Book Review: The Atlas of Special Operations of World War Two


Essential reading for anyone interested in Special Operations. The book is very nicely produced with colour through the body of the book. There are maps as the title suggests, but there are also well-chosen photographs to support each operation’s section. The scope includes a wide range of special operations, and not just commando style raiding. The book feels really comprehensive but the author makes no claims to having covered every operation, rather he has selected a range of example operations.

The author has comprehensively covered the global nature of special operations in WWII and the 
book deserves great success in providing global scope of special operations.

Book Review: Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence


There are two stories. The first story, and the most covered, is directly about the immense contribution 
Bletchley made to the achievement of victory and to the significant shortening of WWII. That story 
in its own right is both completely absorbing and vital to understanding key parts of WWII. The 
second story is perhaps even more essential reading. Welchman was heavily involved in the 
development of technology that made the digital age possible. Bletchley Park is the true home of 
the electronic digital information processor. Without that work, there might be no Internet and we 
could still be living in an analogue world where almost everything we take for granted today would 
not exist.

This book should be essential reading in schools and be read widely. It provides insights that 
should show how further advances can be made and how security can be developed to protect 
the users of electronic information. Currently few understand the threats that come with the 
enormous benefits and because of that, developers and politicians continue to fail miserably in 
providing the benefits at an acceptable level of risk.

Book Review: The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force, 1942-1945


The author has carried out detailed research to tell the largely unknown story of the Desert Air 
Force, DAF. There is a well-selected photo plate section and maps in the text body, to reinforce 
and support an absorbing text. This is an excellent account of air operations and tactics of the air 
battles in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Italy. There are also first hand accounts by the 
veteran airmen who served in the DAF.

Book Review: Invasion ’44, The Full Story of D-Day


The author has managed to capture the challenges and the solutions that made a successful 
landing possible. There are essential maps and a photo plate section to reinforce the text. With 
all of the books that have been written about the D-Day landings, this provides essential reading 
in covering the preparations and the landings. It reads very well and leads the reader through 
the stages in a logical manner.

Book Review: Bomber Harris, Sir Arthur Harris’ Despatch on War Operations, 1942-1945



The author was the commander tasked with creating a strategic bombing campaign against 
Germany in conjunction with the USAAF's 8th Air Force. By tasking the USAAF with 
daylight bombing and using the RAF bomber fleet at night, the Allies were able to maintain 
24 x 7 bombing of German targets, giving production facilities and defence units no respite, 
save for when weather conditions prevented the bombers from operating. Never before had 
any country been able to staged this level of intensive aerial bombardment as a strategic 
campaign. It became controversial because Hitler's propaganda minister was able to create 
the fiction that bombing, particularly of Desden, was a war crime, when in reality Desden 
was a major communications centre vital to the German defence against the Russian advance, 
therefore a legitimate target.

Ninety-six years’ naval service!

Ninety-six years’ naval service!

by BigJules

I would have loved to have met Provo Wallis!


Throughout maritime history many seamen gave a huge part of their lives to King and Country. In the course of his service at sea, John Balchen saw action in numerous battles against the French and Spanish navies across 60 years and three separate wars. Earl St.Vincent served throughout the latter half of the 18th century and into the 19th, and was an active commander during the Seven Years’ War, American War of Independence, French Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. He chalked up 73 years’ service. But Provo William Parry Wallis beats them all, 96 years in the Royal Navy. Yes, 96 years!

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