Book Review – Decisive Battles of the English Civil War

B2014

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The author has conducted an original investigation and provides a stimulating review of the battles that shaped the civil war and carried Parliament to ultimate victory. He has taken each major battle in turn, looking critically at contemporary accounts and established narratives of historians. In the process, he questions some established wisdom, providing a new perspective to the battles as he mounts compelling arguments to support his study.

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A History of Frauds Through the Ages, Beggars, Cheats and Forgers

B2018

First glance at the title might encourage the reader to think this might be a story of everyday political folk, but it is in fact a carefully researched study of a much neglected area of British history. It produces a fascinating view of historical scams and holds the reader's attention to the end.

This book is thought provoking and will reward the reader's time.

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NAME: A History of Frauds Through the Ages, Beggars, Cheats and Forgers
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2018
AUTHOR: David Thomas
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 161
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: crime, punishment, nature, nurture, fraud, forgery, white collar crime, victims, deception, misdirection, confidence tricks, beggars, benefits, social care
ISBN: 1-78159-327-2
IMAGE: B2018.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kul272o
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: First glance at the title might encourage the reader to think this might be a story of everyday political folk, but it is in fact a carefully researched study of a much neglected area of British history. It produces a fascinating view of historical scams and holds the reader's attention to the end.

The author is a former Director of Technology at the National Archives, responsible for implementing the systems that provide communications and digital information internally and onto the Internet. A unique knowledge of what data is available, and how to access it to best purpose, has combined with a long-standing interest in crime, imprisonment and poverty, subjects he has already written about extensively for family history magazines.

He provides a fresh view of criminal history and the roots of modern crimes. In reality, threats change little over the generations in their underlying nature. Only the outward detail differs and the ease with which some crimes can be committed because the lazy have failed to consider risk and take measures to reduce it to acceptable levels. The research guide for genealogists and researchers, that is included within the pages, points them towards more unusual archives. This book is therefore not just an entertaining and informative review of a set of subjects that are always of compelling interest to many people, but it is the basis for a work-in-progress that could provide the foundations on which to consider and grade enduring risks and modern threats.

There is a very interesting photo plate section and some illustration in single colour embedded in the body of the book. This supports the examples of fraud and forgery that are the basis of what we now refer to as white collar crime. The examples from the past show that crime is never victimless and that many criminals would have achieved more by applying their skills and energies to legitimate endeavours.

There are differences between modern crimes and their older roots. In the past, before the electronic age, a criminal could move away from the area of a set of crimes and start again because of weaknesses in communications and policing. Today that is more difficult because global communication does potentially provide the means of tracking a malefactor and apprehension is more assured. Once apprehended, the criminal may be sent to crime college and let out early to relieve prison overcrowding, to go on and commit even greater crimes with greater efficiency. There is also a significant difference in the ability watch for crime. In the past, it was possible to place valuables inside a physically secure container, room, building, or compound, and establish an area of view that made it much more difficult for a criminal to approach unseen. Today, cyberspace provides huge areas of invisibility that exist because few people made any real effort to consider the dangers when electronic systems were first created and applied. Even now, most protective systems sit on top of a largely unknown mass that leaves enormous areas of unappreciated vulnerability.

This book is thought provoking and will reward the reader's time.

Sniper in Helmand, Six Months on the Frontline

B2016

This new book provides a very valuable view of the military environment and provides information that should be part of the intelligence map that is needed to guide the future relationship between NATO and the Afghan people. The author is one of the small band of soldiers who have the capability to become snipers and Afghanistan has always been the battlefield for snipers. Snipers are a rare breed who earn the respect of enemy and comrade. It is a dangerous and arduous task that requires the development of considerable skill and determination. It also requires discipline and great patience.

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NAME: Sniper in Helmand, Six Months on the Frontline
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2016
AUTHOR: James Cartwright
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 178
PRICE: £8.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Rifle, marksman, skilled shot, long range firing, sniper nest, infantryman, optic sights, infrared, starlight scope, terrorists, insurgents, high value human targets
ISBN: 1-47382-273-4
IMAGE: B2016.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/loxarea
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: History may see the NATO occupation of Afghanistan in a very different light decades from now. It is a beneficial maxim that decisions in anger should be avoided. It was entirely understandable that the United States would recoil in horror from the shock of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, and then roll back in anger demanding a decisive punishment for the attackers. That the chaos of the Russian retreat from their invasion of Afghanistan should have left a rogue state where an extreme religious faction should effectively be sharing power with a terrorist organisation, created a natural target for the advanced weaponry of the US and its allies.

