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Our Book Reviews


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

If you have read a particularly good book, we would welcome your recommendations too - Send us your book reviews.

Featured reviews :

  • Hitler's Ardennes Offensive

    Danny S Parker Ed.
    This second book from the same stable [see 'Battle of the Bulge, a German view' reviewed earlier] follows on to deal with the period of attack and its ultimate failure. I felt a privileged and fascinating insight into the Battle of the Bulge. I particularly valued the detail about the attempts to take Bastogne. I have come to realise that the seemingly exaggerated American accounts of the 'glorious defence' are neither exaggerations nor understatements. The book suffers from the same fault as its predecessor in being short on maps, the reader needs a fairly large scale map to fully understand the detail of the manoeuvres. Reading with a map really rewards the effort. Our view is that this a very good piece of work by the editor and is thoroughly recommended to all who who wish to gain greater insights into the Second World War in Europe.
    Frontline Books. Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2016
  • The Irish Guards in the Great War

    Rudyard Kipling
    Not a lot of military history books could be better than the war diaries and personal correspondence of the First battalion of the Irish Guards written up by Rudyard Kipling with style. Although narrowly focused on this relatively small group of men it is essentially about every soldiers war. This is because it gets down to the minutiae of single men, section and platoon actions. The sweep of strategy and the grand plans are for other places. The text is well supported with illustrations and maps. I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone seeking a full understanding of the Great war.
    Spellmount Ltd., 1997
  • Battle of the Bulge. The German View

    Danny S Parker Ed.
    A book both enjoyable and frustrating. Enjoyable because of its insights into the complexity of planning the campaign and for the remarkable different view one gets of Hitler. In my view worth reading for that alone. The content is all meat, no padding, and rich in depth and width. A thoroughly worthy piece of work. The frustration comes with the paucity of maps for which I had to compensate with a much larger scale map. If I were Prime Minister I would make it a law that in any work of fact every place named in the text must appear on a map in the book. Also frustrating was the lack of a glossary. Many German general staff ranks are mentioned in abbreviated form and lots of formation initials are used which one has to reference elsewhere. This detracts from the enjoyment and makes reading in bed difficult. Even with those criticisms I would commend this book to anyone interested in a fuller understanding of how wars/battles are planned or with an interest in the Battle of the Bulge.
    Frontline Books. Pen & Sword Books \ltd., 2016
  • Pepy's Navy. Ships, Men and Warfare 1649-1689

    J D Davies
    As my Grandfather used to say when finishing a meal 'Well that's filled a gap!' This excellent book will fill a gap on many bookshelves covering, as it does, a fascinating period of naval development. It is well researched, beautifully illustrated and written in an easily read manner. By all means read it from cover to cover as I did but it will be found just as enjoyable if the reader dips in at any section. For anyone following through any themes in the history of the navy there is a bonus in that the author has tried to follow the layout of Brian Lavery's seminal work Nelson's Navy in order to compare and contrast the navy in these two significant periods of its history. This book is an impressive piece of work and is thoroughly recommended
    Seaforth publishing. Pen & Sword Books Ltd., 2008
  • Nelson's Navy

    Brian Lavery
    I am tempted to write a very short review. This book is a masterpiece! The author himself says that this book does not exhaust the subject but I defy any reader to ask a question this book does not answer; masses of drawings, photographs and pictures round out the text. The book is big, beautiful and is a must for any Napoleonic historian's and interested general reader's bookshelf. Don't just take my word for it Patrick O'Brian, in the introduction, is full of high praise for the author's achievement.
    Conway Maritime Press Ltd., 1989