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Memoirs & Military Biography

General History

Pen and Sword have a strong tradition for publishing biographies, particularly first hand accounts. Autobiographies have always been a cornerstone of our publishing list and we have a rich history of important original accounts of key battles in history. First hand accounts always tell a unique story. We always learn something new about a battle no matter what role the author played. The key part was that they were an eyewitness to events and uniquely qualified to enhance our study of history.

We are immensely proud of this collection of Biographies which have taken many years to build up and now is broken down by conflict.








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Winged Scalpel

In this fast paced narrative, ex-SAS surgeon Richard Villar provides 'a very personal insight into the difficulties, dangers and occasional virtual impossibility of providing medical aid to disaster areas and war zones. He shares his remarkable experiences in the aftermath of three major earthquakes – Kashmir (2005), Java (2006) and Haiti (2010)… Read more...

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The Sterling Redemption

The untold true story of James Edmiston who suffered an extraordinary miscarriage of justice in 1983 when senior officials blocked vital witnesses coming to his trial which led to a personal tragedy; a broken marriage, and the loss of a business. The Sterling Redemption explains how he was wrongly charged with alleged illegal exports to Iraq, and then… Read more...

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A Talent for Adventure

Books on prison camps, daring escapes and life with the Resistance abound. Pat Spooner's story is different and more compelling in one important respect. It recounts the gripping and dramatic rescue of two senior British generals (one a VC) and an air vice marshal from occupied Italy by the author and his companion who had themselves both escaped from… Read more...

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Dangerous Frontiers

Since the Second World War British soldiers have been continuously involved in small wars many of which, largely for political reasons, have received little or no publicity. Dangerous Frontiers is a gripping personal memoir of soldiering in two hot and hostile areas of the world. In Part 1 the author describes his life as a young officer in the Somaliland… Read more...

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Simon Mann

It had all the ingredients of a best-selling thriller – the clandestine activities of mercenaries, an impossibly dare-devil plot to topple the regime of one of the world’s most corrupt countries; the ‘boy’s own’ approach by arrogant old public school pupils and the controversy and intrigue from within governmental departments. Add in high-profile… Read more...

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Fight Dig and Live

The deeply unpleasant Korean War began in 1950 with an unprovoked attack by North Korea. Hostilities went on for three long years, followed by an uneasy armistice that continues to this day. United Kingdom casualties amounted to some 300 Officers and 4,000 Other Ranks, many of them conscripts, while a total of over 100,000 United Nations soldiers were… Read more...

Once a Hussar

Once a Hussar is a vivid account of the wartime experiences of Ray Ellis, a gunner who in later life recorded in this well-written, candid and perceptive memoir the conflict he knew as a young man seventy years ago. As an impressionable teenager, fired with national pride, he was eager to join the army and fight for his country. He enlisted in the… Read more...

Gunboat Command

This biography draws heavily on the personal diaries of the subject, Robert Hichens (or 'Hitch' as he was universally known). After a brief description of his early life, time at Oxford, his motor racing achievements (including trophies at Le Mans in his Aston Martin) and RN training, the book focuses on his exceptional wartime experiences. Hitch was… Read more...

Commando to Captain-Generall

This is the story of Brigadier Peter Young (1915-1988), a highly decorated soldier who was one of the founding members of 3 Commando, rising during WWII from 2 Lt to Brigadier in the space of 6 years. His battle honours include Vaagso, Dieppe, Sicily, Italy, Normandy and Burma. A career soldier, he returned to his parent regiment, the Beds and Herts,… Read more...