Books - General Second World War


Agent Michael Trotobas and SOE by Stewart Kent and Nick Nicholas

Pegasus Archive review: Michael Trotobas enlisted in the Middlesex Regiment before the war, and following Dunkirk was selected for officer training where he caught the attention of the Special Operations Executive. He was captured during his first mission to France, but played a leading role in a mass breakout from the Mausac internment camp and managed to reach the UK via Portugal. Eager to return to France, Trotobas did a very great deal to organise the Resistance around Lille, and the many reports and first hand accounts which are scattered throughout this narrative reveal not just his methods but also those used by SOE across Europe. In 1943, Trotobas was trapped by the Gestapo, but he refused to surrender and killed one and seriously wounded another before being shot dead. For his remarkable actions with the resistance, Trotobas was posthumously recommended for the Victoria Cross. This did not materialise, yet he was long remembered in France by those he fought alongside, who lamented the catastrophic loss of their most revered leader, but also continued to take inspiration from his example until their homeland was at last liberated. Price £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Albert Speer: Escaping the Gallows by Adrian Greaves

Pegasus Archive review: As Hitler's armaments minister, Albert Speer had performed miracles by maintaining war production despite the routine destruction of his factories in bombing raids. Tried at Nuremberg for war crimes, he conjured another miracle when he pleaded guilty by association with the Nazi regime, but convinced the court that he knew nothing of the Holocaust and so did not follow many of his former comrades to the gallows, although he did spend 20 years in Spandau prison and emerged with the remarkably favourable reputation as "the good German". As this excellent book reveals, however, after his death it was discovered that Speer was not only aware of the Holocaust and the extermination camps, but that he and the departments over which he presided had been directly involved in the construction of the camps and facilitated their operation. As the man himself later wrote, while he knew of but did not agree with Hitler's unconcealed determination to exterminate the Jewish race, he nevertheless provided him with the means of doing so. Any account following Speer's wartime career through to his release from prison would be interesting enough, but what makes this book particularly compelling is that the author, later a high ranking policeman and qualified clinical psychologist, was one of his guards in Spandau and interviewed Speer over the course of several years. Price £13.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword


The Americans From Normandy to the German Border by Brooke S. Blades

Pegasus Archive review: The second of three books, following the Americans from Normandy to the Ardennes, covering the period from the break-out of the beachhead in August 1944 to early December. At just over 200 pages, this is one of the larger entries in the Images of War series, and chronicles their progress across the entire front with a superb collection of high quality photographs, each accompanied by detailed notes, and vividly showing the intensity of the fighting with a number of truly excellent images of American troops in action. The chapters single out several key engagements for particular attention, including the Falaise Pocket, the liberation of Paris, the difficult fighting to breach the Siegfried Line around Aachen, and the subsequently bloody Battle of Hürtgen Forest. Although a predominantly British operation, it also extensively covers Operation Market Garden and the brilliant actions of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions. Price £12.79. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Anti-Tank: The Story of a Desert Gunner in the Second World War by Mark Carter

Pegasus Archive review: Mark Carter served in the Royal Horse Artillery during the Desert War, and his lively, flowing and detailed account describes his experiences from the arrival of the Afrika Korps to victory at El Alamein and the advance of the 8th Army. Equipped with 25-pounder guns, it would be expected that he and his gun crew would engage targets at a distance from well behind the line, but, such was the ferocity of the Desert War and the early ineffectiveness of British anti-tank weaponry, the 25-pounder became an indispensable front line weapon, frequently engaging enemy armour at point blank range. Carter vividly describes the campaign from the perspective of the ordinary soldier, of confusion and horrendous close-quarters fighting, but he also dwells on life out of action, of humour, army bureaucracy, and also his relentless pursuit of an Australian nurse. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Archaeology of the Second World War by Gabriel Moshenska

Pegasus Archive review: With the possible exception of the castles built during the medieval period, few conflicts have made so great a mark on the British landscape as the Second World War. This book catalogues the extensive range of archaeological remains which, to this day, can still be found scattered across the country; including airfields, pillboxes, anti-aircraft positions, air raid shelters, crash sites, dockyards and prisoner of war camps. The background details of each are discussed in turn, with several key moments highlighted, accompanied by details of the various excavations which have taken place. The result is an inspiring introduction to a subject which really makes you want to wander off into the countryside and see what you can find for yourself. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Armoured Warfare from the Riviera to the Rhine 1944-1945 by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: The invasion of Southern France in August 1944 is a subject which has all too often been overlooked by history, despite its considerable size, and indeed controversy. This book is a photographic history of that campaign, consisting of large, detailed and rare images which follow the American and French forces from the beaches to their arrival on the banks of the Rhine in 1945, highlighting the Battle of Montélimar, the Belfort Gap and the Colmar Pocket. Each chapter is accompanied by a concise history of that stage in the campaign, and as is typical of the Images of War series, the photographs cover a broad range of subjects, above all focusing on the Army element, but attention is also given to the Allied air forces and navies, as well as the French Resistance who played a very active role. The wide array of both Allied and German equipment is clearly displayed and described, and includes anything from tanks and artillery, to amphibious craft and supply trucks. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Armoured Warfare in Northwest Europe 1944-45 by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: A photographic history of the last years of the Second World War in the west, focusing on those offensives where tanks played a particularly prominent role, beginning with Operation Goodwood, the aborted effort of the British to breakout of the Normandy beachhead in July 1944, and going on to describe the Falaise Gap, Arnhem, the clearing of the Scheldt Estuary, the Ardennes campaign, the Rhine Crossing of March 1945, and finally the encirclement of the Army Group B in the Ruhr Pocket. Each of these are explored with the aid of several hundred photographs accompanied by detailed captions, and in them there are a considerable range of armoured vehicles of all types from both sides on display; from main battle tanks, to the 'funnies', amphibious vehicles and even heavy artillery tractors. This is an impressive and informative record of the many vehicles which played important roles in the Allied success, a number of which have rarely glimpsed the limelight. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Armoured Warfare in the Battle of the Bulge 1944-45 by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series focusing on the armoured vehicles used during the Battle of the Bulge; Hitler's desperate gamble to inflict a serious defeat on the western Allies and reverse Germany's fortunes. The chapters follow the attacks of the 6th SS and 5th Panzer Armies, the advance of the 1st SS Panzer Division, the battles for St Vith and Bastogne, and finally the retreat in the face of American and British counterattacks. The photographs give a very clear impression of the closely wooded and difficult terrain which continually hampered the movement of tanks and the rapid advance that the Germans were hoping for. Numerous different variants of armoured vehicles are shown, including some excellent images of the 150th Panzer Brigade, whose vehicles were made to look American in the hope of infiltrating deep behind the Allied lines. As the book's title implies there is a heavy emphasis on armoured vehicles, but there are also images of infantry and anti-tank weapons, and also some of the atrocities committed against Belgian civilians, as well as the infamous Malmedy Massacre. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Artillery Warfare 1939-1945 by Simon and Jonathan Forty

Pegasus Archive review: Artillery is not an aspect of war which is studied in as much detail as famous infantry units or more glamorous weapons such as aircraft and tanks, yet it had a profound effect on every Second World War battlefield, softening up the front line, harassing the rear areas, disrupting and breaking up enemy attacks, and of all the weapons used was responsible for the overwhelming majority of all casualties. This book is divided into seven main chapters, covering field, self-propelled, anti-tank, anti-aircraft, very large calibre guns, rocket projectors, and ammunition types. It is very lavishly illustrated with over 400 photographs, accompanied by detailed explanatory notes, showing many examples of the vast menagerie of Allied and Axis guns in use in a variety of theatres, while the main narrative provides numerous fascinating insights into the specifics of how each army organised, deployed, used, and supplied its forces. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Battle East of Elsenborn and the Twin Villages by William Cavanagh

Pegasus Archive review: The Battle of the Bulge is commonly associated with the courageous defence of Bastogne, yet there were many other forces who had a hand in resisting Hitler's last offensive in the west. Amongst these was the untried and inexperienced 99th Infantry Division, on whom a large part of the initial onslaught fell. The Germans had hoped to brush them aside and drive deep into the rear areas of the 1st US Army, however the 99th Division sufficiently recovered from the hammer blow to resist tenaciously, gradually yielding ground as they struggled to hold the sheet weight of force being directed against them. William Cavanagh presents a comprehensive day-by-day study of the events on the front of the 99th Division and their neighbours, including the veteran 2nd Infantry Division, describing the numerous resolute defensive actions which succeeded in sapping the momentum of the German attack until, on the Elsenborn ridge, it was finally brought to a halt. This book sheds light on a chapter of the Ardennes offensive which has not received as much attention as it should, for it was here that the battle in the 1st Army's sector was decided. Price £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Battle For Crete by John Hall Spencer

