Top 5 post-1939 military history books for Christmas

Charles Singleton, our Commissioning Editor, shares his top five recommendations for post-1939 military history enthusiasts.

1)    Magyar Warriors Volume 1. The History of the Royal Hungarian Armed Magyar WarriorsForces 1919-1945 – by Dénes Bernád & Charles K. Kliment

Very much the last book that will ever need to be published on this fascinating subject. A comprehensive reference, this is the fruit of more than 20 years of meticulous research. It strives to provide a complete picture of the Hungarian armed forces between the years 1919 and 1945. This first volume contains approximately 550 photographs – many previously unpublished – as well as numerous tables and maps of the various campaigns. The authors drew on official Hungarian and German archives and a multitude of private sources. I am currently working with the author on the second volume, which is out very soon.

2) AFRICA@WAR 23: Wars and Insurgencies of Uganda 1971-1994 by Cooper, T., & A. Fontanellaz

Africa at War 23This new book provides an excellent overview of the ascent of crucial military and political figures, and the build-up of the Tanzanian and Ugandan militaries, during the 1960s and 1970s. The reader is treated to an in-depth study of the related political and military events, but foremost military operations during the Kagera War (also known as ‘A Just War’) fought between Tanzania and Uganda in 1978-1979. It further traces the almost continuous armed conflict in Uganda of 1981-1994, which became renowned for the emergence of several insurgent movements who were notorious for incredible violence against the civilian population – some of which remain active in Central Africa to this day. This book is illustrated with an extensive selection of photographs, colour profiles and maps, and describes the equipment, markings and tactics of the involved military forces.

3) A Tough Nut to Crack – Andersonstown: Voices from 9 Battery Royal AndersonstownArtillery in Northern Ireland, November 1971 – March 1972 by Steve Corbett

This book is very much a personal history and statement of the author and his comrades, as it records the violent clashes which took place on an almost daily basis on housing estates that looked no different than those found on mainland Britain. After the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’ in Londonderry on the 30 January 1972, it seemed the whole community of Andersonstown appeared to rise up against the men from 9 Battery. Between November 1971 and March 1972 this small area of land, which is just two miles long by one mile deep, became the scene of many gun battles between the men of 9 (Plassey) Battery Royal Artillery and 1st Battalion Belfast Brigade, Irish Republican Army.

4) From Liddell Hart to Joan Littlewood. Studies in British Military History – by Brian Bond

LittleIn 1998 I went to university as a mature student. I studied History with War Studies at Wolverhampton, and Brian Bond was essential reading. This volume brings together a selection of Brian Bond’s most interesting contributions to books and journals on British military history in the 20th century. They are arranged around three large subjects: the Great War, the interwar decades, and the Second World War with concluding reflections on the author’s Farewell to Arms at the end of a distinguished career in the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. Brief new introductions have been written to provide background information and contexts for each essay.


5) ‘Oft in Danger’. The Life and Campaigns of General Sir Anthony Farrar-Oft in Danger _ smallHockley by Jonathon Riley

General Farrar-Hockley always seemed to me to be one of those larger than life characters more at home under the reign of Queen Victoria than in the modern world. To say he lived life to the full would be a very accurate description of him. This book is the biography of the most distinguished Field Commander of modern times, who turned to scholarship and writing at an early stage of his career and pursued both professional military life and historical study in parallel. In later life he also took to broadcasting and commentating. His books on the Great War, The Somme and Death of an Army, were to be required reading at University.

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