Images of War, Armoured Warfare in the Vietnam War, Rare Photographs form Wartime Archives

B2157

When readers think of Vietnam, many will have a picture of dense tropical rain forest, rocky streams, close country and everything that makes armour an unlikely weapon system in that theatre of conflict. That is very far from the reality. The form of warfare engaged in was largely column warfare where armed vehicle convoys had to fight their way between strong points, or be used to set up a new strong point or fire-base. At night the Viet Cong could flow back into the areas that had been painfully cleared during the day. Armoured fighting vehicles made reasonable heavy escorts for road convoys and could become mobile armed bunkers. As with other titles in this excellent series, this book contains concise text, much in the form of photo captions, and extensive photographic illustration. Most photographs are rare and some are published for the first time in a book available to public readership. A remarkable amount of information has been packed into the pages and this book will satisfy, professional, enthusiast and novice equally.

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NAME: Images of War, Armoured Warfare in the Vietnam War, Rare Photographs form Wartime Archives
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2157
AUTHOR: Michael Green
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 192
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Vietnam War, Indo-China, Cold War, armour, tanks, armoured personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery, fire-base, column warfare, M41, M48, M113, Centurion, T-54, T-59, M24, M4
ISBN: 1-78159-381-7
IMAGE: B2156.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nwjfxk9
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: When readers think of Vietnam, many will have a picture of dense tropical rain forest, rocky streams, close country and everything that makes armour an unlikely weapon system in that theatre of conflict. That is very far from the reality. The form of warfare engaged in was largely column warfare where armed vehicle convoys had to fight their way between strong points, or be used to set up a new strong point or fire-base. At night the Viet Cong could flow back into the areas that had been painfully cleared during the day. Armoured fighting vehicles made reasonable heavy escorts for road convoys and could become mobile armed bunkers. As with other titles in this excellent series, this book contains concise text, much in the form of photo captions, and extensive photographic illustration. Most photographs are rare and some are published for the first time in a book available to public readership. A remarkable amount of information has been packed into the pages and this book will satisfy, professional, enthusiast and novice equally.

The Vietnam War is today seen as an American war against the Communist domino concept from 1954, but the roots of the conflict go back to the late 1930s and then flowered in the insurgency against French colonial rule after WWII. The defeat of the French left Vietnam divided and therefore provided potential for civil war between the partitioned halves of the country.

Before the Americans arrived, armour included obsolete Japanese tanks left over from WWII and French light tanks that were even older. The Americans introduced armour in force but to be used as mobile fire points rather than in tank battles, the North Vietnamese not bringing their Russian and Chinese supplied armour south until the final stages of the war when they could take on Vietnamese and US forces in open battle.

The US sent WWII vintage armour in the first wave. M4 Sherman tanks, M8 and M10 armoured cars and White half-tracks. The M24 light tank was also sent out and proved suitable. The M5 and French Hotchkiss H-39 light tanks were also reasonably useful in the absence of modern opposing armour. As the war progressed, the US began to send more modern armour and then to send their latest in-service armour.

The author has documented this progress with some outstanding images, a few from museums that have restored armour of the type employed in Vietnam. Many readers will be surprised by the variety of armoured vehicles serving during the war and the illustration includes some full colour images. Recommended!!

Modern Warfare, The Afghan War, Operation Enduring Freedom 2001-2014

B2156

 

A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at and affordable price.

This book sets out the history and the prospects in a clear and easily followed way. The information gap that has existed in very dangerous as international relations become more fragile and unpredictable. Books like this new title provide a valuable service in correcting the knowledge gaps. Highly recommended.

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NAME: Modern Warfare, The Afghan War, Operation Enduring Freedom 2001-2014
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2156
AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 128
PRICE: £16.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: al-Qaeda, Taliban, North West Frontier, Russia, US, 9/11, Twin Towers, asymmetric warfare, fire base, column warfare, IED, ambush, warlord, opium, Muslim
ISBN: 1-78303-020-8
IMAGE: B2156.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kxznxj6
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at and affordable price.

