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New Additions

 

Peiper's War: The Wartime Years of SS Leader Jochen Peiper 1941-44 by Danny S. Parker

Pegasus Archive review: Jochen Peiper's name will be forever associated with the Malmedy Massacre and the murder of US prisoners of war during the Ardennes offensive, a crime for which he was later sentenced to death, though ultimately spared. This superbly researched book, the third of the author's four which meticulously profiles this notorious, dashing, brutal, archetypal Aryan, touches on that episode but is above all concerned with his earlier exploits with the 1st SS Panzer Division, serving in Russia, Italy and Normandy. The narrative paints a vivid portrait of the man, and helped along by quotes from Peiper himself and those of his contemporaries the reader is left in no doubt about his mindset, particularly with lines such as "During six bloody years I fought and bled in all European Theatres and became a preferred favourite of the God of Hosts! In spite of it all - it was a proud and heroic time. Where we were standing was Germany, and as far as my tank gun reached was my kingdom". It also explores the workings of the 1st SS Panzer Division and the innumerable superb actions it fought, not to mention atrocities wrought, on almost every front in which Germany was engaged. Price 28.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Peipers-War-Hardback/p/16727

 

SAS Zero Hour: The Secret Origins of the Special Air Service by Tim Jones

Pegasus Archive review: The origins and early exploits of the Special Air Service have been analysed many times, but surprisingly little attention has been paid to the numerous unorthodox units and concepts previously attempted by the British Army, all of which helped to inspire its ethos. These precede its foundation by 200 years in the case of Rogers Rangers, who attempted to emulate the hit and run tactics of the Native American tribes deep behind enemy lines; a form of warfare which Lawrence of Arabia expanded upon to considerable effect in the First World War. The book also looks at the Lovat Scots who were formed during the Boer War to provide the British with a reconnaissance force which could match their opponents superb mobility, marksmanship, and knowledge of the land. This idea inspired the thinking behind the Independent Companies, who were intended to act as a guerilla force during the Norwegian campaign, living off the land and making small scale raids against the enemy. With further chapters profiling the Commandos, Airborne Forces, the Special Boat Squadron, Layforce, and the Long Range Desert Group, it is only in the final quarter of the book when all of these pieces are assembled into David Stirling's concept for the SAS, with its formation and first operations being described. Price 9.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/SAS-Zero-Hour-Paperback/p/14036

 

Operation Colossus by Lawrence Paterson

Pegasus Archive review: The Tragino Aqueduct raid in February 1941 marked the first airborne operation carried out by the British, with three dozen men parachuting deep into Italy to disrupt the water supplies to the ports of Bari, Brindisi and Taranto. Although their mission was a success, the damage was swiftly repaired and the entire party were captured along the daunting 50 mile escape route to the coast, yet the raid demonstrated what these troops could achieve and laid the groundwork for the ambitious operations of the following years. Despite a vast library of airborne literature and the importance of Operation Colossus in that story, relatively little has been written about it, and without doubt Paterson's very well researched account is the most authoritative to date. With the force barely six months old and struggling for resources, it describes the ad hoc preparations, and, with the aid of official reports and first hand accounts, reveals the enormous logistical challenges involved, followed by a thorough account of the raid itself, and the numerous escape attempts which followed, several of which were ultimately successful, before delving into the difficult business of analysing what the operation actually achieved. Price: 15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Operation-Colossus-Hardback/p/17705

 

Siege of Malta: 1940-42 by Anthony Rogers

Pegasus Archive review: Malta occupied a dominant position in the central Mediterranean which allowed the British air and naval forces there to threaten Axis shipping and impede their ambitions in North Africa. As it was just 70 miles from Sicily, the island was effectively blockaded and remained under siege for almost two and a half years, during which time it was famously heralded as the most bombed place on Earth. This book documents its epic defence with photographs taken almost exclusively from the private collections of veterans, lending them a very personal quality. These give an impression of the extent of the bomb damage and its impact on daily life, and includes some dramatic pictures of air raids alongside the work of the garrison in quieter times, featuring RAF personnel and their aircraft with many images of downed machines, and the crews of the numerous anti-aircraft batteries which were so pivotal to the defence. There is also a chapter on the supply convoys which suffered many losses to deliver essential supplies, and the book closes with a number of colour photographs of Malta today. Price: 12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/Siege-of-Malta-194042-Paperback/p/17103

 

Books - Arnhem, Normandy, Rhine Crossing, Sicily, General Airborne, Prisoner of War, General Second World War, Other

 

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