Military Books

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Take a trip back in time and learn about some of the greatest conflicts and armies ever with a military history book. You'll get detailed accounts of some of the most significant battles and military operations in history, as well as context on the geopolitical situations surrounding these wars. Use the filter below to browse our range of Military Books.

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Soldiers is a very personal gathering of sparkling, gripping tales by many writers, about men and women who have borne arms. The nearly 350 stories illustrate what it is like to fight in wars, to live and die as a warrior, from Greek and Roman times through to recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Here you will meet Jewish heroes of the Bible, Rome’s captain of the gate, Queen Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Cromwell, Wellington, Napoleon’s marshals and the modern SAS. There are tales of great writers who served in uniform including Cobbett and Tolstoy, Edward Gibbon and Siegfried Sassoon, Marcel Proust and Evelyn Waugh, George Orwell and George MacDonald Fraser. Here are also stories of the female ‘abosi’ fighters of Dahomey and heroic ambulance drivers of World War I, together with the new-age women soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is a book to inspire in turn fascination, excitement, horror, amazement, occasionally laughter. Max Hastings mingles respect for the courage of those who fight with compassion for those who become their victims, above all civilians, and especially in the twenty-first century, which some are already calling ‘the Post-Heroic Age’. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780008454227 • Author: Max Hastings • Publisher: William Collins • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 24 x 15.9 x 3.8 cm

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1941. The Battle of the Atlantic is a disaster. Thousands of supply ships carrying vital food and fuel from North America to Britain are being torpedoed by German U-boats. Britain is only weeks away from starvation and crushing defeat. In the first week of 1942 a group of unlikely heroes - a retired naval captain and a clutch of brilliant young women - gather to form a secret strategy unit.  The Western Approaches Tactical Unit spends days and nights designing and playing war games in an effort to crack the U-boat tactics. As the U-boat wolfpacks continue to prey upon the supply ships, it is race against time to save Britain. With novelistic flair, investigative journalist Simon Parkin shines a light on this riveting true story of war at sea. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529353211 • Author: Simon Parkin • Publisher: Sceptre • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.8 cm

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From planning an assassination attempt on Hitler in Switzerland, to spying on the Japanese in Manchuria, to preventing nuclear war (or so she believed) by stealing the science of atomic weaponry from Britain to give to Moscow, Ursula Kuczynski Burton conducted some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Born to a German Jewish family, as Ursula grew, so did the Nazis' power. A fanatical opponent of the fascism that ravaged her homeland, she was drawn to communism as a young woman, motivated by the promise of a fair and peaceful society. She eventually became a spymaster, saboteur, bomb-maker and secret agent. In Agent Sonya, Britain's most acclaimed historian vividly reveals the fascinating tale of a life that would change the course of history. Classic Ben Macintyre - a gripping ride, based on meticulous research, that reads like a novel - this is the greatest spy story never told.  Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241986950 • Author: Ben MacIntyre • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.5cm

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A passionate and profoundly moving tribute to the Lancaster bomber, its heroic crews and the men and women who kept her airborne during the country's greatest hour of need . . . Sir Arthur Harris, the controversial chief of Royal Air Force Bomber Command, described the Lancaster as his 'shining sword' and the 'greatest single factor in winning the war'. RAF bomber squadrons carried out offensive operations from the first day of the Second World War until the very last, more than five and a half years later. Of the 7,377 Lancasters built during the conflict, more than half were lost to enemy action or training accidents. Former RAF Tornado Navigator, Gulf War veteran and bestselling author John Nichol now tells the inspiring and moving story of this legendary aircraft that took the fight deep into the heart of Nazi Germany. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471180491 • Author: John Nichol • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Paperback • Pages: 464 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 2.85 cm

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It took a certain type of courage to serve in a tank in the Second World War. Encased in steel, surrounded by highly explosive shells, a big and slow-moving target, every crew member was utterly vulnerable to enemy attack from all sides. The Sherwood Rangers were one of the great tank regiments. They had learned their trade the hard way, in the burning deserts of North Africa. From D-Day onwards, they were in the thick of the action til the war's end. They and their Sherman tanks covered thousands of miles and endured some of the fiercest fighting in Western Europe. Their engagements stretch from the Normandy beaches to the bridges at Eindhoven. They were the first British unit into Germany, grinding across the Siegfried Line and on into the Nazi heartland. Through compelling eye-witness testimony and James Holland's expert analysis, Brothers In Arms brings to vivid life the final bloody scramble across Europe and gives the most powerful account to date of what it was really like to fight in the dying days of World War Two. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787633940 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 592 • Dimensions: 24 x 16.2 x 4 cm

