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Renowned for its express locomotive Mallard setting a world speed record (126mph) for steam locomotives that endures to this day, the London & North Eastern Railway was the second largest of the `Big Four' railway companies to emerge from the 1923 grouping and also the most diverse, with its prestigious ...
The LNER Handbook: The London and North Eastern Railway 1923-47
Renowned for its express locomotive Mallard setting a world speed record (126mph) for steam locomotives that endures to this day, the London & North Eastern Railway was the second largest of the `Big Four' railway companies to emerge from the 1923 grouping and also the most diverse, with its prestigious high-speed trains from King's Cross balanced by an intensive suburban and commuter service from Liverpool Street and a high dependence on freight. Noted for its cautious board and thrifty management, the LNER gained a reputation for being poor but honest. Forming part of a series, along with The GWR Handbook, The LMS Handbook and The Southern Railway Handbook, this new edition provides an authoritative and highly detailed reference of information about the LNER.
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34.12 USD

The LNER Handbook: The London and North Eastern Railway 1923-47

by David Wragg
Paperback / softback
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Operation BARBAROSSA, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, was a turning point second only to Pearl Harbour. Russia became an ally overnight but a most difficult, dangerous and demanding one. Stalin desperately needed oil, equipment and modern technology but the only practical route was round the North ...
Sacrifice for Stalin: The Cost and Value of the Arctic Convoys Re-Assessed
Operation BARBAROSSA, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, was a turning point second only to Pearl Harbour. Russia became an ally overnight but a most difficult, dangerous and demanding one. Stalin desperately needed oil, equipment and modern technology but the only practical route was round the North Cape to the ports of Archangel and Murmansk.The dual enemies of the vulnerable merchantmen were the German naval and air forces and the weather. While no-one questioned that the Russians needed assistance, the author finds evidence that the supplies that did get through the gauntlet, at great cost, were all too often not put to good use. Elsewhere the Allies were having to make do with old and insufficient equipment, such as aircraft. He finds that little mention is made of the impact of British and American weapons and material by Soviet reports. Yet at the same time there is evidence that Allied supplies may have made it possible for the Soviets to occupy central and Eastern Europe and so dominate those countries for half a century of the Cold War.
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34.11 USD

Sacrifice for Stalin: The Cost and Value of the Arctic Convoys Re-Assessed

by David Wragg
Hardback
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Without the aircraft carrier, the Japanese would not have brought the United States into the Second World War through their attack on Pearl Harbour; without the carrier, the United States could not have rolled back the Japanese forces spread across the wide reaches of the Pacific and carried the war ...
Second World War Carrier Campaigns
Without the aircraft carrier, the Japanese would not have brought the United States into the Second World War through their attack on Pearl Harbour; without the carrier, the United States could not have rolled back the Japanese forces spread across the wide reaches of the Pacific and carried the war to Japan itself. Thus is can be argued that aircraft carriers were the decisive naval weapons system of the Second World War. Yet they had an uncertain start, with HMS Courageous sunk two weeks after the outbreak of war, followed by her sister, Glorious the following spring. This book is an authoritative, concise and hugely readable account of carrier operations throughout WW2. The text is given immediacy by the use of eyewitness accounts.
34.11 USD

Second World War Carrier Campaigns

by David Wragg
Hardback
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The daring British air raid that inspired the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In November 1940 Britain was isolated in its stand against Nazi Germany and its ally, Italy. The country could not afford to lose control of the Mediterranean, but the Royal Navy was already overstretched by the U-boat ...
Swordfish: The Story of the Taranto Raid
The daring British air raid that inspired the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In November 1940 Britain was isolated in its stand against Nazi Germany and its ally, Italy. The country could not afford to lose control of the Mediterranean, but the Royal Navy was already overstretched by the U-boat war and the threat of invasion. Italy's fleet of modern battleships presented a grave threat to our communications with Egypt and the Suez Canal. On the night of 11 November 1940, 42 members of the Fleet Air Arm took off in 21 obsolete 'Swordfish' biplanes, launched from HMS Illustrious. Their target: the Italian fleet anchorage at Taranto. Pressing home their attack in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire and searchlights, they torpedoed and sank three battleships. Incredibly, all but two of the biplanes survived. The Italian fleet was crippled and the world took note that Britain was far from defeated. No-one was more impressed than the Japanese, who noted how a fleet in harbour could be demolished by air attack. In this new account of the Royal Navy's most daring operation of the Second World War, David Wragg draws on British and Italian records as well as interviews with the aircrew, to tell the full story of a night that changed the course of the war.
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15.34 USD

