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Arnhem by John Nichol and Tony Rennell is an absolutely gripping narrative packed with action and heroic tales of courage.
'Riveting ... reveals the ice-cool courage of British troops trapped in the bloody shambles of Arnhem' Daily Mail
In September 1944, a mighty shock force of battle-hardened Allied troops dropped from the skies into enemy-occupied Holland in what was hoped would be the decisive final battle of World War II. Landing miles behind the German lines, their daring mission was to secure bridges across the Rhine so that ground forces could make a rapid dash into Nazi Germany. If all went well, the war could be over by Christmas. The plan went terribly wrong ...
Seen through the dramatic first-hand accounts of those who were there, Arnhem is the gripping story of a bitter military defeat that became a triumph of the human spirit. It paints a vivid portrait of those in the cauldron of war, fighting for their lives, fighting for their comrades, fighting for their honour, a battle they won hands down.
For fans of A Bridge Too Far, Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, and for readers of Antony Beevor's Stalingrad and Hugh Sebag-Montefiore's Dunkirk.
John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado bomber was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the first Gulf War in 1991. He was captured and became a prisoner of war. He is the bestselling co-author of Tornado Down and, with Tony Rennell, The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies, Home Run and Medic, and author of five novels. He is also a journalist and widely quoted military commentator. His website is www.johnnichol.com.
Tony Rennell is the author of Last Days of Glory: The Death of Queen Victoria and co-author of When Daddy Came Home, a highly praised study of demobilization in 1945, and with John nichol, The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies, Home Run and Medic. He is a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times and writes regularly on historical subjects for the Daily Mail.
The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller
The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad
'Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . his fans will love it' - Robert Fox, Evening Standard
'The eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity' Daily Mail
On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power.
Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war.
The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle.
It looks into the very heart of war.
'In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character' - Ben Macintyre, The Times
'Superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written' - Saul David, Daily Telegraph
'Complete mastery of both the story and the sources' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review
'Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time' - Jay Elwes, Prospect Magazine
'The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic' - Giles Milton, Sunday Times
'He is a master of his craft . . . we have here a definitive account' - Piers Paul Read, The Tablet
Operation Market Garden: a plan to capture the bridge over the Rhine at Arnhem and outflank the German front.
In all twelve thousand airborne troops were to land, either by parachute or glider, at three drop zones and move towards their objective. As the world now knows the mission was to be 'a bridge too far' for the British forces.
Mike Rossiter has interviewed three of the survivors of those fateful days, each involved in a different flank of the British attack, and in vivid detail reconstructs the events that lead up to this most famous of glorious defeats. It is at once a story of hubris and bad planning, but also of valiant sacrifice and inspirational courage.
Throughout the Second World War, thousands found themselves cut off behind the lines in Nazi-occupied Europe — soldiers were left stranded on beaches after the chaotic evacuation of Dunkirk, airmen flying operations against the Germans were blasted out of the sky by flak and fighters. They were alone and on the run in enemy territory with just one goal — to get back to Britain and to safety.
Some made solitary treks through hundreds of miles of enemy territory, others attempted precarious sea crossings in stolen boats. Many placed their lives in the hands of brave civilians who risked the wrath of a brutal regime if they dared to offer assistance. Life for the evaders hung in the balance and if they were to survive they had to rely on guile and sheer luck.John Nichol and Tony Rennell tell the dramatic story of the heroes who made it home . . . and those who did not.
Aidan Chambers (Author) , Matt Jones (Cover/Jacket Illustrator) , Matt Jones (Cover/Jacket Illustrator)
Aidan Chambers' Carnegie-medal winning novel is about love, discovery and betrayal. It is one of The Originals from Penguin - iconic, outspoken, first.
Jacob, aged 17, is abroad on his own for the time, visiting his grandfather's grave at the commemoration of the Second World War Battle of Arnhem in Holland. Jacob's life-changing experiences are interwoven with the extraordinary wartime story of passion and treachery that he learns from Geertrui, whose family is linked to Jacob's in a way he never suspected.
The Originals are the pioneers of fiction for young adults. From political awakening, war and unrequited love to addiction, teenage pregnancy and nuclear holocaust, The Originals confront big issues and articulate difficult truths. The collection includes: The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton, I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith, Postcards from No Man's Land - Aidan Chambers, After the First Death - Robert Cormier, Dear Nobody - Berlie Doherty, The Endless Steppe - Esther Hautzig, Buddy - Nigel Hinton, Across the Barricades - Joan Lingard, The Twelfth Day of July - Joan Lingard, No Turning Back - Beverley Naidoo, Z for Zachariah - Richard C. O'Brien, The Wave - Morton Rhue, The Red Pony - John Steinbeck, The Pearl - John Steinbeck, Stone Cold - Robert Swindells.
