582 results 1-20

Double Crossed

Brian Wood (Author)

Honoured by the Queen. Rewarded with betrayal.

At the age of 23, with his superiors killed or wounded, Brian Wood was thrust into the front line in Iraq, in the infamous Battle of Danny Boy. Under ambush, he led a bayonet charge across open ground with at least 30 insurgents firing at just three soldiers. On his return, he was awarded the Military Cross.

But Brian's story had only just begun. Struggling to re-integrate into family life, he suffered severe PTSD. Then, five years later, a letter arrived: it accused him of a series of atrocities and prisoner executions.

After five years of public shame, Brian took the stand in the High Court. His powerful testimony was praised by the judge and instantly led to full vindication. Phil Shiner, the corrupt lawyer who made the accusations, was struck off.

In this compelling memoir, Brian speaks powerfully and movingly about the three battles in his life, from being ambushed with no cover, to the mental battle to adjust at home, to being falsely accused of hideous war crimes. It’s a remarkable and dark curve which ends with his honour restored but, as he says, it was too little, too late.

Nelson: Battle of The Nile

Sam Willis (Author)

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series Nelson: Battle of the Nile is an accessible and authoritative introduction to the naval battle in that established Nelson's fame.

Written by historian, archaeologist, and broadcaster Sam Willis, Nelson: Battle of the Nile details the British Royal Navy's glorious defeat of the French naval expedition, thwarting Napoleon's plans to invade Egypt jeopardising Britain's trade routes and stake in India.

You'll learn how the roots of this significant battle lie in the French Revolution, track Napoleon's rise to prominence and the effect of France's move from revolution to dictatorship on the balance of power in Europe. This book will take you though the dramatic turning points of the battle and Nelson's celebrated tactical leadership.

The only way to stop Napoleon seemed to be at sea, and although Britain claimed victory in Aboukir Bay, the war was far from over.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

The Eastern Front 1941-44

James Holland (Author) , Keith Burns (By (artist))

Part of the Ladybird Expert History of the Second World War series, The Eastern Front 1941-1944, is an authoritative and accessible introduction to the brutal confrontation between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union along a 1,200 mile front.

Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story of the largest military campaign in history.

Inside, you'll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of those engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.

Churchill

Andrew Roberts (Author)

Winston Churchill dominates our view of the history of Britain in the twentieth century - the brash, brave and ambitious young aristocrat who sought out danger in late Victorian wars, the mercurial First Lord of the Admiralty who was responsible for the Dardanelles disaster in 1915, the Home Secretary who crushed the General Strike in 1926, the Colonial Secretary who rode with T. E. Lawrence and Gertrude Bell at the Pyramids, the Chancellor who took the country back to the Gold Standard and then spent more than ten years in the political wilderness - and who, finally, was summoned to save his country in 1940. 'I felt that I was walking with destiny, and all my life had been but preparation for that hour.' Andrew Robert's titanic new biography interprets all these events, especially Churchill's leadership during the Second World War, which he sees through the prism of all Churchill's earlier life. He gives full visibility to Churchill's flaws, and brilliantly explains his genius.

Roberts has used over forty collections of papers not available to Churchill's previous biographer Roy Jenkins (2001) and he is the first Churchill biographer to be granted access by the Queen to the private diaries of King George VI. This is the Churchill biography for our times and the next generation.

A Political History of the World

Jonathan Holslag (Author)

A three-thousand year history of the world that examines the causes of war and the search for peace

In three thousand years of history, China has spent at least eleven centuries at war. The Roman Empire was in conflict during at least 50 per cent of its lifetime. Since 1776, the United States has spent over one hundred years at war. The dream of peace has been universal in the history of humanity. So why have we so rarely been able to achieve it?

In A Political History of the World, Jonathan Holslag has produced a sweeping history of the world, from the Iron Age to the present, that investigates the causes of conflict between empires, nations and peoples and the attempts at diplomacy and cosmopolitanism. A birds-eye view of three thousand years of history, the book illuminates the forces shaping world politics from Ancient Egypt to the Han Dynasty, the Pax Romana to the rise of Islam, the Peace of Westphalia to the creation of the United Nations.

