Author: Fitzroy MaClean
Publisher: Penguin UK
Fitztroy Maclean was one of the real-life inspirations for super-spy James Bond. After adventures in Soviet Russia before the war, Maclean fought with the SAS in North Africa in 1942. There he specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and outrageous kidnapping of the German Consul in Axis-controlled Iraq. Maclean's extraordinary adventures in the Western Desert and later fighting alongside Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia are blistering reading and show what it took to be a British hero who broke the mould . . .
Author: Fitzroy Maclean
Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
'An absorbing mixture of military adventure, urbane wit, cool humour and surprising incident' Financial Times Fitztroy Maclean was one of the real-life inspirations for super-spy James Bond. After adventures in Soviet Russia before the war, Maclean fought with the SAS in North Africa in 1942. There he specialised in hair-raising commando raids behind enemy lines, including the daring and outrageous kidnapping of the German Consul in Axis-controlled Iraq. Maclean's extraordinary adventures in the Western Desert and later fighting alongside Tito's partisans in Yugoslavia are blistering reading and show what it took to be a British hero who broke the mould . . . 'One of the best narratives of action ever written' Punch 'A classic' Observer
Most Secret War
Author: R.V. Jones
Publisher: Penguin UK
Reginald Jones was nothing less than a genius. And his appointment to the Intelligence Section of Britain's Air Ministry in 1939 led to some of the most astonishing scientific and technological breakthroughs of the Second World War. In Most Secret War he details how Britain stealthily stole the war from under the Germans' noses by outsmarting their intelligence at every turn. He tells of the 'battle of the beams'; detecting and defeating flying bombs; using chaff to confuse radar; and many other ingenious ideas and devices. Jones was the man with the plan to save Britain and his story makes for riveting reading.
Born of the Desert
Author: Malcolm James
Publisher: Frontline Books
Born of the Desert is a classic account of the early years of the SAS. The Special Air Service was formed in 1941 and quickly earned a reputation for stealth, daring and audacity in the Western Desert Campaign. This elite force utilised the endless expans
A Person From England
Author: Fitzroy Maclean
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
First published in 1958, A Person From England tells of how the legendary cities of Turkestan - Merv, Khiva, Bokhara and Samarkand - have long exerted a romantic fascination upon Western travellers. During the last century, men of many nationalities have played what they and their contemporaries have called "The Great Game" - travelling throughout Central Asia. The author revives memories of the agents and travellers - official and unofficial, military and civilian - who have visited the Khanates of Turkestan, relating their adventures and attempting to recreate the atmosphere and flavour of the region. Extremely well written, Fitzroy Maclean captures a way of life that is fast disappearing.
Keeping Tito Afloat
Author: Lorraine M. Lees
Publisher: Penn State Press
Author: Hamish Ross
Publisher: The History Press
"Paddy" Mayne was one of the most outstanding special forces leaders of World War II. Hamish Ross's authoritative study follows Mayne from solicitor and a rugby international to troop commander in the Commandos and then the SAS, whose leader he later became and whose annals he graced, winning the DSO and three bars, the Croix de Guerre, and Legion d'Honneur. Mayne's achievements attracted attention, and after his early death legends emerged, based largely on anecdote and assertion. Hamish Ross's closely researched biography challenges much of the received version, using contemporary sources, the official war diaries, the chronicle of 1 SAS Mayne's papers and diaries, and a number of extended interviews with key contemporaries. It has the support of the Mayne family and the SAS Regimental Association. In Ross's analysis Mayne is a dynamic, yet principled and thoughtful man, committed to the unit's original concepts; not flawless, but whose leadership qualities and tactical brilliance in the field secured the reputation of the SAS.
The Embattled Mountain
Author: F. W. D. Deakin
Publisher: Faber & Faber
On the 28th May, 1943, the author of this book was parachuted, together with Captain Stuart and a small party, to the highlands of Montenegro. These two officers commanded the first British military mission to Tito's headquarters. They landed unawares in the middle of the most critical Axis operation as yet mounted against the Yogoslav partisan movement, whose main forces of four divisions, lightly armed and burdened with three thousand wounded, were encircled on the 'Embattled Mountain' of Durmitor - the symbol of this book - by double their number, headed by German mountain and SS troops, supported by artillery and aircraft. This account of the breaking of the enemy ring is a classic study in partisan war. 'The republication of "The Embattled Mountain" is both welcome and timely. It is welcome because this remains, four decades on, a compelling and important book. It is not only a classic war memoir in the inimitable British tradition - alternately exciting, moving, funny, understated and poetic - but it is also an important historical study of ant-Axis resistance in Yugoslavia during the Second World War and of Britain's engagement with and changing policies towards that resistance.' Mark Wheeler, Professor of History and International Relations at the Sarajevo School of Science and Technology
Why the Allies Won
Author: R. J. Overy
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Explains how the Allies regained military superiority after 1942, and discusses important campaigns, naval battles, industrial strength, fighting ability, leadership, and moral issues
The Cretan Runner
Author: George Psychoundakis
Publisher: New York Review of Books
George Psychoundakis was a twenty-one-year-old shepherd from the village of Asi Gonia when the battle of Crete began: “It was in May 1941 that, all of a sudden, high in the sky, we heard the drone of many aeroplanes growing steadily closer.” The German parachutists soon outnumbered the British troops who were forced first to retreat, then to evacuate, before Crete fell to the Germans. So began the Cretan Resistance and the young shepherd’s career as a wartime runner. In this unique account of the Resistance, Psychoundakis records the daily life of his fellow Cretans, his treacherous journeys on foot from the eastern White Mountains to the western slopes of Mount Ida to transmit messages and transport goods, and his enduring friendships with British officers (like his eventual translator Patrick Leigh Fermor) whose missions he helped to carry out with unflagging courage, energy, and good humor. Includes thirty-two black-and-white photographs and a map.