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Tail-End Charlies by John Nichol and Tony Rennell is the story of the controversial last battles of Bomber Command through the eyes of the heroic men who fought them. Night after night, they swallowed their fears and flew long distances through packs of enemy fighters to drop the bombs that could destroy Hitler and bring about the end of the war. Tens of thousands of young men never came back, blown up or bailing out from burning aircraft to drop helplessly into enemy hands. Yet history has condemned their brave and valiant actions, denouncing them for the destruction of German cities and civilians, rather than acknowledging them for the heroes that they are. For the first time John Nichol and Tony Rennell tell the story of the controversial last battles of Bomber Command through the eyes of the heroic men who fought them. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241995709 • Author: John Nichol, Tony Rennell • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 512 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 3.5 cm

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Former Tornado Navigator John Nichol tells the incredible story of the RAF Tornado force during the First Gulf War in 1991; the excitement and the danger, the fear and the losses. It is an extraordinary account of courage and fortitude. ‘All I could see was a flame, like a very large firework, coming towards me. Then there was a huge white flash. I remember an enormous wind and then I was knocked unconscious. My last thoughts were that I was going to die.’ In 1990, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion and occupation of neighbouring Kuwait, setting in motion a chain of events that had unimaginable political, military and personal repercussions, which still reverberate around the globe today. This is the story of the aircrew at the heart of Operation Desert Storm, almost none of whom had any prior experience of armed combat. It is the story of the Tornado’s missions, of those who did not return - and of the families who watched and waited as one of the most complex conflicts in recent history unfolded live on television. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471180521 • Author: John Nichol • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Hardback • Pages: 496 • Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.3 x 3.55 cm

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In February 1945 the Allies obliterated Dresden, the 'Florence of the Elbe'. Explosive bombs weighing over 1,000 lbs fell every seven and a half seconds and an estimated 25,000 people were killed. Was Dresden a legitimate military target or was the bombing a last act of atavistic mass murder in a war already won? From the history of the city to the attack itself, conveyed in a minute-by-minute account, bestselling author Sinclair McKay creates a vast canvas and brings it alive with touching human detail. Impeccably researched and deeply moving, McKay uses never-before-seen sources to relate the untold stories of civilians and vividly conveys the texture of contemporary life. Writing with warmth and colour about morality in war, the instinct for survival, the gravity of mass destruction and the manipulation of memory, this is a master historian at work. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780241995716 • Author: Sinclair McKay • Publisher: Penguin • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.5 cm

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The Spitfire is the world's most iconic aeroplane. Coming into its own during the Battle of Britain, it became famous during the Second World War as the only plane that could match the enemy fighters in the sky. Yet, even today, the history of the Spitfire contains many hitherto hidden or little-known stories of the men and women behind the plane; not only the gifted creators and inventors who brought the Spitfire to life, or the brave fighter pilots from many countries who triumphed in battle, but also the thousands of other people whose lives were affected by their personal connection to it - engineers, ground crew, factory or office workers, and their families. The Spitfire Story recounts the memories and stories of these people, from the birth of the iconic Spitfire in the 1930s to the present day. Product Information: ISBN: 9781789291360 Author: Jacky Hyams Publisher: Michael O'Mara Books Format: Paperback Pages: 256 Dimensions: 20 x 13 x 2cm

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Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on 10 July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree. It was a brutal campaign - signalling the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, James Holland's SICILY '43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II. It is a timely, powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781787632936 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Bantam Press • Format: Hardback • Pages: 640 • Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.1 x 4 cm

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In this updated edition of his acclaimed study of the black presence in Britain during the First World War, Stephen Bourne illuminates fascinating stories of black servicemen of African heritage. These accounts of the fights for their 'Mother Country' are charted from the outbreak of war in 1914 to the conflict's aftermath in 1919, when black communities up and down Great Britain were faced with anti-black 'race riots' despite their dedicated services to their country at home and abroad. With unprecedented access to the wartime personal correspondence of the Jamaican siblings Vera, Norman and Douglas Manley, Bourne helps bring to light the day-to-day trials, tribulations and tragedies of life on the battlefield. Informative and accessible, with first-hand accounts and original photographs, Black Poppies is the essential guide to the military and civilian wartime experiences of black men and women, from the trenches to the music halls. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780750990820 • Author: Stephen Bourne • Publisher: The History Press • Format: Paperback • Pages: 256 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.03 cm