Pegasus Archive review: The Battle of Crete is one of the few occasions in military history where both sides can claim a disaster; the dreadful casualties suffered by the victorious Germans in this exclusively airborne invasion being matched only by the failure of the British to organise a counter-attack on Maleme airfield when the odds were entirely in their favour. This book outlines the preamble to the battle, exploring the political state of Greece, the wider Balkans area, and how the Germans and British came to be drawn to the island. It also considers the short-comings in the Allied strategy, above all the lack of political and military clarity which frustrated the defence throughout the campaign. The complete pandemonium which ensued during the opening phases of the assault on Crete is wonderfully described, using the stories of numerous personalities to highlight the action at key points. This excellent narrative closes with the decision to evacuate the Allies from Crete, and the subsequent, desperate trek across the mountains to the only embarkation point. Price £8.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Blitzkrieg in the West by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the Images of War series of books, Blitzkrieg in the West uses a very broad range of large, clear, and rare photographs, each accompanied by detailed notes, to describe the German offensive of May 1940. Chapters cover their training and preparations prior to the attack, the advance through Holland and Belgium, Dunkirk and the culmination of the campaign in France. Many of the photographs have been taken in the rear areas, showing the construction of pontoon bridges and transport columns of all types; from horses and trucks to panzers, armoured cars and aircraft. Yet there are still some images of German troops in combat, as well as scenes of destruction caused by air attack and artillery. Included are photographs of the victory parade through Paris and an overview Order of Battle of the participating armies of both sides. Price £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


British Tanks: The Second World War by Pat Ware

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series. This splendid volume covers the extremely wide range of tanks, foreign and domestic, which were used by the British during the Second World War, from the common light, medium and heavy varieties to the specialist "funnies" which were used for mine-clearance, bridge-laying, bulldozing, etc. Excellent photographs of all models are included alongside descriptive notes, but also a brief yet comprehensive service history of each. An absorbing read, whether or not one has a particular fascination with armour. Price £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Commandant of Auschwitz: Rudolf Höss by Volker Koop

Pegasus Archive review: Rudolf Höss was a distinguished soldier of the First World War who became a member of the fledgling Nazi Party in 1922, and by fully embracing their excesses spent six years in jail for grievous bodily harm and manslaughter. In 1934, he joined the SS and was involved in the running of Dachau concentration camp, and was subsequently the adjutant at Sachsenhausen before becoming commandant of Auschwitz in 1941. Tasked with carrying out the Final Solution, he imagined, shortly before he was hanged in 1947, that he was merely following orders to the best of his ability, yet he clearly went about his utterly horrific work with the utmost enthusiasm and brutality, devising a ruthlessly efficient means of exterminating people in their millions. This book examines a little of his early life but is chiefly concerned with his involvement in the Holocaust, and makes extensive use of the many orders, notes and letters which he wrote. In so doing it also provides a valuable insight into the wider workings of Auschwitz, including Höss' opinions on his numerous subordinates who plied their dreadful trade there. Price £17.50. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword


Daring Raids of World War Two by Peter Jacobs

Pegasus Archive review: This book describes thirty famous raids undertaken by the British during the Second World War; including the attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, the sinking of the Bismarck, the raids on Bruneval, Dieppe and St. Nazaire, the Dambusters, Pegasus Bridge, the reconnaissance of the Normandy beaches, the Chindit expeditions, and Operation Market Garden. Each of these subjects are worthy of a book in their own right, and as they are typically described in ten pages or less, obviously much detail has had to be sacrificed. Nevertheless, Peter Jacobs has done a remarkable job of accurately and concisely summarising the important points of these incredible operations, making for an extremely fast and entertaining read, and one which will certainly inspire further reading.

 Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Eighth Army in Italy 1943-45 - The Long Hard Slog by Richard Doherty

Pegasus Archive review: The invasion of Italy, infamously described by Churchill as the soft underbelly of the crocodile, did not result in the swift advance into Central Europe that the Allies had hoped, but became mired in a series of difficult and bitterly-fought engagements around a succession of German defensive lines until the end of the war. With the exception of famous battles such as Anzio and Monte Cassino, much of the campaign remains an unfamiliar subject to most, and it would be difficult to find a better introduction to it than this excellently researched account. It does not dwell on the innumerable political problems or the experience of the front line soldier, but concisely and chronologically details the expansion of the 8th Army's campaign from their arrival in Calabria in September 1943 to the conclusion of hostilities in May 1945. It is, therefore, a superb guide for anyone seeking to understand the course and context of the Italian campaign. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Elite Panzer Strike Force: Germany's Panzer Lehr Division in World War II by Franz Kurowski

Pegasus Archive review: The Panzer Lehr Division was one of the most formidable units in the German army; fully mechanised, equipped with the latest and best tanks, and staffed by some of the Wehrmacht's finest cavalry commanders. This all-encompassing volume traces their history from their formation, in December 1943, to the last weeks of the war when the shattered remnants laid down their arms in the Ruhr Pocket. The Division was formed with the intention of throwing the British and American invasion forces into the sea as they tried to gain a foothold in Normandy, yet when they arrived at the front their role became entirely defensive as they struggled to contain the offensive moves of the British and Canadians around Tilly, and later the Americans at St. Lô. In this they were enormously successful, gradually yielding ground but extracting a painful price for it. Their own losses were no less severe, with just a third of their number emerging from the chaotic retreat through France. Using a mixture of vivid narrative and veterans accounts, Franz Kurowski brilliantly describes the actions of this true elite, going on to document the Division's role in the Ardennes campaign and the final, desperate and fragmented defence of their homeland as the irresistible might of the Allies gradually encircled them. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Fatal Decisions: First Hand Accounts by Hitler's Generals by Seymour Freidlin and William Richardson

Pegasus Archive review: A superb book of six essays written by German generals, each providing an account of their involvement in campaigns which ultimately ended in defeat. Werner Kreipe describes the Battle of Britain, Günther Blumentritt the Battle for Moscow, Fritz Bayerlein profiles El Alamein, Kurt Zeitzler the disaster at Stalingrad, Bodo Zimmerman describes Normandy, Hasso von Manteuffel the Ardennes, and Siegfried Westphal writes the narrative which connects each of these accounts to the next. Their reports give an extremely clear description of the problems which faced the German forces in each theatre, and they are quite frank in chronicling their numerous exchanges with Adolf Hitler. Convinced of his own genius, Hitler continually interfered in military matters, and his amateurish judgement became even more and catastrophically involved as the war began to turn against him. Had he been inclined to heed their sound advice and act on their recommendations, it is possible that victory could have been achieved or else entirely probable that defeat would not be so painful. As it was, he never lost confidence in himself and instinctively blamed failure on incompetent generals and soldiers; all of whom, it is quite clear, did everything in their power to carry out his flawed orders to a successful conclusion. A fascinating read, highly recommended. Price: £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Fighting with the Desert Rats by Major H.P. Samwell

Pegasus Archive review: This is the memoir of Major Hugh Samwell MC of the 7th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, describing his experiences with the Battalion from its arrival in Egypt in June 1942, through to El Alamein, the advance into Tunisia and the invasion of Sicily. Any first hand account of the Second World War is valuable, but what sets this book apart from so many others is that it was written at the time, without the benefit of hindsight, historical analysis or even the certainty that the war would be won. In the preface, Samwell laments the absence of books which record the war from the perspective of the ordinary infantryman, and so he set out to document his own experiences without reference to the wider war or anything which occurred beyond the range of his vision. The result is an extremely vibrant story which may be taken to speak for any junior officer who served in the Western Desert. It is a tragedy that Major Samwell did not survive the war but was killed in January 1945, having accompanied the 51st (Highland) Division from the Normandy beaches to the German border. We can only reflect on the loss of any subsequent manuscript which he may have produced, for together, they would have accounted for so much of the British Army experience in the Western theatre. Price: £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Final Days of the Reich by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series. Ian Baxter has assembled a superb collection of rare and previously unpublished photographs which tell the story of the German Army's gradual collapse from winter 1944 to May 1945. Each photograph comes with descriptive notes, explaining not just the image but the wider battle raging at this time. Highly recommended. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


