Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defence

Lest We Forget
British Legion
The Royal British Legion

2006
Section 2

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

THE WARLORDS

Author: Michael Carver

Publisher
Pen & Sword Military Classics
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1-84415 308 8

First Published in 1976
Published in this format 2005

UK Price £14.99

Field Marshall Lord Carver, the former Chief of the Defence Staff who, at one time served with Field Marshall Montgomery at S.H.A.P.E. – the Editor of this interesting publication, has produced an excellent volume that has already proved to be very popular and most useful to serious students of military history worldwide, as well as interesting reading for the lay person too.

Rommel, Mac Arthur, Foch, Montgomery and Yamamoto are amongst the short but highly detailed and very readable biographies of forty three prominent and internationally famous 20th Century military leaders, included in this 611 page publication.

The publisher’s very reasonable price for this excellent and handy-sized paper back volume is just £14.99 – therefore representing excellent value for money. I feel sure that this well over due re-print will be as popular as the first edition was and now in popular demand too.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

Kampfgruppe Peiper

Author: David Cooke & Wayne Evans

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1-84415-287-1

First Published in 2005

UK Price: £19.99

This excellent volume with its many superb photographs and maps, will provide fascinating reading for anyone with a general interest in the Second World War, however those with a specific interest, or keen to learn more about the famous Ardennes Offensive ( December 1944), will find it invaluable, as it tells the story of the famous campaign – perhaps better known as the “Battle of the Bulge”. from both the American and German perspectives.

At the end of 1944, Germany was losing on all fronts. As it now faced the onslaught of the advancing Allied armies, who armed with superior technology, had already made combined assaults in Italy, the Eastern Front, and France, Hitler therefore developed a bold plan. His Panzer divisions backed by Volksturm units, would smash through the poorly defended Ardennes region and then head for Antwerp with the aim of cutting off the Allied supply lines. Special English-speaking units in modified German armour and captured American equipment were to range out ahead of the Panzers and cause confusion and fear amongst the defending American troops, who having ignored warnings of the German build-up, had only a few divisions guarding the whole of a fifty-mile front! The Germans in fact poured fourteen infantry and five Panzer divisions into the area and as a result, smashed the American 106th division out of existence and a total of 7,500 US troops surrendered, in what became the largest American mass surrender in the entire European Theatre of Operations!

The German advance was led by Kampfgruppe Peiper, under the command of SS Gruppenführer Joachim Peiper, who along with leading the assault was tasked with capturing gas from the Americans as they progressed on through to Antwerp. On December 17, Peiper ordered the execution of hundreds of Americans who had been captured by his column, as well as massacring many civilians in the Belgian town of Stavelot!

In total, this well written volume makes fascinating reading. The superb text is accompanied by a full walking and driving battlefield tour, making this publication an invaluable addition to any military enthusiast’s library.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

AVIATION ARCHAEOLOGY
IN BRITAIN

Author: Guy de la Bedoyere

Publisher:
Shire Publications Ltd
Cromwell House
Princess Risborough
Buckinghamshire
HP27 9AA

ISBN:0 7478 0490 7

UK Price: £4.99

A “fiver” will not buy a lot these days, however if you have one to spare and you are interested in either military aviation or archaeology, here is one excellent value for money publication you should certainly buy.

The aim of this, handy sized book, is to provide the reader with a good all-round introduction to the intriguing and often exciting world of aviation archaeology – a most fascinating subject that happily s goes hand in hand with a wide-range of other subjects and hobbies too.

Prompted by the fact that Britain has one of the richest archaeological and historical heritages in the world, the author- a fully trained pilot as well as a most accomplished archaeologist, broadcaster and author with ten books to his credit, has produced a splendid volume that covers excavations, identifications, engines and airframes, airfields, memorials as well as documents and memorabilia.

The very readable text is supported by a good number of excellent black and white photographs. For those new to this most interesting subject or past-time, the glossary of terms, list of aviation museums together with recommendations for further reading will be especially useful.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

DISCOVERING BATTLEFIELDS OF ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND

Author: John Kinross

Publisher:
Shire Publications Ltd
Cromwell House
Princess Risborough
Buckinghamshire
HP27 9AA

ISBN:07478 0370 6

UK Price: £8.99

Here is yet another “little gem” from Shire - the publishers of those superb, informative, handy sized and very affordable books.

This particular publication is a must for any car glove compartment or bookshelf, as it is one of the handiest guides available to the Battlefields of England and Scotland. I am sure it will therefore prove invaluable, when out and about on day trips or touring holidays this Spring and Summer and for many years to come too.

