August 2022 Books Monthly Review of books and stories magazine - on the web 24 years...
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The Pen and Sword page - wonderful history, military history and general interest books...


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Welcome to the Pen and Sword page, on which you'll find a wide array of books on various social and historical subjects. Pen and Sword are the world's foremost historical and military publishers, and I hope to always have a large selection of their latest brilliant titles in Books Monthly.

Stuart Ellis-Gorman: The Medieval Crossbow

 Published 30th May 2022

The crossbow is an iconic weapon of the Middle Ages and, alongside the longbow, one of the most effective ranged weapons of the pre-gunpowder era. Unfortunately, despite its general fame it has been decades since an in-depth history of the medieval crossbow has been published, which is why Stuart Ellis-Gorman's detailed, accessible, and highly illustrated study is so valuable. The Medieval Crossbow approaches the history of the crossbow from two directions. The first is a technical study of the design and construction of the medieval crossbow, the many different kinds of crossbows used during the Middle Ages, and finally a consideration of the relationship between crossbows and art. The second half of the book explores the history of the crossbow, from its origins in ancient China to its decline in sixteenth-century Europe. Along the way it explores the challenges in deciphering the crossbow's early medieval history as well as its prominence in warfare and sport shooting in the High and Later Middle Ages. This fascinating book brings together the work of a wide range of accomplished crossbow scholars and incorporates the author's own original research to create an account of the medieval crossbow that will appeal to anyone looking to gain an insight into one of the most important weapons of the Middle Ages.

I'm used to reading Bernard Cornwell's books about the middle ages and their battles in which the British triumphed because of their longbows; nice to read about the opposition - I have always liked the idea of a crossbow and indeed, my weekly comics back in the 1960s often featured medieval skirmishes in which crossbows were used - I also seem to remember them being used in the Angélique novels I used to read so avidly!. However, having said that, it does seem that the weapon takes a comparatively long time to load and it is small wonder that the English longbow was so overpowering at Agincourt etc. Stuart's book is beautifully illustrated and hugely interesting.

Stephen Basdeo: English Rebels and Revolutionaries

 Published 6th May 2022

Throughout history brave Englishmen and women have never been afraid to rise up against their unjust rulers and demand their rights. Barely a century has gone by without England being witness to a major uprising against the government of the day, often resulting in a fundamental change to the constitution. This book is a collection of biographies, written by experts in their field, of the lives and deeds of famous English freedom fighters, rebels, and democrats who have had a major impact on history. Featured chapters include the history of Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, when an army of 50,000 people marched to London in 1381 to demand an end to serfdom and the hated poll tax. Alongside Wat Tyler in this pantheon of English revolutionaries is Jack Cade who in 1450 led an angry mob to London to protest against government corruption. There are three chapters on various aspects of the English Civil War, during which the English executed their king. Other rebel heroes featured include Thomas Paine, the great intellectual of the American and French Revolutions; Mary Wollstonecraft, author of The Rights of Woman; Henry Hunt, who, as well as the Chartists after him, campaigned for universal suffrage; William Morris, the visionary designer and socialist thinker; and finally the Suffragettes and Suffragists who fought for women’s voting rights.

A superb book that I could have done with whilst studying with the Open University back in the 1980s... Some surprising names cropping up in the category of revolutionary, and all in all, this is a terrific look at the men who defied authority through the most turbulent periods of our history.

Nikos Kontogiannis: Byzantine Fortifications

Published by Pen and Sword 30th March 2022

The Byzantine empire was one of the most powerful forces in the Mediterranean and Near East for over a thousand years. Strong military organization, in particular widespread fortifications, was essential for its defence. Yet this aspect of its history is often neglected, and no detailed overview has been published for over thirty years. That is why Nikos Kontogiannis's ambitious account of Byzantine fortifications -their construction and development and their role in times of war -is such a valuable and timely publication. His ambitious study combines the results of decades of wide-ranging archaeological work with an account of the armies, weapons, tactics and defensive strategies of the empire throughout its long history. Fortifications built in every region of the empire are covered, from those in Mesopotamia, Syria and Africa, to those in Asia Minor, the Aegean and the Balkan peninsula. This all-round survey is essential reading and reference for anyone with a special interest in the Byzantine empire and in the wider history of fortification.

IThe Roman Empire built fortifications wherever they went - Nikos's book looks in particular in those built in the Byzantine Empire - a thorough and engaging history of how the Romans protected their Empire in the Middle East.