Published: 4 Aug 2016
Sicily, 1943 - to fight the Nazi rearguard, old foes like the Mafia must become new friends for Jack Tanner and his crew...
July 1943: with North Africa secured, the Allies launch an invasion of Sicily, and the 2nd Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Rangers are in the vanguard of the assault on the Italian beaches.
But promotion to Company Commander has brought fresh trouble for Jack Tanner. Not only has his new Battalion Commander decided to make his life as difficult as possible, they soon find themselves battling against some of the toughest, most determined troops in the Wehrmacht.
In the bitter fighting that follows, Tanner witnesses a new reality. Forced to question the cause for which they have fought so long, Tanner and his trusted sidekick, Sykes, find themselves embroiled in a deeply personal fight, in which they have to use all their resolve, skill and experience if they are to stand any chance of survival…
Antony Beevor's Paris After Liberation: 1944-1949 is a remarkable historical account of the chaos and uncertainty that followed the liberation of Paris in August, 1944
'A beautifully written book about a vast tapestry of military, political and social upheaval. Remarkably well-researched, wise, balanced, very funny at times . . . I was a witness to events in Paris in the first desperate, glorious, mad weeks, and this is just how it was'
Post-liberation Paris: an epoch charged with political and conflicting emotions. Liberation was greeted with joy but marked by recriminations and the trauma of purges. The feverish intellectual arguments of the young took place amidst the mundane reality of hunger and fuel shortages. This is a thrilling, unsurpassed account of the drama and upheaval of one of history's most fascinating eras.
'A dashing, multi-dimensional story. This book covers all aspects of life - diplomacy, strategy, rationing, politics and politicking (from Churchill, Pétain's and de Gaulle's point of view), the international theatricals and the tourist invasion, blitzkrieg and Ritzkrieg - to create a lovely tapestry, threaded with facts and figures'
Olivier Todd, Sunday Times
'Absorbing . . . a rich, many-layered account, selecting from official documents, private archives, memoirs and histories with a wonderful lightness of touch, so that the most complex events become clear' Jenny Uglow, Independent on Sunday
Antony Beevor is the renowned author of Stalingrad, which won the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Wolfson Prize for History and the Hawthornden Prize for Literature, and Berlin, which received the first Longman-History Today Trustees' Award. His books have sold nearly four million copies.
Medic: Saving Lives by John Nichol and Tony Rennell is the story of those brave men - and, increasingly in this day and age, women - who go to war armed with bandages not bombs, scalpels not swords, and put saving life above taking life.
Their job is to put themselves in the heart of danger - to run into battle to rescue the wounded and to risk their own lives to try and save the dying. Doctors, nurses, medics and stretcher bearers go where the bullets are thickest, through bomb alleys and mine fields, ducking mortars and rockets, wherever someone is hit and the shout goes up - 'Medic! We need a medic over here!' War at its rawest is their domain, an ugly place of shattered bodies, severed limbs, broken heads and death.
Wherever the cry of 'Medic!' is heard, it will be answered. From the beaches of Dunkirk to the desert towns of Afghanistan, there can be no nobler cause.
'Gripping, moving and thoughtful. The excellent team of Nichol and Rennell have done it again' Patrick Bishop, author of Fighter Boys
John Nichol is a former RAF flight lieutenant whose Tornado bomber was shot down on a mission over Iraq during the first Gulf War. He was captured and made a prisoner of war. Tony Rennell is a writer for the Daily Mail and a former deputy editor of the Sunday Times. Their previous books include The Last Escape, Tail-End Charlies and Home Run.
'A first-rate popular history of a fascinating and neglected battle . . . James Holland is a master of spinning narrative military history from accounts of men and women who were there and BURMA ’44 is a veritable page-turner' BBC History
In February 1944, a rag-tag collection of clerks, drivers, doctors, muleteers, and other base troops, stiffened by a few dogged Yorkshiremen and a handful of tank crews managed to hold out against some of the finest infantry in the Japanese Army, and then defeat them in what was one of the most astonishing battles of the Second World War.
What became know as The Defence of the Admin Box, fought amongst the paddy fields and jungle of Northern Arakan over a fifteen-day period, turned the battle for Burma. Not only was it the first decisive victory for British troops against the Japanese, more significantly, it demonstrated how the Japanese could be defeated. The lessons learned in this tiny and otherwise insignificant corner of the Far East, set up the campaign in Burma that would follow, as General Slim’s Fourteenth Army finally turned defeat into victory.
Burma '44 is a tale of incredible drama. As gripping as the story of Rorke's drift, as momentous as the battle for the Ardennes, the Admin Box was a triumph of human grit and heroism and remains one of the most significant yet undervalued conflicts of World War Two.
Are you ready for the truth about World War Two?
