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Books > Humanities > History > World history > From 1900 > Second World War

The Last Hurrah - South Africa And The Royal Tour Of 1947 (Paperback): Graham Viney The Last Hurrah - South Africa And The Royal Tour Of 1947 (Paperback)
Graham Viney
R285 R225 Discovery Miles 2 250 Save R60 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

The Last Hurrah describes in vivid detail a pivotal moment not just in the history of South Africa, that far-flung imperial outpost, but of the British Empire itself. The year 1947 marked the high-water mark of the British Empire in Africa, but also the very moment at which it began to unravel, ahead of the Afrikaner Nationalist victory in South Africa in 1948, which led inexorably to the Republic of South Africa in 1961 and its departure from the Commonwealth.

Graham Viney's book not only superbly captures a moment in the life of a fractious, recently formed 'nation', before its descent into nearly five decades of darkness, but also gives us an intimate and revealing portrait of the royal family - King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret - hard at work in support of the national interest. It seems clear that the present Queen Elizabeth must have learned a great deal from her father, but perhaps particularly her mother, about duty and statecraft in the course of this three-month tour, during which the then princess celebrated her twenty-first birthday.

Viney evocatively details the background to the 1947 royal tour of southern Africa, which took in not just the length and breadth of what was then the Union of South Africa, but its neighbours, too: Basutoland (now Lesotho), Bechuanaland (Botswana), Swaziland (very recently renamed the Kingdom of eSwatini), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). The royal family travelled ceaselessly, from February to April that year, on a specially commissioned, white-painted train, meeting thousands of people at every stop along the way.

The tour was a show of imperial solidarity and a recognition of South Africa's contribution to the Allied cause during the Second World War, specifically that of South African prime minister Jan Smuts, who, though once an adversary in the Boer War and Churchill's jailer, had served in both British war cabinets and been nicknamed 'the handyman of Empire'. Despite concerns and ongoing controversy, wherever the tour took the Royal Family, South Africans of all kinds turned out in their thousands to cheer and welcome them. But India was to gain independence later that same year and just one year later, Smuts had been ousted from power and South Africa set on the path to becoming a republic.

The Last Hurrah draws skilfully on many diverse sources, including the Royal Archive at Windsor, to explore not just the troubled politics of the time, but also local society and the royal visitors in richly textured, telling detail. The book includes many photographs of the royal family on tour not previously published, including stills from film footage unearthed in the South African Railway Museum archives.

SAS: Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History (Paperback): Ben MacIntyre SAS: Rogue Heroes - The Authorized Wartime History (Paperback)
Ben MacIntyre 1
R238 R165 Discovery Miles 1 650 Save R73 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

From the secret SAS archives, and acclaimed author Ben Macintyre: the first ever authorized history of the SAS.

In the summer of 1941, at the height of the war in the Western Desert, a bored and eccentric young officer, David Stirling, came up with a plan that was radical and entirely against the rules: a small undercover unit that would inflict chaos and mayhem behind enemy lines. Despite intense opposition, Winston Churchill personally gave Stirling permission to recruit the toughest, brightest and most ruthless soldiers he could find. So began the most celebrated and mysterious military organisation in the world: the SAS. Now, 75 years later, the SAS has finally decided to tell its astonishing story. It has opened its secret archives for the first time, granting historian Ben Macintyre full access to a treasure trove of unseen reports, memos, diaries, letters, maps and photographs, as well as free rein to interview surviving Originals and those who knew them.

The result is an exhilarating tale of fearlessness and heroism, recklessness and tragedy; of extraordinary men who were willing to take monumental risks. It is a story about the meaning of courage.

In Enemy Hands - South Africa's POWs In World War II (Paperback): Karen Horn In Enemy Hands - South Africa's POWs In World War II (Paperback)
Karen Horn
R260 R205 Discovery Miles 2 050 Save R55 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

Historian Karen Horn painstakingly tracked down a number of former POWs in which their interviews reveal rich narratives of hardship, endurance, humour, longing and self-discovery. Instead of fighting, these men adapted to another war, one which was fought on the inside of many prison camps.

