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At the outset of World War I the British had some 110 assorted aircraft, used mostly for the visual reconnaissance role. With the advent of faster and more agile single-seaters, the Allies and their adversaries raced to outdo each other in the creation of genuinely effective fighters with fixed forward-firing machine gun armament. It was not until 1917 that the British developed a truly effective interrupter gear, which paved the way for excellent single seaters such as the Sopwith Triplane Camel and the RAF S.E.5., later joined by the Bristol F.2B - the war's best two-seat fighter. This volume traces the rapid development of the fighter in World War I and the amazing exploits of the British and Empire aces who flew them.
The scope of Britain's wartime Middle East Command stretched far beyond the Libyan desert where the 8th Army's most famous battles were fought - from Gibraltar and Tunisia in the west, to Iraq and Persia in the east, and from Greece south to the Gulf of Aden. In the 1940-43 period of World War II, this was the only arena where the British Army could take the ground war to the German Wehrmacht; it saw a succession of setbacks and triumphs, until spring 1945 found the 8th Army victorious in northern Italy. A summary of these campaigns is illustrated by photographs, and detailed colour plates of the wide range of uniforms worn in the varied conditions of this huge theatre of war.
In 1914 the artillery of Britain's 'Field Army' encompassed those weapons judged to have sufficient mobility to keep up with troops in the field. This book describes all major variants, from the 60-pdr guns of the heavy field batteries, perched somewhat uncomfortably on the cusp between field artillery and siege artillery, to the 2.75in. guns of the mountain batteries, almost toy-like in comparison. Between these two extremes lay the bulk of the artillery of the Field Army: the 13-pdr guns of the Royal Horse Artillery, and the 18-pdr guns and 4.5in. howitzers of the Royal Field Artillery batteries.
Battles at Dogger Bank and Jutland revealed critical firepower, armor, and speed differences in Royal Navy and Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) Battlecruiser designs.Fast-moving and formidably armed, the battlecruisers of the British and German navies first encountered one another in 1915 at Dogger Bank and in the following year clashed near Jutland in the biggest battleship action of all time. In the decade before World War I Britain and Germany were locked in a naval arms race that saw the advent of first the revolutionary dreadnought, the powerful, fast-moving battleship that rendered earlier designs obsolete, and then an entirely new kind of vessel - the battlecruiser. The brainchild of the visionary British admiral John 'Jacky' Fisher, the battlecruiser was designed to operate at long range in 'flying squadrons', using its superior speed and powerful armament to hunt, outmanoeuvre and destroy any opponent. The penalty paid to reach higher speeds was a relative lack of armour, but Fisher believed that 'speed equals protection'. By 1914 the British had ten battlecruisers in service and they proved their worth when two battlecruisers, Invincible and Inflexible, sank the German armoured cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands in December 1914.Based on a divergent design philosophy that emphasised protection over firepower, the Germans' battlecruisers numbered six by January 1915, when the rival battlecruisers first clashed at Dogger Bank in the North Sea. By this time the British battlecruisers had been given a new role - to locate the enemy fleet. Five British battlecruisers accompanied by other vessels intercepted and pursued a German force including three battlecruisers; although the battle was a British tactical victory with neither side losing any of its battlecruisers, the differences in the designs of the British and German ships were already apparent. The two sides responded very differently to this first clash; while the Germans improved their ammunition-handling procedures to lessen the risk of disabling explosions, the British drew the opposite lesson and stockpiled ammunition in an effort to improve their rate of fire, rendering their battlecruisers more vulnerable. The British also failed to improve the quality of their ammunition, which had often failed to penetrate the German ships' armour.These differences were highlighted more starkly during the battle of Jutland in May 1916. Of the nine British battlecruisers committed, three were destroyed, all by their German counterparts. Five German battlecruisers were present, and of these, only one was sunk and the remainder damaged. The limitations of some of the British battlecruisers' fire-control systems, range-finders and ammunition quality were made clear; the Germans not only found the range more quickly, but spread their fire more effectively, and the German battlecruisers' superior protection meant that despite being severely mauled, all but one were able to evade the British fleet at the close of the battle. British communication was poor, with British crews relying on ship-to-ship flag and lamp signals even though wireless communication was available. Even so, both sides claimed victory and the controversy continues to this day.