George Jellicoe: SAS and SBS Commander by Nicholas Jellicoe

Pegasus Archive review: The name of Jellicoe is most frequently associated with the Admiral who commanded the Grand Fleet during the First World War, but in 1940 his son took an entirely different path, joining the fledgling Commandos before serving as Second-in-Command of the SAS, and then leading the SBS from early 1943 onwards. As the author of this biography is Jellicoe's son, there can be few who are better placed to provide so detailed a portrait of the man, but it is equally the story of these pioneering special forces units and sheds fascinating light on their organisation and tactics. The book is divided into four parts; the final two summarising his post-war career in the Foreign Office and the House of Lords, but the bulk of the narrative focuses on his wartime exploits, beginning with the formation of the SAS, its early operations, and the devastating raids of 1942 in which Jellicoe played an active role, while the SBS section describes their numerous operations across the Aegean in 1943 and 1944, culminating in their important role in the liberation of Greece. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


German Armour Lost on the Western Front by Bob Carruthers

Pegasus Archive review: A marvellous collection of over 200 photographs of German armoured vehicles knocked out from 1944 onwards, from the Normandy beaches and Italy to the borders of the Reich. Almost all of the vehicles featured are those built around the Panzer III to VI chassis, including self-propelled guns and many specific variants of tanks. These are shown in different locations, in shattered streets or muddy and snow covered fields, and in a range of states of disrepair; overturned, tipped on their side to clear the road, with broken tracks, turrets blown off, or simply blown apart. With this broad array of vehicles and situations, this book will certainly be an invaluable guide to the modeller, but it also serves as a reminder of the devastating impact of armour piercing weapons, and the vulnerability of tank crews in their seemingly impervious machines. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from


German Military Vehicles in the Spanish Civil War by José Maria Manrique, Jose Maria Mata, Lucas Molina

Pegasus Archive review: The Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 presented Nazi Germany with the perfect opportunity to support its comrades in fascism, but above all to test in combat conditions the numerous new weapons, vehicles and tactics which they had developed to overcome the stalemate of trench warfare. It was an extremely valuable experience, and as such were very much able to hit the ground running at the start of the Second World War. This superbly presented book consists largely of illustrations and photographs of the considerable range of the equipment used during its course, from the relatively mundane, of staff cars, motorcycles and supply trucks, to anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns, and the most prestigious of all, tanks and aircraft. It also presents numerous tables listing the types and quantities of each, as well as orders of battle for the German and Spanish units which used them. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword.


German Secret Weapons of the Second World War by Ian V. Hogg

Pegasus Archive review: A fascinating overview of the menagerie of ground-breaking weapons which Germany developed during the Second World War. Most famous amongst these are the V1 flying bomb, V2 rocket and the Me 262 jet fighter, but also covered are the much less known yet brilliant jet aircraft, radio controlled bombs and guided missiles, immense but ultimately impractical artillery, ingenious innovations in ammunition types, U-Boat development, nuclear and biological research, and a number of bizarre concepts which are remarkable solely for being allowed to develop as far as they did. Hogg examines the weaknesses in the German procurement strategy, where identical projects were allowed to develop in parallel instead of pooling their resources. He also dwells on the continual interference of Hitler, whose blessing could give a project every support it needed, but his unyielding demands for offensive armaments led to the loss of many a wonder weapon and unnecessarily stalled the introduction of others. In this the Allies were most fortunate, as it is clear that a number of these weapons would have placed them at a severe disadvantage if they had appeared sooner. Price: £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


German Tank Hunters: The Panzerjäger edited by Bob Carruthers

Pegasus Archive review: This is a fascinating little book on several levels, for not only does it describe in detail the full range of anti-tank weaponry available to the Wehrmacht, from the famous 88mm flak gun to improvised mines and molotov cocktails, but it is also of historical interest as it is entirely based upon contemporary US Army intelligence pamphlets. The appearance, characteristics and capabilities of these weapons are described in typically concise military language, accompanied by photographs, drawings and diagrams, as well as notes on their typical tactical deployment, as uncovered by the experiences of British and American troops in the field. It is, therefore, an extremely useful reference guide for anyone with an interest in militaria. Price: £7.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Guderian: Panzer General by Kenneth Macksey

Pegasus Archive review: A superbly researched account of General Heinz Guderian, who proved himself to be an able commander but is primarily known for his role in developing the panzer arm of the Wehrmacht during the inter-war years, and in evolving the idea of Blitzkrieg, which revolutionised warfare when his massed formations of panzers rapidly overran Poland, the Low Countries and France in 1939-40. Most of the book focuses on these earlier periods in the conflict and his part in the opening phases of the invasion of Russia, before his dismissal in the final days of 1941. The remainder follows his return to favour as Chief of the General Staff in 1943, though so dire were Germany's military prospects at this time that his impact was limited. Drawing on a wide range of sources, including material from the Guderian family archive, Macksey explores how his ideas were put into effect, and sheds light on his character, as well as his complicated and sometimes difficult relationships with Hitler, senior figures in the Nazi party, and his fellow generals. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Artillery 1939-1945 by Hans Seidler

Pegasus Archive review: An impressive array of over two hundred photographs of the powerful range of artillery used by the Germans throughout the Second World War. It is divided into four chapters; the first two dealing with divisional and infantry artillery, almost universally focused on the 105 and 150mm calibres together with a few 75's, with the last two chapters looking at anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns. The Pak 35/36, 38 and 40 feature heavily in the former with a broad selection of FlaK guns in the latter, although both naturally feature extensive coverage of the famous and much-feared 88mm. As usual with the "Images of War" series, all the photographs are large, clear, and accompanied by detailed explanatory notes. They also show each weapon being used by the Wehrmacht and SS in a variety of situations; in training or on active service in Poland, Western Europe, North Africa and Russia; on the move aided by a mixture of transport, or in action, dug-in and camouflaged. Price £12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Boy Soldiers: The Hitlerjugend Story by Hans Seidler

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series, this book draws on rare photographs to describe the history of the Hitler Youth movement. It begins with their pre-war indoctrination, with parades and propaganda images, and then their gradual militarisation, with photographs of training exercises and their introduction to armaments. This enterprise culminated in the founding of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend", which despite being derided as the "Baby Division" by the Allies, was to prove itself in Normandy, and in all subsequent engagements, as an extremely capable unit with a fanatical determination which bordered on the reckless. Many photographs follow the progress of this Division, as well as other members of the Hitler Youth serving on both the Western and Eastern Fronts. In the final pages, the focus shifts towards the desperate defence of Germany, with a series of increasingly young faces being pressed into service, some of whom appear pleased when they were taken prisoner, but others displayed an unswerving loyalty to Nazi ideology and continued to fight even after the war had ended. Price £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Brandenburgers: The Third Reich's Elite Special Forces by Lawrence Paterson

Pegasus Archive review: The world is quite familiar with the antics of the SAS and SOE, but Germany's similarly conceived Brandenburgers have received very little attention, despite carrying out the first special forces operations of the Second World War and going on to participate in almost every campaign. They performed a variety of roles but were typically used as saboteurs, often passing through the enemy lines in advance of an attack to damage such targets as communication cables, railways, power stations and supply lines, but they were also repeatedly used to capture bridges and so became a vital component of Blitzkrieg by maintaining the momentum of the advance. Often dressed as civilians, policemen or enemy military personnel, their attacks achieved complete surprise, though as a consequence they sometimes found themselves in as much danger from their own side as that of the enemy. This is a superbly researched book, which examines the creation of this pioneering unit through to 1944, when it was converted into a conventional infantry formation, and describes in remarkable detail, considering the scarcity of records, many of their numerous and varied operations while at the same time performing the remarkable feat of disentangling the real Brandenburgers from the myths which surround them. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Headquarters 1939-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A fascinating and detailed photographic exploration of Hitler's numerous headquarters which he used throughout the Second World War. Included amongst these are the well-known ones, such as the Berghof, the Eagle's Nest, the Wolf's Lair, the Reich Chancellery, and the Fuhrerbunker where Hitler spent his final weeks, but also the much less familiar sites such as Felsennest, Tannenberg, the Wolf's Gorge, and Wehrwolf, as well as his personal aircraft and train. The photographs give a vivid impression of the construction and operation of each, showing their communications arrangement, hospital, kitchen etc, and visits by senior SS and Nazi party personalities. These are interspersed with images from the front line, in those areas which were relevant to the operations being conducted from the headquarters at the time. The book closes with a considerable array of wonderfully atmospheric winter images of the Wolfs Lair as it appears today. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Heavy Panzers 1943-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series, looking at Germany's fearsome array of heavy panzers which entered the battlefield from 1943 onwards. As one would expect the Tiger I and II's, Mk IV and Panther Tanks receive considerable attention, but besides these and their numerous variants, many tank destroyers and assault guns also feature, including the StuG III, Brummbar, Hummel, Nashorn and Ferdinand Elefant. Superb photographs and detailed captions show each in a variety of situations on both the Western and Eastern Fronts; at rest, on the move and sometimes heavily-laden with infantry, knocked out, refuelling, and a number which demonstrate a range of camouflage techniques. Unlike many other books in the series, this one concludes with several appendices giving more precise information on crew uniforms, the composition of typical armoured units, and a brief order of battle of the panzer divisions. Price £12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Munich: The Capital of the Nazi Movement by David Ian Hall