In their interviews, all the POWs expressed surprise at being asked to share their experiences of almost 70 years earlier.They returned home in 1945 to a country which soon afterwards tried its utmost to promote national amnesia with regard to the country’s participation in the war.

With great insight and empathy, Karen Horn shines a light on a neglected corner of South African history. Karen Horn is a lecturer at Stellenbosch University.

Hitler - Only the World Was Enough (Hardcover): Brendan Simms Hitler - Only the World Was Enough (Hardcover)
Brendan Simms
R746 R417 Discovery Miles 4 170 Save R329 (44%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

A revelatory new biography of Adolf Hitler from the acclaimed historian Brendan Simms Adolf Hitler is one of the most studied men in history, and yet the most important things we think we know about him are wrong. As Brendan Simms's major new biography shows, Hitler's main preoccupation was not, as widely believed, the threat of Bolshevism, but that of international capitalism and Anglo-America. These two fears drove both his anti-semitism and his determination to secure the 'living space' necessary to survive in a world dominated by the British Empire and the United States. Drawing on new sources, Brendan Simms traces the way in which Hitler's ideology emerged after the First World War. The United States and the British Empire were, in his view, models for Germany's own empire, similarly founded on appropriation of land, racism and violence. Hitler's aim was to create a similarly global future for Germany - a country seemingly doomed otherwise not just to irrelevance, but, through emigration and foreign influence, to extinction. His principal concern during the resulting cataclysm was not just what he saw as the clash between German and Jews, or German and Slav, but above all that between Germans and what he called the 'Anglo-Saxons'. In the end only dominance of the world would have been enough to achieve Hitler's objectives, and it ultimately required a coalition of virtually the entire world to defeat him. Brendan Simms's new book is the first to explain Hitler's beliefs fully, demonstrating how, as ever, it is ideas that are the ultimate source of the most murderous behaviour.

Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Paperback): Andrew Roberts Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Paperback)
Andrew Roberts 1
R377 R269 Discovery Miles 2 690 Save R108 (29%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'

World War II Map by Map (Hardcover): Dk World War II Map by Map (Hardcover)
Dk; Contributions by Smithsonian Institution; Foreword by Peter Snow 1
R734 R444 Discovery Miles 4 440 Save R290 (40%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Trace the epic history of World War 2 across the globe with more than 100 maps. Includes a foreword by Peter Snow, broadcaster and historian. In this stunning visual history book, purpose-made maps tell the story of the Second World War from the rise of the Axis powers to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and beyond. Each map is rich with detail and graphics, helping you to chart the progress of key events of World War II on land, sea, and air, such as the Dunkirk evacuation, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the D-Day landings, and the siege of Stalingrad. As well as purpose-made maps, historical maps from both Allied and Axis countries offer unique insights into the events. There are also timelines to help you follow the story as it unfolds, while narrative overviews explain the social, economic, political, and technical developments at the time. Fascinating, large-scale pictures introduce topics such as the Holocaust, blitzkrieg, kamikaze warfare, and code-breaking. Written by a team of historians headed by Richard Overy as consultant, World War II Map by Map examines how the deadliest conflict in history changed the face of our world. It is perfect for students, general readers, and military history enthusiasts.

Dunkirk - The History Behind the Major Motion Picture (Paperback, Film tie-in edition): Joshua Levine Dunkirk - The History Behind the Major Motion Picture (Paperback, Film tie-in edition)
Joshua Levine 1
R257 R156 Discovery Miles 1 560 Save R101 (39%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

THE NUMBER ONE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER THE EPIC TRUE STORY OF DUNKIRK - NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE, WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY CHRISTOPHER NOLAN AND STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH, TOM HARDY AND MARK RYLANCE. In 1940, at the French port of Dunkirk, more than 300,000 trapped Allied troops were dramatically rescued from destruction at the hands of Nazi Germany by an extraordinary seaborne evacuation. The true history of the soldiers, sailors, airmen and civilians involved in the nine-day skirmish has passed into legend. Now, the story Winston Churchill described as a 'miracle' is narrated by bestselling author Joshua Levine in its full, sweeping context, including new interviews with veterans and survivors. Told from the viewpoints of land, sea and air, Joshua Levine's Dunkirk is a dramatic account of a defeat that paved the way to ultimate victory and preserved liberty for generations to come.

