Gavin Mortimer - Stirling's Men - Orion Publishing Group

Stirling's Men

The Inside History of the SAS inWorld War II

By Gavin Mortimer

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

The first ever officially sanctioned history of the SAS in World War II

The first ever officially sanctioned history of the SAS in World War II

A riveting history book that reads like a novel, STIRLING'S MEN investigates the story of the SAS from its creation by David Stirling to the last battles of World War II. This is the first account of the SAS to be officially supported by the veterans and based on their unique first-hand testimony. Gavin Mortimer weaves their stories together to produce a fabulous page-turning narrative that will capture the imagination.

Biographical Notes

Gavin Mortimer was born in London 34 years ago. As a freelance journalist he has contributed articles to a diverse range of magazines and newspapers, including the Observer, the Guardian, History Monthly and Esquire. The Longest Night is his fourth book and the second to be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The first, Stirling's Men: the Inside History of the SAS in World War II, was published in 2004 and is now available in paperback.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780304367061
  • Publication date: 11 Aug 2005
  • Page count: 440
  • Imprint: W&N
W&N

The Longest Night

Gavin Mortimer
Authors:
Gavin Mortimer

On 10-11 May 1941, Londoners thought the Nazi bombs would never stop falling as the London Blitz reached its furious zenith. These are the true stories from the survivors of one of the longest nights in the Second World War'An excellent book . . . Mortimer has interviewed scores of survivors for this gripping tale' Scotland on SundayOn the afternoon of Saturday 10 May 1941, crowds gather at Wembley to watch Arsenal play Preston in the Cup Final. Australian journalist John Hughes starts his shift at Reuters in Fleet Street; 20-year-old Reenie Carter reports for duty at her fire station in Westminster Abbey; RAF pilot Guy Gibson relaxes in the sun before his night patrol; Vera Lynn drives in for an evening concert. Meanwhile, thousands of German airmen are preparing for a massive night raid.Gavin Mortimer has interviewed many survivors of this night to reveal the reality of the London Blitz. In a matter of hours, 1,486 Londoners were killed, 11,000 houses were destroyed, and millions of lives were changed for ever.

W&N

True Soldier Gentlemen

Adrian Goldsworthy
Authors:
Adrian Goldsworthy

'[A] Jane Austen-meets-Bernard Cornwell novel' Daily MailRaw recruits march under the summer sun. But on distant shores a terrible event is about to sing its siren's song to the true soldier gentlemen of Britain. For it is 1808, and the Peninsular War is about to erupt . . .Meet the men of the 106th Foot, a new regiment staffed by young gentlemen who know nothing of war. William Hanley is in the army because he has no other livelihood. Hamish Williams, a man without money or influence, is hoping war will make his name. Their friend Billy Pringle believes the rigours of combat will keep him from the drinking and womanising that are his undoing. And for George Wickham, battle is simply another means of social climbing.When the band of four are plunged into a savage war against the veteran armies of Napoleon, they find their illusions shattered and their lives changed for ever as they face the brutality of the battlefield . . . Combining the vivid detail of a master historian with the engaging characters and pulsating action of a natural storyteller, True Soldier Gentlemen is perfect for fans of Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O'Brian, C.S. Forester, Allan Mallinson and Simon Scarrow.*********************'It's so well written, flows so well, that the detail does not drag you down . . . a fantastic read, well written, well laid out and absorbing from start to finish' Goodreads reviewer'Having now read quite a few novels set during the Napoleonic Wars, I was extremely impressed by Adrian Goldsworthy's knowledge of the period and his ability to relate this to the reader without it reading like a history text' Goodreads reviewer