Wined, dined and swept away by the British billionaire. . . Shy designer Candida Greenway is out of her depth at a dinner hosted by her client. And charming playboy Max Seymour is out of her league! Constantly surrounded by high-society darlings, Max has known his fair share of glamorous women. Now he's set his sights on one who refuses to fall at his feet! Candida's head says she can never be more to Max than a passing affair--so why won't her heart listen when she tries to resist him?
Christopher (English, European Business School, London) explains current times while explaining the influence of what went before. He specifies the contributions of individuals and groups and makes sure readers understand how they fit in larger trends, such as the rise of ethnicity and identity, the expansion of gender roles and the changes in social conscience and consciousness. Along with new chapters on sport, newspapers, and magazines for this edition, he covers the social and cultural context, language in culture, literature, theater, cinema, television and radio, popular music and fashion, art and architecture. He includes discussion questions with each chapter and a list of further reading. Although intended for undergraduate students the content and style make this text suitable for general readers. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
This book recounts the history of the first destroyers of the Royal Navy, which revolutionised this service and changed the way war was fought at sea. Moreover, between 1892, when the first destroyers were laid down, and 1918 destroyers evolved radically from 27 knot, 250-ton ships into 35 knot, 1,530-ton ships. All these ships were involved in some form during World War I; the smaller, original destroyers in an auxiliary support role and the newer larger destroyers at some of the greatest sea battles of the war. Indeed, this book will highlight the role destroyers played in the North Sea during the crucial battles to control the Heliogoland Bight as well as the major fleet action at the battle of Jutland in 1916. Complete with a detailed description of the technical evolution of each class of destroyer from the 27-knotters to the Tribal and Marksman classes, this book offers a complete overview of the vessels that helped to maintain Britain's supremacy at sea.
In 1916, in the seas near Jutland, two fleets of armoured dreadnoughts met in open battle. This book tells the story of the British and German battleships of these two great fleets - from their development as the first generation of fully- armoured warships - to their combat experiences. The differing weapon systems and crew training of the British and German fleets are examined in detail, as is the titanic struggle of Jutland, through an hour-by-hour, shot-by-shot, reconstruction. Finally, it analyzes the outcome of the struggle, explaining the successes and failures of these great battleships.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This is a concise history of the Royal Navy's air arm during World War II (1939-1945), from the Arctic convoys, to the battle for Malta, to the last raids on Japan. The contribution of British Naval aviation to the ultimate Allied victory cannot be underestimated. Amazingly the Admiralty only had 406 operational pilots and 8 carriers when war broke out, but a mere 6 years later there were over 3,000 operational pilots and 53 aircraft carriers patrolling the seas in every theater of the war. The author charts the rapid evolution of the Fleet Air Arm during the war years as air power took over the cutting edge of naval warfare from surface battleships. The carriers were in action from the first with actions by HMS Ark Royal and Courageous in September 1939 to the major actions of the carrier force off Japan in the closing days of the war. This book offers a complete overview from recruitment and training to the thrilling accounts of operational successes and failures. Discover some of the most dramatic actions of the war as Royal Navy aces battled against Axis forces scoring both the first and last kills of the war.
In the Age of Fighting Sail (1650-1820), ambitious officers of the navies of many nations sought command of a frigate. Speedy, nimble and formidably armed, frigates often operated independently, unlike the larger ships of the line. Legendary sailors such as Edward Pellew and Charles-Alexandre Léon Durand, Comte de Linoise, found that commanding such a ship offered numerous opportunities for wealth - in the form of prize money paid out for captured enemy vessels - and, even more importantly, prestige and promotion for captains who prevailed in the numerous single-ship duels that characterized frigate warfare. During in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars both Great Britain and France employed frigates to achieve their maritime objectives: to perpetuate its supremacy the Royal Navy needed to be strong everywhere, while the French Navy concentrated its efforts on deploying single frigates or small frigate squadrons to probe for weak points in the British mastery of the seas. Between 1793, when HMS Nymphe fought and captured the French frigate La Cléopâtre, and the 1814 clash between HMS Hebrus and L'Étoile British and French frigates met and fought in over 100 battles. Of these no fewer than 32 were pure frigate duels, with a pair of frigates fighting without the interference of another major warship before the battle ended. Attention and romance attached to these clashes, both at the time and right up to the present day; literary characters such as Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey have perpetuated the legend of these spirited battles on the high seas for successive generations. In this book, four representative frigate duels are examined: first, a battle fought between two closely matched ships (HMS Nymphe (36) vs La Cléopâtre (32), 18 June 1793); second, a victory won by an inferior British frigate over a superior French frigate (HMS Pallas (32) vs Minerve (40), 14 May 1806); third, a victory - the only one - by an inferior French frigate over a superior British frigate (HMS Ambuscade (32) vs Baïonnaise (24), 14 December 1798), and fourth, victory of a superior British frigate over an inferior French frigate (HMS Indefatigable (44) of Hornblower fame vs La Virginie (40), 21 April 1796). Featuring specially commissioned artwork and offering expert analysis, this study provides a vivid account of the bloody combats fought by the most romantic warship of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era - the frigate.