 Stephen Barker: The Flying Sikh

Published by Pen and Sword 30th May 2022

The Flying Sikh tells the unique story of the only Sikh airman to fly with the RFC and the RAF during the First World War. It is the remarkable account of one man's struggle to enlist, against discrimination, and then his service as a fighter pilot over the battlefields of Flanders. This book represents the only detailed study of an Indian national enlisting in Britain's armed forces during the First World War. It is an account of India's role in the war; the rise of Indian nationalism and the challenges of Indians to take up the status of a commissioned officer in His Majesty's Armed Forces. Malik started his new life in Britain as a fourteen-year-old public school boy, who progressed to Balliol College, Oxford, before attempting to join the Royal Flying Corps after graduation with friends from university, but was denied a commission. Keen to participate in the war, he served with the French Red Cross in 1916 as an ambulance driver and then offered his services to the French air force. Ultimately, one of his Oxford tutors wrote on Malik's behalf to General David Henderson, the former head of the RFC, and secured Malik a cadetship Above all though, it is the story of a man who was a county cricketer who played for Sussex and Oxford University, an outstanding golfer and fighter pilot who fought over Passchendaele in the autumn of 1917. Being a devout Sikh, he wore a specially designed flying helmet that fitted over his turban. Malik claimed two kills until he was shot down, crashing unconscious to the ground behind Allied lines. His Sopwith Camel was riddled with over 400 bullet holes. Malik was only one of a small number of Indian nationals who served with the RAF during the war. In later life, Malik became the first Indian High Commissioner to Canada, and then served as the Indian Ambassador to France.

This man is the kind of character who might have figured largely in Frank Richards's schoolboy stories - Hardit Singh Malik is a larger than life character straight from the pages of the Boys' Own Paper, and his daring and incredible exploits make for a totally fascinating read.

P J O'Gorman: Britain and Rome - Caesar to Claudius

Published by Pen and Sword 30th April 2022

This is a bold reassessment of one of the pivotal points in British history. PJ O'Gorman analyses the sources for the period from Julius Caesar's first forays into these islands to the invasion under the Emperor Claudius and the conclusions he reaches are nothing short of radical and call into question much of the accepted narrative of Roman invasion and conquest. The author starts by showing that Caesar's initial cross-Channel adventures were motivated not so much by seeking the glory of taming primitive savages but to gain control of an economic powerhouse. His treatment of the period leading up to the Claudian invasion and the invasion itself is even more shocking. Most significantly he argues convincingly that two of the most important Roman sources underpinning the conventional narrative are in fact Renaissance fakes and that their acceptance has distorted the interpretation of modern archaeological evidence. Meanwhile he reinstates a discounted British source. The result is a startlingly different version of Britain's early history.

A thought-provoking alternative history of the early Roman inbvasions of Britain which call into question our previously trusted sources. Intriguing.

Ian Baxter: The Waffen-SS in Normandy 1944

Published by Pen and Sword 2nd February 2022

In June 1944, Operation OVERLORD, the greatest ever amphibious invasion, initially overwhelmed German Normandy defences. To attempt to stabilise the situation, Hitler deployed his elite Waffen-SS divisions to avert the crisis. This classic Images of War book describes how the formidable Leibstandarte, Das Reich, Hitlerjugend, Hohenstaufen, and the Frundsberg SS divisions with supporting Wehrmacht divisions fought fanatically despite facing overwhelming enemy airpower and determined well-led Allied armies. Mounting losses and supply and fuel problems culminated in the Falaise Pocket defeat, when twenty-five out of the thirty-eight German division were completely destroyed. As a result, the remaining Waffen-SS units had to be reluctantly withdrawn and transferred back to Holland and, Belgium to recoup, or sent to the Eastern Front to attempt to stem the relentless Soviet advance. With many rare and unpublished photographs with detailed captions, Waffen-SS in Normandy is a graphic account of the Waffen-SS operations in Normandy and their subsequent retreat through France.

Amazing pictures from the Second World War as the Waffen-SS moved into Normandy, overwhelming the forces deployed to stop them. Latest in the Images of War series.

