Book Reviews

Book Review: A Tourist Guide to the Anglo Boer War

A Tourist Guide to the Anglo Boer War 1899-1902, is an excellent layman's guide to the bitter conflict between Boer and Brit just over...

Book Review: Desert Veld Mud

"Through Desert, Veld & Mud" is no ordinary regimental history. But then 15 Maintenance Unit, the oldest logistics unit in the country, is no...

Review: Band of Brothers

This review steps off the beaten track by reviewing Band of Brothers, a 10-episode, 9½-hour mini-series on the experiences of "Easy Company"...

Book Review: Top Gun and Scream of Eagles

Two books about the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School (NFWS) show how military leaders can surrender good sense for the siren song of technology,...

Book Review: Don’t mention the War!

John Ramsden argues that the modern Briton in general, and the Englishman in particular, has a deep-seated prejudice towards Germany and all things German....

Book Review: The Silent War

Did a rogue Soviet submarine on March 8, 1968, attempt to fire a SS-N-5 Serb ballistic missile tipped with a one megaton...

Book Review: Decent Interval

Saigon, the capital of a decrepit, corrupt South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese forces by accident on April 30, 1975. Former CIA analyst Frank...

Book Review: The Stasi Files

The year 1989 saw the fall of the Iron Curtain, the collapse of East European communism and, uniquely the extinction of a state. That...

Book Review: The Biafra Story

Biafra cost Frederick Forsyth his job as a BBC correspondent and his career as a journalist. He wrote the Biafra Story as an angry...

Book Review: Churchill

John Keegan describes Winston Spencer Churchill ("Spencer" is a surname, indicating Winton and Diana, Princes of Wales, were related) as a "moral...

Book Review: Churchill

John Keegan describes Winston Spencer Churchill ("Spencer" is a surname, indicating Winton and Diana, Princes of Wales, were related) as a "moral...

Book Review: Shadow Tracker

Shadow Tracker is a "high-energy story of high adventure and military action" according to the publishers blurb on the back cover. "Many of the...

Book Review: Kommando

James Lucas' Kommando takes a look, as the subtitle suggests, German Special Forces of World War Two. In one of the paradoxes of that...

Book Review: What we Knew

What We Knew is the outcome of the first scientific study attempted in Germany to determine what ordinary Germans and Jews new about the...

Book Review: Our War

Our War is very much a "did-you-know" type of book.   Did you know the British Army included black women in its ranks...

Book Review: The Border

AJ Brooks' The Border is a strange bird, a novel set against the 1966-1989 Border War. Not much is now written about that conflict...

Book Review: Hitler’s Death

A dry subject perhaps, but Hitler's Death was spellbinding at least to this reviewer. Compiled by three Russian authors under the supervision of an...

Book Review: My life with the SA Defence Force

Anthony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, creators of the BBC characters Sir Humphrey and Jim Hacker (Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister), advise that when...

Book Review: Wars of Empire

Cassell, the British publishing house, has made it a consistent habit to publish thought-provoking books on the history of warfare. Wars of Empire is...

Book Review: The Experience of WW2

The Experience of World War II, edited by John Campbell, is so unlike most other books on the topic as to be an important...

Book Review: The Battle for North Africa

Why another book on the 1940-43 war in northern Africa? This is the first question John Strawson seeks to answer in his 1969 work...

Book Review: The Battle for North Africa

Why another book on the 1940-43 war in northern Africa? This is the first question John Strawson seeks to answer in his 1969 work...

Book Review: The Covert War

The Covert War is Peter Stiff's account of the "Operation Koevoet" counter-insurgency unit that operated in northern Namibia between 1979 and 1989. Now almost...

Book Review: Battles of South Africa

Battles of South Africa is a gem of a book. Discovered by chance by this reviewer, it covers a series of battles...

Book Review: The Paladins

How ready for battle was the British Royal Air Force on the eve of World War Two? Who exactly were "the few" to whom...