This truly global approach enables Holslag to search for patterns across different eras and regions, and explore larger questions about war, diplomacy, and power. Has trade fostered peace? What are the limits of diplomacy? How does environmental change affect stability? Is war a universal sin of power? At a time when the threat of nuclear war looms again, this is a much-needed history intended for students of international politics, and anyone looking for a background on current events.

The Spy and the Traitor

Ben MacIntyre (Author)

A thrilling Cold War story about a KGB double agent, by one of Britain's greatest historians

On a warm July evening in 1985, a middle-aged man stood on the pavement of a busy avenue in the heart of Moscow, holding a plastic carrier bag. In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.

The man was a spy. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...

French and Germans, Germans and French

Richard Cobb (Author)

An extraordinary history of French lives under occupation in the First and Second World Wars, this is an intimate, unforgettable meditation on the strange mixture of compromise and betrayal, collaboration and resistance that marks defeat, written by one of the greatest historians of France.

'A splendid book for comprehending human kind ... Cobb has a strong sense of how ordinary life has to go on, even through disasters, and a sensitivity for what it was like at the time, matched by a gift for the telling phrase' Economist

'Prophet of the past, Richard Cobb is a visionary' New York Review of Books

'His France - urban, northern, provincial, pedestrian, noisy, unpuritanical, festive - was in contrast to, and predicated upon, another France: bureaucratic, official, suburban, safe' Julian Barnes

Our Boys

Helen Parr (Author)

'This is an extraordinary book. It is partly about the Falklands War itself and the terrible things that the Paras endured, and the terrible things that some of them did, but it is also about the white working class of the 1970s and why some men born into this class ended up marching across an island that most of them had never heard of. Thoughtful and sometimes heart-breaking' Richard Vinen, author of National Service

Helen Parr was aged seven when she was woken up by her mother with the news that her uncle had been killed in the Falklands War. His fate has haunted her and his fellow paratroopers ever since. This book is based in part on her wish to understand what happened. It is the story of an individual soldier and of the Parachute Regiment, the world in which they lived and their experiences of close-quarters combat in the Falklands. It is also a history of how this short but symbolic war changed Britain's relationship with its soldiers, and our attitudes to trauma and war itself.

Our Boys is a major and original book about the Falklands War - a conflict which for those who fought it remains today as exciting, terrible and strange as it did then.

Big Week

James Holland (Author)

'James Holland is a master' BBC History

It was to be the battle to end the air war once and for all . . .

During the third week of February 1944, the combined Allied air forces based in Britain and Italy launched their first-ever round-the-clock bomber offensive against Germany. The aim was to smash the main factories and production centres of the Luftwaffe and at the same time draw the German fighter force up into the air and into battle. Officially called Operation ARGUMENT, this monumental air assault was very quickly became known simply as Big Week.

In the six months up to its launch, for the Allies, the bomber war was not turning out as planned. Raids by the US Eighth Air Force and the RAF deep into Germany were being decimated and falling far short of its purpose. With D-Day was drawing ever-closer, that was a massive problem. The Allies needed clear skies to invade. The clock was ticking inexorably.

Yet the Luftwaffe was also in crisis. Short of resources, of fuel, and on properly trained pilots, the strain on those still flying was immense, their losses severe. And despite the chaos of their leadership, they were achieving far more than should have been reasonably expected against the superior numbers of the Allied planes.

Big Week is the knife-edged story of bomber against flak gun and fighter, but also, crucially, fighter against fighter, as the stakes rose higher and higher. Following the fortunes of pilots, aircrew and civilians from both sides, this is a blistering narrative of one of the most critical periods of the entire war, one that culminated in the largest air battle ever witnessed. It is also one that has been largely forgotten, but which has been brilliantly brought back to life by award-winning historian, James Holland.

Nuclear Deterrence

Lawrence Freedman (Author)

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, Nuclear Deterrence is an accessible and authoritative introduction to the deterrent tactics employed to prevent war, drawing on the unprecedented power of nuclear weapons.

Written by celebrated historian and professor of War Studies Sir Lawrence Freedman, Nuclear Deterrence explores the history behind the world's most lethal weapon.