Anthony Rogers: Images of War - Brandenburger - Wartime Photographs of Wilhelm Walther

Published by Pen and Sword 1st April 2022

 In March 1940, Oberleutnant Wilhelm Walther transferred from Aufklärungs-Abteilung 5, an armoured reconnaissance unit, to Bau-Lehr-Bataillon z.b.V. 800 – forerunner of what would soon be known as the ‘Brandenburger’. Two months later, he led a commando action in the Netherlands and became the first of his unit to be awarded the Ritterkreuz (Knight’s Cross). By May 1944, Walther was an Oberstleutnant and an experienced regimental commander in what had evolved as the Division ‘Brandenburg’. He would eventually join Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny’s SS-Jagdverbände as Chief of Staff, before seeing out the last days of the war with the short-lived Schutzkorps Alpenland. More than 200 images, together with the original German captions and English translations, portray the life and times of this career officer, from the German annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938, to operations in Russia, Greece and the Balkans during 1941–44. In comparison with other units of the Second World War, relatively little has been published about Germany’s commando forces. This is hardly surprising, considering the paucity of source material available and the air of mystery and intrigue still surrounding this specialist formation. This unique collection of rare images was sourced from the photograph album of Wilhelm Walther and is sure to appeal to all with an interest in the war in the West and on the Eastern Front, as well as to militaria collectors, modellers and re-enactment groups.

A second new Images of War book published this month charts the history of career officer Oberleutnant Wilhelm Walther.

Dennis Oliver: Panther Medium Tank

Published by Pen and Sword 30th May 2022

In July 1943 the German army launched what was to be its last major offensive on Soviet soil. Codenamed Operation Citadel, the attack had initially been scheduled to commence in May but was postponed by Hitler on a number of occasions to allow the divisions in the East to be reinforced and to ensure that the new Panther tanks could be deployed. In the fifth book on the Panther in this series Dennis Oliver examines the first vehicles that left the assembly plants to go into service against the Red Army as part of Operation Citadel and the units that arrived in the late summer and early autumn of 1943. In addition to archive photographs and painstakingly researched, exquisitely presented colour illustrations, a large part of this book showcases available model kits and aftermarket products, complemented by a gallery of beautifully constructed and painted models in various scales. Technical details as well as modifications introduced during production and in the field are also examined, providing everything the modeller needs to recreate an accurate representation of the Panther tanks that fought in the East in 1943.

A fascinating and close look at the Panther Medium Tank, introduced in 1943 specifically for the offensive against the Soviet Union.

Tony May: The SAS "Deniables"

Published by Pen and Sword 23rd February 2022

During the 10,000-day Vietnam war Australia had agreed with the United States to have a team of Australian Army Special Air Services (SAS) soldiers conduct covert missions into Cambodia. The SAS soldiers would be bivouacked in Thailand. With their names changed for security and personal safety reasons, this is a dramatized story of events that actually happened involving a small band of Australian Special Air Service trained specialists involved in covert intelligence activities who were co-opted into the Defence Intelligence Organisation (DIO) repertoire of Plausibly Deniable assets deployed worldwide into the shadows of political indulgence in locations where Australian forces should not be seen or heard. These Australian SAS Covert operations undertaken are incidents that have never before been exposed and include cross-sovereign-border infiltrations into Cambodia and the daily operations of the elimination of Viet Cong munition dumps. Also revealed are an unauthorized fatal attack by United States Army helicopters on SAS warriors; the rescue of French tourists kidnapped by Muslim terrorists in Mindanao, Philippines, and Operation _Eye of the Storm_ into Northern Kuwait/Eastern Iraq evolving into Desert Storm. As revealed these covert operations included offshore intervention of East Timorese Fretilin Terrorists sabotaging Australian offshore Exploration and Oil Drilling activities in the Timor Sea; _Back Door into Hell_ during the Somalia conflict, plus covert black ops elimination of Muslim Jihadist activities on homeland soil assisted by Israeli intelligence. This astounding expos opens the closed door behind which governments operate to deal quietly with situations they prefer not to mention.

 An amazing and heart-stopping account of Australian SAS officers' involvement in the Vietnam War.

Heather A Campbell: The Decline of Empires in South Asia

Published by Pen and Sword 30th April 2022

The post-First World War period was pivotal in global history, international relations and geopolitics. And no more than in South Asia. where for decades the 'Great Game' in geopolitical rivalry of the two greatest modern empires - Britain and Russia - had dominated international relations. But with the advent of Communism in Russia and growing nationalism and pan-Islamism in Afghanistan, Persia and India, Britian's imperial standing was under threat. Faced with these problems, some in the British government, such as Lord Curzon, the dominant imperialist in the British Foreign Office, fell back on what they knew - old patterns of rivalry and high-handedness that characterised the Great Game. Not all, however, agreed with Curzon, and with war in Afghanistan, civil unrest in India, and rising tensions in Persia, those who opposed this Great Game mindset advocated a new way forward for British foreign relations.

