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Here we offer a selection of our favourite books on military history. Some are the books we have used as sources for this site, some are good introductions to their subjects and others are interesting oddities.

We also have a selection of 1,692 longer book reviews.

All links on this site go straight to the relevant Amazon web site (currently we link to the UK, US and Canadian sites), where you can place orders for any of the books listed here.

Recent Reviews

Click for full list of recent reviews

Darwin 1942 – The Japanese Attack on Australia, Bob Alford. Focuses on the Japanese air raids on Darwin on 19 February 1942, the first and by far the largest of the ninety seven Japanese air attack on the Australian mainland during the Second World War. A very detailed account of the air battle, with eyewitness accounts from both sides, and an excellent analysis of experiences of the airmen on both sides and their losses. (Read Full Review)
Emperors of Rome – The Monsters – From Tiberius to Theodora, AD 14-548, Paul Chrystal. A look at some of the most notorious of the Roman emperors and their famous misdeeds. Covers quite a range, starting with the second emperor, Tiberius, and finishing with the early Byzantine Justinian and his wife Theodora. A bit ‘tabloid’ in nature, recounting the reported sexual misdeeds of a series of Emperors and the Imperial women. Starts with a brief introduction looking at similar atrocities committed in earlier periods, to help put these people in the context of their times, but could have done with more analysis of our sources and their motives(Read Full Review)
The German Army on Campaign 1914-1918, Bob Carruthers. At the same time familiar but different, looks at the First World War from the German side of the lines, so we get the same sort of pictures as in books on the British Army, but with different uniforms and equipment (and more mustaches). An interesting collection of photographs, showing how similar life was on the other side of no man’s land(Read Full Review)
The Light Division in the Peninsular war 1808-1811, Tim Saunders and Rob Yuill. Looks at the history of the units that would become the Light Division, and the early activities of the division itself, from Wellington’s first campaign in 1808, through Sir John Moore’s time in charge and on to Bucaco Ridge the Lines of Torres Vedra and the French retreat back into Spain. Uses a wider range of sources than most (although does include the famous Rifleman Harris), so we get a better picture of the overall activities of the division(Read Full Review)
Combat over the Mediterranean, Chris Goss. Focuses largely on the RAF’s anti-shipping missions, using the gun camera photographs taken during actual attacks to give a vivid picture of this important part of the war in the Mediterranean. Focuses largely on No.252 Squadron, as the pictures came from the collection of Dennis Butler, who commandeered the squadron twice during the war. Often includes a whole series of pictures from the same attack, giving us an unparalleled view of events as they happened(Read Full Review)
The Archaeology of the Holocaust, Richard A. Freund. Looks at the use of non-invasive archaeological methods, including Geoscience (perhaps better known in the UK as geophysics) at two centres of Jewish life, in Rhodes and Vilna, both destroyed during the Holocaust.  Focuses on the technical aspects of what was done, why it was done, the background story of the two areas and the way the local population was involved, rather than on the actual details of the digs(Read Full Review)
Vietnam War US & Allied Combat Equipments, Gordon L. Rottman. A detailed examination of the non-combat equipment carried by US and allied troops during the Vietnam War, looking both at the official kit and what was actually carried. Excludes the uniform itself and any actual weapons, but covers just about everything else, from the webbing used to carry most of the kit to the various types of first aid kits. The author actually served in Vietnam in 1969-70, so knows what he is talking about! (Read Full Review)
Leading the Roman Army – Soldiers and Emperors 31 BC-AD 235, Jonathan Eaton. Takes a different approach to the Roman army, looking at the relationship between the Emperor and his soldiers, both the regular army and the Praetorian Guard, how the army was led and disciplined and what influence it actually had over politics (ie the Emperor and succession), in a period when the Emperor was the sole source of military authority. (Read Full Review)
Rome’s Third Samnite War – 298-290BC – the Last Stand of the Line Legion, Mike Roberts. Focuses on the Third Samnite War, the last time the Samnites were Rome’s main opponents in a conflict, placing the conflict in the wider context of its times and looking at Rome’s other foes at the time, as well as following the rivalry through to its end in the dying days of the Republic. Generally very good, although outside the Third War the timeline could be clearer. During the war itself does a good job of creating a coherent account of this often poorly recorded conflict.(Read Full Review)

 


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