(This review appeared in the WFA’s Stand To! journal in late 2021.) German Prisoners of the Great War is the first English translation of the 1920 book Kriegsgefangen in Skipton, an edited volume of German officers’ experiences as prisoners of war (POW) during the Great War at Raikeswood Camp (as it was known locally) in […]
Category: Book Review
The Outermost Frontier is a transcription of series of letters sent by Helmut Pabst during his service in the 129th Infantry Division on the Eastern Front from the start of Operation Barbarossa to his death on 6th September 1943. Pabst was born in 1911 and before the war was a law student. He started the […]
Flying from Malone is Guy Warner’s history of Belfast’s first airport that operated from 1924-25. The aerodrome was located in the south of the city off the Malone Road on the site now occupied by the Taughsmonagh housing estate. The land for the site was purchased by the council in the early 1920s and flights […]
Book Review – Susan B. Cunningham, Sir Crawford McCullagh, Belfast’s Dick Whittington (Donaghadee, NI: Ballyhay, 2016)
The book Sir Crawford McCullagh, Belfast’s Dick Whittington, is a biography of The Rt Hon Sir Crawford McCullagh, 1st Baronet (1868-1948) who was a draper, unionist councillor on Belfast City Council and held the position of Lord Mayor for a record 17 times. McCullagh came from humble origins. He grew up in County Armagh, the fifth […]
Book Review – Brian M. Walker, A History of St George’s Church (Belfast: Ulster History Foundation, 2016)
Brian M. Walker’s book is an excellent chronological institutional history of St George’s church located on High Street, Belfast, Northern Ireland. It was written to mark the church’s 200th anniversary in 2016. The book starts by considering the previous structures which stood on the site before St George’s was constructed in the early 19th century. […]
Book Review – John Killen, A History of the Linen Hall Library 1788-1988 (Belfast: Linen Hall Library, 1990)
John Killen’s A History of the Linen Hall Library 1788-1988 is a solid and worthy chronological narrative of the first two centuries of the Linen Hall Library (LHL). He starts by setting out how the library came of the intellectual ideas of the enlightenment and the social movement amongst literate and wealthy middle-class people to […]
Book Review – Lyn Gallagher, The Albert Memorial Clock (Belfast: The Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 2004)
Lyn Gallagher’s The Albert Memorial Clock is a short pamphlet on the design, building and restoration of the building after which her publication is named. It was written to mark the completion of restoration work on the Albert Memorial Clock (AMC) in 2002. The original structure was completed in 1869 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s late […]
Book Review – Francis Higgins, Religion, Riots and Rebels, The Incredible History of Brown’s Square Belfast (Belfast: Belfast Lad, 2020)
Francis Higgins’ book, Religion, Riots and Rebels, examines the social and economic history of Brown Square and its residents from its establishment in the late eighteenth century to the present day. Today, this area is located in the centre of Belfast. It stands west of the City’s Cathedral quarter, its cultural and tourist hub, and […]
J.C. Beckett’s Belfast, The Making of a City is an anthology of 12 essays by different historians on the social, political, economic and cultural development of Belfast during the Victorian and Edwardian periods. The nineteenth-century marked the period when the town of Belfast developed from a provincial market town of 20,000 in 1800 to an […]
Book Review – J. Smithson, A Taste of Success, The First Battle of the Scarpe (Helion: Solihull, 2017)
Jim Smithson’s excellent book brings new understanding to the opening phase of the April 1917 Battle of Arras.
Paul O’Brien’s excellent new book examines the role of the para-military Auxiliary Division in the 1920-21 British counter-insurgency campaign against the IRA during the Irish War of Independence.
Book Review: A.L. George, The Chinese Communist Army in Action: The Korean War and its Aftermath (New York, 1967)
Dr Alexander George’s book is a fascinating insight into how the newly created Chinese communist state in the late 1940’s sought to direct, sustain and shape small group relations in their People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and how this system functioned under the stresses of combat in during the Chinese intervention in Korea during 1950-51.
Stephen Miles’ book examines how tourism to the Western Front has developed over the last century.
Nick Lloyd’s new book covers the controversial Third Ypres campaign giving a valuable and unique insight into the both the allied and Germans experiences.
John Hockey’s book is a ground breaking insight into the life, culture and experience of the British Army infantry private in the late 20th Century.
In his admirable 2011 book, Jonathan Fennell argues that the morale of the British Eighth Army during the summer of 1942 reached a ‘crisis’ but recovered to be the most decisive factor in the allied victory over Axis forces at the Second Battle of El Alamein.
Book Review: J.A. Frank & G.A. Reaves, “Seeing the Elephant”: Raw Recruits at the Battle of Shiloh (Westport, Conn., 1989)
This excellent book examines the morale, attitudes and experience of Confederate and Union soldiers who fought at the Battle of Shiloh. It follows their journey from enlistment and training in 1861 at the start of the US Civil War, to their first experience of combat, ‘seeing the elephant’, at Shiloh in April 1862.
Book review – J. McPherson, For Cause and Comrades, Why Men Fought in the Civil War (Baton Rouge, Lo., 1994)
Professor James McPherson makes a convincing case on the importance of ideology and political belief in the explaining why 3 million Americans enlisted, fought and endured during the US Civil War.
Book Review – S. Rabalais, General Fox Conner, Pershing’s Chief of Operations and Eisenhower’s Mentor (Havertown, Pa., 2016)
Steven Rabalais’ fascinating biography is the first to cover the life of US army officer Fox Conner (1874-1951). Connor served as ‘Black’ Jack Pershing’s Chief of Operations in the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) during the Great War and in the 1920’s became a close confidant, mentor and friend to Dwight Eisenhower.
Historian Robert Engen’s book convincingly explains what motivated Canadian soldiers to fight and endure during the Second World War campaigns of Sicily, Italy, Normandy and North West Europe in the face of intense combat, heavy casualties and adversity.
Book Review: D. Bird, The Spirit of the Troops is Excellent, The 6th (Morayshire) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders in the Great War 1914 – 1919 (Moray, 2008)
Derek Bird’s chronological account of the 1/6th (Morayshire) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, in the Great War is a solid unit history.
Book Review: G. Book Review: G. Sheffield, Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities (London, 2001)
Gary Sheffield’s Forgotten Victory still remains mandatory reading for those seeking to understand the First World War and Britain’s role in that conflict.
Book Review: S. Sandford, Neither Unionist or Nationalist, the 10th Irish Division in the Great War (Irish Academic Press, 2015)
Stephen Sandford’s excellent book on the 10th (Irish) Division is an in-depth study of the unit’s formation, its social composition, leadership and its service in the Eastern Mediterranean during the Great War.