W&N

Red One

Kevin Ivison
Authors:
Kevin Ivison

The British Hurt Locker. In the Iraq War, Cpt Kevin Ivison defused bombs and IEDs left by the Taliban. Each time he took the 'longest walk' to a bomb, it could have been his last. How many times can a man stare death in the face before he breaks? Even the most skilful operators can only roll the dice so many times before they get unlucky . . . This was my bomb, my task and my fate alone. There was nothing left to do but walk.When two of his colleagues are killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq, young bomb disposal officer Kevin Ivison is called in to defuse a second, even deadlier bomb just a hundred yards from the bodies of his friends. To make things worse, the entire area is under fire from snipers, and a crowd of angry Iraqis have begun to hurl petrol bombs...With little chance of living through this impossible task, Kevin leaves final messages for his loved ones and sets out alone towards the bomb that he is sure will be the last thing he sees. In this gut-wrenching and terrifying true story of heroism and survival, Kevin Ivison explains why he chose to be a bomb disposal expert in the first place, how he found the courage to face his death, and the unendurable stress that has given him nightmares ever since.An absorbing, honest, true story of life on the front lines in the Iraq War. Perfect for fans of The Hurt Locker, Sniper One and Bomb Hunters.'The honesty with which Kevin relays his fear, his overwhelming sense that he is going to die, is impressive . . . unpretentious and accessible' Daily Telegraph'Absorbing ... At the heart of the book is a taut, riveting account of the events of a single day - February 28, 2006 - when Ivison rushed to the scene of an IED ambush on a road known as RED ONE' - DAILY MAIL'RED ONE is plain-spoken, heart-thumping stuff' - THE TIMES

W&N

We Gave Our Today

William Fowler
Authors:
William Fowler
W&N

England's Last War Against France

Colin Smith
Authors:
Colin Smith

Genuinely new story of the Second World War - the full account of England's last war against France in 1940-42.Most people think that England's last war with France involved point-blank broadsides from sailing ships and breastplated Napoleonic cavalry charging red-coated British infantry. But there was a much more recent conflict than this. Under the terms of its armistice with Nazi Germany, the unoccupied part of France and its substantial colonies were ruled from the spa town of Vichy by the government of Marshal Philip Petain. Between July 1940 and November 1942, while Britain was at war with Germany, Italy and ultimately Japan, it also fought land, sea and air battles with the considerable forces at the disposal of Petain's Vichy French.When the Royal Navy sank the French Fleet at Mers El-Kebir almost 1,300 French sailors died in what was the twentieth century's most one-sided sea battle. British casualties were nil. It is a wound that has still not healed, for undoubtedly these events are better remembered in France than in Britain. An embarrassment at the time, France's maritime massacre and the bitter, hard-fought campaigns that followed rarely make more than footnotes in accounts of Allied operations against Axis forces. Until now.

W&N

Cambrai 1917

Bryn Hammond
Authors:
Bryn Hammond
W&N

The Spitfire

Ivan Rendall
Authors:
Ivan Rendall
W&N

War In A Stringbag

Charles Lamb
Authors:
Charles Lamb

A classic autobiography by the best known Second World War Fleet Air Arm pilot. A story of real life adventure, action and heroism.Commander Charles Lamb fought an exceptional war flying the slow and obsolete Fairey Swordfish for the Fleet Air Arm. It was an antiquated machine, but it could outmanoeuvre almost any other aircraft, and in Charles Lamb's hands, the 'Stringbag' - as the torpedo bomber was affectionately known - was a deadly weapon.Charles Lamb fought in the thick of the action. This is his story, from the first day of war as a Lieutenant on board Courageous, to the accident aboard Implacable in action against the Japanese in June 1945 which ended his war. A rare account of determination, action and spirit by a man who was an inspiration to those around him.

