Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by Gage, Mar 28, 2009.

  1. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello CF.

    Audio interview with author Stephen Kepher within the web page here;

    New Books Network | Stephen C. Kepher, "COSSAC: Lt. Gen. Sir…

    Kind regards, always,

    Charley Fortnum likes this.
  2. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello CF (again!)

    "Anybody recognise the author's name?"

    Another by a former US military officer. Not USMC (as per Stephen Kepher) but Army.

    John D Gazzelli made Lieutenant Colonel in summer of 2010, on retirement joined consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton in 2014, then returning to Army Cyber Command (via BAH) in 2016 (see .pdf attached).

    It will be interesting to see if there is much of a contrast between the two books on Lieutenant General Frederick Morgan. Both author's highly likely to have had access to the same sources (Eisenhower Presidential Library, TNA, Liddell Hart CMA etc.) and books "The Supreme Command" by Forrest C. Pogue (first printed 1954) and Lieutenant General Frederick Morgan's own "Overture to Overlord" (first published in book form in 1950).

    Interesting pair you've raised there CF.

    Kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    I would be lying if I didn't very slightly suspect an inclination to detract from Monty's handling of D-Day from that side or the Atlantic. I can't recall the specifics, but the snippets of Kepher's book I saw lacked the nuance that accuracy often demands (let's put it like that). It's a massive generalisation, but ex-U.S. army authors seem fairly often to view the whole game of command as one of winners and losers, heroes and villains. Eisenhower, a man who could be fairly forgiven for viewing Monty's record with a jaded eye in hindsight, nobly gave him his due:

    "Monty could he difficult [...] No one else could have got us across the Channel.”

    I am, as it happens, an admirer of Morgan--I've read his autobiography and he comes across as more reasonable than perhaps he has a right to be given his treatment at the hands of posterity--but Monty (and his team) had the practical experience and (crucially) the political clout to expand and modify the decent skeleton plus muscular system he had inherited. I don't have references to hand, but off the top of my head, the number of beaches were expanded from three to five, the airborne element was drafted to secure the force's flanks, and much greater emphasis was made on the swift establishment of beacheads in order to get supplies flowing into the continent at the earliest opportunity.

    I would be happy to be proved wrong, but I've never been keen on the rising/falling stock of commanders without genuine revelations to support them.

    I'm equally unimpressed with much earlier attempts by Monty's supporters to burnish their man's laurels by belittling Auchinleck; his achievements with 8th Army were remarkable and are not elevated by exaggerating the sub-optimal performance of his predecessor.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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  4. idler

    idler GeneralList

    I tend to be a little suspicious of the Monty v Morgan controversy.

    Morgan's plans might have had a full Monty done on them but Eisenhower was the one who binned Morgan in favour of his existing CoS. No surprise which aspect gets trumpeted by the majority of American authors...
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  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    This sneaked out in the spring with little fanfare.

    I'd really like to read it, but... academic pricing.


    Key documents relating to Auchinleck's career up to the First Battle of El Alamein in July 1942, including his time as Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army and of the Middle East Theatre.

    The outbreak of war in 1939 saw the then Lieutenant General Claude Auchinleck recalled to England to take command of the newly formed 4 Corps. Between April and June 1940 he commanded British troops in the ill-fated Norway campaign. He then returned to the UK to take command of 5 Corps in Southern Command during the invasion threat of 1940. In January 1941 Auchinleck returned to India and started some much needed reforms of what was still, very much, a 'colonial army' before becoming C in C Middle East in June 1941. In the Middle East, Auchinleck faced many challenges in commanding a multi-national force, largely composed of 'citizen soldiers' and his problems were complicated by the demands of Winston Churchill, an anxious Prime Minister who desperately wanted to show his allies and the British public a major victory. Auchinleck is open to the charges that he did not fully understand armoured warfare and that he appointed a number of the wrong men to key posts. However, he did manage to fight Axis forces to a standstill at the First Battle of El Alamein in July 1942 before being replaced by the team of Field Marshal Sir Harold Alexander and General Bernard Montgomery. This volume is based on the Auchinleck papers held in the John Rylands Library at the University of Manchester and aims to bring these important records to a much wider audience.

