This first BookPick for 2021 is an eclectic selection of titles that caught my eye recently. These range from an updated record of all fighting ships of the Royal Navy from the 15th century to the present – to a history of visual communication at sea – to three titles dealing with various aspects of heroism. In these dark days of winter, and with continuing lockdown, I find it’s of some comfort to take refuge in a book, either following up on a specific topic or to learn more of what history can tell us. I hope you find something of interest in this selection and as always I welcome your thoughts.
The SAS preserved their anonymity for decades but, after some memoirs were published, they have begun to attract the attention of historians. The SAS performed well beyond their actual strength during the final advance into Germany and on to victory. – Very Highly Recommended
The Battle of Tsushima may be forgotten now, but it had a dramatic impact at the time and set the pattern of warfare through the Twentieth Century and set the politics of the period. The Russian Navy was considered formidable and the Japanese Navy unheard of, and yet the Japanese Fleet Commander inflicted one of the most complete defeats of an enemy fleet in history. – Very Highly Recommended
This book provides a detailed view of the British County Regiment system. The authors have benefited from the Herts At War Community Project research and woven into their text the authentic voices of those who were there. – Very Highly Recommended
This book provides a detailed view of the British pioneering aviation sites. The main focus for aviation historians has been on people and aircraft, largely ignoring the very important sites that supported and coloured aviation development. – Very Highly Recommended
An addition to a unique series in co-operation with the (British) National Maritime Museum. This book provides a unique insight into an important class of Royal Navy warship by providing original source material with high quality photographic copies of the original builders’ plans. – Most Highly Recommended
Ship Craft series books are always a visual treat and contain many rare or specially commissioned images. The primary target readership are modellers but these books contain many important images that simply do not appear in military histories. – Most Highly Recommended
An interesting story of one of the last traditional sailing ship pirates. The story of Benito De Soto was not the end of piracy but he was one of the last traditional pirates, captured by the British, tried and executed. – Highly Recommended