Pegasus Archive review: The Bavarian city of Munich has a long and distinguished history as one of Europe's great cultural centres, but in the aftermath of the First World War it became a crucible for extreme right wing thought, as it was here that the Nazi Party was formed and where Adolf Hitler first entered politics, developing his considerable oratorical skills and quickly establishing a reputation as a venomously charismatic speaker. In 1923 it was also the scene of the failed Beer Hall Putsch, and shortly after the Nazis took power they transformed Munich into their spiritual home, with those killed in the attempt being all but deified with monumental buildings to commemorate their sacrifice as though they were legendary heroes of antiquity. David Ian Hall brilliantly describes the origins and rise of Nazism through the prism of Munich, exploring how each was shaped by the other, and how the violent and chaotic beginnings of their ideology was gradually transformed into a sinister cult. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Panther Tank Battalions 1943-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: The Mk V Panther was designed to become Germany's front line panzer of choice during the final years of the Second World War, complementing the more formidable yet expensive and less numerous Tiger, and despite issues of mechanical reliability is regarded as one of the finest tanks of its day, being very well armoured and capable of knocking out any Allied opponent. The carefully selected photographs in this book and their detailed captions document the development of the Panther from its 1943 debut at the Battle of Kursk and its subsequent use in Italy, through to the Normandy battles and the final days of the war. The large and high quality images show it in a variety of camouflages and situations, and they also depict its variants, including the impressive Jagdpanther tank destroyer. The book closes with appendices detailing the Panther's specifications and the composition of typical panzer, panzergrenadier and reconnaissance battalions in 1943 and 1944. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Revenge Weapons: The Final Blitz of London by Nigel Walpole

Pegasus Archive review: The launching of V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets against London marked Hitler's final attempt to terrorise the British into submission, and though they failed in this they nevertheless caused considerable damage, killing in excess of 8,000 people and seriously injuring a further 23,000. The book begins in the early 1930's with the origins of Germany's rocket programme and the brilliant minds which shaped it, but while they were largely inspired by the idea of using the technology to conquer space, it was the desire of the Nazis to explore new methods of waging war not prohibited by the Treaty of Versailles which provided its real impetus. It describes the years of testing at Peenemünde, the opening of the campaign against Britain, and the efforts of the Allies to counter it, by bombing research facilities, attacking the launch sites, and ultimately advancing the front line to push the weapons out of range. The book also takes a look at other V weapons, including the development of V2 to reach the United States, and also the V3 which was intended to devastate London with a relentless barrage of high velocity shells, but, hampered by its static as well as obvious and inviting appearance, inevitably fell victim to Bomber Command before it could be unleashed. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Hitler's Terror Weapons by Geoffrey Brooks

Pegasus Archive review: The German nuclear programme is not a subject which has received widespread attention, and it remains unclear how close Hitler came to the appalling prospect of being able to deploy this potentially war-winning "miracle" weapon. Geoffrey Brooks makes a bold attempt to find answers, digging deep into the origins and evolution of German atomic research, as well as the personalities who developed it. The majority of the book is dedicated to the nuclear question, but it also considers the experiments carried out with the more conventional yet no less devastating pressure bomb, before delving into some truly ambiguous areas of Nazi research. Much of this remains either as rumour or classified information, but it includes the electro-magnetic tests which were apparently aimed at developing gravity-defying aircraft, and this introduces the wartime Foo Fighter phenomenon and post-war UFO sightings of craft which seemed to flout several laws of physics. Price £19.95. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Horrocks: The General Who Led From the Front by Philip Warner

Pegasus Archive review: Sir Brian Horrocks, with his extraordinary energy and charisma, was one of the more familiar and certainly amongst the most respected British generals of the Second World War. He is chiefly remembered as one of Montgomery's corps commanders, serving with distinction in North Africa, and from the final phases of the Normandy campaign to the end of the war in North-West Europe. This book also looks at his early life and service during the Great War, much of which was spent making repeated attempts to escape having been severely wounded and taken prisoner early on. In the post-war period it follows his adventures with Britain's little known and militarily suspect expedition against the Communists in Eastern Russia, before going on to describe his meteoric rise during the Second World War; advancing from a battalion to a corps commander in just three years. "Jorrocks", as he was affectionately known, enjoyed a remarkably diverse retirement, first as Black Rod in the House of Lords, then a spell as a television presenter before entering the construction industry. A fascinating portrait of a remarkable man. Price £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


I Was Hitler's Chauffeur by Erich Kempka

Pegasus Archive review: Erich Kempka first met Adolf Hitler in 1932, and became, not only his personal driver, but one of his closest and most trusted associates. His memoir describes their relationship from this early time, but its chief topic is the final days of Hitler's life inside the Führer-Bunker in Berlin, April 1945, when, after his suicide, his body and that of Eva Braun were cremated by Kempka. It is an utterly absorbing memoir which does not dwell at all on matters of Nazi ideology, instead it paints a rare portrait of the last hours of the Third Reich, and also shows the quite unfamiliar, human side of the tyrant who had inflicted such misery on the world. In this aspect, we do not see a deluded follower desperately clinging to his fallen idol, rather the simple relationship that exists between an employer and his loyal servant. Price: £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Ian Fleming and SOE's Operation Postmaster by Brian Lett

Pegasus Archive review: This book describes an extremely successful mission carried out by the Special Operations Executive and British Commandos in January 1942, to steal two German and one Italian merchant vessels moored on the island of Fernando Po off the west coast of Africa. Although a minor operation in the grand scheme of things, it is nevertheless fascinating for a number of reasons. There is the far from inconsequential fact that the vessels were in a port which belonged to neutral Spain, and as the price of discovery could well have been severe, it was essential that there should be no evidence of British involvement, and so the planning was meticulous with all manner of deceptions laid before and after the event. Although it was inevitable that suspicion would fall on Britain, the deceptions worked and blame was ultimately directed elsewhere following a number of outright lies told by British officials. It is also fascinating because Ian Fleming, the future creator of James Bond, had a large hand in proceedings as the liaison between Naval Intelligence and SOE. He later remarked that 90% of his inspiration for the character came from the people whom he met in the service, and by reading this book it is possible to discern familiar traits in a number of the personalities involved. Price: £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Ireland's Generals in the Second World War by Richard Doherty

This book looks at the wartime careers of nineteen Irishmen who reached general officer rank - from brigadier upward - and assesses their records. As well as the best-known (Alexander, Auchinleck and Montgomery), the author also reminds us about Britain's first successful general of the war, Richard O'Connor, and the commander of the UK's anti-aircraft defences, Tim Pile, as well as two commanders of the Irish Brigade (Nelson Russell and Pat Scott), another infantry brigade commander (Adrian Gore) and tank brigade commander David Dawnay. Here also is one of the most successful divisional commanders of the war - Freddie Loftus Tottenham - who led a West African division in Burma, as well as the man who took over command of the Chindits after Orde Wingate's death - Joe Lentaigne. The book also includes three generals of English birth who were of Irish stock - Sir Richard McCreery, whose family roots were in Co. Tyrone, Sir Brian Horrocks, whose mother came from Co. Antrim, and Sir Allan Adair, also from an Antrim family. To buy:


It Had to be Tough: The Origins and Training of the Commandos in World War II by James Dunning

Pegasus Archive review: The Commandos developed an approach to warfare which was the complete antithesis to the conventional and defensive mindset of the British infantryman of 1940. Trained to fight in complete isolation and to make rapid and aggressive progress with only their small arms and personal determination and initiative to assist them, they evolved into a truly elite fighting force which was capable of causing mayhem and destruction out of all proportion to their size. James Dunning does not dwell upon the numerous raids which made them famous, instead he explores the unorthodox and notoriously gruelling training regime through which every Commando had to pass; a regime which would tolerate nothing less than the keenest, fittest, most self-disciplined and capable soldiers that Britain could produce. Covering every aspect of this system, from physical training to rehearsals for large-scale amphibious operations, "It Had to be Tough" reveals what it was which shaped each individual Commando and so made possible their legendary achievements. Price: £12.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Jocks in the Jungle: The Black Watch and Cameronians as Chindits by Gordon Thorburn

Pegasus Archive review: Jocks in the Jungle follows the experiences of the 1st Cameronians and 2nd Black Watch from the time of their arrival in the Far East to their becoming Chindits, and the expeditions which this celebrated brotherhood launched deep behind the Japanese lines into occupied Burma. Using various reports, veterans accounts and extracts from the battalion war diaries, Gordon Thorburn explores the driving forces behind the creation of the Chindits, detailing their hurried period of training before the first operations. He also dwells extensively on an issue which has frequently been overlooked in previous discussion, that of the human cost and the immense difficulties in administering proper medical care on such expeditions. The casualties suffered from actual combat were nothing out of the ordinary, especially considering the nature of their role and the precarious supply lines, but by far and away the largest drain on manpower was sickness, sometimes rendering as much of 50% of the force committed as unfit for service. A well researched book, casting fresh light on a famous episode of the Second World War. Price: £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy 1887 - 1941 by David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie

Pegasus Archive review: A sterling account of the rapid rise of the Imperial Japanese Navy, from its feudal origins to the dominant position which it attained in the Western Pacific by 1941. Kaigun follows the evolution of their naval ideology and tactics through the experience of the Russo-Japanese War, to the political tensions and conflicting priorities which emerged during the Inter-War years, and the limitations of this otherwise impressive force which were to lead it to disaster. On the way it details the Japanese approach to the design of its vessels, the arrangement of their shipyards, and the focus on and introduction of new technologies; from aircraft carriers, cruisers, submarines and the torpedo, to the magnificent but ultimately tactically redundant Superbattleships. This is a highly authoritative account of a much neglected subject, and one which compresses an extraordinarily complex series of events into a most lucid narrative. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Logistics in World War II 1939-1945 by John Norris

Pegasus Archive review: The subject of logistics in warfare is amongst the most complicated and least glamorous areas of study, and as such many have glossed over what is an utterly essential component of any successful campaign. Yet as John Norris demonstrates it can be a fascinating story of almost stupefying statistics, with hungry armies consuming tens of thousands of tons of supplies each day, requiring continual replenishment of all things from rations, clothing and medical supplies, to petrol, shells, and vehicles; all of which often had to pass through obliterated towns, and along congested roads and wrecked railway lines. The book takes a chronological approach, describing the challenges faced by the Allies and Axis Forces in the West and the Far East, the state of their armaments programmes, and how these evolved over the course of the war. Particular attention is paid to key points in the conflict, including the effect that the Blitzkrieg revolution had on logistics, rebuilding of the British Army after Dunkirk, the struggles for North Africa and Italy, the Normandy landings, and the difficulties of sustaining these vast armies beyond the beachheads. Price: £28.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Long Range Desert Group by W. B. Kennedy Shaw

Pegasus Archive review: The Long Range Desert Group achieved remarkable success during the North African campaign, sometimes as a small scale raiding force but chiefly in a reconnaissance role, operating hundreds of miles behind the lines to report on enemy strengths and movements. There can be few who are better placed to tell this story than Bill Kennedy Shaw, who had spent over 10 years prior to the war becoming an expert on the Libyan Desert before serving as the Group's Intelligence Officer, participating in the first sorties then working at Group Headquarters, where he was uniquely placed to observe the bigger picture. He wrote this most authoritative account in 1945 while the facts were still fresh in his mind, and it describes in wonderful detail the rapid foundation of the unit and its numerous exploits, revealing the enormous skill with which they operated in and navigated their way across the desert, and the methods they used to avoid detection and escape when spotted. Included amongst the appendices are a roll of honour, order of battle, a list of the many awards issued to personnel of the LRDG, and a precise breakdown of the rations required per man. Price: £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Long Range Desert Group 1940-1945: Providence Their Guide by Major-General David Lloyd Owen

Pegasus Archive review: The Long Range Desert Group was amongst the first special forces units to emerge from the Second World War, yet despite remarkable success it remains one of the least celebrated. This superb account, written by one of their former commanders, examines the formation of the unit, the very diverse personalities which shaped it, the North African operations, and their subsequent role in Italy and the Balkans. It describes in detail the carefully planned and brilliant techniques they employed to smuggle themselves hundreds of miles behind the enemy lines, where they would occasionally carry out small raids, but above all else conceal themselves near strategic points and do the critically important work of reporting on enemy movements and strengths, constantly exposed to the risk of detection and the whims of the desert. The book also considers their early partnership with the SAS, who hitched a ride with them and subsequently adopted their superior methods of using vehicles and a thorough knowledge of the terrain to push deep into enemy territory. Filled with detailed descriptions of individual operations and the remarkable characters who carried them out, this is a very engaging and fine tribute to a small band of men whose impact on the North African campaign in particular was quite immense. Price: £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Long Range Desert Group in Action 1940-1943 by Brendan O'Carroll

Pegasus Archive review: The Long Range Desert Group were pioneers of Britain's special forces, using their superb field craft and knowledge of the desert to penetrate deep behind the lines, sometimes raiding, but primarily focusing on reconnaissance to gather intelligence on enemy strength and movements, and in so doing they created a blueprint which the later SAS raids used to great effect. This rather large entry in the Images of War series follows the Group from their formation in July 1940 through to the conclusion of the North African campaign, with an epilogue in the Aegean in late 1943, shortly before their disbandment. Its considerable number of photographs were all taken by LRDG members, and the lack of formality in these gives a great sense of how they dressed, equipped, and conducted themselves, how they lived deep in the desert, the problems they encountered, and the aftermath of some of their rading expeditions. Price: £12.79. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Mussolini's Navy: A Reference Guide to the Regia Marina 1930 - 1945 by Maurizio Brescia

Pegasus Archive review: A simply magnificent book describing the Italian Navy of the Second World War, profiling all classes of vessels, from battleships and aircraft carriers to motor torpedo boats and submarines, each complete with technical summaries, descriptions, service histories, plans, and a plethora of superb photographs. In addition, a number of chapters are dedicated to detailing the organisation of the Regia Marina, its bases around the Mediterranean and colour plates illustrating various forms of camouflage, as well as notes on naval uniforms, insignia and flags, and also a "Who's Who" of the Italian Navy, profiling some of its central personalities. This is an essential volume for anyone who has a keen interest in maritime aspects of the Second World War, and not least because the impressive vessels of the Regia Marina have been sadly neglected from major discussion in many an English language naval history book. Price: £32.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Naval War in the Mediterranean 1940-1943 by Jack Greene and Alessandro Massignani

This superbly researched book gives a complete account of the war in Mediterranean on, above and beneath the sea up until Italy's armistice in September 1943. Written with full access to Italian sources, it not only provides a detailed and fascinating narrative of the entire naval war, but also sets the individual actions fully in their strategic context for both the Axis and the Allies. Topics include the complex and distrustful relationship between the Italians and their German allies, which culminated in open conflict after the Italian armistice in 1943, the battle for Malta, and that island's vital strategic role threatening Axis supply lines to North Africa, the exploits of the Italian 'human torpedoes' of the X MAS flotilla, which threatened to change the balance of power in the Mediterranean. This book is essential reading for all those interested in one of the major naval theatres of the Second World War. Price: £13.59. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Night of the Long Knives by Phil Carradice