Where it all went seriously wrong was that European and American politicians came to see warfare as a convenient diversion from domestic issues, giving the appearance of strength and invincibility. The result of that was to prove a lack of forward planning, with a failure to have any clear plan of how to exploit the initial military victory and prepare an exit strategy. Having forced the terrorists out of Afghanistan, the NATO force had only displaced them into Pakistan, rather than breaking them as a threat. There was still time to produce a credible strategic policy and implement it, but the US took their focus away to Iraq and added another military campaign area and a further drain on resources, without completing the task in Afghanistan.

Part of the problem was that the military part was initially straight forward. Aircraft and ground forces could be deployed against identified targets and alliances could be formed with local warlords, but the lightly equipped resistance could melt away and then attack unexpectedly. What was required was accurate and adequate intelligence and a clear idea of how a friendly and effective aboriginal government could be assisted to govern in its own interests and within its familiar culture. Attempting to force European and American concepts of democratic government on a culture that needed to evolve at a pace to suit its needs was never likely to succeed. Eventually, NATO would have to leave and, when its last soldiers withdrew, it would leave an untidy vacuum that could be filled by something even more dangerous than that which had existed before invasion, repeating the mistakes made previously by the Russians.

Whether Afghanistan will eventually develop a government system that suits Afghans and does not threaten the West remains to be seen. It appears unlikely, not least because the West has still not developed the intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to influence the process. In the meantime, NATO soldiers are still dying and being wounded.

This new book provides a very valuable view of the military environment and provides information that should be part of the intelligence map that is needed to guide the future relationship between NATO and the Afghan people. The author is one of the small band of soldiers who have the capability to become snipers and Afghanistan has always been the battlefield for snipers. Snipers are a rare breed who earn the respect of enemy and comrade. It is a dangerous and arduous task that requires the development of considerable skill and determination. It also requires discipline and great patience.

All soldiers are required to kill to achieve the objectives set for them, but the sniper is in a category of his own where his primary function is to kill the maximum number of enemy soldiers, particularly high value targets such as enemy commanders. Technology has delivered the weapons to fire targeted shots at considerable range. Wellington's riflemen in Portugal and Spain managed to kill at a range of up to 700 metres with their flintlock Baker rifles, when a standard infantry musket was not accurate beyond 200 metres and often lacked the quality of powder to kill much beyond 50 metres. Today, the sniper is not much different in relation to the standard infantry man. From 1939, it has become increasingly common for armies to be equipped with lighter rifles, able to accurately fire up to 150 metres and have the ability for full automatic fire. That provides a compact weapon and lighter ammunition to allow an infantryman to carry more rounds to support high rates of fire. Against that, the sniper will have a hand made, or hand finished, long rifle, probably still with bolt action, because the objective is to use skill, carefully manufactured rounds, and high accuracy sighting optics with a barrel and action that have been produced to the highest standard, allowing a relatively small number of aimed rounds to be fired at a target that is 1000 metres or more away from the sniper's nest.

The author has produced a book that conveys the realities of life for the sniper in Afghanistan, the highs and lows, the fear, boredom and excitement. This is a book that is compulsive and totally absorbing. It paints a graphic picture that introduces the sniper and the many pressures, psychological and physical. It is a thrilling and action-packed story and provides a related view of the other arms that integrate with the sniper. This is the first book to be written by a trained sniper in Afghanistan and one of only a handful of books written by snipers from any battlefield.

Chinese Hordes and Human Waves, a Personal Perspective of the Korean War 1950-1953

B2017

As it was, the Korean War became a nasty battle of attrition, often in dreadful weather conditions and always with the threat that the Koreans and their Chinese allies would simply flood troops into battle and accept appalling casualty rates to swamp the UN troops.