An account of the comparatively modern history of the post-WW1 world, throwing light on some of the modern conflicts such as in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Luke Setton: Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wicket Keepers

Published by Pen and Sword 9th May 2022

The journalist Suresh Menon once said ‘You don't have to be mad to be a wicketkeeper, but it helps’. Wicketkeeping is one of the great arts of cricket on which seemingly everyone has an opinion and yet few really know what they are talking about; and the wicketkeepers themselves are an eclectic mix of extroverts and introverts all trying to do the same thing every time they walk onto a cricket field – be perfect. Welcome to the Wonderful World of Wicketkeepers is a book written by a wicketkeeper, Luke Sutton, which lifts the lid on what being a wicketkeeper is really like. This is not a dull technical examination of the art but instead a look into the minds of the best who have done it in England. There is humour, sadness and extraordinary insight as Sutton allows the likes of Jos Buttler, Jack Russell, Sarah Taylor, Alec Stewart, Chris Read, Amy Jones and Geraint Jones to tell their own stories about what it truly meant to be a ‘keeper’.

 A light-hearted look at one of the fundamental and most essential members of a cricket team - the wicketkeeper.

Lynn Huggins Cooper: Traditional Dyeing

Published by Pen and Sword 9th May 2022

This book offers a whistle-stop guide to the history of dyeing. The story begins in prehistory when people discovered and used the glory of colors created by earth pigments, plants and more. We move through history from the medieval dye gardens to the horrors of chemical dyes from the Victorian era that damaged watercourses, created pollution and caused terrible sickness and untold deaths. Today, along with safe commercial dyes, modern ‘cottage industries’ are once more the leaders in the innovative use of dye plants.

The second part of the book brings us up to date, via interviews with modern day artisans. These dye workers generously allowed the author access to their studios and creative lives and discussed the way they use and adapt traditional methods, techniques and tools for the twenty-first century. Photos of their craft offers a unique window into the world of dyes.

Finally, if you are inspired to try your hand at this fascinating craft, the book has a section that explains simple eco dyeing and planning your own dye garden. It also has a resources section containing a valuable list of suppliers of plants, seeds, dyes, tools and materials, as well as information about training courses, useful websites and more – everything you need to get started!

 Lynn Huggins-Cooper gives us a comprehensive and thoroughly absorbing account of the practice of dyeing in all its fiorms, from prehistory to the modern day.

Edward Hilary Davis: The British Bonapartes

Published by Pen and Sword 11th May 2022

A hitherto unexamined history of the wider Bonaparte family, presented in a new way and shedding fresh light on their eventful lives in Britain. From duels on Wimbledon Common and attempted suicides in Hyde Park, to public brawls and arrests in Shropshire and the sexual adventures of a princess who rescued Freud from the Nazis and brought him to Britain, this book exposes the curious events surrounding the family’s exploits in England, Scotland and Ireland. Originally an island family themselves, the Bonapartes have had a surprisingly good relationship with the British Isles. In just two generations, the Bonapartes went from being Britain’s worst enemy to one of Queen Victoria’s closest of friends. Far from another mere history of Napoleon Bonaparte, this book is divided into different branches of the Bonaparte family, detailing – in an anecdotal and amusing way – their rather scandalous lives in Britain. For example, few will know that Napoleon III was once a volunteer constable in London and arrested a drunk woman; or that Princess Marie Bonaparte sponsored Prince Philip’s education as well as conducted her own research into the clitoris in her quest to achieve an orgasm; or that Napoleon IV fought for the British army and was killed by the Zulus; or that one Bonaparte was even made a High Sheriff in a British town. Today, the head of the family is London-based and works in finance. The Bonapartes are known to most as the enemies of Britain, but the truth is quite the opposite, and far more entertaining.

 A Edward Hilary Davis's history of the Bonaparte family in Britain is amazing, astonishing, incredible and hugely enterrtaining - this is a family history like no other!