    1 Norway, 1940
    2 Southern Command and the Defence of the United Kingdom, 1940
    3 Commander in Chief, India, 1940-41
    4 Commander in Chief, Middle East, 1941-42
    Biographical Notes

    544 Pages
    21.6 x 13.8 cm

    The Military Papers of Field Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck, Volume 1: 1940-42
  6. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    The Ebook wasn't that bad. Got a copy.

    All the best

  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    I broke down and ordered a copy today :)
    Orwell1984 likes this.
  8. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    The latest from After the Battle Publications:
  9. hucks216

    hucks216 Member

    That is certainly niche, even by their standards.
  10. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Follow up on this. It's a great book, treats Auchinleck in a very even-handed manner, unlike e.g. McGilvray's hagio... sorry biography of the man. The eBook kinda works, on the desktop or probably also iPad (haven't tried). Their proprietary reader sucks donkey rocks on the iPhone, as you cannot adjust the font size unlike in e.g. Apple Books or Kindle, and you cannot download an ePub format it seems, so are stuck with their reader (Vitalsource Bookshelf). Quality of the eBook is very good though, but you also cannot rotate the screen which is a bit of a problem when the maps are printed the wrong way round. OTOH I know what Norway looks like, the maps are nice but basic anyway, and I saved a gazillion pounds, so hey.

    All the best

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  11. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi Andreas,

    My only quibble was in the way the number of documents tailed off at the end during the summer of 1942 - I'm not sure if that is a reflection of the Auk's taking over at 8th Army and therefore being restricted in the amount of time he had to generate "evidence" for us or a sudden realisation that the book was already massive!

    I certainly thought it a worthy addition to books about the British Army and also a useful balance to Nigel Hamilton's description of the disagreements between him and Monty. But let's leave that to t'other thread. :D


  12. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    No details yet, but it appears that another is in the pipeline:

    The Military Papers of Sir John Dill 1936-1941 edited by Edward Smalley.
  13. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

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  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    British Naval Trawlers and Drifters in Two World Wars: From The John Lambert Collection Hardcover – 30 Oct. 2021
  15. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Just out. I'll likely pick up a copy.


    Robert Atkins and his twin brother, Geoffrey, were born in 1927 in India where their father was serving with the Punjab Regiment. Both were educated at Rugby School. Commissioned into the 8th Gurkha Rifles in 1944, Robert's diary records his involvement during Indian Partition. After Independence, he returned to England joining a British regiment. In 1950 he joined the 6th Gurkha Rifles in Malaya and spent the next eight years fighting Communist terrorists, earning the Military Cross. Two years after marrying Anabel in 1956, Robert retired from the Army and they moved back to England, settling in Kent. A successful career in international commercial property followed. Robert finally retired aged 83. Robert and Anabel have two daughters, Celestine and Vicky. A former Army Boxing champion, he has pursued an active lifestyle, with many friends and interests, notably gardening and art.

    By Robert Atkins, Foreword by Sir Peter Duffell
    Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
    Pages: 152
    Illustrations: 16 mono
    ISBN: 9781399091459
    Published: 18th October 2021

    How fortunate it is that Robert Atkins wrote up his experiences as a young Gurkha officer in India and later Malaya as, seventy years on, they form an important contemporaneous record of two historically significant periods.

    When India was granted Independence in 1947, irreconcilable religious differences made Partition inevitable. His account of the death, destruction and suffering that he and his soldiers witnessed makes for traumatic yet compelling reading.

    In the aftermath of Independence the Gurkha Regiments were split between the Indian and British Armies and Robert returned to England and British service.

    Three years later on his way to fight in the Korean War, he was ordered to join 1st Battalion, 6th Gurkha Rifles engaged in the battle against communist terrorists, known as the Malayan Emergency. Robert saw more than his share of action over next seven years in this eventually successful but bitterly fought campaign. His courage and leadership earned him the Military Cross.