Sons and Soldiers - The Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned for Retribution (Paperback): Bruce Henderson Sons and Soldiers - The Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned for Retribution (Paperback)
Bruce Henderson 2
R241 R172 Discovery Miles 1 720 Save R69 (29%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

`The last great, untold story of WWII... highly compelling' Daily Mail Fleeing Nazi persecution for America in the 1930s, the young German-born Jews who would come to be known as The Ritchie Boys were labelled `enemy aliens' when war broke out. Although of the age to be inducted into the U.S. military, their German accents made them distrusted. Until one day in 1942, when the Pentagon woke up to the incredible asset they had in their ranks, and sent these young recruits to a secret military intelligence training centre at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. These men knew the language, culture and psychology of the enemy better than anyone, and had the greatest motivation to fight Hitler's anti-Semitic regime. And so they were trained and sent back into the belly of the beast, Jews returning to the frontlines of battlefields across Nazi-occupied Europe to defeat the enemy that persecuted them and their families. In an epic story of heroism, courage, and patriotism, bestselling author Bruce Henderson draws on personal interviews with many surviving veterans and extensive archival research to finally bring this never-before-told chapter of the Second World War to light. Previously published as Sons and Soldiers

Arnhem - The Battle for the Bridges, 1944: The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller (Paperback): Antony Beevor Arnhem - The Battle for the Bridges, 1944: The Sunday Times No 1 Bestseller (Paperback)
Antony Beevor 1
R195 R154 Discovery Miles 1 540 Save R41 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller The great airborne battle for the bridges in 1944 by Britain's Number One bestselling historian and author of the classic Stalingrad 'Our greatest chronicler of the Second World War . . . his fans will love it' - Robert Fox, Evening Standard 'The eye for telling detail which we have come to expect from Antony Beevor. . . this time, though, he turns his brilliance as a military historian to a subject not just of defeat, but dunderhead stupidity' Daily Mail On 17 September 1944, General Kurt Student, the founder of Nazi Germany's parachute forces, heard the growing roar of aeroplane engines. He went out on to his balcony above the flat landscape of southern Holland to watch the air armada of Dakotas and gliders carrying the British 1st Airborne and the American 101st and 82nd Airborne divisions. He gazed up in envy at this massive demonstration of paratroop power. Operation Market Garden, the plan to end the war by capturing the bridges leading to the Lower Rhine and beyond, was a bold concept: the Americans thought it unusually bold for Field Marshal Montgomery. But could it ever have worked? The cost of failure was horrendous, above all for the Dutch, who risked everything to help. German reprisals were pitiless and cruel, and lasted until the end of the war. The British fascination with heroic failure has clouded the story of Arnhem in myths. Antony Beevor, using often overlooked sources from Dutch, British, American, Polish and German archives, has reconstructed the terrible reality of the fighting, which General Student himself called 'The Last German Victory'. Yet this book, written in Beevor's inimitable and gripping narrative style, is about much more than a single, dramatic battle. It looks into the very heart of war. 'In Beevor's hands, Arnhem becomes a study of national character' - Ben Macintyre, The Times 'Superb book, tirelessly researched and beautifully written' - Saul David, Daily Telegraph 'Complete mastery of both the story and the sources' - Keith Lowe, Literary Review 'Another masterwork from the most feted military historian of our time' - Jay Elwes, Prospect Magazine 'The analysis he has produced of the disaster is forensic' - Giles Milton, Sunday Times 'He is a master of his craft . . . we have here a definitive account' - Piers Paul Read, The Tablet