The Second World War is the most cataclysmic and violent sequence of events in recent times. But for the past seven decades, our understanding of it has relied upon conventional wisdom, propaganda and an interpretation skewed by the information available. James Holland has spent over twelve years conducting new research, interviewing survivors, visiting battlefields and archives that have never before been so accessible and challenging too-long-held assumptions about the war that shaped our world.
In Germany Ascendant, the first part of this ground-breaking new history, James Holland introduces the war, beginning with the lead-up to its outbreak in 1939 and taking us up to mid-1941 as the Nazis prepared to unleash Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. To tell the real story, he weaves together the experiences of dozens of individuals, from civilians and soldiers, to sailors, pilots, leading military strategists, industrialists and heads of state, and uncovers the strategy, tactics and events that informed not only the military aspects of the war but also the economic, political, and social aspects too.
The War in the West is a truly monumental history of the war on land, in the air, and at sea. In it, James Holland has created a captivating and epic narrative which redefines and enhances our understanding of one of the most significant conflicts in history.
The Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
Chris Tarrant and his father Basil were very close, they played sport together, watched sport together and shared the same sense of humour. Chris loved and admired his father but it was only after his death he realised that he hardly knew him at all …
Basil Avery Tarrant grew up in 1920s Reading, where the smell of beer and biscuits from the local factories filled the air. He worked as an administrator in a local factory and spent his Saturday nights down at the music halls. But what happened to Basil during the war, and how he came to be awarded the Military Cross, remained a mystery to Chris and his family for nearly sixty years.
In this emotional journey, Chris discovers that Basil was involved in some of WWII’s most significant campaigns, including the Dunkirk evacuation and the D-Day landings, and also took part in some of the most brutal, close-range fighting in Cleve.
Dad's War is a profoundly moving and heartfelt tribute to a much-loved father, but it’s also a sincere and humble commemoration of the bravery and sacrifice of the soldiers of WWII.
'Has all the pace of the previous three, and is bang on form.' (Daily Mail)
August, 1942. North Africa.
The desert war hangs in the balance. When the commander of the Eighth Army, General Gott, is killed, it's clear that foul play is at work. An impenetrable Axis spy circuit is compromising any hope the Allies have of stemming the Nazi tide. Jack Tanner, recovering from wounds in a Cairo hospital, is astonished to receive a battlefield commission which will propel him into a very different world when he returns to action. Fit once more, he finds himself facing the full onslaught of Rommel's latest offensive.
In its aftermath, Tanner and his trusty sidekick Sykes are recruited to work behind the Axis lines in a desperate attempt to fight back. But the murky world of deceit and murder they find themselves in is a million miles away from the certainties of the battlefield. Somehow they must discover who they can trust in the cat-and-mouse world of counter-espionage before it's too late...
'Masterly ... awesome reading ... an outstanding biography' Max Hastings, Sunday Times
In six weeks in the early summer of 1940, France was over-run by German troops and quickly surrendered. The French government of Marshal Pétain sued for peace and signed an armistice. One little-known junior French general, refusing to accept defeat, made his way to England. On 18 June he spoke to his compatriots over the BBC, urging them to rally to him in London. 'Whatever happens, the flame of French resistance must not be extinguished and will not be extinguished.' At that moment, Charles de Gaulle entered into history.
For the rest of the war, de Gaulle frequently bit the hand that fed him. He insisted on being treated as the true embodiment of France, and quarrelled violently with Churchill and Roosevelt. He was prickly, stubborn, aloof and self-contained. But through sheer force of personality and bloody-mindedness he managed to have France recognised as one of the victorious Allies, occupying its own zone in defeated Germany. For ten years after 1958 he was President of France's Fifth Republic, which he created and which endures to this day. His pursuit of 'a certain idea of France' challenged American hegemony, took France out of NATO and twice vetoed British entry into the European Community. His controversial decolonization of Algeria brought France to the brink of civil war and provoked several assassination attempts.
Julian Jackson's magnificent biography reveals this the life of this titanic figure as never before. It draws on a vast range of published and unpublished memoirs and documents - including the recently opened de Gaulle archives - to show how de Gaulle achieved so much during the War when his resources were so astonishingly few, and how, as President, he put a medium-rank power at the centre of world affairs. No previous biography has depicted his paradoxes so vividly. Much of French politics since his death has been about his legacy, and he remains by far the greatest French leader since Napoleon.
Antonia Fraser (Author) , Brenda Buchanan (Author) , David Cannadine (Author) , David Cressy (Author) , Justin Champion (Author) , Mike Jay (Author) , Pauline Croft (Author)
400 years ago this November the most ambitious and extraordinary plot ever conceived in this country came close to success: the attempt by Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators to destroy in a single, annihilating blast the entire British ruling class and royal family.
