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Cameron Aitken (Scotland)
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Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War
Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War
by James Lyon
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.68

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written easy to follow yet detailed up to the point of ..., 15 Feb. 2017
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Foreign Minister Boris Johnston ; attended the remembrance ceremony in Serbia November 11 last year; The two battles that Serbia fought and won in 1914 is vividly displayed in James Lyon 's book . To my mind the book came alive through the authors obvious knowledge of the terrain on which the battles were fought.. Well written easy to follow yet detailed up to the point of explaining the national composition of the opposing Austro Hungarian regiments :
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 29, 2017 11:38 PM BST


Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East
Russia: A 1000-Year Chronicle of the Wild East
by Martin Sixsmith
Edition: Audio CD
Price: £19.56

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Russia:The wild East", 18 Aug. 2011
Made to accompany a TV series it is for a wide audience ; condenced into a few hours listening it would cover the same space in time as "The Sceptred Isle" took to cover 30 or so hours of listening. None the less it does not pretend to be anyting other than a breif introduction to its subject and as such it is an excellant way to pass dead time; whilst driving; and in so do get a taste for the history of one of Europs great powers


We in Scotland: Thatcherism in a Cold Climate
We in Scotland: Thatcherism in a Cold Climate
by David Torrance
Edition: Hardcover

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We in Scotland:Thatcherism in a cold Climart, 18 Aug. 2011
Excellent book; Margaret Thatcher will long be talked about in Scotland and the pasing of years has not dampend excitement. David Torrance has done a good job, his detailed research,excellent style and objective analysis gives the book a potential audience beyond the politically interested. That Margaret Thatcher was unpopular in Scotland is an understatement; the Conservatives actually gained seats against a trend once John Major took over. However this book is not just about Thatcher it is about the politics of Scotland in the 1980's a formative period in the story of devolution and the decline of the Conservative Party ; above all an good read and a good seqil to David Torence's "The Scottish Secretaries"


Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military)
Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (General Military)
by Prit Buttar
Edition: Hardcover

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent account of one of the bloodier campaigns of WW2, 3 Mar. 2011
This is a good book from a new author; Prit Buttar, a former army surgeon, he explores the details of the German collapse along the Baltic coast in the last 4 months of the War. Largely unknowen to readers in Britain these battles involved fighting on a massive scale; the German casualties were probably greater than those sustained by the British and Commonwealth forces in the whole of the War; include a sea evacuation much larger than Dunkirk and you begin to understand the immensity of the battle.

Prit Buttar has approached his subject well; taking researched military details and combining them with the testimonials of eye witness accounts he wealds together a coherent record of the fighting and tells a story at the same time.

Interesting anecdotes crop up like Montgomery's insistance that the weapons of captured Germans be stacked close by in case he needed to mobilize the POW's against the Red Army; also Montgomery's concession to the surrendering German generals to continue to allow the ongoing naval evacuation from the East.

I particularly enjoyed the final chapter in which he describes the fate of all the main characters in his book.

My only criticism is that the book becomes a little disloged and longwinded in places ; this is because of the need to fit eye witness accounts into the larger military picture.

In many ways the stile resembles Christopher Duffy; and in this respect I look forwards to his next book.


Fall Of Hitler's Fortress City: The Battle for Konigsberg 1945
Fall Of Hitler's Fortress City: The Battle for Konigsberg 1945
by Isabel Denny
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book pity about the title, 17 Feb. 2011
A good read but not much about the battle for Koningsberg . This book is much more general than the title suggests. It starts with an interesting review of the history of East Prussia which has some excellent material particularly about the rise of the Natzi party in Koningsberg. We then have three chapters on the general cource of the Second World War; much of it very good but subject matter which has been covered by a thousand different authors. It is only in chapter 9 as the Russians approach the Prussian border that we return to the subject; indeed the actual battle for Koningsberg is coverd in just the last 30 pages. For my money Prit Buttar's book "Battlefeild Prussia" and Christopher Duffy's " Red Storm on the Reich"give much fuller acounts of the seige. Christopher Duffy's book in particular is a masterpeace of relevance and consistant with clarity and an eye for detail.


Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814
Russia Against Napoleon: The Battle for Europe, 1807 to 1814
by Dominic Lieven
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Russia against Napoleon, 12 Dec. 2010
This is an excellant book well worth five stars; having previously red Adam Zamoyski's equally good book "1812 Napoleon's fatal march on Moscow" Dominic Lieven's new takes the story on to the battle of Leipzig and eventually to the ultimate conclusion with the Russians marching in to Paris. The story is well told and very well researched. The character of Alexander I comes out in a new light as do the Russian generals in the rear as they strugle and ultimattely out supply Napoleon. For those who want an answer to the question posed at the end of "War and Peace" in which Tolstoy asks the how was it that the Russians were able to defeat Napoleon's army a full and inclusive answere will be found in these pages.


Europe's Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War
Europe's Tragedy: A History of the Thirty Years War
by Peter H. Wilson
Edition: Hardcover

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Europe's Tragedy A History of the Thirty Years War, 25 Jan. 2010
By the time the reader has got to the end of this book there is no excuse for not having a good working knowledge of the Thirty Years War. It follows the movement of all the armies throughout the period as well as sieges, battles , diplomatic moves and the precarious finances off the participants. There are 25 battlefeild maps which I found; unlike some of the other reviewers; very useful but you have to view them within a fremework of a larger atlas or Google Earth. With so much information the book would be an impossibility were it not so well writen and presented, nice easy sub chapters alows the reader to break off and easily regain the thread. I had previosly enjoyed Veronica Weedgwood's book on the subject and the two are complementary as Peter Wilson covers two to three times the material and is a good follow on.

It is maybe difficult to seek out any section that could be eliminated though some of the conclusions might have been condenced to make way for a few lines each on the current day condition of the battlefeilds and also an appendix giving a short biography of the main charachters.


The Korsun Pocket: The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944
The Korsun Pocket: The Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East, 1944
by Niklas Zetterling
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Korsun Pocket: the Encirclement and Breakout of a German Army in the East,1944, 24 Jan. 2010
This short and well written account of a battle during the German withdrawl through the Ukraine. On Hitler's orders a German Corps of nearly 50,000 men had been left holding a stretch of the River Dnieper. The The book is an account of how this group were cut off around the small town of Korsun and then broke out towards a releif force at the village of Lysianka. The authers give a griping account of the action, the appauling conditions in which even tanks got stuck. It is well provisioned with maps and the reader can suplement these by accessing Google maps so giving a very detailed picture of where the actions took place. If I have a criticism it is that the authers have laid aside to much space to the battle orders of the two sides. I know military historians love doing this kind of thing but shurly it could have been posted as a seperate item on the web and the space devoted to an up to date account of what the area looks like now.

Cameron Aitken


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