    The two diaries are introduced with helpful narratives setting each in their historical context.

    Written with admirable modesty, this superb personal account informs and entertains.

    The Gurkha Diaries of Robert Atkins MC
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    A new Chindit 1 related book is pending:


    "No-one meeting Frank Berkovitch, a quiet, reserved tailor, could have guessed that he had served with the Chindits in Burma and suffered prolonged Japanese captivity. Yet not only had he fought as a Bren-gunner on Operation LONGCLOTH, their first deep penetration mission, but he was the legendary General Orde Wingate's batman. The Chindits were Wingate's inspired idea and, while suffering heavy losses from enemy action and deprivation, they dispelled the myth that the Imperial Japanese Army Japanese was invincible. Outnumbered, outgunned, carrying 70lb packs and reliant on RAF air drops for supplies, the 3,000 men of the Chindit columns overcame harsh jungle terrain and climatic conditions to take the fight to the enemy behind their own lines. They wreaked havoc with enemy communications and caused heavy enemy casualties while gathering vital intelligence. After months of malnutrition and disease and hunted by the vengeful Japanese, the survivors faced a desperate race to escape from Burma. Captured crossing the Irrawaddy river, Frank endured two years imprisonment at the hands of notoriously cruel captors. Superbly researched, this inspiring book vividly describes the Chindits' first operation and the hardship suffered by, and heroism of, Frank and his comrades, many who never returned."
  17. Staffsyeoman

    Staffsyeoman Member

    Re: The Auchinleck Papers - if you join the Army Records Society, you get the book for "free" - the annual sub includes each year's volume.
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  18. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Yes, Slessor is interesting, but he already has an autobiography a supplementary memoir and a modern biography, please, air-experts, more on those high-rankers in danger of being lost to posterity/historiography: Douglas Evill stands out a mile!



    Sir John Slessor was one of the twentieth century’s most distinguished wartime commanders and incisive military thinkers, and William Pyke’s comprehensive new biography reveals how he earned this remarkable reputation. Slessor, a polio victim who always walked with a stick, became a First World War pilot in the Sudan and on the Western Front and a squadron and wing commander in India between the wars. When aerial warfare was still a new concept, he was one of the first to develop practical tactics and strategies in its application. In the Second World War, as the Commander-in-Chief of Coastal Command during the Battle of the Atlantic and the RAF in the Mediterranean during the Italian and Balkan campaigns, he made a remarkable contribution to the success of Allied air power. Then, after the war, as Chief of the Air Staff he establish himself as one of the foremost experts on strategic bombing and nuclear deterrence. He was instrumental in ensuring the build-up of the V-force: the fleet of Valiant, Vulcan and Victor medium bombers that played a key role in Britain's strategic airborne nuclear deterrence during the 1950s and the 1960s.. That is why this insightful biography of a great British airman and his achievements is so timely and important as we enter a new era of strategic doubts and deterrence at the beginning of the twenty-first century. William Pyke follows each stage of Slessor’s brilliant career as a pilot and commander in vivid detail. In particular he concentrates on Slessor’s writings, from his treatise on the application of air power in support of land armies to his thinking on nuclear deterrence and Western strategy.

    About the Author

    After a long career in the oil industry William Pyke decided to study the application of air power by the Royal Air Force throughout the twentieth century, and subsequently gained a distinction on the MA programme at Birmingham University. He has presented a number of papers on the subject and has made a special study of John Slessor's career. He has had the active support of the Slessor family as he has compiled this comprehensive new biography.
    • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pen & Sword Military (30 Mar. 2022)
    • Language ‏ : ‎ English
    • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 288 pages
    • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1399095528
    • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1399095525
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  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

  20. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Could be interesting.

    Very excited today to get the final proof of the front cover for my second book. 300+ B&W images of the Suffolk Regiment’s service in Malaya between 1949 and 1953 - the vast majority of which, have never been published before. Due out April 2022 from

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