Clash of Steel
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Our Reviews

In the course of our research, we have found several books and other media useful so we've listed and reviewed them. Select a category to browse the list, use the form to search for a specific topic, or select from our featured reviews.

If you have read, watched or listened to a particularly good item, we would welcome your recommendations too - Send us your reviews.

Featured reviews :

  • Tank Warfare 1939-1945

    Simon and Jonathon Forty
    The tank is now getting close to being obsolete lasting for just over a hundred years as master of the battlefield. This book is about the tank and tank warfare from 1939 to 1945. This was the pinnacle in development, use, variety and numbers. Here we have a super insight into that period. Both theory and practice are covered using original reports on actions, training documents for large and small tasks and units, technical instructions for a wide range of topics. There are useful comparisons, many shown diagrammatically, between weapons and tanks of different nations. Anti-tank weapons and actions are also covered.
    A comprehensive glossary, an extensive bibliography and lots of relevant photographs aid the reader’s understanding and enjoyment.
    There are many books about all aspects of tanks and their battles but this book is made special because of the amount of contemporary material reproduced here without the clutter of ‘wisdom after the event’.
    We highly recommend this work to all levels of readers with an interest in the tank.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020
  • The Third Reich in 100 Objects

    Roger Moorhouse
    The format of covering a topic through the photographs of 100 objects with an explanation of their context succeeds or falls on the knowledge followed by the depth of research done by the author. This book by Roger Moorhouse succeeds in so many ways. To steal a phrase from advertising it ‘reaches the parts that other books don’t touch’. There are evaluations of the well known objects such as the Tiger tank and the V1 rocket but Hitler’s moustache brush and Eva Braun’s lipstick case also feature. And who knew that the long-johns of Rudolf Hess were examined by the Ministry of Economic Warfare to see if there was any propaganda value to be got from them. The range is all encompassing from submarines to resistance postcards the military and civilian life of the Third Reich is exposed. With only a page or two about each objects the ground covered is not exhaustive but there are four pages of bibliography to guide the reader who wants to know more.
    There are 258 pages with references for each entry and there are, in addition to the photographs of the objects, a lot of supporting photos.
    The caution is that if you have a few minutes to read one entry you get drawn into the next and the next. This book is that readable.
    We highly recommend it.
    [see also reviewed on this site Napoleon in 100 objects another good read]

    Greenhill Books, 2017
  • Tank Attack at Monte Cassino

    Jeffery Plowman
    The action to take tanks up the mountain rarely gets a mention in most books about the battles for Monte Cassino. When you read this book you will understand why. In conception it was a brilliant idea and had it been properly directed could have been an important event towards hurrying the end of the fight. The lower echelons fought with skill, tenacity, ingenuity and bravery trying to make something of the attack. Poor cooperation, coordination and communication between senior officers brought about a failure which cost a lot of lives and tanks. Tanks sent in without artillery and infantry is Ney at Waterloo and the senior officers broke their own pre-set conditions to do just that.
    The author, Jeffery Plowman, has divided the book in three parts, setting the scene, the action, and the site today. The first two parts are superb and, although I haven’t used the site visit section, the up to date photographs would be of great help to anyone who does.
    The maps are most helpful with both scales and Northings. The photographs scattered through the book support the text. The extensive bibliography points the way to further reading.
    This is a book which is an enjoyable read although the story it tells is, once again, one of lions led by donkeys. We thoroughly recommend it.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020
  • Fighting Through to Hitler's Germany

    Mark Forsdike
    If you want to learn the real story of how the Second World war was won in Europe read this book. Packed with the personal stories of the men who were there in the First Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment. The Corps, the division and the brigade barely get a mention. The action is with the battalion, companies, platoons, sections, and individuals. Advances are measured in metres and lives. A sobering statistic revealed at the end of the book is that of the 850 Suffolks who landed in Normandy only 187 made it to VE day. Also as an appendix is a list of medals and commendations awarded to members of the battalion.
    A nice set of photographs and some very useful maps round out the text.
    Though this book purports to be the story of one battalion of one regiment it is really the story of every one of the ‘poor bloody infantry’ of the British army who fought from Normandy to Germany. This ought to be read by everyone interested in WW2 in Europe because it acts as a reminder that when you see the arrows on a map showing the movement of a corps or division at the very sharpest point of that arrow is one man moving forward wearing a steel helmet and carrying a rifle with bayonet fixed and with his mates behind him. Without his skill and determination the arrow does not move.
    We very warmly recommend Mark Forsdike’s book to you.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020
  • Wellington and the British Army's Indian Campaigns 1798-1805

    Martin R. Howard
    Between 1798 and 1805 the British army plus large numbers of native troops made enormous gains in the conquest of India. Arthur Wellesley played a large part in the campaigns and this book tells that story. He took chances, he tried different tactics, he honed principles which he later developed in the Peninsular. When to move at speed, manoeuvre on the battlefield, dig in, lie down, and keep the men supplied with all their needs were all worked out and tested during his Indian period. In all this luck was on his side. To those who are familiar with Wellington’s later campaigns the book’s final sentence ‘India had been the making of him.’ rings true. But this book is about more than Wellington, it is a very good introduction to the nature of conquest especially in the application of ‘divide and rule’. Additionally for many it will be an eye opener on the power and influence of the East India Company at this time.
    A jolly good read with a super set of illustrations and the best, most informative, set of maps, all with Northings and scales, that I have seen in a very long time.
    We highly recommend this to a wide range of readers.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020