You'll learn about the history of the arms race, the implications of mutual assured destruction, the consequences of nuclear proliferation, and why disarmament proved to be so difficult.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

The Desert War

James Holland (Author) , Keith Burns (By (artist))

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Desert War is an accessible. insightful and authoritative introduction to the standoff between the Axis and Allies in the harsh deserts of North Africa.

Historian, author and broadcaster James Holland draws on the latest research and interviews with participants to bring colour, detail and a fresh perspective to the story of how the British blunted Mussolini's ambitions in Africa, making Italy a liability rather than an asset to Germany.

Inside, you'll discover how tactics, organisation and new technologies were brought to bear, about the different challenges faced by both the Axis and the Allies, and, above all, the skill, bravery and endurance of those engaged in a contest that was of critical importance to the outcome of the war.

Written by the leading lights and most outstanding communicators in their fields, the Ladybird Expert books provide clear, accessible and authoritative introductions to subjects drawn from science, history and culture.

For an adult readership, the Ladybird Expert series is produced in the same iconic small hardback format pioneered by the original Ladybirds. Each beautifully illustrated book features the first new illustrations produced in the original Ladybird style for nearly forty years.

The Hurricane Girls

Jo Wheeler (Author)

The extraordinary true story of the last surviving 'Attagirls' who risked their lives flying planes from the factory to the front line during WWII.

While their husbands, brothers and sweethearts fought in Europe and their mothers, sisters and friends kept the home fires burning, for the first time, a group of remarkable women took to the skies. They weren't allowed into combat but risked their lives in often bad weather and without radios to bring their boys the aircraft they so vitally needed.

Employed by the Air Transport Auxiliary, these women were known as 'attagirls'. They proved that women too could master Spitfires, Mosquitoes and Hawker Hurricanes, forging a new path in aviation.

The Hurricane Girls is the fascinating, moving and inspirational story of bravery, determination and remarkable women.

A Certain Idea of France

Julian Jackson (Author)

The definitive biography of the greatest French statesman of modern 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.

Kursk

Robert Moore (Author)

At 11.30 a.m. on Saturday 12 August 2000, two massive explosions roared through the shallow Arctic waters of the Barents Sea. The Kursk, pride of the Northern Fleet and the largest attack submarine in the world, was hurtling towards the ocean floor.

In Kursk (originally published as A Time to Die), award-winning journalist Robert Moore vividly recreates this disaster minute by minute. Venturing into a covert world where the Cold War continues out of sight, Moore investigates the military and political background to the tragedy. But above all, he tells the nail-bitingly poignant human story of the families waiting ashore, of the desperate efforts of British, Norwegian and Russian rescuers, and of the Kursk sailors, trapped in the aft compartnemt, waiting for rescue, as a horrified world followed their battle to stay alive . . .

The Vietnam War

Geoffrey C. Ward (Author) , Ken Burns (Author)

**The New York Times Bestseller**
**The book of the landmark documentary, The Vietnam War, by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick**

The definitive work on the Vietnam War, the conflict that came to define a generation, told from all sides by those who were there.

More than forty years after the Vietnam War ended, its legacy continues to fascinate, horrify and inform us. As the first war to be fought in front of TV cameras and beamed around the world, it has been immortalised on film and on the page, and forever changed the way we think about war.

Drawing on hundreds of brand new interviews, Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward have created the definitive work on Vietnam. It is the first book to show us the war from every perspective: from idealistic US Marines and the families they left behind to the Vietnamese civilians, both North and South, whose homeland was changed for ever; politicians, POWs and anti-war protesters; and the photographers and journalists who risked their lives to tell the truth. The book sends us into the grit and chaos of combat, while also expertly outlining the complex chain of political events that led America to Vietnam.

Beautifully written, this essential work tells the full story without taking sides and reminds us that there is no single truth in war. It is set to redefine our understanding of a brutal conflict, to launch provocative new debates and to shed fresh light on the price paid in ‘blood and bone’ by Vietnamese and Americans alike.

Arnhem

Antony Beevor (Author)

The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad

On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aero engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the vast 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 the greatest demonstration of paratroop power ever seen.

