Brian Lavery, the pre-eminent historian of the Royal Navy, returns with the third volume of his engaging social history of the Royal Navy's 'lower deck'--the world of the seamen as distinct from the officers of the 'quarterdeck.' He examines the world of the sailor from the outbreak of war in 1939 through 70 years of change up to his place in the modern Royal Navy. The author illuminates the inherent adaptability of the professional sailor, as new technologies demanded increased professionalism, specialization and training. He also focuses on the changing social structure of the Navy, and the periods of expansion as the service coped with great demands made through two World Wars and innumerable other conflicts across the globe.
To mark the 450th book in the Men-at-Arms series we return to the subject of the very first book in the series, which was published nearly 35 years ago. Author of 27 other Men-at-Arms titles Ren Chartrand uses newly discovered material to offer a more modern analysis of the American Provincial Corps in this book, American Loyalist Troops. Packed with new photographs, completely new and up-to-date text and illustrations from Gerry Embleton (the much-loved illustrator of over 60 Osprey titles) this book examines the history of the American volunteers who fought on the side of King George in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).
In total something between 30,000 and 50,000 of these "Tories" served in dozens of units, on all fronts from Canada to Florida, and many regiments distinguished themselves in battle. After the final British defeat the survivors and their families withdrew, many into Canada, where they continued to provide a loyal militia to defend the Crown territory. This book will provide updated and comprehensive information on unit identities, commanders, strengths, areas of enlistment, combat record, tactics, uniforms and equipment.
One hundred and fifty years ago a British government sent an ill-prepared, poorly equipped army to war in a foreign land. What's changed? This is the story of how John Delane, editor of The Times, brought about the resignation of the entire cabinet of the British government over its conduct of the Crimean War.
From the invasion of Britain by the Danes through the battle of
Hastings, Agincourt and Waterloo up to the present day, this
fascinating dictionary includes entries on battles, campaigns and famous commanders, as well as ranks, regiments, uniforms and weapons. The reader will find an outline of the British army since its formation in the 17th century, together with brief histories of battles and biographies of great military leaders. A handy reference source for all levels of student or enthusiast, including the general reader of historical reference and anyone with an interest in the British military.
In the early stages of the Second World War, the vast crescent of British-ruled territories stretching from India to Singapore appeared as a massive Allied asset. It provided scores of soldiers and great quantities of raw materials and helped present a seemingly impregnable global defense against the Axis. Yet, within a few weeks in 1941-42, a Japanese invasion had destroyed all this, sweeping suddenly and decisively through south and southeast Asia to the Indian frontier, and provoking the extraordinary revolutionary struggles which would mark the beginning of the end of British dominion in the East and the rise of today's Asian world.
More than a military history, this gripping account of groundbreaking battles and guerrilla campaigns creates a panoramic view of British Asia as it was ravaged by warfare, nationalist insurgency, disease, and famine. It breathes life into the armies of soldiers, civilians, laborers, businessmen, comfort women, doctors, and nurses who confronted the daily brutalities of a combat zone which extended from metropolitan cities to remote jungles, from tropical plantations to the Himalayas. Drawing upon a vast range of Indian, Burmese, Chinese, and Malay as well as British, American, and Japanese voices, the authors make vivid one of the central dramas of the twentieth century: the birth of modern south and southeast Asia and the death of British rule.
In February 1942, intelligence officer Victor Jones erected 150 tents behind British lines in North Africa. "Hiding tanks in Bedouin tents was an old British trick," writes Nicholas Rankin. German general Erwin Rommel not only knew of the ploy, but had copied it himself. Jones knew that Rommel knew. In fact, he counted on it--for these tents were empty. With the deception that he was carrying out a deception, Jones made a weak point look like a trap.In A Genius for Deception, Nicholas Rankin offers a lively and comprehensive history of how Britain bluffed, tricked, and spied its way to victory in two world wars. As Rankin shows, a coherent program of strategic deception emerged in World War I, resting on the pillars of camouflage, propaganda, secret intelligence, and special forces. All forms of deception found an avid sponsor in Winston Churchill, who carried his enthusiasm for deceiving the enemy into World War II. Rankin vividly recounts such little-known episodes as the invention of camouflage by two French artist-soldiers, the creation of dummy airfields for the Germans to bomb during the Blitz, and the fabrication of an army that would supposedly invade Greece. Strategic deception would be key to a number of WWII battles, culminating in the massive misdirection that proved critical to the success of the D-Day invasion in 1944. Deeply researched and written with an eye for telling detail, A Genius for Deception shows how the British used craft and cunning to help win the most devastating wars in human history.