Swordfish: The Story of the Taranto Raid

by David Wragg
Paperback / softback
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The strategic importance of Malta sitting astride both the Axis and Allied supply routes in the Mediterranean was obvious to both sides during WW2. As a result, the island became the focal point in a prolonged and dreadful struggle that cost the lives of thousands of servicemen and civilians. David ...
Malta: The Last Great Siege 1940-1943
The strategic importance of Malta sitting astride both the Axis and Allied supply routes in the Mediterranean was obvious to both sides during WW2. As a result, the island became the focal point in a prolonged and dreadful struggle that cost the lives of thousands of servicemen and civilians. David Wragg tells the story using many first-hand accounts and yet skilfully explains the strategic situation.
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34.04 USD

Malta: The Last Great Siege 1940-1943

by David Wragg
Hardback
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In the late nineteenth century, some of Britain's leading main-line railway companies threw caution to the winds in an attempt to provide the fastest passenger express services between London and Scotland. These became known as the 'races to the north'. There were two phases, in 1888 and 1895, and they ...
The Race to the North: Rivalry and Record-Breaking in the Golden Age of Steam
In the late nineteenth century, some of Britain's leading main-line railway companies threw caution to the winds in an attempt to provide the fastest passenger express services between London and Scotland. These became known as the 'races to the north'. There were two phases, in 1888 and 1895, and they spurred the building of new bridges across the Firth of Forth and Firth of Tay. David Wragg's gripping, detailed narrative tells the story of this famous commercial competition, and he fills in the background, which is no less interesting - the pioneering engineering of the steam age, the massive construction projects, the cut-throat battle for passengers and freight, and the deep inter-company rivalries that drove the rapid development of the railways during the Victorian period.
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34.11 USD

The Race to the North: Rivalry and Record-Breaking in the Golden Age of Steam

by David Wragg
Hardback
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It opens with a brief history of the service, followed by a chapter that reviews its situation on the outbreak of war. The chapters that follow look at the structure of the RAF, from the Air Ministry and Chief of the Air Staff down to squadron level, to include each ...
RAF Handbook 1939-1945
It opens with a brief history of the service, followed by a chapter that reviews its situation on the outbreak of war. The chapters that follow look at the structure of the RAF, from the Air Ministry and Chief of the Air Staff down to squadron level, to include each of the Commands, including Transport Command (a creation of the war years). The main aircraft types used are listed, as well as a full listing of squadrons and airfields in the British Isles. The training of personnel, and such matters as uniforms, rank insignia, medals and life on a typical airfield, are also covered. The main battles or campaigns in which the service was involved are also described.
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42.66 USD

RAF Handbook 1939-1945

by David Wragg
Hardback
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For many the GWR was synonymous with holidays by the sea in the West Country, but it was built to serve as a fast railway line to London, especially for the merchants and financiers of Bristol. Its operations stretched as far as Merseyside, it provided most services in Wales, and ...
The GWR Handbook: The Great Western Railway 1923-47
For many the GWR was synonymous with holidays by the sea in the West Country, but it was built to serve as a fast railway line to London, especially for the merchants and financiers of Bristol. Its operations stretched as far as Merseyside, it provided most services in Wales, and it was the main line to Cardiff, Bristol, Cornwall and Birmingham. This book, a classic first published in 2006, reveals the equipment, stations, network, shipping and air services, bus operations including Western National, and overall reach and history of the GWR. Forming part of a series, along with The LMS Handbook, The LNER Handbook and The Southern Railway Handbook, this new edition provides an authoritative and highly detailed reference of information about the GWR.
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34.12 USD