The idea of a heavy cruiser emerged in the aftermath of the First World War, and was closely linked to the limits set by the inter-war Washington Treaty on naval armament. The pre-Great War concept of armoured cruisers had been abandoned, but in their stead the Admiralty saw a place for powerful cruisers, able to patrol the sea lanes of the British Empire, and which were well-enough armed that they could destroy enemy commerce cruisers of the kind used by the Germans in the last war.The result was a group of British warships which were collectively known as the "Washington Treaty Cruisers", which did everything the Admiralty wanted, but which fitted within the limits imposed by the Washington Treaty - an armament of 8-inch guns, and a displacement of less than 10,000 tons. These impressive cruisers were high-sided, spacious and stately - perfect peacetime ambassadors for British power. In war they also packed a considerable punch. While they all carried powerful 8-inch guns, they were also given an effective armoured belt, making them proof against any foreign cruisers then in service. During the Second World War the Royal Navy's thirteen heavy cruisers saw service in every theatre of war, whether taking part in major sea battles in the Mediterranean, delivering the coup de grace to the Bismarck in the North Atlantic, or enduring the unwanted attention of kamikaze pilots in the Pacific.
A milestone in the understanding of British history and imperialism, this important book radically reinterprets the course of modern economic development and the causes of overseas expansion during the past three centuries. Employing their concept of 'gentlemanly capitalism', the authors draw imperial and domestic British history together to show how the shape of the nation and its economy depended on international and imperial ties, and how these ties were undone to produce the postcolonial world of today. BRITISH IMPERIALISM has received numerous accolades from scholars and the wider reading public, and is winner of the American Historical Association's prestigious Forkosch Prize. This second edition, issued for the first time in a single volume, has two substantial new chapters; a Foreword assesses the development of the debate since the book's original publication; an Afterword discusses the imperial era in the context of the current controversy over globalization, and shows how the study of the age of empires remains relevant to understanding the postcolonial world.
Expert ananlyis and first-hand accounts of combat during the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879: Nyezane, iSandlwana, and Khambula. As seen in the movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine, Zulu discipline and courage overcame British firepower at iSandlwana, and almost at Rorke's Drift. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, expert analysis and carefully chosen first-hand accounts, this absorbing study traces the development of infantry tactics in the Anglo-Zulu War by examining three key clashes at unit level.The short but savage Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 pitched well-equipped but complacent British soldiers and their auxiliaries into combat with one of history's finest fighting forces, the Zulu Nation. The clashes between these two very different combatants prompted rapid tactical innovation on both sides, as the British and their Zulu opponents sought to find the optimal combination of mobility and firepower.Fought on 22 January 1879, the clash at Nyezane saw Zulu forces, among them the uMxapho ibutho, ambushing a British column; the British forces, including Lieutenant Martin's company of the 2/3rd Foot, engaged their opponents in the prescribed fashion, as honed in the recent conflict with the Xhosa a year earlier. The Zulu attack was premature, and by 9.30am, after about 90 minutes of heavy fighting, they were repulsed. The British tactics worked, but largely only because the Zulus had an uncharacteristically low numerical superiority.At iSandlwana later that same day, however, the shortcomings of the British tactics, obscured at Nyezane, were made brutally apparent. The Zulus had sufficient manpower not only to withstand that level of casualties but also to complete their encirclement of the British forces, and as the British line disintegrated the firefight gave way to the close-quarter fighting at which the Zulus excelled; not one man of the 1/24th and 2/24th Foot survived. The British forces surrounded and crushed at iSandlwana included Captain W.E. Mostyn's company of the 1/24th Foot, which was initially deployed in advance of the British camp but was later withdrawn to form part of the firing line; their opponents included the iNgobamkhosi ibutho, many of whose warriors left first-hand accounts of the battle.While iSandlwana demonstrated the strengths of the Zulu tactics, it also demonstrated their weaknesses - for the casualties inflicted by the British foreshadowed the carnage they would reap once the British wholeheartedly embraced close-order tactics and defended positions. At Khambula on 29 March 1879, a much bigger British force adopted a defensive position and defeated the same Zulu units who had previously triumphed at iSandlwana, including the uKhandempemvu ibutho, which came close to storming the British defences. At iSandlwana, the Zulus had been able to screen their advance with skirmishers and take advantage of the broken and grassy ground, but at Khambula their spontaneous attack did not allow them to disperse properly and they were funnelled together on a contracting front over woefully exposed ground. The British had learned the tactical lessons of iSandlwana and deliberately sought to restrict the Zulu ability to manoeuvre and co-ordinate their attacks, and to concentrate their own firepower.