First Wave - The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in the Second World War (Hardcover): Alex Kershaw First Wave - The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in the Second World War (Hardcover)
Alex Kershaw 1
R473 R298 Discovery Miles 2 980 Save R175 (37%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'History's greatest story reinvigorated as only Alex Kershaw can' -Adam Makos, New York Times bestselling author of A Higher Call 'An absolute triumph' -James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize Finalist and national bestselling author of Target Tokyo and Rampage 'The unforgettable human drama of history's most consequential invasion' -John C. McManus, author of The Dead and Those About to Die: D-Day-The Big Red One at Omaha Beach Beginning in the pre-dawn darkness of June 6, 1944, The First Wave follows ten men attempting to carry out D-Day's most critical missions. Their actions would determine the fate of the invasion of Hitler's Fortress Europe. The ten make a charismatic, unforgettable cast. They include the first American paratrooper to touch down on Normandy soil; the only British soldier that day to earn a Victoria's Cross; the Canadian brothers who led their decimated troops onto Juno Beach under withering fire; the colonel who faced the powerful 150mm guns of the Merville Battery; as well as a French commando who helped destroy German strongholds on Sword Beach. The book will give authentic voice to the invaders' enemies, the German enlisted men and officers tasked with destroying the Allies as they hit the beaches. The result is an utterly immersive, adrenaline-driven drama, an epic of close combat and extraordinary heroism. It is the capstone Alex Kershaw's remarkable career, built on his close friendships with D-Day survivors and his intimate understanding of the Normandy battlefield. For the seventy-fifth anniversary, here is a fresh take on the Second World War's longest day. Praise for Alex Kershaw: `From the opening pages, when Kershaw...drops us into the invasion of Paris, we know that we are in good hands. This is classic narrative nonfiction, constructed and written like a thriller.' Chicago Tribune `Exceptional.... balances evocative prose with attention to detail and is a worthy addition to vibrant classics of small-unit history like Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers.' Wall Street Journal `Kershaw's writing is seamless. He incorporates information from a vast array of sources, but it works--you get a sense of the different voices coming into the story....A gripping read.' Minneapolis Star Tribune

Hitler - A Life (Hardcover): Peter Longerich Hitler - A Life (Hardcover)
Peter Longerich 1
R829 R553 Discovery Miles 5 530 Save R276 (33%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Tyrant, psychopath, and implementer of a ruthless programme of racial extermination, Adolf Hitler was also the charismatic Fuhrer of millions of dedicated followers. In this major new biography, internationally acclaimed German historian Peter Longerich brings Hitler back to centre-stage in the history of Nazism, revealing a far more active and interventionist dictator than we are familiar with from recent accounts, with a flexibility of approach that often surprises. Whether it was foreign policy, war-making, terror, mass murder, cultural and religious affairs, or even mundane everyday matters, Longerich reveals how decisive a force Hitler was in the formulation of policy, sometimes right down to the smallest details, in a way which until now has not been fully appreciated. Consistently and ruthlessly destroying both the people and the power structures that stood in his way, Longerich shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Fuhrer dictatorship' - with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.

South Africans Versus Rommel - The Untold Story of the Desert War in World War II (Paperback): David Brock Katz South Africans Versus Rommel - The Untold Story of the Desert War in World War II (Paperback)
David Brock Katz
R280 R221 Discovery Miles 2 210 Save R59 (21%) Shipped within 4 - 8 working days

South Africa’s Union Defence Force played an important part in World War II and also made tremendous sacrifices. By early 1941 South Africa had 30 000 troops in East Africa, where it helped drive the Italians out of Abyssinia and Somalia. This campaign was mere prelude to the operations it would conduct as part of the British Eighth Army against Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in North Africa.

In November 1941 the battle-hardened Afrika Korps decimated a South African force at Sidi Rezegh in Libya. Six weeks later, South Africans captured the ports of Bardia and Sollum, after Rommel withdrew to the west. Rommel regrouped and attacked again, driving the South Africans and British back toward the vital port of Tobruk. The situation was tenuous at best ‒ South African general Hendrik Klopper surrendered his trapped force of 35 000 men, including 10 000 South Africans, in June 1942.

When Rommel attacked El Alamein a week later, his lead elements were pinned down by South Africans, who went on to play a significant role in the month-long battle that halted Rommel’s advance into Egypt.

Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Hardcover): Andrew Roberts Churchill - Walking with Destiny (Hardcover)
Andrew Roberts 1
R665 R500 Discovery Miles 5 000 Save R165 (25%) In stock

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER A SUNDAY TIMES, THE TIMES, ECONOMIST, DAILY TELEGRAPH, EVENING STANDARD, OBSERVER BOOK OF THE YEAR 'Undoubtedly the best single-volume life of Churchill ever written' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times A magnificently fresh and unexpected biography of Churchill, by one of Britain's most acclaimed historians Winston Churchill towers over every other figure in twentieth-century British history. By the time of his death at the age of 90 in 1965, many thought him to be the greatest man in the world. There have been over a thousand previous biographies of Churchill. Andrew Roberts now draws on over forty new sources, including the private diaries of King George VI, used in no previous Churchill biography to depict him more intimately and persuasively than any of its predecessors. The book in no way conceals Churchill's faults and it allows the reader to appreciate his virtues and character in full: his titanic capacity for work (and drink), his ability see the big picture, his willingness to take risks and insistence on being where the action was, his good humour even in the most desperate circumstances, the breadth and strength of his friendships and his extraordinary propensity to burst into tears at unexpected moments. Above all, it shows us the wellsprings of his personality - his lifelong desire to please his father (even long after his father's death) but aristocratic disdain for the opinions of almost everyone else, his love of the British Empire, his sense of history and its connection to the present. During the Second World War, Churchill summoned a particular scientist to see him several times for technical advice. 'It was the same whenever we met', wrote the young man, 'I had a feeling of being recharged by a source of living power.' Harry Hopkins, President Roosevelt's emissary, wrote 'Wherever he was, there was a battlefront.' Field Marshal Sir Alan Brooke, Churchill's essential partner in strategy and most severe critic in private, wrote in his diary, 'I thank God I was given such an opportunity of working alongside such a man, and of having my eyes opened to the fact that occasionally such supermen exist on this earth.'

Nein! - Standing Up to Hitler 1935-1944 (Paperback): Paddy Ashdown Nein! - Standing Up to Hitler 1935-1944 (Paperback)
Paddy Ashdown 1
R275 R168 Discovery Miles 1 680 Save R107 (39%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

From bestselling and prize-winning author Paddy Ashdown, a revelatory new history of German opposition to Hitler. `Ashdown has a great gift for narrative history. He unearths little known stories and places them in context with great dexterity. His new book throws fresh and important light on a crucial topic.' JONATHAN DIMBLEBY In his last days, Adolf Hitler raged in his bunker that he had been betrayed by his own people, defeated from the inside. In part, he was right. By 1945, his armies were being crushed on all fronts, his regime collapsing with many fleeing retribution for their crimes. Yet, even before the war started, there were Germans very high in Hitler's command committed to bringing about his death and defeat. Paddy Ashdown tells, for the first time, the story of those at the very top of Hitler's Germany who tried first to prevent the Second World War and then to deny Hitler victory. Based on newly released files, the repeated attempts of the plotters to warn the Allies about Hitler's plans are revealed. What is revealed is that the anti-Hitler bomb plots, which have received so much attention are, in fact only a small part of a much wider story; one in which those at the highest levels of the German state used every means possible - conspiracy, assassination, espionage - to ensure that, for the sake of the long-term reputation of their country and the survival of liberal and democratic values, Hitler could not be allowed to win the war. It is a matter of record that the European Union we have today and the nature and central position of Germany within it, is, in very large measure, the future envisaged by the plotters and for which they gave their lives.

Game of Spies - The Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi, Bordeaux 1942-1944 (Paperback): Paddy Ashdown Game of Spies - The Secret Agent, the Traitor and the Nazi, Bordeaux 1942-1944 (Paperback)
Paddy Ashdown
R242 R172 Discovery Miles 1 720 Save R70 (29%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Spies, bed-hopping, treachery and executions - this story of espionage in wartime Bordeaux is told for the first time. Game of Spies uncovers a lethal spy triangle at work during the Second World War. The story centres on three men - on British, one French and one German - and the duels they fought out in an atmosphere of collaboration, betrayal and assassination, in which comrades sold fellow comrades, Allied agents and downed pilots to the Germans, as casually as they would a bottle of wine. In this thrilling history of how ordinary, untrained people in occupied Europe faced the great questions of life, death and survival, Paddy Ashdown tells a fast-paced tale of SOE, betrayal and bloodshed in the city labelled `la plus belle collaboratrice' in the whole of France.