The GWR Handbook: The Great Western Railway 1923-47

by David Wragg
Paperback / softback
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The Southern Railway may not have been the most glamorous of the `Big Four' companies that emerged from the grouping of 1923, but it was the great innovator. In the 1930s the Southern pioneered the first main-line electrification and created the largest electrified suburban railway network in the world. It ...
The Southern Handbook: The Southern Railway 1923-1947
The Southern Railway may not have been the most glamorous of the `Big Four' companies that emerged from the grouping of 1923, but it was the great innovator. In the 1930s the Southern pioneered the first main-line electrification and created the largest electrified suburban railway network in the world. It was also one of the few to offer regular departures and the first to run true international services, introducing the `Night Ferry' through-trains from London to Paris using special ferries. Forming part of a series, along with The GWR Handbook, The LMS Handbook and The LNER Handbook, this new edition provides an authoritative and highly detailed reference of information about the Southern Railway.
34.12 USD

The Southern Handbook: The Southern Railway 1923-1947

by David Wragg
Paperback / softback
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Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945 tells the inspiring story of Allied and German fighter pilots in Europe, over the Mediterranean and in North Africa during the Second World War. The book starts with the early skirmishes as each side tested the other's defences, moves through the Battle ...
Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945
Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945 tells the inspiring story of Allied and German fighter pilots in Europe, over the Mediterranean and in North Africa during the Second World War. The book starts with the early skirmishes as each side tested the other's defences, moves through the Battle of Britain and onto the Blitz, when the emphasis switched from single-engined day fighters to twin-engined night fighters. At this time, fighters were increasingly used to conduct destructive sweeps over occupied France. This overlapped with the need to provide air cover for the strategically vital island fortress of Malta, as well as defensive operations against Axis forces in Crete and North Africa. The contribution of the too often neglected Desert Air Force, formed from elements of many Allied air forces, is wellcovered as is the shift to offensive operations as the balance of power changed. The invasions of Sicily, mainland Italy and the South of France also relied heavily on fighter cover, initially by carrier-based aircraft.From June 1944 the lessons learnt in North Africa were put to good use by the 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force, working closely with the advancing Allied armies and achieving overwhelming air supremacy. The book also covers the actions of Luftwaffe fighter pilots as they took on the RAF by night and the USAAF by day.For a well-informed description of the development of tactics and aircraft types as well as exploits of the combatants, Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945, written by a much published authority, is unlikely to be bettered.
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34.11 USD

Fighter Operations in Europe and North Africa 1939-1945

by David Wragg
Hardback
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During the Summer of 1940, Hitler's Germany appeared unstoppable. The Nazis were masters of mainland Europe, in alliance with Stalin's Russia and only the English Channel prevented an immediate invasion. Britain stood alone. The BEF had been routed but, due to the 'Dunkirk miracle', most of her manpower had returned ...
Operation Sealion: Hitler's Invasion Plan for Britain
During the Summer of 1940, Hitler's Germany appeared unstoppable. The Nazis were masters of mainland Europe, in alliance with Stalin's Russia and only the English Channel prevented an immediate invasion. Britain stood alone. The BEF had been routed but, due to the 'Dunkirk miracle', most of her manpower had returned albeit without their transport and heavy equipment and guns. There was no doubt that the Nazis planned to invade - all intelligence pointed that way. In the event it never materialised, thanks to the outcome of the Battle of Britain and Hitler's decision to invade Russia. Operation SEALION examines just how realistic the German threat of invasion was. The author studies the plans, the available capability and resources, the Germans' record in Norway and later Crete. The author weighs these against the state of Britain's defences and the relative strengths of the land, air and particularly naval forces. The result is a fascinating study of what might or might not have been.
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42.66 USD