The author was a junior Gunner officer at the time and experienced the conditions. This has enabled him to paint a vivid picture of the battle, his allies, the enemy, the conditions and terrain as first hand observations. From this perspective alone, this would have been a memorable and engaging account of a war that is almost unknown today. What lifts it onto a higher plane and makes it an outstanding account, is that the author rose to senior rank, served as an intelligence officer and was a qualified Chinese interpreter. This has allowed him to combine the young officer's experience of battle with the strategic and theatre tactics that come with the senior officer's perspective and view of the wider stage.

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NAME: Chinese Hordes and Human Waves, a Personal Perspective of the Korean War 1950-1953
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2017
AUTHOR: Brigadier Brian Parrett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 204
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Cold War, Korean War, Chinese Army, tactics, terrain, climate, equipment, politics, command
ISBN: 1-78337-372-5
IMAGE: B2017.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/m7wxk9g
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The Korean War was the first conflict fought under the international banner of the newly formed United Nations. As such, it broke completely new ground and deserved very much better coverage by historians than it has recveived.

It was the first major war to be fought after the first use of nuclear weapons against Japan in 1945. The US always had the option of using nuclear bombs to avoid a take over of South Korea by the huge numbers of Communist soldiers from North Korea and China. Instead, the Communists threatened on several occasions to over run the UN troops and only conventional weapons were used in response. In the event, the war dragged on for no real benefit to either side and fizzled out into an armistice that was never to be followed by by a peace treaty. More than 60 years on, the war threatens periodically to turn again into a hot war.

Some have argued that the US made a serious error in using the UN as the authority to defend the South Koreans. The UN force was remarkably similar to the Alliance that won WWII and, had the US been in full control of events, the first use of human wave attacks could have been dealt with by strategic nuclear bombing of North Korea and then of China. That makes the assumption that the US was ready to use nuclear weapons in this way if it had total control of the war against the Communists.

As it was, the Korean War became a nasty battle of attrition, often in dreadful weather conditions and always with the threat that the Koreans and their Chinese allies would simply flood troops into battle and accept appalling casualty rates to swamp the UN troops.

The author was a junior Gunner officer at the time and experienced the conditions. This has enabled him to paint a vivid picture of the battle, his allies, the enemy, the conditions and terrain as first hand observations. From this perspective alone, this would have been a memorable and engaging account of a war that is almost unknown today. What lifts it onto a higher plane and makes it an outstanding account, is that the author rose to senior rank, served as an intelligence officer and was a qualified Chinese interpreter. This has allowed him to combine the young officer's experience of battle with the strategic and theatre tactics that come with the senior officer's perspective and view of the wider stage.

From this unique base of knowledge and skill, the author has produced an outstanding book that introduces the reader to one of the most significant wars of the 20th Century, but a war that lives only in a handful of films, notably “MASH” which was produced as a satire and a comedy to entertain.

What makes the Korean War so significant is that it might never have been won, but the avoidance of defeat provided the deterrent to keep the Cold War at a low temperature. Had the Communists driven out the UN troops and occupied South Korea, the huge Russian army would have swept across Europe and the world would have become a very different place, divided between broadly similar Communist regimes.

This book should be widely read as gripping personal memoir to expose a long forgotten conflict, providing a perspective to understand the Cold War and the legacy that still exists. It should also be read to understand how Russia and China will attempt once more to seek to dominate the world's democracies. The first steps have already been taken with Russia invading the Ukraine and grabbing part of Georgia's sovereign territory. As those actions attempt to reproduce the actions of national socialists in the 1930s, China is embarking on a major expansion of its already massive military to threaten its neighbours.

Read this book and understand how past and present offer major new threats for the future.

The Agincourt War, A Military History of the Hundred Years War from 1369 to 1453

B2015

The author has put the Battle of Agincourt into perspective against other important, if less well known, battles and engagements, providing also a greater depth to his presentation of the war than other authors have. The reader will come away from this book with a new understanding of how the armies fought and why the fortunes of war fell as they did. The author has given deserved honour to Henry V's captains who have frequently been overlooked in other histories and details the parts played for France by Bertrand du Gueschlin and Joan of Arc.

