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New in! This week’s latest releases
How the Navy Won the War – The Real Instrument of Victory 1914-1918 by Jim Ring

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£15.99
RRP: £19.99
Verdun, the Somme, Tannenberg and Passchendaele. These epics of destruction and futility are such bywords for the First World War that – Jutland apart – we forget the role played by sea power in the war to end war. The great global conflict is too often narrowed to the fields of Flanders and the plains of Picardy. Now, award-winning biographer and naval historian Jim Ring has revisited the story to redress the balance. He emphasises how Great Britain, ‘the great Amphibian’ in Churchill’s words, was able to move its army anywhere in the world. The Navy’s very existence deterred any attempt at invasion, and its great ships kept the German High Sea fleet at bay; lastly, the Navy gradually starved the Kaiser’s nation of war materiel and food.

Choosing fourteen turning-points of the war, he explores the relative contributions made by land and sea power to the eventual outcome of the conflict in 1918. For example, the abandonment of the Imperial German Navy’s ambition for a decisive naval surface battle was at least as important as Jutland itself, while Lloyd George’s imposition of the convoy system on, it must be said, a reluctant Admiralty turned the battle against the U-boats; the mine and the submarine altered the course of war as much or more so than the tank. The book is also a study of character as well as of action, of decision-making as much as the sweep of battle, and his critique of the warlords of both the Entente and the Central Powers – of Ludendorff and Churchill, of Haig, Kitchener and Foch, of Fisher, Jellicoe, Beatty and Scheer – is refreshing, his conclusions surprising. ‘The Great War was fought on land but won at sea.’ Not so, says Ring, but much closer to the truth than we tend to believe.

A century after the catastrophic events of the Great War, in the midst of a time at which the country is once again pondering its identity, it is worth reciting the words of John Keegan: ‘No Briton of my generation, raised on food fought through the U-boat packs in the battle of the Atlantic can ever ignore the narrowness of the margin by which sea power separates survival from starvation in the islands he inhabits.’ The Royal Navy was key to the survival of Great Britain and to eventual victory in 1918.

Written with passion and verve, this book offers a very different way of looking at the conflict – if you think you understand the Great War, think again.

Walcheren to Waterloo – The British Army in the Low Countries during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars 1793-1815 by Dr Andrew Limm

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£20.00
RRP: £25.00
The military success achieved by the Duke of Wellington casts a long shadow over the history of the British army in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. The popular account of Britain’s military record in the great struggle against Napoleonic France is chiefly one of glorious victories, with Britain cast as the saviour of Europe from the Corsican ‘monster’. Most British historians have focused on retelling stories of British success, notably Wellington’s, in Spain, Portugal and during the Hundred Days campaign and tend to pay little attention to British military defeats.

But is the focus on Wellington’s career really an appropriate way to understand the performance of the British army in a conflict that lasted over twenty years? And what about the army’s poor record in the Low Countries, where it suffered defeats and sustained crippling losses during the same period? In this perceptive and highly readable study Andrew Limm answers these questions and provides a more balanced account of the British contribution to the downfall of Napoleon.

1918 – The Decisive Year in Soldiers’ own Words and Photographs by Richard van Emden

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£20.00
RRP: £25.00
1918 proved to be the Allies’ year of victory, but what a monumental effort it was! From the moment Germany launched its all-out Spring offensive to win the war, British and Empire troops fought a tenacious and often last-ditch rearguard action. The Germans gambled with their best, battle-hardened men in one desperate offensive after another, searching for a decisive breakthrough that never came.

In those dark days of March, April and May 1918, Allied troops were tested as never before, their morale placed under microscopic scrutiny, their will to win examined and re-examined. Once again, the soldiers tell their story, giving their own perceptive thoughts and profoundly moving insights while never forgetting the humour that helped them survive.

And when the tables were turned in August, there began a campaign that would throw the enemy across the old ruptured battlefields of 1916 and 1917 and beyond, into open untouched countryside in the full bloom of summer. It took a hundred days of relentless fighting to reach Mons, the Belgian town where it had all started four years before.

A century on, best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden builds on the success of his previous books, The Somme and The Road to Passchendaele, with this next volume including an extraordinary collection of soldiers’ photographs taken on their illegally-held cameras. Utilising an unparalleled collection of memoirs, diaries and letters written by the men who fought, Richard tells the riveting story of 1918, when decisive victory was grasped from near catastrophe.

Tracing Your Roman Catholic Ancestors – A Guide for Family & Local Historians by Stuart A Raymond

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£11.99
RRP: £14.99
Tracing Your Roman Catholic Ancestors is the ideal handbook for readers and researchers who are keen to find out about their Roman Catholic ancestors and for anyone who wants an introduction to Roman Catholic history in general. Stuart Raymond provides a brief historical account covering the Roman Catholics from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries, then goes on to identify the available sources, explaining their strengths and weaknesses. His accessible and authoritative book will be an essential source of insight and reference for anyone who is starting to explore this fascinating subject.

