Spartacus Review

Volume 39: 3rd November, 2009

Military History

Title: The Making of the British Army

Author: Allan Mallinson


Publisher: Bantam Press

Price: £20.00

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: The British Army


From the English Civil War to today's War on Terror: in this sweeping account of nearly 500 years of military history, former soldier Allan Mallinson looks at how the Army's dramatic past has made it one of the most effective fighting forces in the world today. He shows us the people and events that have shaped the army we know today: how Marlborough's momentous victory at Blenheim is linked to Wellington's at Waterloo; how the desperate fight at Rorke's Drift in 1879 underpinned the heroism of the airborne forces in Arnhem in 1942; and why Montgomery's momentous victory at El Alamein mattered long after the Second World War was over. This is the story of hard-won military experience. From the Army's birth at the battle of Edgehill in 1642 to our current conflict in Afghanistan, this is history at its most relevant - and most dramatic.

Title: Fight for the French Foreign Legion

Author: Alex Lochrie


Publisher: Pen & Sword

Price: £19.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: French Army


The author describes how he joined the French Foreign Legion, without being able to speak any French and very close to the age limit. He takes the reader through the vigorous selection procedure, the relentless recruit regime and then elite Second Parachute Regiment's training in Corsica. We learn about the ethos and strict discipline of the Foreign Legion. He describes his fellow legionnaires drawn from many backgrounds and nations. Having won his kepi and paratroop wings he served across Africa and the Middle East, taking part in Operation Desert Storm (fighting Saddam Hussein's Republican Guard), peace keeping operations in Sarajevo and Bosnia and in former French colonies such as Chad and the Central African Republic. He graphically describes the action and appalling conditions of the local population. Accounts of life in the modern day Foreign Legion are rare indeed and this one written by a mature and modest man makes fascinating reading.

Title: War: From Ancient Egypt to Iraq

Author: Saul David


Publisher: Dorling Kindersley

Price: £50.00

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: First World War


This book traces the epic 5,000-year story of warfare from the earliest battles to the War on Terror. It explores the campaigns and conflicts, the warriors and commanders and the tactics, weapons and technology that have shaped human warfare. The book explores the fascinating features on topics including; the role of infantry, siege warfare, military tactics and the treatment of wounded soldiers. War: From Ancient Egypt to Iraq combines a clear and compelling historical narrative with a wealth of fascinating supporting features.