The great achievement of the author is to present his careful research and compelling arguments in a manner that is both satisfying to the historian, without reducing the attraction to the layman. There are few illustrations, but the text conveys the drama and paints the pictures in an excellent piece of work.

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NAME: The Agincourt War, A Military History of the Hundred Years War from 1369 to 1453
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2015
AUTHOR: Lt Col Alfred H Burne
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 359
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: 100 Years War, France, English holdings, Medieval warfare, armoured knights, archers, men at arms, battles, campaigns
ISBN: 978-1-84832-765-8
IMAGE: B2015.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/pdbc66y
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Originally published by Greenhill in 1991, this was the first book to cover an exciting period of Medieval warfare from the years leading up to Agincourt and the aftermath. This period of warfare shaped not only European history but resounded around the world in the following centuries. British history remembers Crecy and Agincourt as great victories, but the total period of warfare was not a success for England and the last outpost in France, Calais, fell during the reign of Henry VIII's daughter Mary. The series of campaigns and battles leading to Calais made England a strong country that looked outwards in trade and led to the British Empire. Had the Hundred Years War led to the complete defeat of the French, England would have lacked the desire for expansion beyond Europe.

The English and the French fought in different styles and that goes a long way to explaining the English ability to fight a major battle against much greater enemy forces and win. Where the French believed in a code of chivalry and the supremacy of the mounted and armoured knight, the English army comprised its archers and men-at-arms with knights fighting alongside them in the battle line and with the introduction of artillery.

The English leaders, Talbot, Salisbury and Bedford, and many others, knew the ground they fought on. Their knowledge was superior to the French and the segments of the English force lived and fought alongside each other, sharing the hardships and the victories. Their force was united in a way that the French force facing them was not. Chivalry did not get in the way of fighting to win and in fighting from what might be an unpromising starting position.

The author has put the Battle of Agincourt into perspective against other important, if less well known, battles and engagements, providing also a greater depth to his presentation of the war than other authors have. The reader will come away from this book with a new understanding of how the armies fought and why the fortunes of war fell as they did. The author has given deserved honour to Henry V's captains who have frequently been overlooked in other histories and details the parts played for France by Bertrand du Gueschlin and Joan of Arc.

The great achievement of the author is to present his careful research and compelling arguments in a manner that is both satisfying to the historian, without reducing the attraction to the layman. There are few illustrations, but the text conveys the drama and paints the pictures in an excellent piece of work.

Decisive Battles of the English Civil War

B2014

The author has conducted an original investigation and provides a stimulating review of the battles that shaped the civil war and carried Parliament to ultimate victory. He has taken each major battle in turn, looking critically at contemporary accounts and established narratives of historians. In the process, he questions some established wisdom, providing a new perspective to the battles as he mounts compelling arguments to support his study.

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NAME: Decisive Battles of the English Civil War
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2014
AUTHOR: Malcolm Wanklyn
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 246
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Civil war, English history, Seventeenth Century, Royalists, Parliamentarians, Roman Catholics, Anglican Catholics, Puritans, Levellers, New Model Army
ISBN: 1-78346-975-7
IMAGE: B2014.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/lbrfbky
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author has reviewed the decisive battles of the English Civil War, restudying source material and presenting convincing arguments in an absorbing style that can be followed without prior knowledge of the period, or of warfare of the time. There is limited illustration in the form of maps through the body of the book, and a short photo plate section, that adds to the text.

In view of the significant impact the civil war had on English history the development of Great Britain and the founding of an extensive global empire, the English Civil War has received remarkably little coverage, against other periods of English history that had a less fundamental impact.

The Tudors had seen England emerge from the Middle Ages with a well developed wool trade and a number of large and wealthy urban areas. Henry VIII and Elizabeth I faced external threats which they avoided as far as possible but, when forced to fight, they achieved success beyond any reasonable expectations. They also began the process of expanding into a global trading empire, mainly through the activities of independent seamen operating on authorities of Compensation and Retribution issued by the French Hugenots in La Rochelle.

