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Among my history titles I have written on the battles of Agincourt, Bosworth, Stalingrad and Leningrad, and in After Hitler, provided an account of the last days of the Second World War in Europe. I am also the author, with Malcolm Underwood, of The King's Mother (a biography of Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII), with Philippa Langley, The King's Grave: the Search for Richard III and with Philippa Gregory and David Baldwin, The Women of the Cousins' War.
I have been a consultant to a number of TV programmes, including Channel 4's Richard III: Fact or Fiction, the History Channel's Warriors series, the National Geographic's Mystery Files and Russia Today's The Children of Stalingrad. I have also been interviewed on the BBC's Today programme and appeared on Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time.
I am fascinated by timeless themes of military history: leadership, morale and motivation at moments of crisis - and how people respond to challenges against the odds. I have worked closely with veterans of the battle of Stalingrad and siege of Leningrad - and their stories of fortitude and resolve in desperate circumstances remain deeply moving. In my medieval titles, most recently my biography of the Black Prince, I am drawn to the age of chivalry, and the remarkable esprit de corps and camaraderie that bound together its foremost fighters.
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A major new biography of the Black Prince.
'A clear-eyed and thrilling vision of the man behind the legend' DAN JONES.
'Pacy, vivid and extremely readable' TLS.
In 1346, at the age of sixteen, he won his spurs at Crécy; nine years later he conducted a brutal raid across Languedoc; in 1356 he captured the king of France at Poitiers; as lord of Aquitaine he ruled a vast swathe of southwestern France. He was Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of Edward III, but better known to posterity as 'the Black Prince'.
Michael Jones tells the remarkable story of a great warrior-prince – and paints an unforgettable portrait of warfare and chivalry in the late Middle Ages.
Now with a new chapter.
The official inside story of the life, death and remarkable discovery of history's most controversial monarch.
On 22 August 1485 Richard III was killed at Bosworth Field, the last king of England to die in battle. His victorious opponent, Henry Tudor (the future Henry VII), went on to found one of our most famous ruling dynasties. Richard's body was displayed in undignified fashion for two days in nearby Leicester and then hurriedly buried in the church of the Greyfriars. Fifty years later, at the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, the king's grave was lost - its contents believed to be emptied into the river Soar and Richard III's reputation buried under a mound of Tudor propaganda. Its culmination was Shakespeare's compelling portrayal of a deformed and murderous villain, written over a hundred years after Richard's death.
Now - in an incredible find - Richard III's remains have been uncovered beneath a car park in Leicester. The King's Grave traces this remarkable journey. In alternate chapters, Philippa Langley, whose years of research and belief that she would find Richard in this exact spot inspired the project, reveals the inside story of the search for the king's grave, and historian Michael Jones tells of Richard's fifteenth-century life and death. The result is a compelling portrayal of one of our greatest archaeological discoveries, allowing a complete re-evaluation of our most controversial monarch - one that discards the distortions of later Tudor histories and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times.
With a foreword by Philippa Gregory - in which Philippa writes revealingly about the differences between history and fiction and examines the gaps in the historical record - and beautifully illustrated with rare portraits, The Women of the Cousins' Waris an exciting new addition to the Philippa Gregory oeuvre.
Agincourt was an astonishing clash of arms, a pivotal moment in the Hundred Years War and the history of warfare in general.
King Henry V’s exhausted troops were preparing for certain defeat as they faced a far larger French army. What was to take place in the following 24 hours, it seemed only the miraculous intervention of God could explain.
Interlacing eyewitness accounts, background chronicle and documentary sources with a new interpretation of the battle’s onset, acclaimed military historian Michael Jones takes the reader into the heart of this extraordinary feat of arms.
In this revelatory work of military history, Michael Jones provides fresh insight into the thinking of the Russian command and the mood of ordinary soldiers. The Russian 62nd Army began the campaign in utter demoralization yet turned the tables on the powerful German 6th Army. Jones explains this extraordinary performance using battle psychology, emphasizing the vital role of leadership, morale and motivation in a triumph that turned the course of the war.
Soviet Colonel-General Anatoly Mereshko fought throughout the battle as staff officer to the commander, Chuikov. Much of the testimony he provides to Jones is entirely new—and will astonish a western audience. It is backed up by accounts of other key veterans as well as recently released war diary and combat journals.
This new material shows that the standard narrative of the battle disguises how desperate the plight of the defenders really was. In place of those oft-repeated stories is a far more terrifying reality—one that reveals the Battle of Stalingrad as not only a victory of tactics, but also an astounding triumph of the human spirit.
