At a time when the British Army is going through something of a crisis — plucked from the frying pan of Iraq only to be plunged into the fire of Afghanistan, with inadequate equipment, a lack of clear objectives, mounting casualties and dwindling public support — it might not appear to be the best moment to publish a history of the Second Service’s achievements since the days of Cromwell.
Whether the refusal to allow the Confederate states the right to self-determination, flying as it did in the face of the Declaration of Independence, was the first overt act of American imperialism is a question that goes largely undiscussed.
In reviewing Robert Harvey’s The War of Wars: The Epic Struggle Between Britain and France, 1793-1815 in these pages three years ago, I asked the question, ‘Who, in the end, defeated Napoleon Bonaparte?’; or rather, I repeated the question that Harvey himself posed at the end of his comprehensive account of the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
D-Day: The Battle for Normandy, by Anthony Beevor
The Forgotten Voices of D-Day, by Roderick Bailey, in association with the Imperial War Museum
The Gamble: General Petraeus and the Untold Story of the American Surge in Iraq, 2006-2008, by Thomas E. Ricks
The English Civil Wars, 1640-1660, by Blair Worden
Memories of an SOE Historian, by M. R. D. Foot
‘Blinker’ Hall, Spymaster, by David Ramsay
Survivors of a Kind, by Brian Bond
The Third Reich at War, 1939-1945, by Richard L. Evans
From the Front Line: Family Letters & Diaries, 1900 to the Falklands & Afghanistan, by Hew Pike