As Elizabeth had never married to produce an heir, the later years of her reign were occupied in negotiating for the crown to pass to James Stuart of Scotland. James VI had experienced a difficult life as he was groomed to become King in replacement of his mother who had been forced into English exile and eventual execution on Elizabeth's authority. James became James I of England and was an austere and scholarly monarch with Scottish beliefs in the threat of witchcraft and the dangers of Roman Catholicism. However, he was followed by Charles I who was a grander monarch, suspected in some quarters of being a Roman Catholic, and with a taste for collecting taxes.

How far Charles was given to spending freely is open to debate. He inherited some grand and important claims. James I had declared Spitzbergen to be English territory, building on the monopoly granted previously by Elizabeth I to the Moscovy Company. This was important to Britain because it controlled the whaling industry which was becoming a major and highly profitable new industry that was to continue as a high value activity until the extraction and processing of mineral oil in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. As industry was already beginning to develop in England, whale products were becoming essential materials. However, the Royal Navy was in a parlous state and Charles was forced to levy ship money taxes to pay for a new building program. These ships were needed to protect British interests in whaling and to stand against the Dutch who were developing colonies in the Americas to threaten the early English colonies. Unfortunately for Charles, Parliament was not only against taxation of the wealthy from whom they came, but it was developing a taste for controlling the power of the King. That made a civil war virtually inevitable.

When civil war broke out, there was not a great difference between the King's armies and those raised by Parliament. As the war unfolded, the Puritan faction of the Parliamentarians began to dominate. In the process, both on land and at sea, the Parliamentarians began to develop areas of technical superiority and a level of discipline that was lacking in many parts of the Royalist forces.

The author has conducted an original investigation and provides a stimulating review of the battles that shaped the civil war and carried Parliament to ultimate victory. He has taken each major battle in turn, looking critically at contemporary accounts and established narratives of historians. In the process, he questions some established wisdom, providing a new perspective to the battles as he mounts compelling arguments to support his study.

This book must be viewed as a definitive work, building on his catalogue of previous history and war studies. It is both absorbing and enjoyable. It contains some surprises and fully rewards the reader's time.

The Spartan Supremacy 412-371 BC

B2013

Sparta was a small city state. Only one part of its history has been heavily covered by historians, who have neglected the periods to either side of the Peloponnesian War. The result is that Sparta is not set in perspective against its history. What historians have done is take a decision on what they think is interesting or important against a wider canvas. This new study corrects previous defects in coverage and the result is a very readable book that looks at to period 412-371 BC to give a true perspective of Sparta, addressing questions previously ignored.

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NAME: The Spartan Supremacy 412-371 BC
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2013
AUTHOR: Mike Roberts, Bob Bennett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 299
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Sparta, Spartans, Thebans. Ancient Greece, Thucydides, Lysander, Agesilaus, Pelopidas, Epaminodas
ISBN: 1-84884-614-2
IMAGE: B2013.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nbfl4kc
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: Sparta was a small city state. Only one part of its history has been heavily covered by historians, who have neglected the periods to either side of the Peloponnesian War. The result is that Sparta is not set in perspective against its history. What historians have done is take a decision on what they think is interesting or important against a wider canvas. This new study corrects previous defects in coverage and the result is a very readable book that looks at to period 412-371 BC to give a true perspective of Sparta, addressing questions previously ignored.

Popular history views the Spartans as an austere military caste that preyed on neighbours and alone stood against the Persian expansion. Considering that two millennia have passed, it is surprising that no one has paid serious attention to the Forth Century history of Sparta, not least because a lack of study leaves several important questions inadequately answered. Sparta did not spring fully formed from the womb. The original farming communities that gave way to city states were part of an evolutionary process and the regular warfare, that was not much more than bandits roaming the harsh environment, required the formation of professional armies.

In Sparta, society developed to the point where its core was the army and young men went to learn the art of war in a society within a society. The training was arduous and exhausting with only the best warriors surviving as part of that force. Those who fell below the standards required were ruthlessly discarded. The result was a confident force to the point of arrogance, unprepared to give quarter, or to expect it.

The authors have shown how the period covered in this book is well served by source material and deserves careful study that is at least the equal to the period of the Peloponnesian War. There are several campaigns and battles that are well enough recorded that they can be read and understood. This book contributes strongly to the process and includes a photo plate section to support the textual presentation. In reading the arguments presented by the authors, there is a completeness and most readers will probably conclude that they have, by the end of the book, achieved a fair understanding of this period in the development of the societies in Ancient Greece and also developed a new perspective against which to appreciate works covering the Peloponnesian War. What would be even more rewarding is for this work to stimulate historians to pay more attention to the Fourth Century. This may question some of the conclusions reached by the authors here, but that is the necessary process of presentation and argument.