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How the miracle on the beaches saved a nation. A gripping account of one of the most famous episodes of the Second World War. In May 1940 British and Allied troops on mainland Europe were in a perilous situation: cut off and surrounded, at the conclusion of the bloody Battle of France they faced complete annihilation. It would be a devastating blow, handing Europe to the Nazis. But over a few frantic days, the greatest evacuation in history managed to salvage hope, saving the total destruction of the army and hundreds of thousands of soldiers lives. It was a pivotal and defining moment in the war, one Churchill described as a 'miracle' in his 'we shall fight them on the beaches' speech. Bestselling author John Harris describes in vivid detail how the evacuation developed on a day-by-day basis, and destroys more than one myth associated with Dunkirk. Packed with authentic atmosphere and first-hand recollections, the retreat and the desperate lifting of the weary British expeditionary force is seen in its tragic but spirited entirety, an epic of courage and confusion without parallel. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800325616 • Author: John Harris • Publisher: Canelo • Format: Paperback • Pages: 288 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8 cm

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The history of the modern SAS is one of the great successes of post-war Britain. Since it was revived in 1950 to combat Communist insurgents, the Regiment has gone from strength to strength and in the process, it has become one of the most indispensable, and at times controversial, units in the British army. Drawing on his extensive network of contacts and his own experiences, Chris Ryan tells the story of the men on the ground. From the earliest patrols in the Malayan jungle, through to the storming of the Iranian Embassy and up-to-minute missions to capture or kill notorious terrorists. This is the gripping, no-holds-barred account of Regiment operations. Above all, it is a story of elite soldiers fighting, and triumphing, against seemingly impossible odds. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781529324686 • Author: Chris Ryan • Publisher: Coronet • Format: Paperback • Pages: 384 • Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 3.4 cm

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Everyone is familiar with the story of D-Day and the triumphal liberation of France by the Allies: a barbaric enemy was defeated by Allied ingenuity, courage and overwhelming military force, helped by dreadful German command errors and the terrible state of Wehrmacht forces in the West – but is this all true? The Wehrmacht was hugely experienced, equipped with some of the best weaponry of the war and was holding its own in Italy and Russia at the time. Berlin knew the invasion was coming and had had years to prepare for it. So how did the Germans view the impending invasion and campaign, did they feel ready, what forces did they have and could they have done better? Written from the ‘other side’ and told through the words of the veterans, this book is a revelation. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781398103238 • Author: Jonathan Trigg • Publisher: Amberly Publishing • Format: Paperback • Pages: 320 • Dimensions: 19.69 x 12.7 x 2.29 cm

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D-Day and the Battle for France. Renowned World War Two historian James Holland presents an entirely new perspective on one of the most important moments in recent history, unflinchingly examining the brutality and violence that characterised the campaign, and totally recalibrating our understanding of this momentous event. D-Day and the 76 days of bitter fighting in Normandy that followed have come to be seen as a defining episode in the Second World War. Its story has been endlessly retold, and yet it remains a narrative burdened by both myth and assumed knowledge. In this reexamined history, James Holland challenges what we think we know. Drawing on unseen archives and testimonies from around the world, introducing a cast of eye-witnesses from foot soldiers to bomber crews, sailors, civilians and resistance fighters. Product Information: • ISBN: 9780552176118 • Author: James Holland • Publisher: Corgi • Format: Paperback • Pages: 864 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.8 x 3.8 cm

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This is the gripping story of the Battle of Britain; of some of the most fateful weeks in history. Drawing on eyewitness accounts from both the RAF and the Luftwaffe, this is a compelling story of history in the making through an intensely fought battle, taking the reader into the heart of the action as told by those who fought and experienced it. The book not only captures the often savage reality of the air battles over the Channel and southern England, but it also traces the true course of the Battle of Britain as it unfolded between August 6th and September 15th, 1940 as the German and British Commanders made their fateful decisions, and Spitfires and Messerschmitts whirled and fought in the skies. It was in these six weeks that the fate of the war, and Britain, were to be decided. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781800325890 • Author: Richard Collier • Publisher: Canelo History • Format: Paperback • Pages: 400 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.2cm

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The liberation of Paris was a momentous point in twentieth-century history, yet it is now largely forgotten outside France. Eleven Days in August is a pulsating hour-by-hour reconstruction of these tumultuous events that shaped the final phase of the war and the future of France. It tells of how, in eleven dramatic days, people lived, fought and died in the most beautiful city in the world. Based largely on unpublished archive material, including secret conversations, coded messages, diaries and eyewitness accounts, Eleven Days in August shows how these August days were experienced in very different ways by ordinary Parisians, Resistance fighters, rank-and-file German soldiers and more. One of the most iconic moments in the history of the twentieth century had come to a close, and the face of Paris would never be the same again. Product Information: • ISBN: 9781471186196 • Author: Matthew Cobb • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK • Format: Paperback • Pages: 544 • Dimensions: 19.8 x 13 x 3.35 cm

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