The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943 (The War in the West) [EPUB]
01 March 2018, 16:27
2017 | EPUB | 20.53MB
By June 1941, Germany’s war machine looked to be unstoppable. The Nazi blitzkrieg had taken Poland, France, and Holland with shocking speed. The Luftwaffe had bombed London, while German U-boats wrought havoc on Allied shipping on the Atlantic. And yet, as James Holland shows at the start of The Allies Strike Back, 1941-1943―the second volume in his magisterial narrative of World War II in the West―cracks were already appearing in Germany’s apparent invincibility. Shortages of food and materiel were becoming critical. And, having failed to defeat Britain, Adolf Hitler fatefully pivoted east to invade the Soviet Union―territory he felt compelled to conquer for Germany’s protection―and on June 22, 1941 precipitated the largest clash of arms the world had ever seen. Built for speed and quick conquest, German forces by that fall were bogged down in a horrible war of attrition that blunted the Nazi momentum.
The Allies Strike Back offers fascinating new perspective on the critical middle years in World War II’s western theatre, as the advantage between Axis and Allied forces swung back and forth on the Atlantic and eastern front, and in north Africa and Europe. Acclaimed historian James Holland has spent years conducting original research and interviews, mining newly available archives, visiting battlefields and uncovering letters and diaries previously unread. Acknowledging that strategy and tactics have been the focus of previous histories, he gives equal space to the logistics and supply of men and materiel without which no war can be fought. Allied and Axis leaders criss-cross Holland’s narrative, but he also memorably introduces readers to heretofore unknown participants: Sgt. Ralph Schaps, who experienced the Louisiana Maneuvers that propelled him into Europe; Colonel Hermann Balck, in command of a German panzer regiment in Africa; U-boat captain Teddy Suhren, operating against Allied shipping in the Atlantic; Billy Drake, squadron commander in Britain’s Desert Air Force that helped turn the tide in North Africa; and many others.
Following the acclaimed first volume of his trilogy, The Rise of Germany, and offering frank assessments of successes and failures on both sides, James Holland has crafted a masterful and gripping narrative of the events that ultimately determined the outcome of World War II.
Churchill and the Bomb in War and Cold War [EPUB]
01 March 2018, 16:26
2016 | EPUB | 5.28MB
Covering the development of the atomic bomb during the Second World War, the origins and early course of the Cold War, and the advent of the hydrogen bomb in the early 1950s, Churchill and the Bomb in War and Cold War explores a still neglected aspect of Winston Churchill's career – his relationship with and thinking on nuclear weapons. Kevin Ruane shows how Churchill went from regarding the bomb as a weapon of war in the struggle with Nazi Germany to viewing it as a weapon of communist containment (and even punishment) in the early Cold War before, in the 1950s, advocating and arguably pioneering what would become known as “mutually assured destruction” as the key to preventing the Cold War flaring into a calamitous nuclear war.
While other studies of Churchill have touched on his evolving views on nuclear weapons, few historians have given this hugely important issue the kind of dedicated and sustained treatment it deserves. In Churchill and the Bomb in War and Cold War, however, Kevin Ruane has undertaken extensive primary research in Britain, the United States and Europe, and accessed a wide array of secondary literature, in producing an immensely readable yet detailed, insightful and provocative account of Churchill's nuclear hopes and fears.
Homage to Caledonia: Scotland and the Spanish Civil War [EPUB]
27 February 2018, 00:40
2013 | EPUB | 1.72MB
The Spanish civil war was a call to arms for 2,300 British volunteers, of which over 500 were from Scotland. The first book of its kind, 'Homage to Caledonia' examines Scotland's role in the conflict, detailing exactly why Scottish involvement was so profound. The book moves chronologically through events and places, firstly surveying the landscape in contemporary Scotland before describing volunteers' journeys to Spain, and then tracing their every involvement from arrival to homecoming (or not). There is also an account of the non-combative role, from fundraising for Spain and medical aid, to political manoeuvrings within the volatile Scottish left.
Using a wealth of previously-unpublished letters sent back from the front as well as other archival items, Daniel Gray is able to tell little known stories of courage in conflict, and to call into question accepted versions of events such as the 'murder' of Bob Smillie, or the heroism of 'The Scots Scarlet Pimpernel'. Homage to Caledonia offers a very human take on events in Spain: for every tale of abject distress in a time of war, there is a tale of a Scottish volunteer urinating in his general's boots, knocking back a dram with Errol Flynn or appalling Spanish comrades with his pipe playing. For the first time, read the fascinating story of Caledonia's role in this seminal conflict.