forts and other features and the natural borders of mountains, rivers and coastlines. An excellent overview of a massive subject, looking at the individual elements of the frontiers, how they linked up along the frontiers and what their actual purpose may have been.(Read Full Review)
Darwin 1942 – The Japanese Attack on Australia, Bob Alford. Focuses on the Japanese air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942, the first and by far the largest of the ninety seven Japanese air attack on the Australian mainland during the Second World War. A very detailed account of the air battle, with eyewitness accounts from both sides, and an excellent analysis of experiences of the airmen on both sides and their losses. (Read Full Review)
Emperors of Rome – The Monsters – From Tiberius to Theodora, AD 14-548, Paul Chrystal. A look at some of the most notorious of the Roman emperors and their famous misdeeds. Covers quite a range, starting with the second emperor, Tiberius, and finishing with the early Byzantine Justinian and his wife Theodora. A bit ‘tabloid’ in nature, recounting the reported sexual misdeeds of a series of Emperors and the Imperial women. Starts with a brief introduction looking at similar atrocities committed in earlier periods, to help put these people in the context of their times, but could have done with more analysis of our sources and their motives(Read Full Review)
The German Army on Campaign 1914-1918, Bob Carruthers. At the same time familiar but different, looks at the First World War from the German side of the lines, so we get the same sort of pictures as in books on the British Army, but with different uniforms and equipment (and more mustaches). An interesting collection of photographs, showing how similar life was on the other side of no man’s land(Read Full Review)

 


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