The Silk Road, which linked imperial Rome and distant China, was once the greatest thoroughfare on earth. Along it travelled precious cargoes of silk, gold, and ivory, as well as revolutionary new ideas. Its oasis towns blossomed into thriving centres of Buddhist art and learning. In time it began to decline. The traffic slowed, the merchants left, and finally its towns vanished beneath the desert sands to be forgotten for a thousand years. But legends grew up of lost cities filled with treasurees and guarded by demons. In the early years of the 20th century, foreign explorers began to investigate these legends, and very soon an international race began for the art treasures of the Silk Road. Huge wall paintings, sculptures, and priceless manuscripts were carried away, literally by the ton, and are today scattered through the museums of a dozen countries. Peter Hopkirk tells the story of the intrepid men who, at great personal risk, led these long-range archaeological raids, incurring the undying wrath of the Chinese.
Describes the cultural, religious, social, and economic character of the Soviet Union and includes a brief survey of Russian history
Battle of Wits
Author: Stephen Budiansky
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
A million pages of new World War II codebreaking records have been released by the U.S. Army and Navy and the British government over the last five years. Now, Battle of Wits presents the history of the war that these documents reveal. From the Battle of Midway until the last German code was broken in January 1945, this is an astonishing epic of a war that was won not simply by brute strength but also by reading the enemy's intentions. The revelations of Stephen Budiansky's dramatic history include how Britain tried to manipulate the American codebreakers and monopolize German Enigma code communications; the first detailed published explanations of how the Japanese codes were broken; and how the American codebreaking machines worked to crack the Japanese, the German, and even the Russian diplomatic codes. This is the story of the Allied codebreakers puzzling through the most difficult codebreaking problems that ever existed. At the same time, the compelling narrative shows the crucial effect codebreaking had on the battle-fields by explaining the urgency of stopping the wolf pack U-boat attacks in the North Atlantic, the burning desire in the United States to turn the tide of the war after Pearl Harbor, the importance of halting Rommel's tanks in North Africa, and the necessity of ensuring that the Germans believed the Allies' audacious deception and cover plans for D-Day. Budiansky brings to life the unsung code-breaking heroes of this secret war: Joseph J. Rochefort, an intense and driven naval officer who ran the codebreaking operation in "The Dungeon", a dank basement at Pearl Harbor, that effectively won the Battle of Midway; Alan Turing, the eccentric father of the computerage, whose brilliant electromechanical calculators broke the German Enigma machine; and Ian Fleming, whose daredevil espionage schemes to recover codebooks resembled the plots of the 007 novels he later wrote. Among the villains, we meet the Nazi Admiral Donitz, who led the submarine wolf packs against Allied shipping in the North Atlantic with horrific casualty rates -- until the codebreakers stopped him. Budiansky, a Harvard-trained mathematician, demonstrates the mathematical insight and creativity of the cryptographers by showing step-by-step precisely how the codes were broken. This technology -- the flow of information, its encryption, and the computational methods of recovering it from the enemy -- had never before been so important to the outcome of a war. Informative diagrams, maps, appendices, and photographs show exactly how, why, and where the secret war was won. Unveiled for the first time, the complete story of codebreaking in World War II has now been told.
The Next Moon
Author: Andre Hue, Ewen Southby-Tailyour
Publisher: Penguin UK
Andre Hue was a daredevil. By the age of twenty the Anglo-Frenchman had survived shipwreck and years undercover in France, sabotaging German supply lines. Returning to Britain, he was recruited by SOE to parachute behind enemy lines on 5 June 1944, to unite resistance forces in Brittany and paralyse local German troops during the Allied invasion. Though Hue's mission was fraught with difficulty - he missed his landing site, his secret base camp became the site of a pitch battle and a band of Cossacks tried to hunt him down - he knew that thousands of lives depended on his success or failure . . .