On 30 April 1945, Adolf Hitler committed suicide. The following day, his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels also killed himself and the crumbling Third Reich passed to Admiral Karl Dönitz. The Nazis' position seemed hopeless. Yet remarkably, the war in the rest of Europe went on for another ten days. After Hitler looks at these days as a narrative day-by-day countdown but also as a broader global history of a European war that had seen some of the most savage battles in history. Relations between the 'Big Three' - the United States, Great Britain and the Soviet Union - suddenly plunged to near breaking point. This book reveals that tumultuous story.
After Hitler also looks at the wider canvas of the war and the terrible humanitarian catastrophe uncovered in Europe. It describes those who felt the joy of freedom, but also those who faced a highly uncertain future. As Red Army soldiers joined forces with their British and American allies, Stalin's East finally came face to face with Churchill's and Truman's West. After Hitler tells of their growing mistrust, but also of moments of remarkable goodwill and co-operation - the brief but poignant hope that these great nations could together fashion a new and safer future. This is a fascinating exploration of the brief but crucial period that shaped the emerging post-war world.
When the German High Command encircled Leningrad it was a deliberate policy to eradicate the city’s civilian population by starving them to death. As winter set in and food supplies dwindled, starvation and panic set in.
A specialist in battle psychology and the vital role of morale in desperate circumstances, Michael Jones tells the human story of Leningrad. Drawing on newly available eyewitness accounts and diaries, he shows Leningrad in its every dimension including taboo truths, long-suppressed by the Soviets, such as looting, criminal gangs and cannibalism.
But, for many ordinary citizens, Leningrad marked the triumph of the human spirit. They drew deeply on their inner resources to inspire, comfort and help one another. At the height of the siege an extraordinary live performance of Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony profoundly strengthened the city's will to resist. When German troops heard it in their trenches one remarked: ‘We began to understand we would never take Leningrad.
Yet, Leningrad’s self-defence came at a huge price. When the 900-day siege ended in 1944 almost a million people had died and those who survived would be permanently marked by what they had endured, as this superbly insightful and moving history shows.
In February 1943, German forces surrendered to the Red Army at Stalingrad and the tide of war turned. By May 1945 Soviet soldiers had stormed Berlin and brought down Hitler's regime.
Total War follows the fortunes of these fighters as they liberated Russia and the Ukraine from the Nazi invader and fought their way into the heart of the Reich. It reveals the horrors they experienced - the Holocaust, genocide and the mass murder of Soviet POWs - and shows the Red Army, brutalized by war, taking its terrible revenge on the German civilian population. For the first time Russian veterans are candid about the terrible atrocities their own army committed. But they also describe their struggle to raise themselves from the abyss of hatred. Their war against the Nazis - which in large part brought the Second World War in Europe to an end - is a tarnished but deeply moving story of sacrifice and redemption.
At the moment of crisis in 1941 on the Eastern front, with the forces of Hitler massing on the outskirts of Moscow, the miraculous occurred: Moscow was saved. Yet this turning point was followed by a long retreat, in which Russian forces, inspired by old beliefs in the sacred motherland, pushed back German forces steeled by the vision of the ubermensch, the iron-willed fighter. Many of Russia's 27 million military and civilian deaths occurred in this desperate struggle.
In THE RETREAT, Michael Jones, acclaimed author of LENINGRAD, draws upon a mass of new eye-witness testimony from both sides of the conflict to tell, with matchless vividness and comprehensiveness, of the crucial turning point of the Second World War - the moment when the armies of Hitler could go no further - and of the titanic and cruel struggle of two mighty empires.
The remarkable events that occurred between the Nazi-Soviet pact and the German army's eventual invasion of Poland on 1 September were neither foreseeable nor inevitable. Gathering Storm is the riveting new account of this most precarious and fraught race against time.
In a countdown covering the ten days from the aftermath of the Nazi-Soviet pact on 24 August 1939 to the outbreak of war on 3 September, Mike Jones' gripping narrative uses a wide range of source material - many completely new - to provide a fresh, global retelling of events, anchored by the deteriorating relations between Britain and Germany.
Penetrating the halls of power during the slide towards catastrophe, The Gathering Storm is a stunning new depiction of Prime Minister Chamberlain's Downing Street in this moment of crisis, the manoeuvrings of the Foreign Secretary Viscount Halifax, President Franklin Roosevelt, King Leopold of Belgium, King Emmanuel of Italy, as well as the opposing machinations of Hitler, Ribbentrop, Hess, Göring and Mussolini - and of course the stark voices of Chamberlain and Churchill.