Category: Military History Page 1 of 15

Author Guest Post: Gerald Hough

This is a story that carries at its heart the bravery of our British and Commonwealth troops who battled against the Axis powers in World War 2. Whilst it is the story of one man’s journey it is a journey shared by many. Some reached their destination, others didn’t. All were courageous.

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Author Guest Post: Malcolm Atkin

History is determined by those who write it

Malcolm Atkin

It is a long-accepted truth that the history of war is written by the winners. This is not simply a matter of stories from the battlefield but can also be reflected in the race to establish one’s own personal perspective in print. The history of the Second World War is littered with autobiographies and biographies which have been accepted as accurate historical sources as if the very act of seeing them on the printed page gives them a validity. This is especially true in the secret world of intelligence and special operations where for decades it was impossible to corroborate the early stories of heroism and derring-do.

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Meet the author: Dr Simon Elliott

This week, Roman Britain’s Missing Legion has been on an exciting blog tour! As part of the tour, we got the chance to ask Simon all about his new book and research.

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Author Guest Post: Jaap Jan Brouwer

THE GERMAN WAY OF WAR. A LESSON IN TACTICAL MANAGEMENT

Rommel on leadership

The German Army lost two consecutive wars and the conclusion is often drawn that it simply wasn’t able to cope with its opponents. This image is constantly reinforced in literature and in the media, where seemingly brainless operating German units led by fanatical officers predominate. Nothing was as far from the truth. The records show that the Germans consistently outfought the far more numerous Allied armies that eventually defeated them: their relative battlefield performance was at least 1.5 and in most cases 3 times as high as that of its opponents. The central question in this book is why the German Army had a so much higher relative battlefield performance than the opposition. A central element within the Prussian/German Army is Auftragstaktik, a tactical management concept that dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and is still very advanced in terms of management and organisation. In this series of blogs we will have a closer look at the key elements of Auftragstaktik and cases that will illustrate the effects of these elements in the reality of the battlefield. In this part of the series we focus on Rommel as an example of German leadership.

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Author Guest Post: Andrew Bond

Friday April 2nd 2021 is the 220th anniversary of the first Battle of Copenhagen, the final fleet action of the French revolutionary wars of 1792 to 1802. For 30-year old Lieutenant John Quilliam, second lieutenant of the 38-gun frigate HMS Amazon, it marked the moment when his already exceptional career moved on to a higher plane as he came under the patronage of Vice Admiral Lord Nelson, then and now Britain’s most famous sailor.

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Author Guest Post: Jaap Jan Brouwer

The German way of war. A lesson in tactical management

The German General Stab (General Staff): a school of thought

The German Army lost two consecutive wars and the conclusion is often drawn that it simply wasn’t able to cope with its opponents. This image is constantly reinforced in literature and in the media, where seemingly brainless operating German units led by fanatical officers predominate. Nothing was as far from the truth. The records show that the Germans consistently outfought the far more numerous Allied armies that eventually defeated them: their relative battlefield performance was at least 1.5 and in most cases 3 times as high as that of its opponents. The central question in this book is why the German Army had a so much higher relative battlefield performance than the opposition. A central element within the Prussian/German Army is Auftragstaktik, a tactical management concept that dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and is still very advanced in terms of management and organisation. In this series of blogs we will have a closer look at the key elements of Auftragstaktik and cases that will illustrate the effects of these elements in the reality of the battlefield. In this part of the series we focus on the German General Stab (General Staff).

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Author Guest Post: Philip Hamlyn Williams

Imagine the scene, rather like General Horrocks addressing the officers of 30 Corps in the film A Bridge Too Far. Instead of Horrocks, the key note speaker is spritely Brigadier Jim Denniston, former Seaforth Highlander, and, as Director of Ordnance Services for the 21st Army Group, he is addressing officers of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps as they make final preparations for D Day. They are approaching the culmination of four hard years of preparation, or perhaps forty years since many of them had served through the Great War. Some had been at the sharp end in the British Expeditionary Force which withdrew to Dunkirk. When I first read of this scene, I needed to discover where these men had come from; what had prepared them for this moment. The result of my research is my book, Dunkirk to D Day.

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Meet the author: Martin Bowman

I thought that it would be appropriate to have the publicity picture taken at the New Farm Aviation Heritage Museum near Norwich Airport as I have loaned them my framed Lightning T-Bird print of Lightning T5 XS420, 226 OCU/145 Squadron RAF Coltishall by Mike Rondot the famous Norfolk based aviation artist. It is above me sitting on one of the plush VIP airline seats that once graced the 747-SP that was operated by the late Sultan of Oman for many years. These seats have a Lightning link also as they were donated to the Museum some years ago by an ex-Lightning pilot from RAF Coltishall (which is only a few miles away from the museum) when the Sultan’s Jumbo was flown to a desert air park in Arizona and was replaced by a newer Jumbo jet! These must be the ultimate in ‘biz jets’! I believe the Lightning pilot in question used to fly the Sultan’s 747-SP.

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Author Guest Post: Louise Wilkinson

The Millionaires’ Mob

601 (County of London) Squadron Auxiliary Air Force were nicknamed the “millionaires’ mob” by other squadrons. Seen by many as rich young playboys who used the Auxiliary Air Force as a “gentleman’s flying club” I found this incredibly interesting and so I wondered whether this theme was common across all of the AAF squadrons in the country. My research tested this theory, and is available to buy in my new book, The Territorial Air Force.

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Upcoming author event: Jaap Jan Brouwer

Do you want to know more about this book and the German way of war, tune in to one of my webinars, the first will be on the 30th of March. The webinar starts at 19.00 GMT or 20.00 on the continent and will last about 1.5 hour. Mail your name and email address to: jjbrouwer@cincmc.nl. If you have any questions please mail them also, so I can customise the program. Your questions are also welcome during the presentation.

Jaap Jan Brouwer

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