Today we're taking you through which titles will be published in paperback in 2024.
Putin's Wars: From Chechnya to Ukraine
By Mark Galeotti
The Financial Times – Best books of 2022: Politics
'The prolific military chronicler and analyst Mark Galeotti has produced exactly the right book at the right time.' The Times
A new history of how Putin and his conflicts have inexorably reshaped Russia, including his devastating invasion of Ukraine.
Putin's Wars is a timely overview of the conflicts in which Russia has been involved since Vladimir Putin became prime minister and then president of Russia, from the First Chechen War to the two military incursions into Georgia, the annexation of Crimea and the eventual invasion of Ukraine itself. But it also looks more broadly at Putin's recreation of Russian military power and its expansion to include a range of new capabilities, from mercenaries to operatives in a relentless information war against Western powers. This is an engrossing strategic overview of the Russian military and the successes and failures on the battlefield.
Thanks to Dr Galeotti's wide-ranging contacts throughout Russia, it is also peppered with anecdotes of military life, personal snapshots of conflicts, and an extraordinary collection of first-hand accounts from serving and retired Russian officers. Russia continues to dominate the news cycle throughout the Western world. There is no better time to understand how and why Putin has involved his armed forces in a variety of conflicts for over two decades.
The Cactus Air Force: Air War Over Guadalcanal
By Eric Hammel & Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Using diary entries, interviews and first-hand accounts, this vivid narrative brings to life the struggle in the air over the island of Guadalcanal between August 20 and November 15, 1942.
The battle of Guadalcanal was the first offensive operation undertaken by the US and its allies in the Pacific War. The three months of air battles between August 20, 1942, when the first Marine air unit arrived on the island, and November 15, when the last enemy attempt to retake the island was defeated, were perhaps the most important of the Pacific War. “Cactus,” the code name for the island, became a sinkhole for Japanese air and naval power, as they experienced losses that could never be made good.
Across a period of 40 years, the late Eric Hammel interviewed more than 150 American participants in the air campaign at Guadalcanal, none of whom are still alive. These interviews are the most comprehensive first-person accounts of the battle assembled by any historian. More importantly, they involved the junior officers and enlisted men whose stories and memories were not part of the official history, and thus provide a unique insight.
In The Cactus Air Force, Pacific War expert Thomas McKelvey Cleaver worked closely with Eric to build on his collection of diary entries, interviews, and first-hand accounts to create a vivid narrative of the struggle in the air over the island of Guadalcanal between August 20 and November 15, 1942.
Dünkirchen 1940: The German View of Dunkirk
By Robert Kershaw
'Kershaw’s book is a welcome rebalancing; a thoughtful, well-researched and well-written contribution to a narrative that has long been too one-sided and too mired in national mythology.' The Times
The British evacuation from the beaches of the small French port town of Dunkirk is one of the iconic moments of military history. The battle has captured the popular imagination through LIFE magazine photo spreads, the fiction of Ian McEwan and, of course, Christopher Nolan’s hugely successful Hollywood blockbuster. But what is the German view of this stunning Allied escape? Drawing on German interviews, diaries and unit post-action reports, Robert Kershaw creates a page-turning history of a battle that we thought we knew.
Dünkirchen 1940 is the first major history on what went wrong for the Germans at Dunkirk. As supreme military commander, Hitler had seemingly achieved a miracle after the swift capitulation of Holland and Belgium, but with just seven kilometres before the panzers captured Dunkirk – the only port through which the trapped British Expeditionary force might escape – they came to a shuddering stop. Only a detailed interpretation of the German perspective – historically lacking to date – can provide answers as to why.
Dünkirchen 1940 delves into the under-evaluated major German miscalculation, both strategically and tactically, that arguably cost Hitler the war.
Crécy: Battle of Five Kings
‘Like Crécy itself, this book is a triumph and the tale it tells gives an old story new life.’ Bernard Cornwell, bestselling author of the Last Kingdom series
A fresh appraisal of the battle of Crécy, in which a hard-won English victory over the French changed the course of the Hundred Years War.
The battle of Crécy in 1346 is one of the most famous and widely studied military engagements in history. The repercussions of this battle were felt for hundreds of years, and the exploits of those fighting reached the status of legend. Yet cutting-edge research has shown that nearly everything that has been written about this dramatic event may be wrong.
In this new study, Michael Livingston reveals how modern scholars have used archived manuscripts, satellite technologies and traditional fieldwork to help unlock what was arguably the battle’s greatest secret: the location of the now quiet fields where so many thousands died.
Crécy: Battle of Five Kings is a story of past and present. It is a new history of one of the most important battles of the Middle Ages: a compelling narrative account of the battle of Crécy that still adheres to the highest scholarly standards in its detail. It is also an account that incorporates the most cutting-edge revelations and the personal story of how those discoveries were made.
At the Gates of Rome: The Fall of the Eternal City, AD 410
By Don Hollway
A dramatic retelling of the story of the final years of the Western Roman Empire and the downfall of Rome itself from the perspectives of the Roman general Stilicho and Alaric, king of the Visigoths.
