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We've reached the end of the Big Reveal for another year, and whilst it may be over, we're ending with a big one! Find out what General Military books are hitting the shelves in 2020 There are some fascinating books from a range of military history, so there's bound to be something that grabs your attention!
Find out more below and let us know which ones are your favourites.
GNM: Lawrence of Arabia and the War in the Desert 1916–18
One hundred years ago, Captain Lawrence and an unlikely band of Arab irregulars captured the strategic port of Aqaba after an epic journey through waterless tracts of desert. Their attacks on railways during the Great War are well known and have become the stuff of legend, but while Lawrence himself is quite prevalent , his ideas on war itself, are less well-known.
This new title offers a high-paced evaluation of T. E. Lawrence ‘of Arabia’ and the British military operations in the Near East, revising and adding to conventional narratives in order to tell the full story of this influential figure, as well as the Ottoman-Turkish perspective, and the Arabs’ position, within the context of the war. It is also a study of warfare and the manner in which Lawrence and others made their assessments of what was changing, what was distinctive, and what was unique to the desert environment. This book sets Lawrence in context, examines the peace settlement he participated in, and describes how Lawrence’s legacy has informed and inspired those partnering and mentoring local forces to the present day.
GNM: Mutiny on the Spanish Main
Mutiny on the Spanish Main tells the dramatic story of HMS Hermione, a British frigate that, in 1797, was the site of the bloodiest mutiny in British naval history, which saw the death of her captain and many of her officers. Though her crew handed her over to the Spanish, Hermione was subsequently recaptured in a daring raid on a Caribbean port two years later.
Illustrated with maps and diagrams tracing the events as they unfolded, and supported by informative inserts on the technical and tactical nuances of seamanship and naval warfare in the period, this book is both a fascinating narrative retelling and an informative guide to one of the most notorious events in the history of the Royal Navy.
GNM: Panzer IV
The Panzer IV programme was started in 1934, forming, alongside the Panzer IIs and IIIs, the schnellen Truppen, the force that was to become the Panzerwaffe. At first, German planners envisioned it in a secondary role, but during the invasions of The Low Countries and France, the more powerful Panzer IV took a more central role.
When the Panzerwaffe turned east to attack the Soviet Union, the Panzer IVs initially fared poorly against the better-armed T-34s, but upgrades to its gun and armour protection saw it perform far better, not only against Soviet armour, but also against British and American tanks in North Africa and Italy. In 1944, it was slowly replaced by the Panzer V Panther, but the dire strategic situation meant that it bore the brunt of the Allied D-Day invasion and its aftermath, and it remained in service until the end of the war. This fascinating study tells the complete story of Germany’s most widely produced tank of World War II.
In September 1943, following wave upon wave of Allied bombing, Italy announced an armistice with the Allies. Shortly afterwards, the German army disarmed Italian forces and, despite military and partisan resistance, quickly overran Rome. Resistance, however, remained strong. To aid the thousands of Allied POWs who escaped after the dissolution of the Italian army, priests, diplomats and escaped ex-POWs operating out of the Vatican formed a nationwide organization called the ‘Escape Line’. More than 4,000 Allied POWs scattered all over Italy were sheltered, clothed and fed by these courageous Italians, whose lives were forfeit if their activities were discovered. Meanwhile, as food became scarce and the Gestapo began to raid on homes and institutions, Italian partisan fighters launched attack after attack on German military units in the city, with the threat of execution never far away.
This is the compelling story of an Eternal City brought low, of the terror and hardship of occupation, and of the disparate army of partisan fighters, displaced aristocrats, Vatican priests, Allied POWs and ordinary citizens who battled for the liberation of Rome.
GNM: Sisters in Arms
Beginning with the founding myth of the Amazons, Julie Wheelwright explores the history of women in arms. She traces our fascination with these figures, many of whom successfully disguised themselves as men, using primary sources and their own words to bring their experiences vividly to light. Among these forgotten heroines are Christian Davies, Ireland’s most famous 18th-century soldier; Sarah Edmonds, who left her native Canada and was among hundreds of women who enlisted on both sides during the American Civil War; Maria Bochkareva, a private in the Tsar’s army and leader of the Women’s Battalion of Death in 1917; and Captain Flora Sandes, hero of the Serbian Army.