This makes an excellent starting point and should be read by all those who hope to understand Ancient Greece, its development and fall.

British Steam Locomotive Builders

B2012 The first reaction to the book is WOW!! The amount of work that has gone into collecting all of the information and packing it tightly into 704 pages is impressive and has built a book that no serious enthusiast or historian can afford not to add to their existing library of essential works. 350 builders have been identified and recorded and the text is supported by 541 illustrations and 47 diagrams. In the process, it is possible that a builder has been missed, or a rare locomotive escaped inclusion, but it does not seem very likely. Even the most knowledgeable enthusiasts and historians will find some surprises when reading this book, it really is that comprehensive. It is one of those rare reference works where it will answer every question, if the readers only know enough to ask. reviews.firetrench.com brn.firetrench.com bsd.firetrench.com nthn.firetrench.com ftd.firetrench.com NAME: British Steam Locomotive Builders DATE: 160814 FILE: R2012 AUTHOR: James W Lowe PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING: hard back PAGES: 704 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Steam locomotives, steam locomotive builders, factories, heavy engineering, steel production, rolling stock, railways, rail way companies, rail roads, trains, passengers, freight ISBN: 1-47382-289-0 IMAGE: B2012.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/oqzovmp LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The British Isles, including Ireland saw an amazing industry develop to construct railways and the locomotives to draw the rolling stock on them. For 170 years, a great variety of firms of every size, from the smallest through to considerable companies, established themselves and built an amazing variety of locomotives for use in the British Isles and for export to every corner of the World. Production ended in the 1960s, the British rail network was to be vandalized by politicians, and this book first published in 1975. It has been out of print for many years. The publisher and author will receive the thanks of the growing army of steam railway enthusiasts for bringing this work back into print. It is a tour de force in its field. The first reaction to the book is WOW!! The amount of work that has gone into collecting all of the information and packing it tightly into 704 pages is impressive and has built a book that no serious enthusiast or historian can afford not to add to their existing library of essential works. 350 builders have been identified and recorded and the text is supported by 541 illustrations and 47 diagrams. In the process, it is possible that a builder has been missed, or a rare locomotive escaped inclusion, but it does not seem very likely. Some of the larger builders may have survived for many years as steam locomotive builders, and covered a range of types and sizes of steam locomotive, but there were also companies that pioneered new technology, produced a small number of specialist locomotives, survived briefly and were very small companies. Until the nationalization of the railways after World War Two. Britain boasted an extensive network of rail lines and a number of competing rail companies, each with its own idea of what equipment it needed to deliver a service for passengers and freight. They patronized some builders to the exclusion of others and gradually technical standards came to be adopted to improve rail safety. Progress was impressive and some builders concentrated much of their efforts on the export market through the British Empire and beyond. Even the most knowledgeable enthusiasts and historians will find some surprises when reading this book, it really is that comprehensive. It is one of those rare reference works where it will answer every question, if the readers only know enough to ask.

German U-Boat Losses During World War II, Details of Destruction

B2011

This is a fully revised and updated edition of what must be the definitive reference on German U-boat losses. The author has conducted an exhaustive study and provides details of every U-boat sunk between 1939 and 1945, with the Allied units that sank them. This is an essential source for historians and enthusiasts, but it also provides a reference for anyone who is attempting to understand the enormous cost to the German U-boat service during WWII. Considering the effort expended in producing this highly detailed reference, the cover price is very aggressive, even before the traditional Pen & Sword discounting of newly published books and periodically to promote sales on multiple books relating to an anniversary or some other key event relating to the topics covered.