It took little more than a single generation for the centuries-old Roman Empire to fall. In those critical decades, while Christians and pagans, legions and barbarians, generals and politicians squabbled over dwindling scraps of power, two men – former comrades on the battlefield – rose to prominence on opposite sides of the great game of empire. Roman general Flavius Stilicho, the man behind the Roman throne, dedicated himself to restoring imperial glory, only to find himself struggling for his life against political foes. Alaric, King of the Goths, desired to be a friend of Rome, was betrayed by it, and given no choice but to become its enemy. Battling each other to a standstill, these two warriors ultimately overcame their differences in order to save the empire from enemies on all sides. And when one of them fell, the other took such vengeance as had never been seen in history.
Don Hollway, author of The Last Viking, combines ancient chroniclers’ accounts of Stilicho and Alaric into an unforgettable history of betrayal, politics, intrigue and war for the heart and soul of the Roman Empire.
Meat Grinder: The Battles for the Rzhev Salient, 1942–43
By Prit Buttar
An engrossing history of the desperate battles for the Rzhev Salient, a forgotten story brought to life by the harrowing memoirs of German and Russian soldiers.
The fighting between the German and Russian armies in the Rzhev Salient during World War II was so grisly, so murderous, and saw such vast losses that the troops called the campaign 'The Meat Grinder'. Though millions of men would fight and die there, the Rzhev Salient does not have the name recognition of Leningrad or Moscow. It has been largely ignored by Western historians – until now.
In this book, Prit Buttar, a leading expert on the Eastern Front during World War II, reveals the depth and depravity of the bitter fighting for Rzhev. He details how the region held the promise of a renewed drive on the Soviet capital for the German Army – a chance to turn the tide of war. Using both German and Russian first-hand accounts, Buttar examines the major offensives launched by the Red Army against the salient, all of which were defeated with losses exceeding two million killed, wounded or missing, until eventually, the Germans were forced to evacuate the salient in March 1943.
Drawing on the latest research, Meat Grinder provides a new study of these horrific battles but also examines how the Red Army did ultimately learn from its colossal failures to help pave the way for the eventual Soviet victory against Army Group Centre in the summer of 1944, leaving the road to Berlin clear.
Sign Here for Sacrifice: The Untold Story of the Third Battalion, 506th Airborne, Vietnam 1968
By Ian Gardner
A hard-hitting history of the U.S. airborne unit who made a name for themselves in the unforgiving jungles of South Vietnam.
“It was easier killing than living.” Third Battalion 506th Airborne veteran
Drawing on interviews with veterans, many of whom have never gone on the record before, Ian Gardner follows up his epic trilogy about the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment in World War II with the story of the unit's reactivation at the height of the Vietnam War. This is the dramatic history of a band of brothers who served together in Vietnam and, against the odds, lived up to the reputation of their World War II forefathers.
Brigadier General Salve Matheson's idea was to create an 800-strong battalion of airborne volunteers in the same legendary “Currahee” spirit that had defined the volunteers of 1942. The man he chose to lead them was John Geraci, who would mold this young brotherhood into a highly cohesive and motivated force.
In December 1967, the battalion was sent into the Central Highlands of Lam Dong Province. Geraci and his men began their Search and Destroy patrols, which coincided with the North Vietnamese build-up to the Tet Offensive and was a brutal introduction to the reality of a dirty, bloody war. Gardner reveals how it was here that the tenacious volunteers made their mark, just like their predecessors had done in Normandy, and the battalion was ultimately awarded a Valorous Unit Citation. This book shows how and why this unit was deserving of that award, recounting their daily sanguinary struggle in the face of a hostile environment and a determined enemy.
Through countless interviews and rare personal photographs, Sign Here for Sacrifice shows the action, leadership, humor, and bravery displayed by these airborne warriors.
Brotherhood of the Flying Coffin: The Glider Pilots of World War II
By Scott McGaugh
The first major history of the American glider pilots, the forgotten heroes of World War II, by New York Times bestselling author Scott McGaugh. A story of no guns, no engines, and no second chances.
They were all volunteers, for a specialized duty that their own government projected would have a 50 percent casualty rate. None faltered. In every major European invasion of the war, glider pilots led the way, flying in defenseless aircraft made of plywood and towed into enemy territory by a single cable wrapped with a telephone wire. They landed their gliders ahead of the troops who stormed Omaha Beach, and sometimes miles ahead of the paratroopers bound for the far side of the Rhine River. From there, they had to hold their positions. They delivered medical teams, supplies and gasoline to troops surrounded in the Battle of the Bulge, ahead even of Patton's famous supply truck convoy. These all-volunteer glider pilots played a pivotal role in liberating the West from tyranny, from the day the Allies invaded Occupied Europe to the day Germany finally surrendered. Yet the story of these anonymous heroes is virtually unknown.
To right this historic wrong, acclaimed author Scott McGaugh has spent years trawling the archives to find after-action reports and mission logs, as well as interviewing surviving glider pilots. Now finally the history of American glider pilots is finally told in full – a story which epitomizes courage, dedication, and sacrifice.