The book follows the evolution of women in combat, from the Scythian women who begat the Amazonian myth, to the passing women in the eighteenth century, and on to the re-emergence of women as proud members of the armed forces in various countries in the 20th and 21st centuries. The book also explores the formalisation of women’s military roles and questions the contemporary relationship between masculinity and combat.
GNM: The Devil's Bridge
On 17 September 1944, the Allies launched the largest airborne and glider operation in the history of warfare. Codenamed Operation Market Garden, it was intended to outflank the German West Wall and ‘bounce’ the Rhine at Arnhem, from where the Allies could strike into the Ruhr, Nazi Germany’s industrial heartland. Such a move could have ended the war.
However, Market Garden and the battle for Arnhem were a disaster for the Allies. Put together in little over a week and lacking in flexibility, the operation became an all-or-nothing race against time. The plan to link the airborne divisions by pushing an armoured division up a sixty-five mile corridor was optimistic at best, and the British drop zones were not only too far from Arnhem Bridge, but also directly above two recuperating SS Panzer divisions. This new book explores the operation from the perspective of the Germans as renowned historian Anthony Tucker-Jones examines how they were able to mobilise so swiftly and effectively in spite of depleted troops and limited intelligence.
GNM: The English Civil War
The English Civil Wars (1638–51) comprised the deadliest conflict in history fought on British soil, in which brother took up arms against brother, father fought against son, and towns, cities and villages fortified themselves in the cause of Royalists or Parliamentarians. Although much historical attention has focused on the events in England and the key battles of Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby, this was a conflict that engulfed the entirety of the Three Kingdoms and led to a trial and execution that profoundly shaped the British monarchy and Parliament.
This beautifully presented atlas tells the whole story of Britain’s revolutionary civil war, from the earliest skirmishes of the Bishops Wars in 1639–40 through to 1651, when Charles II’s defeat at Worcester crushed the Royalist cause, leading to two decades of Stuart exile. Each map is supported by a detailed text, providing a complete explanation of the complex and fluctuating conflict that ultimately meant that the Crown would always be answerable to Parliament.
GNM: The History of the Panzerjäge
The German Panzerjäger, or Panzerjägertruppe, was one of the most innovative fighting arms of World War II and its story has never properly been told, until now. Many books have focused on an element of the story – the Hetzer, Jagdpanzer, and Jagdpanther – but this two-volume series represents the first time that the whole history of the development and organization of Nazi Germany's anti-tank force has been revealed.
This second volume takes up the story in the mid-war years and follows the development of the Panzerjäger, describing the innovative new vehicles such as the Ferdinand, Elefant and Nashorn. German Armoured Fighting Vehicle specialist Thomas Anderson also analyses the key role it performed in the War in the Desert and across the Eastern Front, and ultimately in the defence of the Reich itself. Packed with previously unpublished wartime photographs, combat reports, and detailed charts and statistics, this book offers an unparalleled account of this unique arm of the Wehrmacht.
GNM: The Medieval Knight
The traditional 'knight in shining armour' has become a staple figure in popular culture and the images of bloody battlefields, bustling feasting halls and courtly tournaments have been creatively interpreted many times in film and fiction. But what was the knight truly like? The world of the English medieval knight was complex and ever-changing. An expert on medieval military history, Christopher Gravett describes how the knights evolved over three centuries of English and European history, the wars they fought, their lives both in peacetime and on campaign, the weapons they fought with, the armour and clothing they wore and their fascinating code and mythology of chivalry. The text is richly illustrated with images ranging from manuscript illustrations to modern artwork reconstructions, and many photographs of historic artefacts and sites.
GNM: Warship 2020
For over 40 years, Warship has been the leading annual resource on the design, development, and deployment of the world’s combat ships. Featuring a broad range of articles from a select panel of distinguished international contributors, this latest volume combines original research, new book reviews, warship notes, an image gallery, and much more, maintaining the impressive standards of scholarship and research with which Warship has become synonymous. Detailed and accurate information is the keynote of all the articles, which are fully supported by plans, data tables, and stunning photographs.