Pegasus Archive review: The thugs of Ernst Röhm's Sturmabteilung had played their part in helping the Nazi Party to power in 1933, but soon became a threat to their retention of it and to Hitler's position as leader. On the 30th June 1934, the Gestapo and SS ruthlessly purged the SA leadership in a night of bloody terror which ended with Röhm and hundreds of others dead. This book explores how the members of the SA, who had expected to be rewarded for their years of brutality after Hitler's ascension yet saw no change in their situation, were unable to curb their excesses and became a liability to the party. It also examines the complex relationship between Hitler and Röhm who, despite rumours of a coup apparently remained his loyal friend to the end, yet was oblivious of the threat posed by his considerable popularity and dangerous ambitions to take control of the Wehrmacht. Other key personalities who fell foul of Hitler on that night are also discussed, as are those who had no connection to the SA but had been a thorn in the party's side and so were simply disposed of at this convenient time. The book concludes with the future of the severely chastened SA, and the immediate aftermath of the killings when the Nazi leadership, far from being shy about what they had done before the world, were quite euphoric. Price: £13.59. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Operation Dragoon: The Liberation of Southern France 1944 by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: The Allied invasion of Southern France, in August 1944, is a subject that is unfamiliar if not unknown to most with only a casual interest in the Second World War, not least because this "other D-Day" was seen as something of an expensive distraction from the main campaigns which were well underway in Normandy and Italy at the time, and whose achievements, in the years since, have generally been derided by a succession of commentators. Anthony Tucker-Jones presents a comprehensive overview of the landings, the aftermath and their impact on the wider campaign, revealing a number of useful successes which made no small contribution to the liberation of France, but which might have been small compensation for the potentially more decisive prizes which could have been won had this force and its vast resources been concentrated elsewhere. He also places very considerable emphasis on the political aspects of this operation, the planning of which caused considerable disharmony between the Allies, and indeed reached a point where an enormously sceptical Winston Churchill threatened to collapse his government. Fascinating reading. Price £19.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzer I & II: The Birth of Hitler's Panzerwaffe by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: Of all the German tanks produced during the Second World War, the Panzer I and II were certainly amongst the least formidable as they were primarily intended for training and as a stopgap until the more impressive Panzer III and IV were ready for service. Yet they have a special place in the history armoured warfare as the vehicles which shocked the world with the Blitzkrieg revolution in 1939 and 1940. Although soon phased out of the front line as tanks, both were subsequently modified into self-propelled guns; the Bison, Wespe, Panzerjager I and Marder II to name but a few of the more prominent types, and with this more impressive armament they continued as infantry support weapons long into the war, and to its end in the case of the Mk II. The carefully chosen photographs in this book chronicle their long history, showing both vehicles and their many variants in different situations, camouflage patterns, and in varying degrees of repair, in pre-war Germany, Poland, France, Russia and North Africa. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzer III: Hitler's Beast of Burden by Anthony Tucker-Jones

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series, looking at the ubiquitous but strangely often ignored Panzer III, which played a central role in the German military machine during the Second World War. The large and diverse photographs in this book describe its evolution from the first model to enter service to the last of its numerous variants, which saw it gradually upgunned and armoured in a losing battle for parity against the more modern and capable Allied tanks. Each of these modifications are briefly described, with the rare and carefully selected photographs showing the Panzer III in a range of theatres and situations. It also details the specialist variants, including the flame-thrower, amphibious, and command models, as well as the famous StuG-III Assault Gun, and captured vehicles which were converted and put into service with the Red Army. Price £14.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzer IV at War 1939-1945 by Paul Thomas

Pegasus Archive review: A part of the "Images of War" series, this book provides a photographic history of the Panzer Mk IV; a mainstay in the German arsenal and their only tank to remain in production throughout the Second World War. Many superb and rare photographs are displayed with detailed explanatory captions, mostly covering events on the Russian Front. The photographs also describe the development of the tank through its numerous variants to the Mk IV J model, as well as spin-off designs including the Hummel, Jagdpanzer IV, StuG IV and Brummbär. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Hans von Luck

Pegasus Archive review: Hans von Luck was amongst the first to join Germany's fledgling panzer arm in the 1930's, he had the privelege of being a student of Erwin Rommel and went on to fight on all of the major fronts of the Second World War. His is a remarkably varied account, not just in terms of the places he served and the enemies he fought, but it also provides a superb insight into the activities of a panzer commander, from squadron to regimental level. He was a company commander in Poland and France, before serving as Adjutant of the 7th Panzer Division in the first year of the Russian campaign, and then being personally summoned to North Africa by Rommel to take over a reconnaissance battalion. Given command of the 125th Panzergrenadier Regiment, his was amongst the first armoured formations to contest the D-Day landings, and in July 1944 played a pivotal role in the containment of Operation Goodwood. Having took part in numerous actions during the retreat through France, von Luck returned to the Eastern Front to participate in the final hopeless attempts to hold back the Russians. This is a very lucid and absorbingly told story, and one which is thoroughly deserving of its acclamation as a classic. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzergrenadiers 1942-1945 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: The term Panzergrenadier came into being in 1942 to describe motorised infantry units operating in direct conjunction with the panzer divisions. Excellently trained and equipped, these fast-moving formations provided powerful support to their armoured counterparts, and were an essential means of maintaining the momentum of an advance. As would be expected of the Images of War series, this book contains a great wealth of rare and excellent quality photographs, many of which have not been published before, complete with detailed explanatory notes. They show Panzergrenadiers of many different units operating in numerous theatres but largely on the Eastern Front, in a variety of situations and clearly displaying an array of their personal equipment and arms, as well as their heavier equipment including armoured vehicles, on which they are frequently mounted. Price £10.49. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword


Panzers at War 1939-1942 by Bob Carruthers

Pegasus Archive review: This is the first of two books describing the German panzers of the Second World War, and despite a deceptively small number of pages it provides a comprehensive study of the numerous models of the first years. It begins with the development of Germany's interest in armoured warfare, the unveiling of the first tanks and the tactics which were introduced and came to dominate their strategic thinking throughout the war. Tanks up to the MkIV are discussed in detail, together with their numerous variants, as well as the captured British, French and Russian vehicles which were pressed into service. The book contains many photographs and specifications of the main vehicles, together with an extensive narrative describing how the panzers evolved to meet the latest challenges encountered on the battlefield. Price £8.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Panzers at War 1943-1945 by Bob Carruthers

Pegasus Archive review: The second of two books describing the German panzers of the Second World War, this volume chiefly focuses upon the introduction of the heavy Panther and Tiger tanks, the later tank destroyers, captured enemy vehicles pressed into service, and even the experimental super-heavy tanks which were being developed as the next generation of German armour. The narrative begins with the titanic clash of these new tanks and the Russian T-34's at Kursk, and goes on to describe the Normandy campaign, the Ardennes offensive, and the last days of fighting in Berlin. This chronology of the final years of the war from the perspective of the panzers serves to highlight the desperate efforts to create new and superior weapons to stem the seemingly irresistable tide of events. Price £8.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


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


Pictorial History of the US 3rd Armored Division in World War Two by Darren Neely

Pegasus Archive review: A lavishly illustrated photographic history of the US 3rd Armored Division, documenting their arrival in Normandy a few weeks after the D-Day landings, through to the end of the war. The Division served with the 1st US Army and, as their nickname of the Spearhead Division implies, were frequently at the forefront of many battles; in France, the Ardennes, and ultimately across the Siegfried Line and into Germany. The individual chapters provide only a very brief summary of events, leaving the considerable array of excellent quality photographs, together with their detailed captions, to tell the story. These have been carefully selected to show the Division and its numerous vehicle types in a variety of situations, and the book culminates with an account of the famous duel between a Panther tank and one of the Division's new Pershing's in Cologne. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword.


Pioneers of Irregular Warfare by Malcolm Atkin

Pegasus Archive review: Military Intelligence (Research) is a much neglected aspect of the British intelligence organisation, which was established during the pre-war period to devise the tactics and equipment to enable irregular forces to wage a highly effective guerilla war against their adversaries under the direct command of British officers, very much in the Lawrence of Arabia mould. It was fated to never truly fulfil its vision, becoming overshadowed by the Special Operations Executive as the preferred method of using agents and resistance groups to wreak havoc, but it nevertheless did much to establish the template for intelligence organisations far beyond the war's end. MI(R) also had a hand in developing the Commandos, as well as the SAS and Jedburgh teams, whose methods of operation in Western Europe were very much in line with their ethos. Their efforts also led to the creation of MI9 which did excellent work in helping prisoners of war to escape. This book traces their fascinating story, from its origins and the personalities which shaped it, to their part in operations across the entire Second World War battlefield; from Western Europe to Africa, and from Asia to the Far East. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword Books.