Operation Sealion: Hitler's Invasion Plan for Britain

by David Wragg
Hardback
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On the eve of the railway age, London was the world s largest and most populous city and one of the most congested. Traffic-clogged roads and tightly packed buildings meant that travel across the city was tortuous, time-consuming and unpleasant. Then came the railways. They transformed the city and set ...
Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London
On the eve of the railway age, London was the world s largest and most populous city and one of the most congested. Traffic-clogged roads and tightly packed buildings meant that travel across the city was tortuous, time-consuming and unpleasant. Then came the railways. They transformed the city and set it on a course of extraordinary development that created the metropolis of the present day. This is story that David Wragg explores in his fascinating new book. He considers the impact of the railways on London and the Home Counties and analyses the decisions taken by the railway companies, Parliament and local government. He also describes the disruptive effect of the railways which could not be built without massive upheaval. His study of the railway phenomenon will be thought-provoking reading for anyone who is keen to understand the city s expansion and the layout of the capital today.
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34.11 USD

Commuter City: How the Railways Shaped London

by David Wragg
Hardback
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The Pacific Naval War 1941-1945 is an account of the war between the Allies and the Japanese. This was primarily a naval war as sea power allowed the Japanese to mount their attack on Pearl Harbour and then advance westwards and southwards, and it was sea power that enabled the ...
The Pacific Naval War 1941-1945
The Pacific Naval War 1941-1945 is an account of the war between the Allies and the Japanese. This was primarily a naval war as sea power allowed the Japanese to mount their attack on Pearl Harbour and then advance westwards and southwards, and it was sea power that enabled the Allies to strike back and even take the war to Japan itself. The tide turned very quickly, with the overwhelming US victory at Midway in June 1942 ending any Japanese hope of domination, and eventually saw the greatest naval battle in history at Leyte Gulf as American forces retook the Philippines. The book begins by setting the scene in the Far East and the decisions that led Japan into war, and also by looking at the situation faced by the Royal Navy elsewhere, with its initial heavy losses of major ships, and especially aircraft carriers. Yet, within a couple of years, the Royal Navy was able to send the strongest and most balanced fleet in its history to the Far East and played a major role in attacking Japanese oil production and in preventing reinforcements being flown from Japan to Iwo Jima and Okinawa. The conflict also saw the Royal Australian Navy develop from a small force designed to support the Royal Navy in the southern hemisphere into a viable naval force in its own right and ready to become a balanced fleet in the immediate post-war years. The progress of the war is supported by eye-witness accounts from those involved in the fighting at sea.
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34.11 USD

The Pacific Naval War 1941-1945

by David Wragg
Hardback
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Total Germany: The Royal Navy's War Against the Axis Powers 1939-1945
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26.240000 USD

Total Germany: The Royal Navy's War Against the Axis Powers 1939-1945

by David Wragg
Hardback
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The power of the media is unquestionable - the dramatic effect it can have on public opinion and decision making is quite unique. Knowing how to use the media effectively is an essential skill for the public relations practitioner. In this third edition of Effective Media Relations, three public relations ...
Effective Media Relations: How to Get Results
The power of the media is unquestionable - the dramatic effect it can have on public opinion and decision making is quite unique. Knowing how to use the media effectively is an essential skill for the public relations practitioner. In this third edition of Effective Media Relations, three public relations professionals give clear, practical guidance on how to work with journalists to get the best possible media coverage. In Part 1, Alison Theaker looks at the media context and provides an overview of the law, ownership, ethics, new technology and media evaluation. In Part 2, David Wragg looks at the opportunities that are available in the traditional press and gives practical advice on how to work with them. In Part 3 Michael Bland takes a behind-the-scenes look at the broadcast media and provides an insight into how radio and television interviews should be handled. Effective Media Relations will provide an ideal primer for any newcomer to public relations. For the seasoned practitioner, it will serve as a useful refresher to update skills and give an invaluable overview of media relations.
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34.120000 USD