Cruisers became Britain's essential vessel for protecting battleships, carriers, and convoys versus Japanese, Italian, and Nazi German commerce raiders, submarines, aircraft, and destroyers. The light cruiser was a natural development of the sailing frigate - a fast multi-purpose warship that could patrol the sea lanes, protect convoys and scout for enemy battle fleets. By the inter-war period the need for this type of ship was even more important, given the increasing need for protection from aircraft, and the need to screen the fleet from submarines or destroyers. During the 1930's a new group of British light cruisers were commissioned, designed to replace an earlier generation of warships designed during the Great War. These new ships were sleek, fast, and relied on the 6-inch gun - a tried and tested weapon that combined hitting power with a high rate of fire. A second generation of light cruisers followed during the late 1930's, armed with twelve 6-inch guns apiece. One of these - HMS Belfast - is still afloat today. Finally the threat posed by German aircraft led to the conversion of some older warships into anti-aircraft cruisers - a stopgap measure until a new class of these powerful and much-needed warships entered service. By this time wartime experience had shown that the British light cruiser was one of the most versatile types of ship in the Royal Navy, able to protect other warships, bombard enemy shores, guard life-saving convoys and intercept and destroy enemy warships. These were truly the workhorses of the wartime Royal Navy. While the battleships and carriers grabbed the headlines, these sleek, elegant warships quietly got on with the job of securing control of the seas.From the Trade Paperback edition.
During World War II, few groups within the Royal Navy fought a harder, more intense war than the men of Coastal Forces. Their job was to operate the Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches (MLs) and Motor Gun Boats (MGBs) that protected coastal convoys, attacked enemy ones, and performed a myriad of duties, which include the dropping of agents and commandos on a hostile shore, raids on enemy ports, and near-suicidal attacks on larger enemy warships. While the MTBs were the "bombers", delivering their payload of high explosive torpedoes, the crew of the MGBs used their machine guns and small-calibre guns to sink, burn or destroy their enemy counterparts. For that reason they saw their frail, sleek craft as the "Spitfire of the Seas". Motor Gun Boats were similar to Motor Torpedo Boats, only their decks were crammed with as many guns as they could carry - and to man these weapons, they required a larger crew. During the early years of the war, they were used to counter the threat posed by German E-Boats in the English Channel, but by 1941 they were in use offensively, conducting sweeps along the enemy coast in search of prey. By 1942 British MGBs were seen in the Mediterranean, interdicting Axis supply routes to North Africa, and later supporting the Allied invasion forces as they landed in Sicily, Italy and the South of France. The majority of these small wooden craft were built in Britain by the British Power Boat Company or Fairmile Marine. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes, but in late 1942 the Fairmile "D" MGB made its appearance - a boat which would come to dominate coastal operations during the last years of the war. Known as "Dog Boats" by their crew, they were fast, powerful and versatile. By the end of the war, over 200 of these small boats had been built and they represented the pinnacle of wartime British motor boat design.This New Vanguard title tells the story of these fragile but deadly little warships.
