Naval Anti-aircraft Guns & Gunnery

B1950

Every so often, a book is published that will prove the definitive work on its subject. This is such a book and fully justifies its cover price, although Pen & Sword are famous for their discounts and special offers for on-line purchasers, so a real bargain is possible. The full cover price will not deter an enthusiast or a naval professional and copies are likely to fly off the shelf for private and professional libraries around the world. Hopefully, the readership will be even wider, because this is a book that covers naval anti-aircraft weaponry and systems comprehensively and with integrity.

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The Men Inside the Metal, The British AFV Crewmen in WW2, vol.1

B1948

The publisher became established with a range of books for model makers and model engineers and also covered Polish subjects. From that starting point, an outstanding range of special interest books are now available and contain much more than just notes and images for modellers. This book, one of two volumes, takes a detailed look at British AFV Crewmen in WWII.

The book is lavishly illustrated with photographs, many in full colour, and also by specially commissioned artwork. The text is concise, effective and easy to read. The book will be of special interest for modellers and historical re-enactment groups, because it provides a level of detail that is missing from most other books that cover WWII and AFVs.

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Chemical Soldiers, British Gas Warfare in World War One

B1947

The use of poison gas may have been first proposed by a British Napoleonic War frigate captain who also proposed the use of naval aviation to deliver the chemical weapons, but it was the Germans who first used them a hundred years later. This book provides a comprehensive view of the weapons and how the British set about training and deploying specialist troops to counter the weapons.

The author has woven data from official records with personal data from diaries, letter and memoirs, to build a unique and thorough review of the weapons, the British special troops training and deployment and taken a critical look at the Brigade’s leader. A good selection of maps, sketches and photographs are used through the body of the book to ably illustrate the text.

This is an important book because it provides a balanced coverage of its subjects and exposes the myths and misunderstandings that have sprung up over the years.

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The Stockbrokers’ Battalion in the Great War, a History of the 10th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers

B1946

The unusual aspect covered very effectively by the author is the Pals’ Battalions. Today, expectations and use of qualifications encourages individuals to join a military organization as an officer and to accept whatever postings follow. There are still British regiments where several members of a family might serve together but that is the exception rather than the rule and becomes progressively rarer as the number of regiments reduces and the old practices of drawing recruits from a small geographic area fade away.

The author has done a good job in researching and drawing content from letters and diaries, to produce an account that is poignant and uplifting together. He has also shown how those left behind in London took special interest in “their battalion” and how Livery Companies gave money to buy weapons and also instruments for the band. The Lord Mayor was made Honorary Colonel, any family and friends sent parcels of food and gifts. It was a very close family and every loss was deeply felt.

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Towton, The Battle of Palm Sunday Field 1461

B1945

 

This new book provides a vivid reconstruction of a bloody fight of attrition. The main body of text and the photo plate section provide an engaging narrative, supported by time line tables, maps, notes and preface. As an account of this immensely important English battle, the book will be very difficult to better and makes many earlier accounts dated and no longer applicable.

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Mark Antony, A Plain Blunt Man

B1944

The author has provided a very readable review of Mark Antony, based on careful research. He shows Mark Antony as a pivotal figure with a precise political vision for the Roman world and places him in a fresh perspective. This differs from many previously accepted reviews of Mark Antony but the case is convincingly argued. Undoubtedly, others will take a fresh look in the future and may present a different set of views which is inevitable because of the way that evidence was recorded and presented, mostly by people who supported other Roman factions and were keen to present those they supported in a favourable light.

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