This is another book in the excellent Conway series that is aimed particularly at model shipbuilders. The quality of drawings is what makes all books in the series outstanding value and interest. This book is fully up to that high established standard.
Edited for many years by Anthony Preston, until his death, this is a cult annual publication amongst serious students of naval history and development. The new editor is now well into his stride and the usual selection of notable contributors has been maintained. This edition contains the usual roundup of news and views, providing some new and valuable insights. The selection of historic subjects is well up to standard and contains the surprises for which it has become famous. Cruisers feature strongly this year with coverage of French Treaty Cruisers, post-war RN cruiser design and the projected Russian battle cruisers that were intended to introduce the missile age in that navy. There is an interesting contribution on the RN Castle Class patrol vessel design, but pride of place must go to the article on Japanese high speed submarine design and the article covering Italian plans for their Break-Out Fleet in 1934-40. Photographs and drawings are of excellent quality as usual.
This is a well researched book written by a former infantryman. The author justifies his approach of beginning with the development of the Prussian military machine on which later German Arms are firmly based and which has strongly influenced them. He provides a very readable account, supported by maps and photographic plates in bandw and full colour. He demonstrates how the Prussian militarism created the basis for the unification of German from a mass of independent states to create the young Empire that brought Europe to a terrible global conflict in 1914. He explains very clearly how the military machine was built, equipped and motivated, and how it was deployed, almost achieving a lighting victory, only to sink back into the morass of trench warfare. He shows how the Defeat in 1918 led to the rise of National Socialism and the recreation of a formidable military machine that attempted to reprise the lighting war of 1914 with greater success but still without achieving the total victory over the British Empire that was essential to European control. The author continues his story through the second great defeat, the dismemberment of Germany, the rebirth of the military organizations on each side of the new border, and the eventual reunification of Germany.
The Spitfire is the one aircraft that people around the world think of first. Peter March has not uncovered any earth-shattering new truth about the Spitfire. He has not found any amazingly important but previously unpublished photograph of his subject. What he has done is to produce a very readable pocket book that has been beautifully published at a very affordable price that brings it well within reach of the young reader but contains material that even an enthusiast would value. There is a great deal of information on currently airworthy Spitfires with some stunning photographs. All in all, this is a good book for every library scoring highly for accuracy, concise history, value for money and easy portability. tinyurl.com/jufqp
Daniel Xavier has written a provoking book on the first five years of the Blair Government – all the more remarkable because he started in 1997 with conclusions that have only recently become common. The book is available as an electronic book. He has taken the approach of presenting some of the many differing views expressed on this administration and drawn some conclusions. As a political work there will be many very different reactions to the book reflecting the political position of each reader tinyurl.com/ru5f6
John Towend tells of his experiences growing up in the early years of WWII, serving as a Royal Navy officer in Coastal Forces craft, his later experiences during the Korean War, and then as a fisherman tinyurl.com/l6r3q
This is a superb reference work for anyone wanting to know more about this aspect of the war at sea during WWII. Reading through this significant work brings home the full scale of the losses suffered by the Merchant navy. Tennent has covered 1400 ships with each paragraph listing the ship’s name tinyurl.com/fkkuu
The author, who was a season officer aboard HMY Britannia, has produced a well researched book describing 83 Royal Yachts in service from the restoration of King Charles II, and includes ‘vessels of State’ in service prior to 1660. The term ‘Royal Yacht’ introduces some difficulties because it inadequately describes the type of vessels used through most of the period covered, and the real purpose of the vessels tinyurl.com/e74bf
This is a comprehensive guide to private houses, inns, guest houses, small hotels, farms, and cottages that provide Bed and Breakfast accommodation in Britain. There are some 7,750 BandBs listed, together with clear local maps tinyurl.com/psea6
The Royal Yacht Britannia – The Official History by Richard Johnstone-Bryden, an internationally established photographer, maritime writer and naval historian. This is the official history and definitive book on the subject with foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh tinyurl.com/s6296