The US struck back in anger after the terror attacks on Washington and New York. That was understandable but it was a mistake because there was no post-battle plan or exit strategy. The result might have been better has the US neo-cons and the British war criminal Blair not gone off at a tangent and invaded Iraq, triggering a sequence of events that have now entered a new phase, with Daesh exporting a new wave of terror out of Syria and into Iraq.

The initial stages of the Afghan invasion went smoothly. Northern Warlords joined the Allied invaders and swept through Afghanistan, driving the al Qaeda terrorists into the border area with Pakistan, along with most of the Taliban. However, the Afghan conflict was following a pattern that has been repeated many times over the last few Centuries and in many respects traces back through the centuries to Alexander the Great. The Afghan tribes regard invaders as an enemy than succeeds in bringing tribes together in common defence. Total military victory is difficult because the tribal fighters are lightly equipped and can fade away into the border area or across the border into Pakistan where they have tribal connections and a shared faith.

What has largely happened is that the Taliban have been encouraged by their history in the knowledge that invaders always give up and withdraw, allowing the tribal fighters to flow back into the vacated spaces and territories. Some of the Taliban will be happy to become the new government and be moderately acceptable to the Americans. Other Taliban fighters will probably resort to the old tribal feuds and a form of civil war will continue.

It remains to be seen how much of the new freedoms, introduced for women with the Allied invasion, will survive. The probability is that the situation will return to much the same environment as existed before the invasion. It is also probable that both Russia and the US will seek to intervene in the future. This is unlikely to be on the scale of the earlier Russian occupation, or the Allied invasion by the American led force.

This book sets out the history and the prospects in a clear and easily followed way. The information gap that has existed in very dangerous as international relations become more fragile and unpredictable. Books like this new title provide a valuable service in correcting the knowledge gaps. Highly recommended.

Modern Warfare, The Vietnam War, The Tet Offensive 1968

B2155

A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at an affordable price.

There is much to learn from the Tet Offensive and this book is a good tutor.

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NAME: Modern Warfare, The Vietnam War, The Tet Offensive 1968
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2155
AUTHOR: Anthony Tucker-Jones
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 160
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Viet Cong, North Vietnamese Army, US Army, USAF, CIA, Air America, Tet Offensive, jungle warfare, column warfare, fire-base, asymmetric warfare
ISBN: 1-78346-362-7
IMAGE: B2155.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/n5lp77u
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: A worthy addition to a fine series of books reviewing Modern Warfare. As with other titles in the series, this book features concise text and lavish illustration that includes full colour images. For enthusiasts and professionals, this will be a useful and interesting addition to available knowledge about the Cold War and its many hot local wars, fought through proxies. It is well-timed as Russia once more plunges the world back into a cold war that will be all the more dangerous and unpredictable than the first Cold War. The book also provides an excellent entry point for those wishing to develop their knowledge of modern warfare at an affordable price.

The Vietnam War now seems a lifetime away and many will have been born after its ending. It is perhaps best known from films that do not necessarily achieve a high level of accuracy, even if they make good entertainment.

The rush from Empire for the nations of Europe was under joint pressure from the USSR and the USA. Both new world powers wanted to cement their victory over Europe in the Second World War. That required convincing the old colonial powers to move out and make room for the new Imperial powers. The USSR saw things in a very crude clear way of imperial expansion and dominance. The USA had a more complex, but immature, view of international relations, having previously been an inward-looking country. It was inevitable that the old colonial powers left before they could prepare a reliable handover to the emergent nations that were growing out of a colonial environment. That inevitably led in many cases to civil war as the new political leaders fought each other. Also inevitably, the two new imperial powers saw each other as the natural enemy, always with a danger of major war breaking out, but largely fighting through proxies.

The Vietnam War came about because the arbitrary partition of Vietnam was an automatic cause of conflict between North and South. Russia and China took the side of North Vietnam, making it impossible for the USA to avoid coming to the aid of the South. Unfortunately for the US, the North Vietnamese were more unified than the South and, as the war unfolded, the US was sucked in, expanding the US advisers and instructors into larger units that would go into battle alongside South Vietnamese troops. Once a significant number of US personnel was present as instructors and supply chain, the need to protect that US investment grew and the South Vietnamese learned how to persuade the US to increase the involvement.

