Book Review – The Rise of the Seleukid Empire, 323-223 BC

B2058

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This is the first book in a new series, tracing the fortunes of one of the greatest superpowers of the Ancient World. If this book is typical of the series, it will be a cracking read and a very valuable addition to the knowledge of the Ancient World. The first book has modest illustration, limited to maps and charts, but the easy narration style of the text makes this an very informative work that will appeal both to those already knowledgable in the period, and those coming into it for the first time.

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Book Review – Scapegoat, The Death of Prince of Wales and Repulse

B2057

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The author has provided a stimulating account of the death of Force Z and challenged many of the previous accounts. He stands with the camp that considers the commander, Admiral Sir Tom Phillips, a scapegoat. Alternative culprits are singled out and the arguments are compelling. Whether this lays the matter finally to rest remains to be seen, but this book is a very credible presentation of an alternative view.

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Book Review – I Survived Didn’t I? The Great War Reminiscences of Private ‘Ginger’ Bryne

B2055

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This is an extraordinary account of survival in the Great War. The author was persuaded to tell his story at the age of 82, proving that it is never too late to try to draw primary information from someone who was there. His account has been sensitively edited and introduced by a veteran of WWII, Joy Cave of the Woman’s Auxiliary Air Force. There is a photoplate section with appropriate supporting images and this is an entertaining and moving account of the terrors of trench warfare and the power of the machine gun.

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Book Review – Constant Vigilance, The RAF Regiment in the Burma Campaign

B2053

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The author has brought to life the Forgotten Regiment, of the Forgotten Army, of the Forgotten War. Although historians are beginning to bring out the stories of the Burma campaigns, there is still so much to cover and to correct the news neglect of the campaigns at the time that they were taking place. This is therefore a very welcome new book and a fitting memorial to those who served in the RAF Regiment in the Far East.

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Book Review – Retreat and Rearguard Somme 1918, The Fifth Army Retreat

B2052

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The Centenary of the start of WWI has not surprisingly produced a large volume of books that rake through every conceivable aspect of this historic conflict. For the reviewer, battle fatigue can set in early on, but this centenary has produced some fine books, reprints of valuable insights that had faded from libraries, and a number of fresh insights. The epic scale of the conflict means that there are yet more insights to emerge as we move towards the rash of books that will be published for the Centenary of the End of the Great War. This book sits firmly in the upper reaches of those so far published. The author has researched well and this volume is worthy addition to his catalogue of WWI accounts.

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Book Review – Hitler’s Last Witness, The Memoirs of Hitler’s Bodyguard

B2051

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Misch has provided some interesting detail and observation, together with an assessment of others in Hitler’s ‘court’ This is a book that was worth writing and, when compared to the many other books about Hitler and his way of life, adds to the pool of knowledge. The style is easy to read and there are two photoplate sections.

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Book Review – From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume 5, Victory and Aftermath 1918-1919

B2050

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What was not understood at the time was that the Second World War began in 1919 as the Treaty of Versailles forced Germany into unbearable humiliation. When war again resumed, the Royal Navy survived and triumphed on the lessons learned during WWI
This is a valuable reference work that reads easily and will satisfy the most committed enthusiast of naval history. By reprinting this work in paperback, the publisher has done a great service to the understanding of a very important period of history. History is no longer written on such an epic scale as publishers and authors pander to the attention deficit suffered today by many readers. This is such a shame, but works such as these provide a beacon for future authors and those who create historical works in new media.

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Book Review – From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume 4, 1917 Year of Crisis

B2049

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In Volume Four, the author continues his immaculate study of the Royal Navy into the |German attempt to cut the sea routes between Britain and North America, using U-Boats. Again, he covers all aspects, political, financial, military and operational, of this critical period of history that has done so much to shape the period that followed it.

This is a valuable reference work that reads easily and will satisfy the most committed enthusiast of naval history. By reprinting this work in paperback, the publisher has done a great service to the understanding of a very important period of history.

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Book Review – From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow, Volume 3, Jutland and After May to December 1916

B2048

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This American author died in 1980 and during his career wrote some fifteen major works on Royal Navy history. His set of five volumes “From Dreadnought to Scapa Flow” made a major contribution to naval history. Volume Three has been reprinted and contains some illustration in the body of the book, but is primarily a text monologue. See also reviews for Volumes One to Five in this reviews database.

The author offers some great insights into the Royal Navy of its time, the politicians, the technology, the tactics and the changing threats. Arguably this can only be achieved from someone looking in from the outside.

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