John Lambshead: The Fall of Roman Britain

Published by Pen and Sword 11th May 2022

The end of empire in the island of Great Britain was both more abrupt and more complete than in any of the other European Roman provinces. When the fog clears and Britain re-enters the historical record, it is, unlike other former European provinces of the Western Empire, dominated by a new culture that speaks a language that is neither Roman nor indigenous British Brythonic and with a pagan religion that owes nothing to Romanitas or native British practices. Other ex-Roman provinces of the Western Empire in Europe showed two consistent features conspicuously absent from the lowlands of Britain: the dominant language was derived from the local Vulgar Latin and the dominant religion was a Christianity that looked towards Rome. This leads naturally to the question: 'what was different about Britannia?' A further anomaly in our understanding lies in the significant dating mismatch between historical and archaeological data of the Germanic migrations, and the latest genetic evidence. The answer to England's unique early history may lie in resolving this paradox. John Lambshead summarizes the latest data gathered by historians, archaeologists, climatologists and biologists and synthesizes it all into a fresh new explanation.

 A The question "what was different about Britain! is one that has puzzled historians for centuries. John Lambshead offers many intriguing and thought-provoking solutions to this amazing riddle in a terrific examination of the latest evidence and theories. One for Time Team and DIgging for Britain fans, certainly.

Robert Stedall: Elizabeth I's Final Years

Published by Pen and Sword 9th May 2022

Elizabeth I's Final Years outlines the interwoven relationships and rivalries between politicians and courtiers surrounding England’s omnipotent queen in the years following the death in 1588 of the Earl of Leicester. Elizabeth now surrounded herself with magnetically attractive younger men with the courtly graces to provide her with what Alison Weir has called ‘an eroticised political relationship’. 

With these ‘favourites’ holding sway at court, they saw personal bravery in the tiltyard or on military exploits as their means to political authority. They failed to appreciate that the parsimonious queen would always resist military aggression and resolutely backed her meticulously cautious advisors, William Cecil, Lord Burghley, and later his son Robert.

With its access to New World treasure, it was Spain who threatened the fragile balance of power in Continental Europe. With English military intervention becoming inevitable, the Cecils diverted the likes of Walter Raleigh and the Earl of Essex, despite their lack of military experience, away from the limelight at court into colonial and military expeditions, leaving them just short of the resources needed for success. The favourites’ promotions caused friction when seasoned soldiers, like Sir Francis Vere with his unparalleled military record in the Low Countries, were left in subordinate roles.

When Spanish support for rebellion in Ireland threatened English security, Robert Cecil encouraged Elizabeth to send Essex, knowing that high command was beyond his capabilities. Essex retorted by rebelling against Cecil’s government, for which he lost his head.

Both Elizabeth and Cecil realised that only the bookish Lord Mountjoy, another favourite, had the military acumen to resolve the Irish crisis, but his mistress, Essex’s sister, the incomparable Penelope Rich, was mired by involvement in her brother’s conspiracy. Despite this, Cecil gave Mountjoy unstinting support, biding his time to tarnish his name with James I, as he did against Raleigh and his other political foes.

 AHaving recently visited both Blickling Hall Estate and Felbrigg Hall (both in North Norfolk) I am hugely interested in late Elizabethan Britain. Robert Steadall's superb book is both educational and entertaining.

James Hobson: Radical Victorians

Published by Pen and Sword 11th May 2022

There is more to the Victorian era than respectability, economic success and the grudging solution of the practical social problems they encountered. The politicians, generals and commercial classes have been well covered in popular history books, but there were also thinkers of radical and unsettling ideas who had a real influence at the time. Many were women, many from the middle and working classes, and almost all outside the power structure. They were by no means all fringe ideas either – in 1840, Queen Victoria herself attended a séance, for example. The book is a biography focussed history of some of these challenging ideas and the men and women who promoted them. It looks at radical thinkers and movers, the people who stepped outside of the social norm and propelled the Victorians towards the modern day.

 The Victorians were, if nothing else, open-minded, ready to accept explanations of a supernatural kind for things they couldn't explain, for example. James Hobson's excellent book reminds us of how receptive they were to alternative theories and ideas.

Andy Stein: Understanding the NHS

Published by Pen and Sword 11th May 2022

The NHS is more than a good idea. It is beautiful. And it is you. The importance of the NHS - and the public's affection for it - cannot be overstated, as seen through the COVID-19 pandemic. The author and his family of medics have lived and breathed the NHS, from before 1948, its birth and its history to date. But this book is for people who do not come from this medical background and do not have this life experience. Thus there are three target audiences. Firstly, it can contribute to A level study of the NHS, and career advice for 6th form students who are applying to university for a degree in healthcare. Secondly, it will educate health and social care professionals in training and in their early years. So they can start with the knowledge that the author had when he went to university in 1979. Thirdly, the book is for everyone else, who want to know how it all fits together, and in this way, improve their healthcare, and that of their family.

