Book Review – Aden Insurgency, The Savage War in Yemen 1962-67



A very workman-like account and review of the Aden insurgency of the early 1960s. By reading this engaging new book, it is possible to see not only how the British left Aden, but why it is an on-going disaster with the potential to create wider threats. Read and learn.

This is undoubtedly the best review of this part of history as the British Empire faded into the mists.

Book Review – From Boiled Beef to Chicken Tikka, 500 Years of Feeding The British Army



The British Army has served around the world for more than 500 years. Publishers have devoted rain forests of books to cover battles, equipment, weapons, tactics and discipline, but remarkably little attention has been paid to how the Army was fed. This book provides a fascinating look into the methods fuelling the troops across the wide spectrum of climatic conditions, dietary habits and fashions, and the diverse nature of the British Army. Even the modern British Army is a collection of regiments and corps that each have their own traditions and where the unit controls the fortunates of its men. Officers have parent organizations. They may transfer to Staff, or some specialist unit for a time, but their advancement is within the gift of their parent regiment. Napoleon’s remark that “an army marches on its stomach” has been much used and abused since he made the remark. It has also been attributed to others in various modified forms and may never have been an original comment of Napoleon. The fact remains that an army cannot move without fuel and food is fuel for people. The author has provided an extraordinary amount of information and there is some helpful illustration in support of the text. There are some surprises and the reader will never look at armies again without an appreciation of how the feeding of troops affects their performance.

Book Review – Gilgit Rebellion, the Major Who Mutinied over Partition of India



The history of the British involvement with the Indian sub-continent contains many extraordinary and contradictory stories. The relationship between the local inhabitants and the British is special and complex. This new book tells the story of Major William Brown and his personal mutiny. It provides insights in the dash from Empire in the late 1940s and 1950s and shows how tensions today could have been avoided had the British taken a more careful approach to independence in India. The author took great personal risks and this is a book that demands to be read. It is provoking and moving, a great read.

Book Review – The Forts & Fortifications of Europe 1815-1945, The Neutral States



The Medieval castle has always caught the imagination and its demise as an active military concept was a result of the development of heavier guns that increased the chances of rapidly surrounding and defeating its inhabitants. The result was imposing structures that saw service as prisons and administration centres, before becoming interesting artefacts to be examined by tourists. This may explain why subsequent updated versions of the technology were produced into modern times but largely overlooked. This book is another volume in an excellent series that uncovers the history of these fortifications, in this volume looking carefully at the fortifications of three neutral countries during the 19th and 20th Centuries. It is very well illustrated throughout and its authors once more present an authoritative history that is unlikely to be equalled and never to be beaten by any other account of the subjects.

Book Review – Pegasus the Heart of the Harrier, the History & Development of the World’s First Operational Vertical Take-of & Landing Jet Engine



The Rolls Royce Pegasus was a jet engine revolution in a single product. It was even more important than the WWII Merlin engine. This book is an outstanding document, worthy of an outstanding subject. It is a tour de force with many fine photographs, sketches, drawings and tables and well worth every penny of the cover price, although with Pen & Sword there will also be some great special offers that will make this great book affordable to a much wider readership.

The author has done a really great job in producing a very readable account that will be appreciated by engineers, enthusiasts, historians and general readers.

Book Review – Britain’s Future Navy



This revised edition contains some well-argued views of British sea power, or lack of it. There are some good colour images in illustration, but it has to be questioned whether any review of British naval power is likely to match the later realities. Under the Coalition Government there have been extraordinary cuts in British military capability, appeasement of Russian aggression, confusion about wars of intervention, massive increases in grant aid to dictators and corrupt nations, and yet when it suits a British Prime Minister to appear ‘presidential’ British service men and women are merrily thrown into new conflict somewhere in the world at a time when international relations are volatile in the extreme.

The level of political and military upheaval produces more potential alternative scenarios than at any time in the last five hundred years. The author has therefore been very brave to attempt a thorough review at this stage in the unfolding situation.

Book Review – Avro Lancaster, in military service 1945-1965



This book packs an enormous amount of information into a relatively small number of pages and provides some stunning illustration in specially commissioned full colour drawings. At A4, the book provides the size of drawing required by model makers. There is excellent concise text and a wealth of photographs, many of them very rare. There is also coverage of some of the best plastic model kits, together with special components to produce outstanding unique or rare models.

A book that should sell very well.

Book Review – Trials and Errors, Experimental UK Test Flying in the 1970s



The test pilot has been a key feature of aviation development since the first aircraft flew. Since 1903, the nature of test piloting has changed greatly. Where the first test pilots were often also the designers and constructors of the aircraft they flew, the Second World War saw the test pilot becoming as much an engineer as a pilot. This engaging new book covers the 1970s in Britain, where the computer had yet to significantly change the processes of designing, building the prototype and then testing it in the air. It was the point where new British aircraft had either started their design process during WWII, or were later marks of the first jets. It also marked the point where the British aircraft industry had been so damaged by interfering politicians that it was losing the ability to design and build new aircraft without joining other manufacturers in joint ventures. This is not only an enjoyable and informative book, but an important part of the story of British aviation, providing fresh insights. Highly recommended.

TYGER Collector’s Sets

TYGER Collector’s Sets

by BigJules

I’ll be offering a Special Collector’s Set of my next book, Tyger. This will comprise a signed, numbered and embossed UK First Edition and a signed cover postcard. The Set is strictly limited to 500. To add your name to the list email with your full details, including postal address. The Set, inclusive of p&p, costs £26.99 for delivery to addresses within the UK and Europe; £34.99 for delivery to addresses in the rest of the world.

If you pre-pay, you’ll go into the hat for a full refund of your purchase price! This offer is valid until the end of April. The book is published on October 8 and we’ll get the Collectors Sets out shortly before that date.

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