To Save an Army: The Stalingrad Airlift
By Robert Forsyth
Using the diaries of Luftwaffe commanders, rare contemporary photographs and other previously unpublished sources, Robert Forsyth analyzes the human, strategic, tactical and technical elements of one of the most dramatic operations arranged by the Luftwaffe.
Stalingrad ranks as one of the most infamous, savage and emotive battles of the 20th century. It has consumed military historians since the 1950s and has inspired many books and much debate. This book tells the story of the operation mounted by the Luftwaffe to supply, by airlift, the trapped and exhausted German Sixth Army at Stalingrad in the winter of 1942/43. The weather conditions faced by the flying crews, mechanics and soldiers on the ground were appalling, but against all odds, and a resurgent and active Soviet air force, the transports maintained a determined presence over the ravaged city on the Volga, even when the last airfields in the Stalingrad pocket had been lost.
Yet, even the daily figure of 300 tons of supplies, needed by Sixth Army just to subsist, proved over-ambitious for the Luftwaffe, which battled against a lack of transport capacity, worsening serviceability and increasing losses in badly needed aircraft.
Using previously unpublished diaries, original Luftwaffe reports and specially commissioned artwork, this gripping battle is told in detail through the eyes of the Luftwaffe commanders and pilots who fought to keep the Sixth Army alive and supplied.
Clean Sweep: VIII Fighter Command Against the Luftwaffe, 1942–45
By Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
A vivid narrative history, packed with first-hand accounts, of the US Eighth Air Force's VIII Fighter Command from its foundation in 1942 through to its victory in the skies over Nazi Germany.
On August 7, 1942, two events of major military importance occurred on separate sides of the planet. In the South Pacific, the United States went on the offensive, landing the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal. In England, 12 B-17 bombers of the new Eighth Air Force’s 97th Bombardment Group bombed the Rouen–Sotteville railroad marshalling yards in France. While the mission was small, the aerial struggle that began that day would ultimately cost the United States more men killed and wounded by the end of the war in Europe than the Marines would lose in the Pacific War.
Clean Sweep is the story of the creation, development, and operation of the Eighth Air Force Fighter Command and the battle to establish daylight air superiority over the Luftwaffe so that the invasion of Europe could be successful.
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver has had a lifelong interest in the history of the fighter force that defeated the Luftwaffe over Germany. He has collected many first-hand accounts from participants over the past 50 years, getting to know pilots such as the legendary “Hub” Zemke, Don Blakeslee, and Chuck Yeager, as well as meeting and interviewing leading Luftwaffe pilots Adolf Galland, Gunther Rall, and Walter “Count Punski” Krupinski. This story is told through accounts gathered from both sides.
The Panzers of Prokhorovka: The Myth of Hitler’s Greatest Armoured Defeat
By Ben Wheatley
This ground-breaking new study of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka will transform our understanding of one of the most famous battles of the Second World War, widely mythologized as the largest tank battle in history.
'If ever there was a time for a sober, authoritative dissection of the myths the Soviets fashioned from the Eastern Front, it is now.' Oliver Moody, Berlin Correspondent for The Times
Today in Russia there are three official sacred battlefields: Kulikovo, where the Mongols were defeated in 1380; Borodino, where Russian troops slowed Napoleon’s Grande Armée before Moscow in 1812; the third is Prokhorovka. This is widely described as the most critical tank battle of the Second World War, which saw the annihilation of Hitler’s elite Panzer force in the largest armoured clash in history and left Hitler with no alternative but to halt Germany’s offensive against the Kursk salient. Victory, on 12 July 1943, at Prokhorovka over Hitler’s vaunted SS troops has traditionally been described as a turning point in the Second World War.
The Panzers of Prokhorovka challenges this narrative. The battle was indeed an important Soviet victory, but a very different one to that described above. Supported by ground-breaking archival research and hitherto unpublished images of the battlefield, Ben Wheatley argues that German armoured losses were in fact negligible and a fresh approach is required to understand Prokhorovka. As we pass the 80th anniversary of the battles of Kursk and Prokhorovka, The Panzers of Prokhorovka tackles the many myths that have built up over the years and presents a new analysis of this famous engagement.
Leyte Gulf: A New History of the World's Largest Sea Battle
By Mark Stille
A fascinating re-examination of the battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval encounter in history and probably the most decisive naval battle of the entire Pacific War, and one that saw the Imperial Japanese Navy eliminated as an effective fighting force and forced to resort to suicide tactics.
Leyte was a huge and complex action, actually consisting of four major battles, each of which are broken down in detail in this book, using original sources. The plans of both sides, and how they dictated the events that followed, are also examined critically.
So much of the accepted wisdom of the battle has developed from the many myths that surround it, myths that have become more firmly established over time. In this new study, Pacific War expert Mark Stille brings fresh, insightful analysis to key aspects of the battle, dismantling misconceptions around the actions and performances of its two most important commanders – Halsey and Kurita – and reappraising the “lost victory” of the Japanese advance into Leyte Gulf that never happened.