By the Tet offensive, the US was heavily engaged directly, both on the ground in support of South Vietnamese troops and, as a strategic air force, in taking the battle to North Vietnam.

With a more flexible and intelligent plan, along the lines of that followed to victory by the British in Malaya, the US could have destroyed the North Vietnamese threat to South Vietnam. As it was, multiple opportunities were ignored or squandered and the North Vietnamese began to take the initiative. One major US weakness was the inability of its politicians to sell the war to the people.

There is much to learn from the Tet Offensive and this book is a good tutor.

The History of Passengers at Sea, Voyages from the Past

B2154

This is an engaging review of a way of life and travel that is now long gone. This is perhaps a genealogist's view of the subject, bringing it to life through the people who took passage, the sailors, and the people who built and operated the ships. This is a book that deserves a wide audience because it contains so many fascinating cameos and a great period in history.

Readers will find this a rewarding read and an enjoyable one.

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NAME: The History of Passengers at Sea, Voyages from the Past
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2154
AUTHOR: Simon Wills
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 175
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Liners, passenger ships, cargo and passengers, island nation, Empire, sea routes, trade routes, maritime heritage, steam power, sailing ships
ISBN: 1-78303-636-2
IMAGE: B2154.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/pg47nud
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is an engaging review of a way of life and travel that is now long gone. This is perhaps a genealogist's view of the subject, bringing it to life through the people who took passage, the sailors, and the people who built and operated the ships. This is a book that deserves a wide audience because it contains so many fascinating cameos and a great period in history.

Water transport has long been a staple of man's existence. Initially, voyages were close to shore, seeking shelter at night and in bad weather, and vessels working the rivers and estuaries. From the earliest days, passenger transport was an important maritime role. Until very recently, land travel posed extreme risks. Even in 18th Century Britain, the footpad and highwayman were constant threats, roads were poorly maintained, and travel by land was often much slower than travel by boat or ship.

It is a popular mistake to assume that international marine travel is something created during the last 500 years. Ancient cultures undertook significant journeys across oceans and the Vikings built their first settlements in North America almost 1,000 years ago. They were however not the first to undertake long voyages across oceans. It is just that we have lost any records that may have been made and are only uncovering scraps of evidence through archaeology.

The author has wisely confined his story to the voyages of Empire as the British slowly and then with increasing speed began to build a unique maritime-based Empire that encompassed the globe and included arguably something approaching half the world population and affecting the lives of everyone else.

Initially is was the story of risky ventures where pilots and charts did not yet exist, ships were powered by the wind, and the accommodation left much to be desired, whilst the food and water supplies were at best marginal.

As the story unfolds and the ships become larger, steam-powered, made of steel and comfortably equipped, the voyages become more reliable and far less arduous. It is a story that extends almost 500 years and it is a stirring tale of how people went to sea and how sea routes linked together most points around the world.

Readers will find this a rewarding read and an enjoyable one.

British Military Operations in Aden & Radfan, 100 Years of British Colonial Rule

B2153

The author has established a reputation for finely drawn reviews of 'small wars' and this new book is a worthy addition to his portfolio. The territories at the south end of the Suez canal were very important to the British communications between the home country and the huge colonial areas East of Suez. This was particularly true in the age of sail and the early age of steam when a safe base in the area was important for vessels coming round Cape of Good Hope and then through the Suez canal when it opened. The author traces the long period of colonial rule and its ending during the dash from Empire that followed the end of WWII. It was a period where the US and the USSR both put pressure on the British Empire, the USSR as part of its plan for world domination and the US as part of its plan to take over markets previously enjoyed by Britain and its Empire. A well written account, illustrated by an interesting photo plate section.

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NAME: British Military Operations in Aden & Radfan, 100 Years of British Colonial Rule
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2153
AUTHOR: Nick van der Bijl
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 250
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Colonial Rule, dash from Empire, Middle East, Indian sea route, Suez, Indian Ocean, Arabia, oil, Communist expansion, Egypt
ISBN: 1-78303-291-X
IMAGE: B2153.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/mpszl5v
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author has established a reputation for finely drawn reviews of 'small wars' and this new book is a worthy addition to his portfolio. The territories at the south end of the Suez canal were very important to the British communications between the home country and the huge colonial areas East of Suez. This was particularly true in the age of sail and the early age of steam when a safe base in the area was important for vessels coming round Cape of Good Hope and then through the Suez canal when it opened. The author traces the long period of colonial rule and its ending during the dash from Empire that followed the end of WWII. It was a period where the US and the USSR both put pressure on the British Empire, the USSR as part of its plan for world domination and the US as part of its plan to take over markets previously enjoyed by Britain and its Empire. A well written account, illustrated by an interesting photo plate section.