Effective Media Relations: How to Get Results

by David Wragg, Alison Theaker, Michael Bland
Paperback / softback
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The London Midland & Scottish Railway was the largest of the Big Four railway companies to emerge from the 1923 grouping. It was the only one to operate in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as having two short stretches of line in the Irish Republic. It was ...
The LMS Handbook: The London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1923-47
The London Midland & Scottish Railway was the largest of the Big Four railway companies to emerge from the 1923 grouping. It was the only one to operate in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as having two short stretches of line in the Irish Republic. It was also the world's largest railway shipping operator and owned the greatest number of railway hotels. Mainly a freight railway, it still boasted the best carriages, and the work of chief engineer Sir William Stanier influenced the first locomotive and carriage designs for the nationalised British railways. Packed with facts and figures as well as historical narrative, this extensively illustrated book is a superb reference source that will be of interest to all railway enthusiasts.
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34.12 USD

The LMS Handbook: The London, Midland and Scottish Railway 1923-47

by David Wragg
Paperback / softback
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Above the Waves is the history of the first century of British Naval aviation, with personal accounts adding colour to the achievements both in technology, such as angled flight decks, mirror deck landing systems, helicopter assault and vertical take-off, and in operations, including the sinking of the Konigsberg and the ...
A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009
Above the Waves is the history of the first century of British Naval aviation, with personal accounts adding colour to the achievements both in technology, such as angled flight decks, mirror deck landing systems, helicopter assault and vertical take-off, and in operations, including the sinking of the Konigsberg and the daring attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, convoy protection, operations with the United States Navy in the Pacific, then, post-war, Suez, and later the recovery of the Falklands from Argentine invasion.The Royal Navy was in the forefront of aviation from a very early stage. As the author reveals Officers such as the legendary Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher quickly recognised the strategic and tactical importance of air power. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty, volunteered the Navy for the air defence of the UK in WW1 but with the formation of the RAF in 1918 the Navy had a fierce fight to retain its own air arms and this is a struggle that has continued up to the present day.Not only are there many thrilling accounts of operations but this fascinating book also includes a chronology of major events. Above the Waves will appeal to those who have served, those who serve today and those who intend to serve in the future, and for their relatives and the many enthusiasts who sense the particular excitement of air operations at sea.
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34.11 USD

A Century of British Naval Aviation 1909-2009

by David Wragg
Hardback
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Except for the strength of the U-boat fleet at the height of the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Navy, or Kriegsmarine, was never a match for the Royal Navy, even though the latter was overstretched and fighting in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Arctic. It was not ...
Plan Z: The Nazi Bid for Naval Dominance
Except for the strength of the U-boat fleet at the height of the Battle of the Atlantic, the German Navy, or Kriegsmarine, was never a match for the Royal Navy, even though the latter was overstretched and fighting in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Mediterranean and the Arctic. It was not meant to be that way. Hitler and his naval staff had a vision for a large and well-balanced fleet, including aircraft carriers. PLAN Z was the name given for the massive fleet that Germany intended to build, However the Plan relied on the outbreak of the war not occurring at least until 1942. This book examines the way in which such a fleet could have influenced the major battles between the Royal Navy and the Germans. Plan Z starts by looking at Germany's history and ambitions as a maritime power. The relationships between the three armed forces and between them and the Fuhrer are also examined, along with the country's economic and industrial position.
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34.11 USD