For the first half of the 20th century Great Britain led the world in motorcycle design and production, exporting its products to countries in every section of the globe. However, as the second half of the century began in 1960 this once great industry commenced what was to be a terminal decline. During the 1960s and '70s Britain still manufactured a wide range of machines, but a combination of poor management, lack of investment, foreign competition (notably from Japan), and the arrival of the small, affordable car transpired to effectively sound the death knell of the British motorcycle by the end of the 1970s.
This title tells the dramatic story of how the Royal Navy transformed ordinary citizens into first-rate and fearless sailors and navy personnel during World War II. It covers how they were recruited and trained, and how they endured life at sea in hostile waters, protecting convoys in the Atlantic, hunting submarines in the Mediterranean, and standing up to relentless air attacks in the Pacific. Told from the perspective of vivid first-hand accounts of life onboard, it reveals what it was like to be a sailor navigating, patrolling, and fighting in the largest theater of the war- the vast oceans.
This deeply researched and authoritative book has long been awaited by all those interested in the wartime exploits of the British Special Forces. For the first time readers will be able to understand the origin, inter- relationship and special functions of all the main units within the Special Force throughout the Second World War and after it. William Seymour identifies the principal leaders and tells of their triumphs, failures and frustrations, all set against the backcloth of the main strategic events in the Western Desert, Italy, the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Europe and the Far East.
The submarine was as formidable a weapon for the Royal Navy in World War II as for the other main combatant nations. The first half of this book explores the conception, design, development and subesequent evolution of the three major classes: the "S", "T", and "U".The "S" Class submarine was originally conceived in the 1920s, specifically for deployment in narrow seas. As the war progressed the submarine was modified to increase its diving capability and fuel-carrying capacity, and radar and many other features were added. The "S" Class served in all theaters from the North Atlantic to the Pacific with notable success, in many cases surviving very severe damage.The "T" Class submarine was originally conceived for operations in the Far East, thus was one of the largest types to be built and serve in World War II. The development of the "T" Class during the war was sometimes at the expense of its underwater stability and in the Mediterranean theater half of the submarines that were deployed sunk.The "U" Class include Upholder, the most successful British submarine of World War II.The second half of the book surveys the major submarine actions of the war, including the Norwegian Campaign, operatins to save Malta and many other engagements in all theaters involving British submarines, German U-Boats and the Japanese. The author has accessed many previously unpublished sources and draws on his own extensive underwater research to give a highly detailed and informed account of the British submarine.
As the major powers engaged in an arms race in the early years of the 20th century, the Admiralty was tasked with developing that deadly stalker of the high seas - the submarine. In 1905, briefed with creating a vessel that could be employed on an enemy's coastline, the Admiralty took several technological leaps forward to match Germany's own revolutionary vessels. Written by an influential expert in the field and covering all classes of submarine developed and deployed during the war, this book includes great technical detail, gripping operational accounts and is accompanied by artwork. With fascinating details of daring submarine raids in the Baltic and the Dardanelles, this book reveals the exceedingly dangerous world of early submarine warfare which claimed an extraordinary number of lives on both sides and paved the way for a new kind of naval warfare in the 20th century and beyond.
Vibrant, varied, and controversial, British theatre of the past fifty years has encompassed invigorating indigenous drama, political didactics, the formation of such institutions as the National Theatre, worldwide exportation of West End musicals, and much more. This entertaining and authoritative book-the first comprehensive account of British post-war theatre-is essential reading for scholars and enthusiasts alike.
Britain's domestic intelligence agencies maintained secret records on many left-wing writers after the First World War. Drawing on recently declassified material from 1930 to 1960, this revealing study examines how leading figures in Britain's literary scene fell under MI5 and Special Branch surveillance, and the surprising extent to which writers became willing participants in the world of covert intelligence and propaganda. Chapters devoted to W. H. Auden and his associates, theatre pioneers Ewan MacColl and Joan Littlewood, George Orwell, and others describe methods used by MI5 to gather information through and about the cultural world. The book also investigates how these covert agencies assessed the political influence of such writers, providing scholars and students of twentieth-century British literature an unprecedented account of clandestine operations in popular culture.
A major contribution to our understanding of Britain`s past and to the contemporary debate about the shape and identity of Britain in the future.
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