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The Bomber War

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

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Bomber War is an accessible, insightful and authoritative introduction to the airborne Allied fight against Nazi Germany.

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.

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.

Double Crossed

Brian Wood (Author)

At the age of 23, Brian Wood was thrust into the front line in Iraq, in the infamous Battle of Danny Boy. Ambushed, he led a bayonet charge across open ground with at least 20 insurgents firing at just five 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 from PTSD. Then, five years later, a letter arrived: it summoned him to testify at the Al-Sweady Inquiry into allegations of war crimes by British soldiers during the Iraq invasion of 2003.

After five years of public shame, Brian took the stand and his powerful testimony led to full vindication. Phil Shiner, the 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.

The Pacific 1941-43

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

Part of the new Ladybird Expert series, The Pacific: 1941-43 is an accessible, insightful and authoritative introduction to the Allied counter-offensive against the Empire of Japan and Axis forces in the South Pacific.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

The Air Ministry Survival Guide

none (Author)

THE ULTIMATE SURVIVAL GUIDE for anyone who thinks they'd survive the world's most hostile environments - or at least imagine they could do.

-----------------------------

First issued to airmen in the 1950s, the Air Ministry's survival guides include original and authentic emergency advice to crew operating over the ocean.

With original illustrations and text, these survival guides provide an insight to military survival techniques from a by-gone era.

Packed with original line drawings and instruction in:

ARCTIC
The best faces to pull to prevent frostbite and when you canexpect bits of you to 'fall off', should you fail
- How to build a structurally sound igloo
- How to fashion a mask to prevent snowblindness


DESERT
How to find water in a dry stream course
- How to make a hat out of seat cushions
- What to do in the event of meeting 'hostile parties'

JUNGLE
What to do if 'jungle hiking becomes boring'
- How to stay safe from poisonous reptiles and insects
- The benefits of using a 'fire thong'

SEA
How to punch man-eating sharks. Which are 'cowards'
- The pros and cons of drinking 'fish juice'
- When to smoke

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.

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.

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.

'Broadsword Calling Danny Boy'

Geoff Dyer (Author)

From the acclaimed writer and critic Geoff Dyer, an extremely funny scene-by-scene analysis of Where Eagles Dare - published as the film reaches its 50th anniversary

A thrilling Alpine adventure starring a magnificent, bleary-eyed Richard Burton and a coolly anachronistic Clint Eastwood, Where Eagles Dare is the apex of 1960s war movies, by turns enjoyable and preposterous. 'Broadsword Calling Danny Boy' is Geoff Dyer's tribute to the film he has loved since childhood: an analysis taking us from its snowy, Teutonic opening credits to its vertigo-inducing climax. For those who have not even seen Where Eagles Dare, this book is a comic tour-de-force of criticism. But for the film's legions of fans, whose hearts will always belong to Ron Goodwin's theme tune, it will be the fulfilment of a dream.

'Geoff Dyer's funniest book yet. Who else would work in Martha Gellhorn on the first page of a book on the film Where Eagles Dare?' Michael Ondaatje

'One of our greatest living critics, not of the arts but of life itself, and one of our most original writers' Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

The Spy and the Traitor

Ben MacIntyre (Author)

'THE BEST TRUE SPY STORY I HAVE EVER READ' JOHN LE CARRÉ

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 for MI6. 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 espionage. In The Spy and the Traitor Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of betrayal, duplicity and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever.

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

Our Boys brings to life the human experiences of the paratroopers who fought in the Falklands War, and examines the long aftermath of that conflict. It is a first in many ways - a history of the Parachute Regiment, a group with an elite and aggressive reputation; a study of close-quarters combat on the Falkland Islands; and an exploration of the many legacies of this short and symbolic war.

Told unflinchingly through the experiences of people who lived through it, Our Boys shows how the Falklands conflict began to change Britain's relationship with its soldiers, and our attitudes to trauma and war itself. It is also the story of one particular soldier: the author's uncle, who was killed during the conflict, and whose fate has haunted both the author and his fellow paratroopers ever since.