This books appears as Aden and Yemen once more descend into violence and a further stampede of foreign workers begins. The period of British colonial rule in the area saw relative peace until the final years. Where the US politicians of the 1940's, in their extreme innocence, thought the world would be a better place if it embraced American values and drank Coca Cola, the reality was very different and unleashed more than 60 years of instability and warfare. There is still no end in sight and the probability is grim with the prospect of nuclear war becoming more likely as Russian gangsters struggle to retain control and re-create something similar to the USSR, Iran comes ever closer to owning nuclear weapons, Pakistan and India already have nuclear weapons aimed at each other, China struggles to retain its growth, and to control the areas from which it must draw raw materials, and the EUSSR attempts to form a new mega-State in Europe to absorb Russia and North America.

Against this international power struggle, Aden and Radfan may seem small beer, but they occupy a very important strategic location astride the oil routes and the maritime links between Europe and Australasia. Reading this book will provide some valuable perspectives and aid the understanding of the history and the future of the area.

Logistics in the Falklands War

B2152

This is an opportune publication at a time when politicians are responding to increasing conflict threats by savagely cutting defence spending. The brilliant victory in the Falklands in liberating the islanders from Argentine bandits cloaks the disasters in Government policy that encouraged the Argentines to think they would get away with aggression that increased risks for the Falklands Task Force. This book is the first to look in depth at the logistics, the risks and how the British Forces overcame obstacles to defeat a much larger enemy that also enjoyed the advantages that a defender has against an amphibious landing. This book should be compulsory reading for the morons in Parliament who deprive the British Forces of the equipment they need to do their jobs. It will certainly be well-received by enthusiasts and professionals. Highly recommended.

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NAME: Logistics in the Falklands War
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2152
AUTHOR: Kenneth L Privratsky
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 271
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Chinook, Sir Galahad, Atlantic Conveyor, air bridge, in-flight refuelling, food, fuel, ammunition, equipment, yomp, Sea King, Wessex, farm tractors, Land Rover, captured vehicles, Argentine, bandits, liberation, Free Falkland Islands
ISBN: 978-1-84832-222-6
IMAGE: B2152.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/p3o9ryt
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is an opportune publication at a time when politicians are responding to increasing conflict threats by savagely cutting defence spending. The brilliant victory in the Falklands in liberating the islanders from Argentine bandits cloaks the disasters in Government policy that encouraged the Argentines to think they would get away with aggression and increased risks for the Falklands Task Force. This book is the first to look in depth at the logistics, the risks and how the British Forces overcame obstacles to defeat a much larger enemy that also enjoyed the advantages that a defender has against an amphibious landing. This book should be compulsory reading for the morons in Parliament who deprive the British Forces of the equipment they need to do their jobs. It will certainly be well-received by enthusiasts and professionals. Highly recommended.

In any operation to respond to an aggressor, the military force depends heavily on the efficiency of its logistics support, even if the battle is close to home. Operation Corporate was not only a hastily put together force, but one which would be operating at the other end of the world, with no friendly ports between the battlefield and home. The story of how Britain pulled together the necessary ships, including the modification to troop transport of the iconic QEII passenger ship and other commercial vessels, is in itself an epic of war. Vessels had to be supplied with spares, routine and major maintenance brought forward by unbelievable deadlines, men and materials embarked, and new weapons systems delivered at express speed. This included the US Federal Government making available the latest Sidewinder AAMs which were to prove critical to the air battles between the sub-sonic VSTOL Harriers and Sea Harriers against the supersonic Argentine fighters and attack aircraft.