Chanel's Riviera - Life, Love and the Struggle for Survival on the Cote d'Azur, 1930-1944 (Hardcover): Anne De Courcy Chanel's Riviera - Life, Love and the Struggle for Survival on the Cote d'Azur, 1930-1944 (Hardcover)
Anne De Courcy 1
R470 R375 Discovery Miles 3 750 Save R95 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

Far from worrying about the onset of war, in the spring of 1938 the burning question on the French Riviera was whether one should curtsey to the Duchess of Windsor. Few of those who had settled there thought much about what was going on in the rest of Europe. It was a golden, glamorous life, far removed from politics or conflict. Featuring a sparkling cast of artists, writers and historical figures including Winston Churchill, Daisy Fellowes, Salvador Dali, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Eileen Gray and Edith Wharton, with the enigmatic Coco Chanel at its heart, CHANEL'S RIVIERA is a captivating account of a period that saw some of the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the whole of the twentieth century. From Chanel's first summer at her Roquebrune villa La Pausa (in the later years with her German lover) amid the glamour of the pre-war parties and casinos in Antibes, Nice and Cannes to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during the Second World War, CHANEL'S RIVIERA explores the fascinating world of the Cote d'Azur elite in the 1930s and 1940s. Enriched with much original research, it is social history that brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life.

Waiting for War - Britain 1939-1940 (Hardcover): Barry Turner Waiting for War - Britain 1939-1940 (Hardcover)
Barry Turner 1
R476 R381 Discovery Miles 3 810 Save R95 (20%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

At the outbreak of war in 1939, ordinary people were quickly forced to adapt to the realities of a nation under dire threat.

But it soon became known as the Phoney War, a time when official incompetence reigned supreme. Theatres and cinemas were closed and football matches cancelled, only for the government to realise belatedly that morale was plunging as a result. Thousands of women and children were evacuated to the countryside, only for many to flood back to the cities, preferring the dangers to separation from their families. Censorship of news was heavy-handed and bred widespread resentment.

In fact, the period from September 1939 to May 1940 was a time of intense political and military activity – the blitzkrieg on Poland, the start of the U-boat menace, the disastrous Norwegian campaign, the political manoeuvrings that brought Churchill to power. Barry Turner skilfully weaves these events into a compelling home front narrative which evokes the fears and dangers but also the humour and the absurdities of everyday life in the dark days of 1939–1940.

Stalin's Curse - Battling for Communism in War and Cold War (Paperback): Robert Gellately Stalin's Curse - Battling for Communism in War and Cold War (Paperback)
Robert Gellately
R328 R260 Discovery Miles 2 600 Save R68 (21%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The Second World War almost destroyed Stalin's Soviet Union. But victory over Nazi Germany provided the dictator with his great opportunity: to expand Soviet power way beyond the borders of the Soviet state. Well before the shooting stopped in 1945, the Soviet leader methodically set about the unprecedented task of creating a Red Empire that would soon stretch into the heart of Europe and Asia, displaying a supreme realism and ruthlessness that Machiavelli would surely have envied. By the time of his death in 1953, his new imperium was firmly in place, defining the contours of a Cold War world that was seemingly permanent and indestructible - and would last until the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. But what were Stalin's motives in this spectacular power grab? Was he no more than a latter-day Russian tsar, for whom Communist ideology was little more than a smoke-screen? Or was he simply a psychopathic killer? In Stalin's Curse, best-selling historian Robert Gellately firmly rejects both these simplifications of the man and his motives. Using a wealth of previously unavailable documentation, Gellately shows instead how Stalin's crimes are more accurately understood as the deeds of a ruthless and life-long Leninist revolutionary. Far from being a latter day 'Red Tsar' intent simply upon imperial expansion for its own sake, Stalin was in fact deeply inspired by the rhetoric of the Russian revolution and what Lenin had accomplished during the Great War. As Gellately convincingly shows, Stalin remained throughout these years steadfastly committed to a 'boundless faith' in Communism - and saw the Second World War as his chance to take up once again the old revolutionary mission to carry the Red Flag to the world.