Plan Z: The Nazi Bid for Naval Dominance

by David Wragg
Hardback
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On the declaration of war in 1939 the British Admiralty signalled all warships and naval bases 'Total Germany, Total Germany'. It was fortunate that of Germany's three armed services, the Kriegsmarine under Grosseradmiral Erich Raeder was the least well prepared. True, Admiral Karl Donitz's U-Boat force was to give the ...
Total Germany: The Royal Navy's War Against the Axis Powers 1939 - 1945
On the declaration of war in 1939 the British Admiralty signalled all warships and naval bases 'Total Germany, Total Germany'. It was fortunate that of Germany's three armed services, the Kriegsmarine under Grosseradmiral Erich Raeder was the least well prepared. True, Admiral Karl Donitz's U-Boat force was to give the Allies many anxious times but Hitler was never comfortable or competent in his handling of naval surface forces. Total Germany is a concise yet comprehensive account of the Royal Navy's part in the war at sea and the measures taken to ensure victory. The different approaches taken by the warring countries are expertly examined. The author reviews the differing strategies and tactics of the various theatres such as the Far East, Mediterranean, Atlantic and Arctic.
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42.66 USD

Total Germany: The Royal Navy's War Against the Axis Powers 1939 - 1945

by David Wragg
Hardback
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From the American Civil War onwards, railways have been an important aspect of war. So important were the railways that in the First World War, the state took control of the railways, and then repeated this exercise in the Second World War. Wartime on the Railways describes the part played ...
Wartime on the Railways
From the American Civil War onwards, railways have been an important aspect of war. So important were the railways that in the First World War, the state took control of the railways, and then repeated this exercise in the Second World War. Wartime on the Railways describes the part played by Britain's railways during the Second World War, dealing not simply with operational matters or the impact of enemy action on the railways, but also looking at financial arrangements, the part played by railway workshops in producing equipment for the military, the wartime experience of the railways' ships, with the narrative augmented by personal accounts from railwaymen, and women as the war years saw much change. The book includes chapters on the railways during the final years of peace, and on each of the 'Big Four' companies, London Transport's underground system, the impact of wartime restrictions on travel and scheduling, the role of the railway workshops, and ports and shipping, as many railway ships were lost during the battle for France and at Dunkirk.
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11.28 USD
Paperback / softback
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The World Air Power Guide provides up-to-the-minute comprehensive information on the military aviation assets of no less than 169 nations. While the bulk of the book covers the air forces of the countries concerned, the author, who previously compiled Jane's Air Forces of the World, includes details of, where applicable, ...
The World Air Power Guide
The World Air Power Guide provides up-to-the-minute comprehensive information on the military aviation assets of no less than 169 nations. While the bulk of the book covers the air forces of the countries concerned, the author, who previously compiled Jane's Air Forces of the World, includes details of, where applicable, army, navy, marine and coastguard airpower, together with their history and other relevant information.rnrnRevealing comparisons are made between countries' populations, GDP and defence expenditure. These raise worrying questions as to the differing levels of national commitment to maintaining peace and security.rnrnOver the last 100 years air power has become a key component of any developed nation's defence strategy and there is no prospect of its significance diminishing. Even insurgency campaigns such as Afghanistan, ground forces cannot operate effectively without strategic and tactical airlift capability, air-to-ground fire support and airborne intelligence gathering.rnrnWith its numerous illustrations, The World Air Power Guide provides the reader, whether professional or lay, with an outstanding array of information at an affordable price.rnrnDavid Wragg is the author of some thirty books on aviation and naval history, with dozen of these either co-published in the United States or translated. He has also been a contributor to numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Sunday Telegraph, The Spectator, The Scotsman and The Sunday Herald. His books on the Royal Navy in the two world wars have been described by The Review (Quarterly Journal of the Naval Historical Collectors and Research Association) as '...meticulously researched and presented in a logical and easily read format...' A Century of Naval Aviation 1909-2009 (published by Pen and Sword Maritime, was described by FLY NAVY as '...very well researched and readable...' He lives in Edinburgh.
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52.500000 USD
Hardback