The wise habit of commanders is to assemble and ship all necessary supplies so that they can be fed smoothly into the landing force and then to support the advance. During WWII the US military was notorious for waiting patiently for supplies to be stockpiled, rather than fighting off the beaches and into the enemy heartlands. Operation Corporate had to cut a great many corners and be severely constricted by the failure of NATO and EU Allies to supply munitions and other supplies. The result was that men and materials were shoehorned into every available space and training took place during the voyage South. Ascension Island saw an incredible armada marshalled together as the half way stage and last friendly port. Boats and helicopters race back and forth between the warships and transports as supplies were correctly distributed after the hasty loading necessary to get the Task Force out of port and heading South with the least delays. The sight of these vessels grouped together, about to set off on the final thrust to battle, brought a lump to the throat. For any Briton who was there, it was a reminder that forty years of managed decline by low grade British politicians could not kill the British spirit. Set out before this tiny volcanic island was a fleet that Nelson would have been proud to command. There would be some further fine tuning of distribution during the rest of the voyage ahead of the landings. Ascension Island was an incredible and moving sight burned in the memory of all those who were there.

In authorizing the Task Force, Premier Thatcher was taking some big risks. Those risks were effectively addressed by the Task Force commanders and personnel, but the fact remains that the British guns were down to a handful of rounds each when the Argentine bandits surrendered. It was a very close run thing and something that perhaps only British Arms could have been achieved. There were elements of the planning and actions of Operation Corporate that were mirrored back in British history to Drake and the corsairs who took on and defeated the Spanish half a millennium before. The lessons of Op Corporate should have been learned but sadly the evidence of the first decades of the 20th Century show clearly that politicians are still incompetently and venially repeating the same criminal mistakes. One angry and frustrated General in 1990 suggested at a meeting that he should procure some trucks with A frames and take them down to a particular group of civil servants so he 'string up the buggers'. Down the generations, many a senior naval or army officer must have shared those feelings about politicians and bureaucrats who lacked the understanding of the desperate needs created by their many earlier failures.

The author has done a very thorough job of examining the fine detail of Op Corporate logistics. He has pulled no punches and it may be that his relative detachment as a senior US officer has offered a clarity and honesty that is difficult for a British officer of similar experience.

Op Corporate was like the old joke of the town dweller in a sports car who stops to ask a yokel for directions and the countryman responds, “ well I wouldn't have started from here”. There is always an element of that for the democracy responding to the tyrant, but Op Corporate faced it in spades.

The surface fleet had been run down progressively by successive British Governments from 1945, but the politicians expected the military to pull the chestnuts out of the fire whenever the politicians created a major mess. Britain had also seen a massive reduction in its merchant fleet, although this was in part a slight of hand. As the Unions forced ever heavier burdens on British shipowners, it became common to re-flag vessels to avoid the burden. Even so, it made the task of taking vessels from trade, to provide the cargo space required to move men, equipment and supplies to the Falklands, that much more difficult. The fleet also suffered the growing dominance of lawyers. That was to result in merchant ships not being armed with RN weapons crews aboard to protect the vessels. The greatest weakness was in aircraft carriers and had the Royal Navy not pulled a brilliant flanking move to smuggle the Invincible VSTOL carriers through as 'anti-submarine cruisers' the Task Force could not have been credibly pulled together.

Further innovation saw the return of the MAC ship that had been introduced in WWII to provide primitive carrier capacity on convoys. The container ship Atlantic Conveyor was fitted out with a makeshift flight deck between lines of containers that served as protected working space for the flight crews preparing or maintaining helicopters and VSTOL fighters. The risk was that the Task Force had very few warships and support vessels so that attrition was not really allowed for. This was to be highlighted when the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by an Exocet missile, although the bright side was that the targeting of this updated MAC ship avoided one of the two real aircraft carriers being hit and taken out of the equation.

When the ground troops were moved onto the landing assault vessels and supplies moved across with them the logistics may have been thin but were adequate for the landing phase. However, every helicopter and vehicle was required for the advance across the main island to Port Stanley and victory. The loss of the Atlantic Conveyor required many significant changes to the plans because of the helicopters lost with the MAC ship. The troops had to move across harsh terrain on foot, carrying their essential supplies, and assault landing ships had to move some forces around to support the main advance. This led to increased risk and the British were unlucky to be caught by Argentine aircraft. Not only was the capacity of the destroyed Chinook helicopters a major loss, but Sea Kings and smaller helicopters had to be used for supply missions when they were already needed for other tasks.