This book draws on the expertise of different writers to bring to life the immense implications of the Plot and the strange way they have echoed down to us over four centuries in what remains the quintessential English festival. Pauline Croft writes about the amazing plot itself and the anxious, unstable world of Jacobean Britain, Antonia Fraser imagines a world in which the plot had succeeded, Justin Champion dramatizes the national emergency that followed the plot's discovery and its savage anti-Catholicism, David Cressy traces how Bonfire Night has been celebrated since its inception as a holiday, Mike Jay focuses on the most famous and enduring rituals held each year at Lewes and Brenda Buchanan offers a wonderful history of fireworks in Britain.
Published: 29 Sep 2005
David Webster (Author) , Stephen E. Ambrose (Foreword by)
Paratrooper David Kenyon Webster jumped into the chaos of occupied Europe on D-Day, fighting his way through Holland and finally capturing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest. He was the only member of Easy Company to write down his experiences as soon as he came home from war.
Webster records with visceral and sometimes brutal detail what it is like to take a bullet in the leg, to fight pitched battles capturing enemy towns, and to endure long periods of boredom punctuated by sudden moments of terror. But most of all, Parachute Infantry shows how a group of comrades entered the furnace of war and came out brothers.
'You shall help me find him still . . . there is nowhere for the boy to hide.'
Orphan boy Cirrus Flux is being watched. Merciless rogues are conniving to steal the world's most divine power, which they believe Cirrus has inherited.
Now he faces a perilous journey through the dirty backstreets of London as a sinister mesmerist, a tiny man with an all-seeing eye, and a skull-collecting scoundrel pursue him. Cirrus must escape them. It really is not safe to give such evil people such incredible power . . .
Published: 4 Jun 2009
Alan Davies was always a hoarder. Pages from Smash Hits, rolled up gig posters, Cup Final ticket stubs, Woody Allen paperbacks, NME covers and Blondie calendars filled boxes once used to ferry shopping home from supermarkets (back when supermarkets would leave boxes out for the ferrying of shopping). Not much that came down from Alan's bedroom wall made it into the bin, never mind the uninvented bin-liner.
Growing up is not easy. So many decisions: Who to revere, Sheene or McEnroe? Who to imitate, Starsky or Hutch? Who to dislike overnight in an effort to show maturity, Thatcher or Scargill? How to decide which pin-ups to unpin when a batch of Animal Rights leaflets or a satirical poster of Ronald Reagan demand wallspace?
The Impressionable Age of a young man lasts around a decade and the idols and icons of that period can reveal much of the time and of the impressed subject.
Nostalgic, warm and laugh-out-loud funny My Favourite People and Me 1978-1988 is an affectionate trip through a suburban childhood in Essex and an eighties education in Kent. As Alan says, 'an attempt to remember who and what I liked as a boy/youth/idiot and to work out why. There are also some pictures.'
Published: 3 Sep 2009
The night of May 16th, 1943. Nineteen specially adapted Lancaster bombers take off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, each with a huge 9,000lb cylindrical bomb strapped underneath it. Their mission: to destroy three dams deep within the German heartland, which provide the lifeblood to the industries supplying the Third Reich's war machine.
From the outset it was an almost impossible task, a suicide mission: to fly low and at night in formationover many miles of enemy-occupied territory at the very limit of the Lancasters' capacity, and drop a new weapon that had never been tried operationally before from a precise height of just sixty feet from the water at some of the most heavily defended targets in Germany.
More than that, the entire operation had to be put together in less than ten weeks. When visionary aviation engineer Barnes Wallis's concept of the bouncing bomb was green lighted, he hadn't even drawn up his plans for the weapon that was to smash the dams. What followed was an incredible race against time, which, despite numerous setbacks and against huge odds, became one of the most successful and game-changing bombing raids of all time.
Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup at Wembley on a July afternoon in 1966. England had triumphed against West Germany thanks to a hat-trick by Geoff Hurst and a goal by Martin Peters. All three heroic players were from West Ham, the most famous club of London's East End. This is an area synonymous with football success worldwide, largely because of the legendary Sunday football Mecca of Hackney Marshes. There are more football pitches on this one expanse of grass than in any other part of Europe, and it is a training ground which, over the last 35 years, has developed star after star for English football.
The majority of clubs in the country today have at least one player on their books who has links with the east of the capital. The famous names from the past include Jimmy Greaves, Terry Venables and Harry Redknapp, and the tradition has been carried on by Paul Ince, Ashley Cole and the finest modern-day footballing hero of them all, David Beckham.
With profiles of famous players past and present and engrossing details of the life and characters of the East End, England's Eastenders celebrates a tradition of excellence that began in the swinging Sixties and moves through the decades to show how the precedent set by Moore when he walked up those 39 steps at Wembley was just a stop-off point in the history of this breeding ground of brilliance.
Published: 3 Aug 2012