The Shortest History of Germany (Paperback): James Hawes The Shortest History of Germany (Paperback)
James Hawes 1
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Our Man in New York - The British Battle to Bring America into the Second World War (Hardcover): Henry Hemming Our Man in New York - The British Battle to Bring America into the Second World War (Hardcover)
Henry Hemming 1
R476 R348 Discovery Miles 3 480 Save R128 (27%) Shipped within 7 - 11 working days

The extraordinary story of a propaganda campaign like no other: the covert British operation to manipulate American public opinion and bring America into the Second World War. When William Stephenson - "our man in New York" - arrived in the United States towards the end of June 1940 with instructions from the head of MI6 to secure aid for Britain and 'organise' American public opinion, Britain was on the verge of defeat to Nazi Germany. Surveys at that time showed that just 14% of the population wanted to go to war against Germany. But over the months that followed, public opinion in the US began to shift... Those campaigning against America's entry into the war had many theories about who or what was behind this shift in public opinion. The American aviator Charles Lindbergh, by 1941 the chief spokesman for the isolationist America First Committee, referred to a British-led plot to bring the US into the war. Others believed that the British were somehow manipulating the American media, that the government was riddled with British stooges, and that the British were meddling in US politics and using dirty tricks to smear prominent anti-war politicians. These claims were shocking, wild, even paranoid: they were also true. That truth is revealed here for the first time by bestselling author Henry Hemming, using access to hitherto private and classified documents, including the diaries of his own grandparents, who worked for Stephenson's organisation. Stephenson - who later saved the life of Henry Hemming's father - was a maverick figure of unique brilliance and daring whose work changed the course of the war, and can now be told in full.

The Lost Boys - A Family Ripped Apart by War (Hardcover): Catherine Bailey The Lost Boys - A Family Ripped Apart by War (Hardcover)
Catherine Bailey 1
R479 R327 Discovery Miles 3 270 Save R152 (32%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Catherine Bailey has the great gift of bringing to life personal histories . . . Wonderfully paced and wholly satisfying' Kate Atkinson ___________________________________________________________ Berlin, September 1944. Ulrich von Hassell, former ambassador to Italy and a key member of the German Resistance, is executed for his part in an assassination plot against Hitler. In response to the attack, Himmler, leader of the SS, orders the arrest of all the families of the plotters. In a remote castle in Italy, von Hassell's beloved daughter, Fey, is discovered just when she thought she had escaped the Nazi net. She is arrested and her two sons, aged three and two are seized by the SS. Fey has no idea of her children's fate as she is dragged away on a terrifying journey to the darkest corners of a Europe savaged by war. Moving from a palazzo in the heart of the Italian countryside to the horrors of Buchenwald, Catherine Bailey tells an extraordinary story of resistance at the heart of the Second World War. The Lost Boys is an illuminating and devastating account of great personal sacrifice, of loss and, above all, of defiance. ___________________________________________________________ 'Catherine Bailey demonstrates a truly remarkable ability to intertwine searing family histories with great historical events' Andrew Roberts

Britain in the Blitz (Paperback): Brenda Williams Britain in the Blitz (Paperback)
Brenda Williams
R138 R96 Discovery Miles 960 Save R42 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

The Blitz was a defining moment of the Second World War when civilians faced total war from the air with bombing raids over Britain. This title brings back the effect of the chilling wail of the air-raid siren followed by anxious, sleepless nights and stories of bravery from ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Well-illustrated with contemporary photographs, this book explores the Blitz and its effect on places and people.

The Saboteur - True Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis (Paperback): Paul Kix The Saboteur - True Adventures of the Gentleman Commando Who Took on the Nazis (Paperback)
Paul Kix 1
R232 R161 Discovery Miles 1 610 Save R71 (31%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

In the tradition of `Agent Zigzag' comes a breathtaking biography of WWII's `Scarlet Pimpernel' as fast-paced and emotionally intuitive as the best spy thrillers. This celebrates unsung hero Robert de La Rochefoucauld, an aristocrat turned anti-Nazi saboteur, and his exploits as a British Special Operations Executive-trained resistant When the Nazis invaded France during the Second World War and imprisoned his father, Robert de La Rochefoucauld - a scion of one of the oldest aristocratic families in France - escaped to England and trained in the dark arts of anarchy and combat. Under the guidance of SOE spies, he learned to crack safes, plant bombs and kill enemies with his bare hands. Then, back in France, he organised Resistance cells, killed Nazi officers and interfered with German missions. He survived unbearable torture and escaped Nazi confinement on not one but two occasions, to live well into his eighties. The adventures of de La Rochefoucauld offer rare insight into a unique moment in history, revealing brand new information about a network of commandos who battled evil and bravely worked together to change the course of history.