In the face of all of these obstacles the British Task Force performed magnificently and demonstrated that the British Lion could still kill - “Don't cry for us Argentina – the truth is we really screwed you”.

Sparta Unfit for Empire

B2151

The title suggests a contentious review of Sparta. The author shows how Sparta turned a commanding position, built through 200 years of warfare,in the space of only 40 years, into a second-rate power. The review and conclusions are well argued and very effectively supported by illustration in the form of maps, charts, and photographs. An interesting and informative read that will be enjoyed by many.

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NAME: Sparta Unfit for Empire
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2151
AUTHOR: Godfrey Hutchinson
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 296
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Sparta, city states, Ancient Greece, Peloponnesian War, Thebes, Korinth, Pelopidas, Epaminondas, Mediterranean, tactics, politics, topography
ISBN: 978-1-84832-222-6
IMAGE: B2151.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nqq5gk2
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The title suggests a contentious review of Sparta. The author shows how Sparta turned a commanding position, built through 200 years of warfare,in the space of only 40 years, into a second-rate power. The review and conclusions are well argued and very effectively supported by illustration in the form of maps, charts, and photographs. An interesting and informative read that will be enjoyed by many.

Our understanding of the ancient world is hampered by the lack of recorded history and an almost total lack of any written material that has not been produced by the victors of battles and wars. Some exciting new information emerges from time to time and there is also a steady expansion of our knowledge from archaeology.

Sparta is a particularly interesting subject because much has been written of the 200 years of military supremacy but significantly less about the period before the rise to prominence and the period of rapid decline afterwards. The author makes a compelling case for the proposition declared in the title and it is an entertaining book that presents a case in a flowing narrative. There will be those who will not accept the conclusions because they are firmly captive to the established wisdom of past work and there are always the opportunities to interpret source information differently.

One of our difficulties in understanding ancient history is in our perception of how far back it stretches and how many forms of civilization have occurred before. Until very recently, the general perception was that man went back little further than a few thousand years. We have now moved to a situation where each year brings new discovers that show species, identifiable as human, go back millions of years. We also now know that there were many large cities on the coast of India that were inundated 10,000 years ago. These cities would have been many hundreds of years in development and could have followed on from much earlier civilizations. The analysis of ruins in South and Central America shows advanced urban civilizations that managed to develop and achieve considerable success before they were lost, but never moved beyond stone tools, or never developed a written language. All of these discoveries require much additional research, will undoubtedly be followed by yet more provoking discoveries, and challenge our perceptions of what constitutes civilization and how that age has grown and prospered and failed.

Sparta was a city state that developed from agriculture in a somewhat barren terrain. It was one of many city states that had sprung up around the Mediterranean in that age and in earlier ages. It was remarkable because of the power of its armies and that military dominance has largely coloured our perceptions of Sparta. This new examination of how Sparta decayed produces a very refreshing and challenging set of propositions that add greatly to our appreciation and understanding.

The Waterloo Archive, Volume VI: British Sources

B2150

The publisher has written a fine and comprehensive list of leading books covering military history from ancient to modern times. Of particular value is the fine list of primary source information. When Gareth Glover embarked on his epic research of primary source material to relate to the Battle of Waterloo, he may not have envisaged such a comprehensive and effective gathering of information. This book is the last volume in his endeavours and any reader who has purchased one volume is sure to have eagerly awaited the next volume to be published. This presents something of a challenge for a reviewer. With most books, there is a clear primary readership, who would purchase a book because it directly filled their need for entertainment or information. This book has what may be an irregular readership. The core readership will be those who want to be able to draw their own conclusions about an incredibly important battle in a history filled with battles. There will be enthusiasts who like to challenge some of the conclusions set out by authors and historians. There will also be those who descend from people who were in some way involved in the events and who are trying to understand those who were their direct ancestral predecessors. Then there will be many enthusiasts and professionals who normally cover a different genre but want to learn about how the events leading to and following from Waterloo have affected their special niche of interest. There will be many more who find this comprehensive work applicable to their interests.

