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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 :

  • 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
  • The Light Division in the Peninsular War 1808-1811

    Tim Saunders & Rob Yuill
    Our opinion of this book is best summed up by imploring the authors, Tim Saunders and Bob Yuill, to let us have volume two as soon as possible. This book about the Light Division is well focused and doesn’t drift off into writing about the wider campaign more than is necessary to tell the Division’s story. Of particular interest are the many insights into the lives of the officers and ordinary infantry soldiers between the battles. The story flows easily along the timeline from the Division’s inception to its fruition.
    There are a large number of maps and photographs interspersed throughout the text. Many photographs are of the locations today which would be a big help to anyone visiting the battlefields and marching routes.
    We highly recommend this book and look forward to volume two.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020
  • The French at Waterloo. Eyewitness Accounts

    Andrew W. Field
    This book, taken as a whole, is fascinating. Each of the twenty-eight eyewitness accounts is engaging and intriguing and the introduction offers wise guidance for any would be military historian. There are three accounts from Napoleon himself progressively ‘adjusted’ as time passed to cast himself in a better light and to place the blame for defeat on other shoulders. To a certain degree one would expect accounts from different sides of the battle to differ but these accounts are all from the same side and one wonders, in some cases, if they were in the same battle. A number of accounts have Hougoumont and La Hay Sainte both falling while others confuse the two. Somewhere in the midst of this confusion of first hand accounts lies the truth.
    The text is support by a few photographs and a map of the disposition of French troops at the start of the battle. Also, before each account, there is a very useful potted biography of the writer and the source of the document.
    A most enjoyable read which we highly recommend.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020
  • Operation Colossus. The First Airborne Raid of WW II

    Lawrence Paterson
    Lawrence Paterson’s book is an incredible story beautifully told. As fiction it would be barely believable but the thoroughly researched facts are from official reports and first hand accounts. This book is about so much more than operation Colossus because it necessarily has to include the beginnings of military parachuting. Anyone familiar with modern military parachuting will be amazed by the early efforts in exiting from unsuitable aircraft. In a sense Colossus was an operation both to try out and test this new weapon in Britain’s armoury. From the missions successes and failures many useful lessons were learnt but to say more would be to give the game away and this book should be read as a novel which shouldn’t be spoilt by knowing the end before reading it. Supporting the text is a very good set of photographs.
    To those who want to be better informed and to anyone who wants a good read we highly recommend this book.

    Greenhill Books, 2020
  • The Destruction of 6th Army at Stalingrad

    Ian Baxter
    Like other books in the Images of War series this book is packed full of superb photographs. A huge amount of detail of the 6th Army’s equipment and people is shown in a set of rare, many previously unpublished, photographs. The annotations are most informative and the supporting text, only ten of the hundred and fifty five pages, gives a brief overview of the campaign. What I found particularly interesting was the different slant on the causes of the defeat. In this book the strength and organization of the Soviet army is given more weight than the Russian winter. There is a distinct absence of the usual crop of photographs of grotesquely frozen German soldiers.
    Anyone, even those with only a passing interest in World War Two, would enjoy this book and for re-enactors it could prove a gold mine. We highly recommend it.

    Pen & Sword Military, 2020