The Rise of Hitler by Trevor Salisbury

Pegasus Archive review: A collection of rare images from a photograph album which was taken as a souvenir by a British soldier from the ruins of Germany in 1945, following Hitler from his birth to the brink of war, with pictures of his childhood and early life, including service during the First World War, to his entrance into extremist politics, the struggle between fascism and communism in the 1920's, and his eventual mastery of the Nazi Party in the 1930's. They depict a much more relaxed figure than the ranting and raving psychopath with which we are accustomed, yet these are not genuinely private photographs but have an air of a carefully staged public relations exercise about them. They can therefore be seen as a snapshot of propaganda, and the Messiah-like image of Hitler which was presented to the German people; that of the courageous, refined, brilliant and benevolent statesman which he abundantly was not. This can also be seen in the original captions which accompany some of the photographs, containing no trace of cynicism, rather a complete an unflinching belief in his leadership. Price £11.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Rommel's Desert Warriors 1941-42 by Michael Olive and Robert Edwards

Pegasus Archive review: A wonderful and lavishly presented photographic study of the Afrika Korps throughout the Desert War of 1941 and 1942. Many photographs are displayed which show the Germany Army, and occasionally their Italian allies and British opponents, either on the move or at rest between actions, each accompanied with explanatory notes. Together they paint a vivid picture of life and conditions within this most famous of brotherhoods, and, with the wide range of vehicles, equipment and uniforms on display, will certainly be of significant interest to historians of the period. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The SAS In Occupied France by Gavin Mortimer

Pegasus Archive review: Following their immense success in North Africa and across the Mediterranean, the SAS were parachuted deep behind the enemy lines amongst the much more restricted geography of Occupied France, to join forces with the Resistance, organise them into an effective fighting force, and lead them in attacks aimed at harassing the German reserves moving up to the front, and generally causing havoc in the rear areas. This very well researched book follows the exploits of 1 SAS in six operations; Titanic, Bulbasket, Houndsworth, Gain, Haggard, and Kipling, describing the progress of each with the aid of a very considerable number of photographs, maps and first hand accounts, many of which are previously unpublished. It is also a battlefield guide, and concisely profiles key areas of interest in each of the operational areas, complete with coordinates and directions. Price £25.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


SAS In Tuscany 1943-45 by Brian Lett

While always dangerous and daring, SAS operations are by no means invariably successful and when they go wrong, they do so very badly. This point is well made in SAS in Tuscany 1943-1945 which describes three such operations in enemy-occupied Italy during the latter half of the Second World War. Speedwell 2, the first of the three, saw six men drop blind into Northern Tuscany on 8 September 1943, which was by chance the day of the Italian Armistice. But, with no radios or air-to-ground support their courageous three week operation ended in disaster; four members were captured and executed and only one successfully ex-filtrated after an epic journey lasting seven months. The second and third operations, Galia (winter 1944/1945) and Blimey (April 1945), provided contrasting results. Galia, involving thirty-four men led by Captain Walker-Brown, tied up many thousands of enemy troops for nearly two months under extreme winter conditions - an extraordinary achievement, thanks in measure to cooperation with an SOE mission led by Major Gordon Lett, the author's father. Operation Blimey sadly achieved little before being caught up in the Allied advance. The reasons for the success and failure of these two operations are carefully analysed. Thanks to the Author's research into these little known operations and his detailed knowledge of the area, SAS in Tuscany 1943 - 45 is a significant addition to the bibliography of SAS operation in the Second World War. Price £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


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


Scotland on the Frontline: A Photographic History of Scottish Forces 1939-45 by Chris Brown

Pegasus Archive review: An excellent introduction to a most broad subject. Chris Brown makes extensive use of numerous photographic archives to present an overview of all theatres in which Scottish troops served; from the Home Front to the North African desert, Italy, North-West Europe and the Far East. Mixing a highly informative narrative with veterans accounts describing typical front line actions, this is a fine tribute to the Scottish soldier of the Second World War. Price £13.49. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


SDKFZ 251: 251/9 and 251/22 Kanonenwagen by Dennis Oliver

Pegasus Archive review: The Sdkfz 251 half-track was one of the most extensively produced armoured vehicles of the Second World War, with 15,000 being built and used in a very wide variety of roles, from personnel carrier and command vehicle to mobile rocket launcher and bridge layer. This superb modelling guide looks at the 251/9 and 251/22 variants, mounting a 7.5cm short and long-barrelled gun respectively, with the former seeing extensive service from early 1943 and the latter emerging during the final months of the war. It is beautifully illustrated throughout with numerous colour renderings of each type, showing a range of camouflage and markings relating to specific units at particular times and places. It also includes a brief history of the two variants, as well as an overview of their service in every individual panzer formation. Price: £16.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Secret Army: The Memoirs of General Bór-Komorowski by Tadeusz Bór-Komorowski

Tadeusz Komorowski was born in 1895 in Galicia, a region then ruled by the Austrians, and he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army in the First World War. Poland regained its independence in 1918, and Komorowski fought against the Russians in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–21. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Komorowski was the commander of units defending the Vistula River, but he was pushed eastwards by the fierce advance. Despite being surrounded by German forces, he escaped to Cracow. Although he planned to escape to the West, he was ordered to stay and start a resistance movement. He stayed in Cracow until the summer of 1941, when he sent to Warsaw. The legend of ‘Bór’ was about to begin.  Komorowski was appointed to lead the Home Army in June 1943. The Polish Resistance carried out sabotage and vital intelligence for the Allies, but their main task was to prepare for an uprising when the Nazis were in retreat to help liberate the country. The Polish Government-in-Exile gave the order to commence on 1 August 1944. Tragically, Stalin had plans for Poland after the war: Soviet troops sat outside Warsaw and left the Poles to their fate. The Resistance lasted, incredibly, 63 days. Komorowski was sentenced to death by Hitler, but the order was rescinded. The tale of Bór and the Uprising is the story of a proud nation and their fight against enemies and betrayal by allies. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Secret Flotillas: Clandestine Sea Operations in the Western Mediterranean, North African & the Adriatic 1940-1944 by Brook Richards

Pegasus Archive review: Part two of a magnificent chronicle which follows the activities of the numerous civilian ships which operated in the perilous waters of the Mediterranean throughout the Second World War, ferrying SOE agents and small scale raiding parties to their objectives. Due to the unofficial nature of their role, little has ever been said and perhaps is likely to be said of their story. This book, therefore, is a treasure trove of information, not least because its author participated in some of the operations and later became their official historian. What he presents is a combination of his own commanding narrative, which details the course of these operations throughout the war and analyses their success, interspersed with numerous and colourful first hand accounts. Also included is an extensive appendix which lists all of the 390 operations carried out, the vessel involved, the nature of their task and the results. Price: £13.50. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Servants of Evil: Voices from Hitler's Army by Bob Carruthers

Pegasus Archive review: There has never been any shortage of first hand accounts to lavishly document every aspect of the Second World War from the Allied perspective, but accounts by their German counterparts are often conspicuous by their absence. Bob Carruthers presents a number of fascinating stories in his book which, helped along by his own lively narrative, gives us a taste of life on the opposite side of the line. The chapters adopt a chronological approach, beginning with the Wehrmacht, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine at the peak of their powers, and they later give a vivid sense of the enormous odds which were weighed against them, covering the horrors of combat on the Eastern Front, the gradual decline of the Luftwaffe, and the increasing perils faced by U-Boatmen in the Atlantic. No history can be complete without considering events from all perspectives, and Servants of Evil is a fine start towards addressing the imbalance. Price: £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


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


Some of the People all the Time by Alastair Mackay

Alastair Mackie was formerly an Air Commodore and H-bomber pilot, twice decorated in war and twice again in peace. He left his RAF career early because he disagreed with British and NATO defence policy - in particular with what he describes as "Britain's idiotic nuclear so-called deterrent". On leaving the RAF he studied law and then became Under Treasurer at the Middle Temple... He is currently a Vice-President of CND and a volunteer mental hospital visitor. A self-styled battler Briton, Mackie tells with combative gusto the story of the extraordinary array of characters he came across, running the gamut from monarch and presidents by way of peers, paedophiles, clerics, peddlers of tobacco, booze and much else, as well as politicians and other villains. No holds barred or expletives deleted. Aviators and other ex-service people will enjoy the account of 47 aircraft types, 5,000 hours and 26 years of flying including 70 odd bombing raids, as well as airborne operations in Normandy and at Arnhem and the Rhine. Order from Book Guild Publishing, Pavilion View, 19 New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1UF or, prices £20.00 in pp (UK), £21.50 (Europe) or £24.50 elsewhere overseas. Or from Vine House Distributors Ltd, Mullany Business Park, Deanland Road, Golden Cross, BN27 3RT, 01825 873133. Also available from good bookshops from 30th November 2006, or on the internet from Amazon.