Return of the Dambusters - What 617 Squadron Did Next (Paperback): John Nichol Return of the Dambusters - What 617 Squadron Did Next (Paperback)
John Nichol 2
R235 R165 Discovery Miles 1 650 Save R70 (30%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

(Previously published as `After the Flood') Former RAF Tornado Navigator and Gulf War veteran John Nichol sets out on a personal journey to discover what happened to 617 Squadron after the flood. RAF 617 Squadron's destruction of the dams at the heart of the Ruhr made them heroes and celebrities of their time. But this elite squadron was also called upon for a hundred more of the most secret and dangerous specialist precision attacks. As bestselling author John Nichol discovers, 617 would drop the largest bombs ever built on battleships, railway bridges, secret weapon establishments, rockets sites and U-boat construction pens. They were involved in attempts on the lives of enemy leaders, both Hitler and Mussolini, created a `false fleet' on D-day which fooled the Germans, and knocked out a German super gun which would have rained 600 shells an hour on London. Of the 77 men who made it home from dams raid, only 45 survived to see the victory for which they fought - as 617's reputation called them into action again and again.

Our Uninvited Guests - The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 (Paperback): Julie Summers Our Uninvited Guests - The Secret Life of Britain's Country Houses 1939-45 (Paperback)
Julie Summers 1
R217 R140 Discovery Miles 1 400 Save R77 (35%) Shipped within 7 - 12 working days

'Julie Summers has an amazing instinct for unearthing good stories and telling quotes.' Craig Brown, The Mail On Sunday. 'This is an enjoyable book, peppered with examples of under-reported wartime heroism.' Robert Leigh-Pemberton, The Daily Telegraph 'It's hard to believe that there are still untold stories about Britain and World War II, but Julie Summers has unearthed a fascinating one that she tells with great verve and style. All in all, Uninvited Guests is a sheer delight.' Lynne Olson, author of Citizens of London and Last Hope Island A remarkable narrative set against the dark days of World War Two, from one of the country's foremost social historians. Our Uninvited Guests perfectly captures the spirit of upheaval at the beginning of the Second World War when thousands of houses were requisitioned by the government to provide accommodation for the armed forces, secret services and government offices as well as vulnerable children, the sick and the elderly, all of whom needed to be housed safely beyond the reach of Hitler's Luftwaffe. Julie Summers gives the reader a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in some of Britain's greatest country houses that were occupied by people who would otherwise never have set foot in such opulent surroundings.Blenheim Palace was colonised by schoolboys who slept in the Long Library; Polish special agents trained in the grounds of Audley End House, learning to forge and lie their way into occupied Europe in the old nursery. Brocket Hall, former home of Queen Victoria's favourite Lord Melbourne, was used as a maternity home for women from the East End of London, and the Rothschilds' magnificent French chateau-inspired Waddesdon Manor housed a hundred children under five. The Northern Highlands, where the fierce warriors of Scotland's past developed their unconventional military skills, played host to the most extreme form of warfare, training agents in the fine arts of sabotage, subterfuge and assassination. The juxtaposition of splendour and opulence with the everyday activities of people whose needs were at odds with their new surroundings is at the heart of this book. This thought-provoking and evocative narrative captures a crucial period in the social history of Britain. Praise for Julie Summers: 'Superb...highly recommended' Who Do You Think You Are Magazine 'A remarkable collection of stories...a rich and moving book' Mail on Sunday 'Summers is a good and knowledgeable writer...powerful, emotional stuff' Independent 'A poignant, lingering account' BBC History Magazine 'A revelation - full of information, reminiscences, humour and social history. Reading it not only gave me great pleasure but also made me proud to be a member of such a long lasting, valuable and vital organisation' Helen Carey OBE, former chairman of the National Federation of Women's Institutes

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