The Catholic church’s structure is described, as are the various repositories where relevant archives and books can be found. Chapters are devoted to specific sources and what they can reveal about the church and those who were members of it. Much information concerning Catholicism is to be found in the records of repression. The records of Quarter Sessions and the Anglican ecclesiastical courts, together with central government sources, tell us much about our Roman Catholic ancestors, and are fully described. So are the records of Roman Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials. Other Roman Catholic records, such as confirmation lists, are also covered, as are records relating to Roman Catholic clergy and religious orders.

Stuart Raymond’s handbook opens up the history of the Roman Catholic Church for researchers who want to gain an understanding of the religious lives of their ancestors and for those who have a wider interest in the history of religion.

The Two Battles of Copenhagen 1801 and 1807 – Britain & Denmark in the Napoleonic Wars by Gareth Glover

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£20.00
RRP: £25.00
The Danish capital of Copenhagen was the site of two major battles during the Napoleonic Wars, but the significance of the fighting there, and the key role the country played in the conflict in northern Europe, has rarely been examined in detail. In this absorbing and original study Gareth Glover focuses on these two principal events, using original source material to describe them from the British and Danish perspectives, and he shows how they fitted into the little-understood politics of this region during this turbulent phase of European history.

The first Battle of Copenhagen in 1801 – the naval battle celebrated in Britain as one of Nelson’s great victories – and the second – the British Army’s assault on the city in 1807 in which Wellington played a prominent part – were episodes in the continental struggle to resist the power of the French. Gareth Glover describes these events in vivid detail, quoting extensively from the recollections of eyewitnesses on both sides. His account is fascinating reading and an important contribution to the history of the period.

1918 The Somme The Road to Passchendaele

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£25.00

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Click to buy all 3 titles together and save £22.50 off full price

Coming soon, available to preorder now with 20% off RRPs
A History of Cigarette and Trade Cards Forgotten Tanks and Guns of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s United States Army Armored Divisions of the Second World War Death March Escape

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Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge 1944–1945 Entertaining the Braganzas Flight Craft 14: Messerschmitt Bf109 The War With Hitler’s Navy

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Rebel With a Cause Convicts in the Colonies Joys of War The Soldiers’ Peace

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Browse more titles coming soon

Mentioned in Dispatches, the WFA podcast

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Haig’s Tower of Strength – General Sir Edward Bulfin – Ireland’s Forgotten General by former Brigadier John Powell.

As featured on the Western Front Association‘s Mentioned in Dispatches podcast, with Dr Tom Thorpe. Click to find out more and download the podcast via iTunes.

This is the first biography of General Sir Edward Bulfin, who rose to high rank, despite his Irish Catholic birth and close nationalist relations. Not only that but, by the outbreak of the Great War, Bulfin was a brigade commander never having attended Sandhurst, Staff College or commanded a battalion.

In his early career, he was a protégé of Sir William Butler, a fellow Irishman, and earned his spurs in the Boer War. In 1914 Haig found him a ‘tower of strength’, helping to save the day at First Ypres. Seriously wounded at the height of the battle, Bulfin, on recovery, was given 28th Division, which he led through Second Ypres and Loos. Unable to get on with Gough, he was sent home to raise 60th London Division, taking it to France, Salonika and Egypt where Allenby chose him to command a corps. His success against the Turks at Gaza, Jerusalem and Megiddo justified Allenby’s confidence.

Despite ruthlessly crushing an uprising in post-war Egypt, Bulfin refused Churchill’s order to command the police against his fellow Irishmen in 1920.

A private man, Bulfin left few letters and no papers. The author is to be congratulated on piecing together this fascinating biography of an enigmatic figure, who deserves to be better known, both in Britain and Ireland.

Dan Snow’s History Hit podcast

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£25.00

Zeppelin Onslaught – The Forgotten Blitz 1914-1915 by Ian Castle for Frontline Books.

As featured on the History Hit podcast with Dan Snow. Click here for full details and open the podcast with Acast.

At the outbreak of the First World War, the United Kingdom had no aerial defence capability worthy of the name. When the war began Britain had just thirty guns to defend the entire country, with all but five of these considered ‘of dubious value’. So when raiding German aircraft finally appeared over Britain the response was negligible and totally ineffective. Of Britain’s fledgling air forces, the Royal Flying Corps had accompanied the British Expeditionary Force into Europe leaving the Royal Naval Air Service to defend the country as best it could. That task was not an easy one. Airships only appeared at night and for British pilots night-flying was in its infancy.

From the first raid in December 1914, aerial attacks gradually increased through 1915, culminating in highly damaging assaults on London in September and October. London, however, was not the only recipient of German bombs, with counties from Northumberland to Kent also experiencing the indiscriminate death and destruction found in this new theatre of war – the Home Front.

The British population was initially left exposed and largely undefended when the previously unimagined horror of bombs falling from the sky began, killing children in their beds and destroying homes. The face of war had changed forever. Those raids on London in the autumn of 1915 finally forced the government to pursue a more effective defence against air attack.

The German air campaign against the United Kingdom was the first sustained strategic aerial bombing campaign in history. Yet it has become the forgotten Blitz. Those first bombing raids in 1915 claimed over 700 casualties. Relying heavily on first-hand accounts, Ian Castle tells their story, along with that of the raiders, and those who fought desperately to stop them in the opening year of Britain’s forgotten Blitz.

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