Category: Military History Page 2 of 12

Author Guest Post: Adam Zamoyski

As I near the end of writing a book I usually become overwhelmed by a desire to just get it over with. After a time, I begin to wish I had added a chapter or two describing what happened to some of the more colourful actors or reflecting on the ironies revealed by the passage of time. But in this case, after I had sent the text off to my publisher, I began to have rather different regrets. I wished I had dwelt more on the contacts between the Poles and their British hosts, both military and, perhaps more interestingly, civilian. The book does cover this angle at some length, but with hindsight I began to feel that there was almost another book to be written on the subject.

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Air Marshal Sir Keith Park: An Introduction

Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park is one of New Zealand’s greatest military leaders. Murray Rowland’s thoughtful biography, Air Marshal Sir Keith Park, will introduce a new generation of readers to an outstanding commander who played an absolutely central role in winning the Battle of Britain in 1940.

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Author video: Kate Werran

Historian Kate Werran lays bare a hushed-up ugly incident in Allied relations during WW2 when friction between black and white GIs stationed in the Cornish town of Launceston flared up into an armed uprising which led to a hasty court martial, lingering resentment and sharply divided loyalties. Here she talks about, and reads from, her book An American Uprising, and describes her lifelong attachment to Cornwall.

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Author Interview: Bryn Evans

Can I walk across the Pyrenees in winter?

Bryn Evans is interviewed on his new book, Airmen’s Incredible Escapes, in which the question ‘Can I walk across the Pyrenees in winter?’ is in the mind of an airman shot down in occupied Europe in WWII.

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Guest Post: Geoff Simpson

The first edition of Men of the Battle of Britain by Kenneth G Wynn was published by Gliddon Books in 1989. It was quickly established as a standard work of reference, though, as a senior RAF officer stressed to me recently, it is considerably more than that. A supplementary volume followed in 1992 and a second edition appeared from CCB in 1999.

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Author Guest Post: Bryn Evans

Airmen’s Incredible Escapes

Veterans’ accounts of survival in the Second World War

During the current pandemic front line health workers do their job day after day to save lives, and in doing so many have lost theirs. In the Second World War amidst all the destruction and killing, there were also people everywhere who risked their lives, often losing them to save others. Sometimes, when airmen were shot down and faced unimaginable danger, and hope of survival was near gone, someone stepped forward to help. Such helpers also placed themselves in similar peril or worse, and did so over and over again.

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Author Guest Post: James Goulty

An Overview to the New Book:

Eyewitness RAF: The Experience of War 1939-1945

In his forthcoming book: ‘Eyewitness RAF,’ military historian and author, James Goulty, discusses the experiences of men and women who served with the wartime RAF. On mobilisation in 1939, RAF strength was 117,890 and this was rapidly increased by the addition of around 58,000 reservists and auxiliaries, albeit substantial numbers of these lacked training. From this relatively humble beginning, a large wartime force emerged that served around the globe. By 1944, when wartime recruiting ceased, approximately 1.2 million men and women were serving with the RAF, seventy percent of who were employed in non-flying trades. This highlights the immense effort that was required to support operational units. In contrast, trained pilots and aircrew held an elite status, not least because they were highly motivated and only five percent of those that applied for aircrew training were successful. As former bomber pilot and POW, Wing Commander Ken Rees, observed, aircrew were ‘hot stuff.’

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Guest Post: Janet Dubé

There was a war on 80 years ago when my parents married, and like many couples, they couldn’t live together. My father, Bernard Harris, was an army bandsman on combat training with his regiment, ready to be posted abroad. Over the summer of 1940, they spent time camped out on Newmarket racecourse.

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Author Guest Post: Owen Rees

6 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Battle of Salamis

2020 is the official 2,500 year anniversary for the great naval battle of Salamis. It is perhaps the most famous naval battle of the ancient world, and saw a Greek fleet defeat a much larger Persian one in a decisive day-long battle. Often touted as a decisive moment in the history of Europe, there are still bits of the story most people do not know.

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Author Guest Post: Bryn Evans

The Most Destructive Weapon

Seventy five years ago in 1945, on 2 May in Italy then two days later on 4 May in Germany, all Axis forces surrendered. In those campaigns the hard won air supremacy of the Allies made a crucial and decisive difference. A weapon first used in North Africa, and little recognised outside of battlefield tactics at that time, made a revolutionary impact in the defeat of the Axis armies.

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