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NAME: The Waterloo Archive, Volume VI: British Sources
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2150
AUTHOR: Editor Gareth Glover
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 328
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Napoleonic Wars, final defeat, Waterloo, primary sources
ISBN: 1-84832-728-5
IMAGE: B2150.jpg
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DESCRIPTION: The publisher has written a fine and comprehensive list of leading books covering military history from ancient to modern times. Of particular value is the fine list of primary source information. When Gareth Glover embarked on his epic research of primary source material to relate to the Battle of Waterloo, he may not have envisaged such a comprehensive and effective gathering of information. This book is the last volume in his endeavours and any reader who has purchased one volume is sure to have eagerly awaited the next volume to be published. This presents something of a challenge for a reviewer. With most books, there is a clear primary readership, who would purchase a book because it directly filled their need for entertainment or information. This book has what may be an irregular readership. The core readership will be those who want to be able to draw their own conclusions about an incredibly important battle in a history filled with battles. There will be enthusiasts who like to challenge some of the conclusions set out by authors and historians. There will also be those who descend from people who were in some way involved in the events and who are trying to understand those who were their direct ancestral predecessors. Then there will be many enthusiasts and professionals who normally cover a different genre but want to learn about how the events leading to and following from Waterloo have affected their special niche of interest. There will be many more who find this comprehensive work applicable to their interests.

Some will ask why primary sources are important when there are so many books of fact and fiction, written by established historians and authors. Through history, the established wisdom of events and people has been written by the victors or their acolytes. Sometimes those individuals have deliberately destroyed any material that questions their version of events. Happily, we are now in an information age where huge volumes of documents and artefacts have been preserved and collected into museums and archives, providing the potential means to review the accepted wisdom about recent events. The challenge is in visiting the collections, researching and recording the material and then considering how this newly available information challenges accepted wisdom.

As this review is being written, Britain is preparing to rebury a monarch who died in battle half a millennia ago and who had been largely and physically lost to history. His remaining footprint had been of a violent usurper who had killed children to secure the throne. Some inspired archaeology led to his discovery under a car park in a relatively uninspiring East Midlands Cathedral City. From that point, rapid research, using his remains as the starting point, have led to the preparations for a televised re-burial and to discord between cities that feel a claim to the remains. Those who have supported this Medieval King against the established historical reputation, written by those who deposed him, have led to claims on his behalf that produce a very different impression of the man and the monarch. The challenge is that there is very little new information available and no new primary sources. The two camps will therefore continue to argue their views with little prospect of establishing a new and well-founded consensus.

With Glover's work on the Waterloo sources, we have the very real prospect of being able to revisit earlier conclusions and test them against this primary source material. Historians will get excited, enthusiasts will feel a stronger connection to the past, descendents will feel closer to their forebears, new levels of understanding will develop and so many will benefit. That all makes this volume and its sisters a very valuable expansion of our knowledge of history.

Inside Wellington’s Peninsular Army 1808-1814

B2149

The centuries of Anglo-French warfare concluded with the three defeats of Napoleon. Nelson and the Royal Navy conclusively defeated the Franco-Spanish navies at Trafalgar in 1805. From that point the Royal Navy became the dominant sea power for a hundred years, but the final defeat of Napoleon required soldiers on the ground. That led to two defeats for Napoleon at the hands of Wellington. The authors have provided a penetrating picture of Wellington and his Army in the Peninsular to explain what was so special about the commander and his troops. This is a very important book that should be widely read, especially by those French historians who have difficulty in understanding how thoroughly Wellington thrashed Napoleon.

The authors have established reputations that are complimentary to each other and they have based their work on the foundation of Osman's epic study. This virtually guarantees their success and the resulting work is a pleasure to read with a seamless blending of contributions from the authors with the foundation provided by Osman. An excellent work that is highly recommended and essential reading for anyone with an interest in the period and the deployment of arms.