Filled with interesting and often highly entertaining historical anecdotes, and there are some rare photographs and illustrations. . . . Lucid, well written. . . . A very sound contribution to our understanding of British Empire and South Asian history. Choice
On the 150th anniversary of the world's most famous cavalry charge comes a revisionist retelling of the battle based on firsthand accounts from the soldiers who fought there
In October 1854, with the Crimean War just under way and British and French troops pushing the tsar's forces back from the Black Sea, seven hundred intrepid English horsemen charged a mile and a half into the most heavily fortified Russian position. In the seven minutes it took the cavalry to cross this distance, more than five hundred of them were killed. Celebrated in poetry and legend, the charge of the Light Brigade has stood for a century and a half as a pure example of military dash and daring. Until now, historical accounts of this cavalry charge have relied upon politically motivated press reports and diaries kept by the aristocratic British generals who commanded the action.
In "Hell Riders," noted historian and Crimean War expert Terry Brighton looks, for the first time, to the journals recorded by survivors-the soldiers who did the fighting. His riveting firsthand narrative reveals the tragically inept leadership on the part of the British commander in chief, Lord Raglan, whose orders for the charge were poorly communicated and misinterpreted, and an unfathomable indifference on the part of British officers to the men who survived the battle and were left to tend their wounds and bury the dead in the freezing cold. While the charge overran the Russians, it gained nothing and the war continued for another two years. In finally capturing the truth behind the charge of the Light Brigade, Brighton offers a stirring portrait of incredible bravery in the service of a misguided endeavor.
The Lee-Enfield is one of the 20th century's most recognizable and longest-serving military rifles. It was adopted by the British Army in 1895 and only replaced by the L1A1 SLR in 1957; even then a sniper variant, the L42A1, was used until 1989, giving a service life of nearly a century. It saw combat from the Boer War onwards, and thousands are still in use today, notably by the Taliban in Afghanistan; it is estimated that 17 million have been produced.The Lee-Enfield featured an innovative detachable ten-round magazine; this large capacity, together with the weapon's revolutionary bolt-action operation, made it possible for well-drilled shooters to fire 20 to 30 rounds in 60 seconds (the 'mad minute'). This extraordinary speed gave rise to mistaken German reports of being opposed by massed machine guns in 1914. The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE), introduced in 1903, set a new precedent in military rifles, being neither a carbine nor a full-length rifle but an ingenious compromise that was soon copied by other countries. The Lee-Enfield equipped British, Commonwealth and other forces throughout the world wars and well into the 1960s, giving excellent service in every kind of terrain and weather. Soldier's recollections of the rifle are overwhelmingly affectionate (it was known as the Smellie); today it remains a very popular target rifle for competitive shooting, and modern copies are being manufactured to meet demand. Featuring first-hand accounts, brand-new full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, many in colour, this is the story of the Lee-Enfield, the innovative, reliable and long-lived rifle that equipped British and other forces through the world wars and beyond.
Originally published by Pepys in June 1690, this is a defense of his administration of the Royal Navy and a criticism of his opponents. While Pepys provides a fascinating insider's view of the working of the Admiralty, the wealth of fact and figures is far from impartial. The new introduction by J. D. Davies explains the political controversy that formed the background to the book's publication and shows how Pepys manipulated his mastery of arcane information to his political ends. This edition is illustrated with contemporary drawings of period ships.