 As I'm writing this, the newspaper headlines are warning that the NHS is facing the worst crisis in its history - as a committed and passionate socialist, I know that the demise of the NHS is the singular responsibility of successive conservative governments who would like nothing better than to disband the NHS and replace it with a privatised health service - the blame for this crisis lies squarely in the hands of the tories, who have neither the desire nor the motivation to put things right. The NHS will not improve until a labour government takes over the reins of power - hopefully after the shameful debacle of the Boris Johnson affair has rid the country of these evil people once and for all. Andy Stein's book is essential reading for anyone with a passion for our NHS.

Jim Mangi: The First Atomic Bomb - An Alternate History of the Ending of WW2

Published by Pen and Sword 17th May 2022

While German and Japanese scientists also laboured unsuccessfully to create an atomic bomb, by the summer of 1945, the American-led team was ready to test its first weapon. As the clock ticked down to the detonation time of 05.30 hours on 16 July 1945, the nervous team of technicians and scientists waited ten miles away from ‘Ground Zero’ deep in the New Mexico desert. No one knew how powerful the explosion would be or whether even at such a distance they would be safe from the blast. Even so, some chose to observe the detonation from a point four miles nearer at the control bunker; but then no one was even sure that the bomb would work.

What if that is actually what happened? Under schedule pressure from the White House, the scientists assembled the device in part with tape and tissue paper, knowing some components were flawed. These are verifiable facts. It means that, as many of those who gathered in the New Mexico desert feared at the time, the bomb might not have worked during that first test.

In The First Atomic Bomb, Jim Mangi explores what might happened in the event that the world’s first atomic bomb had not been ready for use when it was. How would this have affected the end of the war in the Pacific, and indeed the Second World War as a whole? 

Would Emperor Hirohito’s armed forces have battled on? When might Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, at the controls of his Boeing B-24 Superfortress 
Enola Gay have then made his historic flight over Hiroshima – and would that city even have remained the target? How would Stalin and the Soviets have reacted to such developments, and how would this have played out in the post-war world?

 A slightly dystopic view of world history which assumes that the first atomic bomb had not performed as it did...

Ben Skipper: Operation Market Garden

Published by Pen and Sword 30th May 2022

Every General's aim is to end a war by Christmas, and Montgomery, perhaps, saw his opportunity in a bold strike across the southern portion of the Netherlands close to the borders of an embattled Reich. Still heady from earlier victories in the Normandy campaign, the plan to push deep into enemy territory, with land and airborne forces, was as daring as it was dangerous. Some would say the furthest objective, Arnhem Bridge, was a Bridge too Far. Separated into two distinct elements, Market, the airborne assault, was designed to capture the vital bridges across the many rivers and canals that were needed. Garden, the ground assault, would ensure the bridges were soon part of a wider Allied salient. However, planning and intelligence was as not as thorough as it had been in previous operations and Market Garden turned from glorious adventure, with easily achievable aims, to an almost devastating defeat. This Battle Craft title also looks at four pieces of military hardware that were involved in these legendary battles. Representing the land forces are the Triumph HW3 motorcycle, a dispatch riders stalwart and the unique German Sd.Kfz.2 Kettenkrad. These amazing machines were vital in maintaining lines of communications. On the main route of the march, the state-of-the-art British Cromwell duelled valiantly against the deadly Panther Ausf G. The Quartermaster section provides the modeller with an insight into the development and operational use of the four chosen vehicles that were involved in Market Garden. A selection of historical and contemporary photos and illustrations feature alongside stunning showcase builds, providing the modeller with subjects to whet the creative appetite. It also features details of model kits and extras that can really help the modeller bring military history to life.

 This is the story on which the calssic blockbuster movie A Bridge Too Far is based. Superb.

The small print: Books Monthly, now well into its 24th year on the web, is published on or slightly before the first day of each month by Paul Norman. You can contact me here. If you wish to submit something for publication in the magazine, let me remind you there is no payment as I don't make any money from this publication. If you want to send me something to review, contact me via email at and I'll let you know where to send it.