In traditional Shire style, this volume is packed full of excellent photographs depicting battlefields, memorials and artefacts. It also includes superb copies of contemporary engravings of the areas concerned and the personalities involved. The superb sketch maps of the progress of each battle together with references to modern day Ordnance Survey Landranger maps will be tremendous aids when visiting the sites of the battles too.

Sixty nine battles on English and Scottish soil are in fact covered. From King Alfred’s defeat of the Danes at Ashdown in 871 to the final crushing of the Jacobite cause at Colloden in 1746, each battle is set out in its historical context and comes complete with a guide to the sites as they are today.

Of course, there are more detailed volumes on this fascinating subject, however non are as handy as this and therefore, you will not want to be without it.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

LAST POST

Author: Max Arthur

Publisher
Weidenfield & Nicholson
The Orion Publishing Group Ltd
Orion House
5 Upper Saint Martin’s Lane
London WC2H 9EA

ISBN: 10 0297 84644 2

First Published in 2005

UK Price £16.99

Recalling in the very words of those who actually served in what was perhaps the most horrific conflict in our history, this fascinating book describes what it was like to live through the months leading up to the Great War, the years of fighting and deprivation in the trenches, together with their feelings and suffering in the years that followed.

When the author interviewed the last remaining British Veterans of the war, there were just 21 still living. The youngest at that time was 104 and the oldest 109, since then however more have died and therefore this extraordinary collection of stories from men who experienced events during a lifetime that spanned from the reign of Queen Victoria , through to and past the Millennium, will be invaluable not only to our present generations, but those of the future.

In the remarkable and moving interviews, these extraordinary men felt that they spoke not only for themselves, but for their friends and comrades of a lost generation that did not live to tell the tale. They were sometimes sad and perhaps bewildered and on occasions, often a little bitter or angry too, however in some cases, they told tales of happier times also.

Following the success of Max Arthur’s two earlier titles - Forgotten Voices of the Great War and Forgotten Voices of the Second World War - excellent works that are now compelling reading for the military historian or enthusiast, as well as those seeking information on the conditions in which their forefathers lived, there is now doubt that this particular volume will prove to be a best seller too and at only £16.99 is extra ordinary value for money.

Book Review By Michael D Booker (January 2006)

MAJOR & MRS HOLT’S
CONCISE ILLUSTRATED BATTLEFIELD GUIDE
THE WESTERN FRONT (SOUTH)

Authors: Toni & Valmai Holt

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Pen & Sword Books Limited
47 Church Street
Barnsley
South Yorkshire S70 2AS

ISBN: 1-84415 239 1

First Published in 2005

UK Price: £15.99

The best selling, exceptionally well detailed and superbly illustrated Holt’s series of Battlefield Guides needs little if any introduction to the vast majority of Family History Researchers, Battlefield Guides/Tourists, Military Historians and other “enthusiasts” who visit the battlefields of Europe and Gallipoli each year, as they are without a doubt the best “companions” anyone travelling to these fascinating areas can take with them.

The authors -Toni and Valmai Holt operated their first ever guided tour to the trenches and historical sites of France and Flanders in June 1977 and the growth in this interesting area of tourism over the years, can genuinely be attributed to the publication of the now World famous Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guides.

Each splendid volume in the series, which includes Ypres, The Somme, Gallipoli, Normandy Landings and Operation Market Garden, is packed full of fascinating information, where historical fact is coupled with informed opinion and together with the numerous full colour photographs, excellent maps and diagrams, together with details of war cemeteries and memorials, up to date tourist information and the easy to follow battlefield tour itineraries - provide the reader with just about everything they need to know for a successful tour of their chosen area.

This latest 368 page publication actually includes no less than 400 excellent quality full colour photographs and covers events from the First Battle of the Marne through to the breaking of the Hindenburg Line and the Battle of Cambrai. With its companion volume "The Western Front - North", the whole length of the Western Front is now covered in splendid detail, enabling the reader to fully understand and appreciate the significance and importance of the events and actions in this area during the Great War, making it an invaluable addition to any library or bookshelf.

Last updated 17 February, 2009

Friends of the War Memorials
War Memorials Trust
Book Review Index
Commonweath War Graves Commission
Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Copyright © Roll-of-Honour.com 2002-
Email: rollofhonour@ntlworld.com

See our on-line bookstore
Visit our bookstore