W&N

Through German Eyes

Christopher Duffy
Authors:
Christopher Duffy
W&N

Aces Falling

Peter Hart
Authors:
Peter Hart

How the age of the great WWI aces came to an end in the skies over the Western FrontAt the beginning of 1918 the great aces seemed invincible. Flying above the battlefields of the Western Front, they cut a deadly swathe through the ranks of their enemies, as each side struggled to keep control of the air. Some were little more than boys when they started to fly, yet they were respected and feared as some of the deadliest killers in the sky. But as the press of fighting increased with the great offensives of 1918, nervous stress and physical exhaustion finally began to take their toll - and one by one the aces began to fall.This book charts the rise and fall of the WWI aces in the context of the vast battles that were taking place in 1918. It shows the vital importance of reconnaissance, and how large formations of aircraft became the norm - bringing an end to the era of the old, heroic 'lone wolves'. As the First World War came to a close very few of the aces survived. This epic history of the final year of the air war is both a chronicle of the ways in which 1918 changed aerial combat forever, and a requiem for the pioneers of aerial combat who eventually became the victims of their own brilliant innovations.

W&N

The Somme

Peter Hart, Nigel Steel
Authors:
Peter Hart, Nigel Steel

A major new history of the most infamous battle of the First World War, as described by the men who fought it.On 1 July 1916, Douglas Haig's army launched the 'Big Push' that was supposed finally to bring an end to the stalemate on the Western Front. What happened next was a human catastrophe: scrambling over the top into the face of the German machine guns and artillery fire, almost 20,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers were killed that day alone, and twice as many wounded - the greatest loss in a single day ever sustained by the British Army. The battle did not stop there, however. It dragged on for another 4 months, leaving the battlefield strewn with literally hundreds of thousands of bodies. The Somme has remained a byword for the futility of war ever since. In this major new history, Peter Hart describes how the battle looked from the point of view of those who fought it. Using never-before-seen eyewitness testimonies, he shows us this epic conflict from all angles. We see what it was like to crawl across No Man's Land in the face of the German guns, what it was like for those who stayed behind in the trenches - the padres, the artillerymen, the doctors. We also see what the battle looked like from the air, as the RFC battled to keep control of the skies above the battlefield. All this is put in the context of the background to the battle, and Haig's overall strategy for the Western Front, making this the most comprehensive history of the battle since Lyn MacDonald's bestselling work over 20 years ago.

W&N

Alexander The Great And The Hellenistic Age

Peter Green
Authors:
Peter Green

A masterly narrative survey of three centuries, from Alexander's conquest and empire to the triumph of Rome.The book begins with the personality and achievements of Alexander the Great, and continues with the military and political violence of the successor-kingdoms that fought over his inheritance.This era saw many important developments: a shift from the oral to the written; a move from the public to the private and a new individualist ethos; a huge growth in slavery, and therefore a glut of slave-labour which destroyed the incentive to innovate; a growing gap between rich and poor; a growing taste for luxury.

W&N

Bloody April

Peter Hart
Authors:
Peter Hart

The story of the decimation of the Royal Flying Corps over Arras in 1917As the Allies embarked upon the Battle of Arras, they desperately needed accurate aerial reconnaissance photographs. But by this point the Royal Flying Club were flying obsolete planes. The new German Albatros scouts massively outclassed them in every respect: speed, armament, ability to withstand punishment and manoeuverability. Many of the RFC's pilots were straight out of flying school - as they took to the air they were sitting targets for the experienced German aces. Over the course of 'Bloody April' the RFC suffered casualties of over a third. The average life expectancy of a new subaltern on the front line dropped to just eleven days. And yet they carried on flying, day after day, in the knowledge that, in the eyes of their commanders at least, their own lives meant nothing compared to the photographs they brought back, which could save tens of thousands of soldiers on the ground. In this book Peter Hart tells the story of the air war over Arras, using the voices of the men who were actually there.