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NAME: German U-Boat Losses During World War II, Details of Destruction
DATE: 160814
FILE: R2011
AUTHOR: Axel Niestle
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 305
PRICE: £25.00
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, Second World War, WWII, Battle of the Atlantic, wolf packs, U-Boats, submarines, losses, anti-submarine, hunter-killer, convoy escorts, air power, maritime patrol
ISBN: 1-84832-210-3
IMAGE: B2011.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/oqrjog2
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This is a fully revised and updated edition of what must be the definitive reference on German U-boat losses. The author has conducted an exhaustive study and provides details of every U-boat sunk between 1939 and 1945, with the Allied units that sank them. This is an essential source for historians and enthusiasts, but it also provides a reference for anyone who is attempting to understand the enormous cost to the German U-boat service during WWII. Considering the effort expended in producing this highly detailed reference, the cover price is very aggressive, even before the traditional Pen & Sword discounting of newly published books and periodically to promote sales on multiple books relating to an anniversary or some other key event relating to the topics covered.

For the professional, the historian and the enthusiast, this carefully revised reference will need no introduction and be purchased to take advantage of the revision. The author will be well known by many, having spent more than thirty years as a private researcher, specializing in the Battle of the Atlantic, but also producing other work on military history during WWII. His illustrated monographs on the most famous Type VII C and Type IX C U-boats are the finest available.

For those wishing to extend their knowledge of WWII, submarine technology and tactics, this book is essential reading and it has been laid out in a very easy to read format, providing very fast access to particular information through extensive indexing of persons, ships and aircraft. For this category of reader, a question that may spring to mind is “why does a reference, of vessels lost 70 years or more ago, require a full revision?” The answer to that is that the author is frequently invited as a historical consultant to world-wide distributed TV documentaries on German U-boats. A number of these documentaries set out to identify a U-boat wreck or to disprove established wisdom on U-boat losses. There a number of reasons why original records are not completely accurate and these documentaries often convincingly put the record straight after extensive detective work.
The German Navy did of course maintain log books and war diaries that provide core primary source information, but these do not necessarily record the loss of a specific submarine. During a war patrol, a U-boat could and did stray from a patrol area as a result of a battle or because of weather conditions. When a U-boat failed to return from patrol, as a great many did, the U-boat Service frequently used intelligent guesswork to provide a record of loss. During battle, Allied aircraft and ships only really knew which U-boat they had destroyed, if it was brought to the surface and examined, or its crew escaped, to be taken prisoner. As a result, some discovered wrecks have been initially incorrectly identified and not every wreck has been located. Some of those inspected by deep divers, and ultimately identified convincingly, have been found to be vessels that had been thought to lay some distance from where they were found.

At the end of WWII, the Allies were keen to identifying exactly what the German losses were and what had happened to every vessel lost. This was a considerable exercise and involved the study of surviving German Navy records, interviews with surviving U-boat veterans, and extensive study of Allied reports and records. Not surprisingly, Allied and German records did not all agree and in several cases pragmatism closed a record incorrectly.

The author has probably done more than any other individual to find answers to open questions and to correct mistakes in existing knowledge of the U-boat campaigns and losses.

There may well be some inaccuracies remaining, but these will be very few in number. A few errors will probably remain for all time, unless someone discovers a document somewhere, or where divers locate a previously unknown wreck. The reader can therefore rely on the tables, lists and notes that make up this fine reference work, because there is no better record and any unidentified errors will be very few in number. In supporting the text, there are charts and an excellent selection of photographs. The book cannot be commended highly enough.

Why the Japanese Lost, The Red Sun’s Setting

B2010

The author is an experienced military historian and this is a worthy addition to his catalogue. He has provided a compelling argument for the rapid rise and fall of Japan in the 1940s. There is good illustration in a photo plate section to compliment the readable and well argued text. There have been a number of attempts to explain the rise and fall of Japan by historians, military officers, diplomats and enthusiasts. This book stands well to the fore and this reviewer considers it the best available account. A very useful addition to the library of any enthusiast or professional.