SS Charlemagne by Tony Le Tissier

Pegasus Archive review: Contrary to their reputation for ethnic purity, the Waffen SS evolved into a surprisingly diverse organisation with numerous divisions formed around volunteers from occupied nations and beyond. The origins of SS Charlemagne began with the Légion des Volontaires Français in 1941, and the disappointingly small number of Frenchmen who volunteered to serve with it on the Eastern Front. It was not until the final months of the war when a Division of 6,000 men was properly formed and thrown into the futile attempts to halt the Russian advance on Berlin, and it was here that the survivors had the dubious honour of being the last troops to defend Hitler in the Fuhrerbunker. This book is largely formed around the first hand accounts of its members who were fortunate enough to survive both the battle and the post-war French legal system, if they were not executed on the spot, and they reveal the unyielding determination of SS Charlemagne as well as the horrendous fighting which took place amongst the ruins of Berlin and a regime in its death throes. Price: £12.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Tanks of the Second World War by Thomas Anderson

Pegasus Archive review: A beautifully presented chronological history of the tank during the Second World War. To set this subject into context, it also pays considerable attention to the Great War origins of the tank, the developments of the 1930's and not just those of the major belligerents but also the Poles and Czechs whose contributions are often overlooked, and the next generation of designs which emerged during the post war period. As a very considerable number of variants were produced for each model during the Second World War, it would be a quite enormous book which attempted to describe them all, and so Thomas Anderson focuses on the most important of these developments, briefly describing each along with their technical specifications. Yet this is above all else a photographic history, consisting throughout of large, clear and carefully selected images, many of which have never been published before. Price: £20.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Third Reich in 100 Objects by Roger Moorehouse

Pegasus Archive review: A superbly presented collection of very diverse objects, documents, buildings, vehicles and weapons, which collectively give a snapshot of life in Nazi Germany, demonstrating its technological prowess on the battlefield, and methods of social control on the home front. Amongst these are many instantly recognisable items which one would expect to see, such as the Swastika, Mein Kampf, Tiger tank, Luger pistol, and the Judenstern gold star, but there are many more obscure ones with equally significant stories to tell, including forced labour and ration cards, the jerrycan, propaganda posters, the Volksturm armband, a souvenir beer stein from a Nuremberg Rally, and, most sinister of all, a canister of Zyklon-B. Each are described with mostly colour photographs over the course of two or three pages, and they demonstrate how even small and seemingly innocent objects can be put to dreadful use. Price £13.50. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Traditional Enemies: Britain's War with Vichy France 1940-1942 by John D. Grainger

Pegasus Archive review: Britain and France began the Second World War as Allies, but before the end of the first year France had surrendered and Britain was confronted with the dreadful possibility of its military resouces and colonies being placed at the disposal of Germany and Japan. The subsequent destruction of the French Mediterranean Fleet by the Royal Navy at Mers el Kebir is well known, but history has largely chosen to ignore the numerous other occasions where the British, and later the Americans, came to blows with its former ally. In North Africa, many French troops came over to the Allied cause and fought alongside the 8th Army, but others, in Syria, Madagascar, Morocco and Algeria, remained loyal to the Vichy regime and fought with a surprising determination when tactical necessity compelled the Allies to intervene. Traditional Enemies is a fascinating history of these conflicts, which many will be unaware ever took place, and provides a thorough account of the political background and aftermath of each. Price: £15.99. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


Unearthing Churchill's Secret Army: The Official List of SOE Casualties and their Stories by John Grehan and Martin Mace

Pegasus Archive review: The agents of the Special Operations Executive had a profound impact on the course of the Second World War, achieving great success in organising resistance forces, gathering intelligence and carrying out acts of sabotage. Their work, however, was exceedingly dangerous and this superb book reveals the price paid by those whose missions went awry. It profiles every man and woman who are known to have been killed whilst in the service of SOE, concisely detailing what is known of their recruitment and operations, and the circumstances leading up to their death. Executed in concentration camps, tortured, committing suicide when cornered, or simply being killed when their parachute failed to open, this book serves as a sobering reminder of the risks which each agent faced when they entered Occupied Europe, and it is deserving of a prominent place on the bookshelves of anyone with an interest in SOE. Price: £15.00. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or


The Unknown Warriors by Nick Pringle

I started to hear from World War Two veterans. I had sent out an appeal for memories and also what they thought about the UK in the 21st Century. The second bit is important. There is many excellent books about the war, but very little as far as I could see about what the veterans did afterwards, how they coped in Civvy Street, and what they think about the changes over the last few decades. As most veterans are now in the late eighties or early nineties, they of course have had long lives. The five years of war for most were their most memorable, their happiest and their saddest, five years of their lives, so how did this impact their following six decades. I really didn't know what to expect, would I even hear from anyone. I'll always remember going to the P.O Box to see if anything was there. There was a neat bundle of letters... I was a bit over-awed to begin with. What am I going to do with all these! The letters were just how you would expect them to look. Some were typed using old typewriters, others in elaborate scrawl, taught by Victorian born schoolmasters, and then there was the letters all in capitals in biro. Just like how my grandpa used to write with one of his little red pens from Ladbrokes the bookies! I continued to receive letters now and again for the following two years. One of the letters, stated that he would like to read a book about the war without stupid conclusions. I had read Captain Cooks diaries and although over 200 years old, they took you right back and it was like he was talking to you. That made my mind up. I decided I would set out the book in a letter format, which I hope makes the book a very easy and enjoyable read. Price: Hardback Price £18.99 plus £3.50 p&p, Paperback Price £9.99 plus £3.50 p&p. Ex forces can get a discount at See for more details.


The Warsaw Uprisings 1943-1944 by Ian Baxter

Pegasus Archive review: Of the numerous tragedies which befell the Polish people during the Second World War, the Warsaw Uprising of 1944 was certainly amongst the worst, as the proximity of the Red Army encouraged the Polish Home Army to rise up to assist the advance of their liberators, but they did not come and instead allowed the resistance to be crushed. The fighting raged for 63 days, at the conclusion of which the city had been systematically demolished but remarkably the survivors of the Home Army were treated as prisoners of war, though many civilians were deported as slave labour and some ended up in concentration camps. The superb photographs in this book chronicle this sad episode, and equally that of the Jewish Ghetto Uprising of 1943, which was brutally put down with a much less favourable outcome for its participants. As is typical of the Images of War series, the excellent quality photographs have been carefully selected and come with detailed explanatory notes. Price £10.49. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or Pen and Sword


With Hitler to the End: The Memoirs of Adolf Hitler's Valet by Heinz Linge

Pegasus Archive review: The world has been made only too familiar with the public face of Adolf Hitler; a monster ranting his hatred at a crowd of spell-bound followers, yet there are few eye witness accounts which describe his altogether different behaviour in private. Heinz Linge was perhaps the most superbly placed of any to fully observe Hitler behind closed doors, having served as his valet from 1935 until his suicide in 1945. He was his constant companion throughout, scarcely a confidant, but a loyal servant who was responsible for maintaining every aspect of Hitler's household, and he paints a revealing picture of his personal habits, from his relentless obsession with diet to his relationship with Eva Braun. In other chapters, Linge gives his observations on the Nazi Party elite, and provides a superb account of the assassination attempt by Stauffenberg in July 1944, describing its aftermath and the impact on Hitler's health. The final pages explain the final days in Berlin, Hitler's suicide and the part which Linge played in helping to cremate his body, and then the unpleasant ten years that he spent as a Russian prisoner. Quite essential for anyone seeking to understand the mindset of Adolf Hitler. Price £10.39. Copies may be purchased from Amazon or