W&N

Kitchener

Philip Warner
Authors:
Philip Warner

The definitive biography of one of the most successful generals Britain has ever hadKitchener was one of the most successful generals Britain has ever had, and yet he has always been a mystery. Legends proliferated about him in his lifetime, and the circumstances of his death have remained an enigma. Not until recently, with the fresh material which has come to light, has it been possible to find the real person behind that enormous, intimidating moustache.In this absorbing study Philip Warner shows us exactly what a debt Britain owes to Kitchener. Far from being the remote, austere figure of the placards, he was a daring adventurer and spy, a meticulous planner and a commander who took his place at the front of the battle. He was trusted by civilians; worshipped by his men, and detested by most of his officers.Philip Warner had exclusive access to the papers of the Kitchener family while researching this book, and spoke to the few people still alive who knew the man personally. The result is the definitive biography of this most important yet least known of British generals.

W&N

Iron Coffins

Herbert Werner
Authors:
Herbert Werner
W&N

The Puppet Masters

John Hughes-Wilson
Authors:
John Hughes-Wilson

The secret world of military intelligence - written by a senior intelligence officerJohn Hughes-Wilson is a former intelligence officer and is ideally placed to reveal the secret history of military intelligence. He takes us 'behind the scenes' of military and political events from Elizabeth I to Osama bin Laden and the crisis in the Middle East.The book is divided into three parts. The first investigates some famous disasters when lack of intelligence was the decisive factor, e.g. Gallipoli and Dieppe. The second examines some equally famous examples of good intelligence being overlooked or ignored, e.g. the 'bridge too far' battle of Arnhem. The last part goes behind the scenes of some famous successes, from the capture of Slobodan Milosevic to the defeat of IRA bombing campaigns and the arrest of a spy ring at the heart of NATO.

W&N

The Emperor's Last Victory

Gunther E Rothenberg
Authors:
Gunther E Rothenberg

A leading expert examines one of Napoleon's most decisive but least analysed victoriesIn early July 1809 Napoleon crossed the Danube with 187,000 men to confront the Austrian Archduke Charles and an army of 145,000 men. The fighting that followed dwarfed in intensity and scale any previous Napoleonic battlefield, perhaps any in history: casualties on each side were over 30,000. The Austrians fought with great determination, but eventually the Emperor won a narrow victory. Wagram was decisive in that it compelled Austria to make peace. It also heralded a new, altogether greater order of warfare, anticipating the massed manpower and weight of fire deployed much later in the battles of the American Civil War and then at Verdun and on the Somme.

W&N

Blenheim

Charles Spencer
Authors:
Charles Spencer
W&N

Churchill's Generals

John Keegan
Authors:
John Keegan

John Keegan has assembled a cast of seventeen generals whose reputations were made (and some of them broken) by Churchill and the Second World War.Churchill's reputation as prime minister during the Second World War fluctuated according to the successes and failures of his generals. Most of them were household names, and often heroes, during the war years. All of them were prey to the intolerance, interference, irascibility - and the inspiration - of the man who wanted to be both the general in the field and the presiding strategic genius. He sacked his warlords ruthlessly, yet in the end he came to be served by perhaps the greatest generals this country has ever produced. Includes chapters on Wavell, Ironside, Ritchie, Auchinleck, Montgomery, Alexander, Percival, Wingate, Slim and Carton de Wiart.Note: The Publisher regrets that the biographical note for Gary Sheffield is incorrect in the book. Please refer to the Orion website (www.orionbooks.co.uk) for the correct version.

W&N

Paths of Glory

Anthony Clayton
Authors:
Anthony Clayton

World War I from the French point of view: the first ever account in EnglishAnthony Clayton is an acknowledged expert on the French military and his book is a major contribution to the study and understanding of the First World War. He reveals why and how the French army fought as it did. He profiles its senior commanders - Joffre, Petain, Nivelle and Foch - and analyses its major campaigns both on the Western Front and in the Near East and Africa. PATHS OF GLORY also considers in detail the officers, how they kept their trenches and how men from very different areas of France fought and died together. He scrutinises the make-up and performance of France's large colonial armies and investigates the mutinies of 1917. Ultimately, he reveals how the traumatic French experience of the 1914-18 war indelibly shaped a nation.