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 the cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch who risked everything to help. German reprisals were cruel and lasted until the end of the war.

The British fascination for heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths, not least that victory was possible when in fact the plan imposed by Montgomery and General 'Boy' Browning was doomed from the start. Antony Beevor, using many overlooked and new sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of this epic clash. 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.

The Last Enemy

Richard Hillary (Author)

In 1918, the RAF was established as the world's first independent air force. To mark the 100th anniversary of its creation, Penguin are publishing the Centenary Collection, a series of six classic books highlighting the skill, heroism and esprit de corps that have characterised the Royal Air Force throughout its first century.

The Last Enemy is Richard Hillary's extraordinary account of his experience as a Spitfire pilot in the Second World War. Hillary was shot down during the Battle of Britain, leading to months in hospital as part of Archibald McIndoe's 'Guinea Pig Club', undergoing pioneering plastic surgery to rebuild his face and hands.

The Last Enemy was first published in 1942, just seven months before Hilary's untimely death in a second crash and has gone on to be hailed as one of the classic texts of World War II.

The Passage to India

Allan Mallinson (Author)

It is 1831, riots and rebellions are widespread . . .

In England, the new government is facing protests against the attempts of the Tory-dominated House of Lords to thwart the passing of the Reform Bill. In India, relations are strained between the presidency of Madras and some of the neighbouring princely states.

Having taken command of the action in Bristol to restore order after one of the bloodiest and most destructive riots in the nation's history, Lieutenant-Colonel Matthew Hervey is out of favour with the new government. But then his old friend, Sir Eyre Somervile, offers him a lifeline. Somervile has persuaded the Court of Directors of the East India Company to approve an increase in the Madras military establishment. Hervey and the 6th Light Dragoons are sent to the princely state of Coorg. The Rajah is in revolt against the East India Company’s terms and Hervey’s regiment is called upon to crush the rebellion. With the stakes raised by an unexpected visitation from his past, for Hervey the question is whether he and his men will get out of this brutal war unscathed?

A Spy Named Orphan

Roland Philipps (Author)

Donald Maclean was a star diplomat, an establishment insider and a keeper of some of the West's greatest secrets.

He was also a Russian spy, driven by passionately held beliefs, whose betrayal and defection to Moscow reverberated for decades.

Christened ‘Orphan’ by his Russian recruiter, Maclean was the perfect spy and Britain’s most gifted traitor. But as he leaked huge amounts of top-secret intelligence, an international code-breaking operation was rapidly closing in on him. Moments before he was unmasked, Maclean vanished.

Drawing on a wealth of previously classified material, Roland Philipps now tells this story for the first time in full. He unravels Maclean’s character and contradictions: a childhood that was simultaneously liberal and austere; a Cambridge education mixing in Communist circles; a polished diplomat with a tendency to wild binges; a marriage complicated by secrets; an accelerated rise through the Foreign Office and, above all, a gift for deception.

Taking us back to the golden age of espionage, A Spy Named Orphan reveals the impact of one of the most dangerous and enigmatic Soviet agents of the twentieth century, whose actions heightened the tensions of the Cold War.

Six Minutes in May

Nicholas Shakespeare (Author)

*** Selected as a 2017 Book of the Year in the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Observer and The Economist ***

‘A gripping story of Churchill’s unlikely rise to power’ Observer

London, May 1940. Britain is under threat of invasion and Neville Chamberlain’s government is about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the Second World War without Winston Churchill taking the helm, but in Six Minutes in May Nicholas Shakespeare shows how easily events could have gone in a different direction.

It took just six minutes for MPs to cast the votes that brought down Chamberlain. Shakespeare moves from Britain’s disastrous battle in Norway, for which many blamed Churchill, on to the dramatic developments in Westminster that led to Churchill becoming Prime Minister. Uncovering fascinating new research and delving into the key players’ backgrounds, Shakespeare gives us a new perspective on this critical moment in our history.

‘Totally captivating. It will stand as the best account of those extraordinary few days for very many years’
Andrew Roberts

‘Superbly written… Shakespeare has a novelist’s flair for depicting the characters and motives of men’
The Times

‘Utterly wonderful… It reads like a thriller’
Peter Frankopan

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