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

Homage To Catalonia

George Orwell (Author)

Volume 6 of The Complete Works of George Orwell

‘This is the story of one man who went to Spain with an intellectual sympathy for socialist doctrine and came back. . . with a fervent, almost religious belief in its necessity’ – so reads the dust-jacket to the first edition of Homage to Catalonia in 1938. Despite a mixture of laudatory and politically biased reviews, that first edition of 1, 500 copies had still not sold out by the time Orwell died, twelve years later. From then on, however, the literary, autobiographical and political importance of Homage to Catalonia became widely recognised. It was published in an Italian edition of 2,060 copies in December 1948 and the first American edition of 4,000 copies, published by Harcourt, Brace in 1952, had to be reprinted almost immediately. The book has since been printed and reprinted in many countries and languages.

Homage to Catalonia is a vivid record of Orwell's experiences fighting for the Republican cause in Spain and his growth in political maturity. Despite physical privation, being wounded in the throat, and disenchantment arising from the bitter in-fighting within the Left, Orwell concluded: ‘Curiously enough the whole experience has left me with not less but more belief in the decency of human beings’.

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.

The Desert War

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

Part of the ALL-NEW LADYBIRD EXPERT SERIES.

____________

Why was North Africa such a key component in Britain's success over Mussolini and his Italian Army?

How did they blunt Italy's actions?

What challenges did they face?

And what new technologies were brought to bear?


When fascist dictator Mussolini declared war against Britain he was taking a huge risk . . .

Italy lacked natural resources, and Britain and France's wealth.

He hoped to create a new Roman Empire across the Mediterranean and into Africa. And with Hitler and the Nazi's by his side he had a great chance of doing so - but what was it that stopped him?

Discover the answers and more inside James Holland's The Desert War, the thrilling and accessible account that explains what happened, who the key figures were and the tactics, triumphs and failures on both sides . . .

Stalin’s Meteorologist

Olivier Rolin (Author) , Ros Schwartz (Translator)

Shortlisted for the Pushkin House Russian Book Prize 2018

The beautifully illustrated, heartbreaking story of an innocent man in a Soviet gulag, told for the first time in English.

One fateful day in 1934, a husband arranged to meet his wife under the colonnade of the Bolshoi theatre. As she waited for him in vain, he was only a few hundred metres away, in a cell in the notorious Lubyanka prison.

Less than a year before, Alexey Wangenheim – a celebrated meteorologist – had been hailed by Stalin as a national hero. But following his sudden arrest, he was exiled to a gulag, forced to spend his remaining years on an island in the frozen north, along with thousands of other political prisoners.

Stalin’s Meteorologist is the thrilling and deeply moving account of an innocent man caught up in the brutality of Soviet paranoia. It's a timely reminder of the human consequences of political extremism.

Oliver Cromwell (Penguin Monarchs)

David Horspool (Author)

The acclaimed Penguin Monarchs series: short, fresh, expert accounts of England's rulers - now in paperback

Although he styled himself 'His Highness', adopted the court ritual of his royal predecessors, and lived in the former royal palaces of Whitehall and Hampton Court, Oliver Cromwell was not a king - in spite of the best efforts of his supporters to crown him.

Yet, as David Horspool shows in this illuminating new portrait of England's Lord Protector, Cromwell, the Puritan son of Cambridgeshire gentry, wielded such influence that it would be a pretence to say that power really lay with the collective. The years of Cromwell's rise to power, shaped by a decade-long civil war, saw a sustained attempt at the collective government of England; the first attempts at a real Union of Britain; the beginnings of empire; a radically new solution to the idea of a national religion; atrocities in Ireland; and the readmission to England of the Jews, a people officially banned for over three and a half centuries. At the end of it, Oliver Cromwell had emerged as the country's sole ruler: to his enemies, and probably to most of his countrymen, his legacy looked as likely to last as that of the Stuart dynasty he had replaced.

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 . . .

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