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NAME: Inside Wellington's Peninsular Army 1808-1814
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2149
AUTHOR: Ory Muir, Robert Burnham, Howie Muir, Ron McGuigan
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 328
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Napoleonic Wars, Peninsular War, Wellesley, Rifles, Spain, Portugal, Napoleon, retreat, consolidation, advance, Portugal to France, Bayonne
ISBN: 1-47382-761-2
IMAGE: B2149.jpg
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DESCRIPTION: The centuries of Anglo-French warfare concluded with the three defeats of Napoleon. Nelson and the Royal Navy conclusively defeated the Franco-Spanish navies at Trafalgar in 1805. From that point the Royal Navy became the dominant sea power for a hundred years, but the final defeat of Napoleon required soldiers on the ground. That led to two defeats for Napoleon at the hands of Wellington. The authors have provided a penetrating picture of Wellington and his Army in the Peninsular to explain what was so special about the commander and his troops. This is a very important book that should be widely read, especially by those French historians who have difficulty in understanding how thoroughly Wellington thrashed Napoleon.

The Royal Navy had a very good time during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Nelson was the clear lead in this solid naval performance and enjoyed some inspired victories. He was also reinforcing the dominant position held by the Royal Navy during the Seven Years War when the British Fleet really established a dominant position that might be challenged in the Napoleonic Wars but never reversed.

On land, it was a different story. Britain had a relatively poor and basically equipped Army that was really a collection of regiments that enjoyed some independence and were led predominately by officers who had purchased their positions. They had squandered opportunities during the American War of Independence and included units that were German mercenaries, rather than a wholly British force. There was much in-fighting as individuals sought to achieve a more prominent position and favour regularly interceded in the conduct of British armies.

Wellington established a new situation when he was sent to command forces in Portugal. He consolidated and trained his troops, initially concentrating on preventing them being pushed into the sea. He then established a policy of dividing Napoleon's Marshals in the Peninsular and prevented them from forming a decisive numerical superiority. He based his movements and campaigns on solid intelligence gained by his Exploring Officers and made imaginative use of the Rifles, both in fighting rearguards and in advances where their skills as skirmishers and snipers gave the British a valuable advantage in the field.

This book is the first serious contender for the role of definitive history of Wellington, his soldiers and the Peninsular War. Previously the large-scale review completed by Sir Charles Oman had secured that position from its publication in 1913. It is perhaps surprising that no one has made an earlier attempt to produce a definitive history that employs all of the new information that has emerged during the century since the Osman examination.

The authors have established reputations that are complimentary to each other and they have based their work on the foundation of Osman's epic study. This virtually guarantees their success and the resulting work is a pleasure to read with a seamless blending of contributions from the authors with the foundation provided by Osman. An excellent work that is highly recommended and essential reading for anyone with an interest in the period and the deployment of arms.

Wargame Scenarios, The Peninsular War 1808-1814

B2148

Wargaming has become a very popular hobby bordering on a career. This book has been designed to take some of the time and effort out of preparing to begin wargames set against the Peninsular War and intended for use with the Pen & Sword Napoleonic Wargame Rules, Grand Battery. Wargaming enthusiasts will find this book a very valuable assistant, but it is also useful to a wider readership, particularly to those who are considering adopting wargaming as an absorbing hobby.

The book's structure is very logical and easy to follow. The clear text is supported effectively by many illustrations, including charts, tables, sketches, maps and battle guides.

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NAME: Wargame Scenarios, The Peninsular War 1808-1814
DATE: 200215
FILE: R2148
AUTHOR: Jon Sutherland, Diane Canwell
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword, frontline
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 222
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Napoleonic Wars, Peninsular War, Wellesley, Rifles, Spain, Portugal, Napoleon, retreat, consolidation, advance, Portugal to France, Bayonne
ISBN: 1-84415-947-7
IMAGE: B2148.jpg
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DESCRIPTION: Wargaming has become a very popular hobby bordering on a career. This book has been designed to take some of the time and effort out of preparing to begin wargames set against the Peninsular War and intended for use with the Pen & Sword Napoleonic Wargame Rules, Grand Battery. Wargaming enthusiasts will find this book a very valuable assistant, but it is also useful to a wider readership, particularly to those who are considering adopting wargaming as an absorbing hobby.

The book's structure is very logical and easy to follow. The clear text is supported effectively by many illustrations, including charts, tables, sketches, maps and battle guides.