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'Necessity is the mother of invention' and nothing is more necessary than victory in war. Driven by the need to defeat Hitler's Nazis and Japanese Imperial ambitions, the period 1939 - 1945 saw huge and unprecedented leaps in the invention and development of war winning weapons and technology. Well=known author ...
The Second World War's Military Legacy: The Atomic Bomb and Much More
'Necessity is the mother of invention' and nothing is more necessary than victory in war. Driven by the need to defeat Hitler's Nazis and Japanese Imperial ambitions, the period 1939 - 1945 saw huge and unprecedented leaps in the invention and development of war winning weapons and technology. Well=known author and military expert David Wragg has studied the whole range of land, sea and air technical innovations that originated during the Second World War. Most obvious and strategically important is the Atomic Bomb (and its successor the Hydrogen Bomb) but the list is truly fascinating - cruise and ballistic missiles, landing craft, self-propelled guns assault ships, IFF (identification friend or foe), jet engines, sonar, ejection seats to name but some. A number of inventions, while important at the time, had no longer term use; for instance dive-bombers. Others were available but not used until post-war such as in-flight refuelling. The author concludes from his extensive research arguing that there is little new in defence today as so many modern weapons trace their origins back to the Second World War. This is an original and thought-provoking book by a highly respected military history author.
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41.950000 USD
Hardback
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Uniquely among Britain's railways, the Great Western Railway retained its identity from the time of its incorporation in 1835 until nationalisation in 1948. This was one of the great railways, so much so that for some enthusiasts it was the railway, even attracting such epithets as 'God's Wonderful Railway' among ...
The GWR Handbook 1923-1947
Uniquely among Britain's railways, the Great Western Railway retained its identity from the time of its incorporation in 1835 until nationalisation in 1948. This was one of the great railways, so much so that for some enthusiasts it was the railway, even attracting such epithets as 'God's Wonderful Railway' among the more dedicated. Even so, the amalgamations of 1923 saw the company absorb many smaller concerns, so that the post-grouping GWR was in some respects a different railway from that had grown up during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The grouping saw the GWR absorb some significant concerns with strong, albeit local, networks. Fortunately the GWR dominated these companies to the extent that it was able to impose its will and identity on them, so that it was spared the infighting that so marred the new London Midland Scottish, or the regionalisation that left the London and North Eastern adrift, and simply did not paper over the cracks with some token changes as happened on the Southern. The GWR had suffered from an uneven performance during the early years of its history, and only really became the prestigious organisation that so many people came to love during the early twentieth century, setting speed records including the first, albeit unofficial, one of more than 100mph with the locomotive City of Truro. At one stage between the wars the GWR operated the world's fastest regular service with the express Cheltenham Flyer, while attempting to improve the efficiency and economics of the quieter branch lines with diesel railcars. Typically, it celebrated its centenary with special wide-bodied 'Centenary Riviera' carriages. The Great Western Railway Handbook 1923-1947 looks at the history and achievements of one of the great railway companies, if not the greatest. For many, the GWR was synonymous with holidays by the sea in the West Country, but it was originally formed to link London and Bristol. The area and extent of its operations was large, extending as far north as Merseyside, providing most of the railway services in Wales, as well as being the main line to Cardiff, Bristol, Cornwall and, often forgotten today, Birmingham. The book begins with a brief history of the GWR before the grouping, and a survey of the other companies, such as the Cardiff Railway and the Taff Vale Railway, that joined the GWR in 1923. It also looks at the leadership of the company. The post-grouping GWR's history is given, with reference information on its locomotives, named expresses, rolling stock, depots and major termini, including the role of Birmingham as the interchange point, and bottleneck, for cross-country expresses , as well as the extensive ventures in shipping and ports, in bus and air services. Other features are covered in chapters on accidents, freight operations, diesel railcars, operations during the Second World War, and then on nationalisation. The book concludes with a chapter looking at what might have been, based on the GWR's own Last Look Forward, post-war plans for the widespread introduction of diesel locomotives and reconstruction. The book includes photographs and diagrams illustrating the GWR's equipment and some railway stations, its network, shipping and air services, bus operations, including Western National, some comparative timetables showing progress between 1923 and 1938 (the last year of true peacetime operation), as well as lists of locomotives.
USD
Hardback
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