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NAME: Why the Japanese Lost, The Red Sun's Setting
DATE: 020814
FILE: R2010
AUTHOR: Bryan Perrett
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 234
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: World War Two, , Second World War, WWII communications, natural resources, trading block, imperial expansion, Japan, US, UK, France, Netherlands, Asia co-prosperity zone, pre-emptive attack, Pearl Harbour, nuclear weapons, Pacific, China Seas, Seas of East Asia, carrier strikes, submarine wolf packs
ISBN: 1-78159-198-9
IMAGE: B2010.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nurfc6p
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author is an experienced military historian and this is a worthy addition to his catalogue. He has provided a compelling argument for the rapid rise and fall of Japan in the 1940s. There is good illustration in a photo plate section to compliment the readable and well argued text. There have been a number of attempts to explain the rise and fall of Japan by historians, military officers, diplomats and enthusiasts. This book stands well to the fore and this reviewer considers it the best available account. A very useful addition to the library of any enthusiast or professional.

The difficulty in approaching this subject is that the success and eventual failure of Japan is a complex subject that inevitably involves the colonial powers that Japan had to defeat to achieve its objectives of creating a trading area under its control.

Japan and China had both been reluctant to engage with the rest of the world and considered themselves superior to any other races. That inevitably gave way to war between China and Japan over the centuries and the Japanese usually came out on top or at least repulsed any Chinese attempt to invade and conquer the Japanese islands. Both countries had forced on them the trading interests of Europe and America. Japan was challenged in that it could not modernize and industrialize without access to raw materials that were principally controlled by European colonial powers and the expanding interests of the United States. It was therefore almost inevitable that Japan would attempt to gain control of natural resources by force and this in many respects had close parallels with the development of the British Empire, where a relatively small population with a maritime tradition, based in a small group of islands, faced a large and generally unfriendly land mass.

The difficulty that Japan faced was that any expansion would not only make enemies of European countries with interests in the area, but it would inevitably involve the United States. That meant that Japan could not repeat its invasion of China with a long term conflict where Japan could wear down the huge Chinese population. Any war of attrition with the US would inevitably end in defeat for Japan. The only answer would be a lightning war, advancing across enormous areas of land and water. To achieve that, the US would have to be severely damaged in a single surprise attack, allowing Japan to roll up the colonial powers who had become complacent and failed to strengthen their forces against possible Japanese expansion. The hope had to be that Japan would rapidly dominate the Pacific and then be in a position where its enemies would be unable to challenge the new status quo. That hope was only possible because the Japanese considered themselves immortal and superior to other races.

It could therefore be argued that Japan never ever stood a real chance of achieving its objectives. In cold logic that is a credible conclusion and it has been born out by the historical reality of WWII in the Far East. A more intelligent diplomatic stance by the colonial powers and the US could and should have stopped Japan before war was joined. That diplomatic failure encouraged the Japanese to believe themselves invincible. They were further encouraged by the failure of their potential enemies to reinforce their military capabilities and take the Japanese threat seriously. The success of the British in destroying much of the Italian Fleet in port by a surprise attack with carrier aircraft was carefully studied by Japan and seen as a military action that would readily transfer to the Pacific and China Sea.

In the event, Japan underestimated its potential enemies as badly as they underestimated Japan. In particular, the Japanese under estimated the speed with which the Allies bounced back, halting the Japanese expansion and then breaking the Japanese forces down in a bloody war of attrition as amphibious landings moved across the island chains, forcing Japan to give up its short conquests and taking Allied forces to within range of the Japanese home islands.

Progressively, Japan lost ships and aircraft that they could not replace. The dropping of two nuclear weapons on Japan has been hotly debated, as have the real reasons that may lay behind the decision to destroy two Japanese cities with two bombs. For the Allies, the bitter fighting and the fanatical resistance of Japanese forces did suggest that Allied casualties in taking the home islands could be very serious, perhaps more than democracies could bear. The political considerations of how the US and Europe would deal with Soviet Russia certainly provided some motivation to stage a display of the power of the new weapons. Whatever the motives, the two bombs proved the final blow that convinced the Japanese that they were not invincible after all and that the Allies could just destroy city after city until there were only smoking ruins. How much extra persuasion was required is open to argument. By that point, Japan had lost superiority at sea and in the air. However fanatical their troops, the preceding landings on the islands leading to Japan had shown the Allies could accept casualties and use their strong technologies to destroy Japanese resistance.

The author has dissected, analysed and explained, working through all of the key factors to build a case that is persuasive and compelling. This is an important book on the subject and deserves to be widely read as history is beginning to repeat itself.