Book Review: Who killed the Canadian military?

Distinguished Canadian writer and Emeritus History Professor Jack Granatstein's book Who killed the Canadian military? came at a bad time for the Canadian...

Book Review: Tobruk: The Great Siege Reassessed

The German Army suffered its first two defeats of World War Two at Tobruk in 1941. Presiding over this debacle was the...

Book review: Border-line Insanity

Tim Ramsden had a busy two years in service of the South African nation, spending nine months mastering mechanised infantry tactics and techniques before...

Book review: Total Onslaught

De Wet Potgieter's Total Onslaught – Apartheid's dirty tricks exposed is a disappointment. Despite the title, the book is not a comprehensive treatment of...

Book review: Winston Churchill: The making of a hero in the South African War

By Eric Bolsmann's telling, the young Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a shrewd operator who from an early age had one objective: to...

Book review: White Power

There was no "miracle" in South Africa in 1994. Instead there had been an "elite pact – not just between the NP...

Marshal Zhukov at the Oder – The decisive battle for Berlin

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Tony le Tissier's Marshal Zhukov at the Oder fills in a critical gap in English language histories on the final days of World War Two...

Book review: The Rocky Rioter Teargas Show

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Pat Hopkins & Helen Grange writes that the events of 16 June 1976 "is shrouded in a myriad interpretations and contradictions –...

Book Review: An Ordinary Atrocity

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A policeman once described the events in Sharpeville on 21 March 1960 as an "ordinary atrocity", a phrase so breathtaking Professor Philip...

Book review: A quick and dirty guide to war

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A quick and dirty guide to war is a treasure trove of information, a gold mine of facts to virtually every conflict...

Book Review: 19 with a bullet

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19 with a bullet has the potential to be for the (South African) Border War what publisher Chris Cocks' Fireforce was for...

Book review: Eagle in Flames

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"For all their technical sophistication the Germans were still misusing air power at the end of the war, having treated it like...

Book review: Secret war for the Falklands

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The Falklands War of 1982 was a close-run conflict according to Nigel West, a historian specialising in espionage and intelligence.His Secret War...

Book review: South Africa’s Navy

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South Africa's Navy – A Navy of the People and for the People provides a superb window into the modern South African...

Book review: War as I knew it

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War as I knew it is arguably one of the best books on the subject by an author who was an expert...

Book review: Panzer Commander

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Panzer Commander is the Steven Ambrose-inspired pop memoir of the noted German panzeraufklarung (armoured reconnaissance) expert Colonel Hans von Luck, who died...

Book Review: Arms Deal in Your Pocket

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The title was likely inspired by the phrase ‘a politician in your pocket" and while it may not be "the best president...

Book Review: Buffalo Battalion

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Buffalo Battalion – A tale of sacrifice is the latest book on South Africa's 32 Battalion, whose famous "buffalo soldiers" made a...

Book Review: Masodja

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The Rhodesian African Rifles (RAR) is another fine Rhodesian regiment who's very name and traditions fell victim to Robert Gabriel Mugabe, the...

Book review: The Saints

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The Saints – The Rhodesian Light Infantry is the definitive account of the life and times of the 1st Battalion The Rhodesian...

Book review: From Fledgling to Eagle

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I read books for knowledge or entertainment. Most offer one or the other, many neither. Brig Gen (Retd) Dick Lord's From Fledgling...

Book review: Vlamgat

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 Vlamgat is likely to be the definitive account of the Dassault-Breguet Mirage F1 and the men who flew its pilots in South African Air...

Book review: The Saints

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The Saints – The Rhodesian Light Infantry is the definitive account of the life and times of the 1st Battalion The Rhodesian...

Book review: Winds of Destruction

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Winds of Destruction, the autobiography of Rhodesian pilot Group Captain (Retd) Peter Petter-Bowyer (PB for short) is in the words of the...

Book review: Freakonomics

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It may be asked why an economic treatise is discussed here. The answer of course is that economics like is an art...