War, of course, is a violent affair. Even though it may result in the death of thousands, and it may appear that individual lives count for little, it is still the case that one death is a tragedy. So it was that in the midst of the terrible slaughter of the First World War, a murder was still treated as a capital crime and the perpetrators, if found guilty, faced the death sentence just as they would in peacetime.
Murderous Tommies details the court cases that followed twelve of these murders. One of these was that of Second Lieutenant John Henry Paterson, the only British officer to be executed for murder in the First World War.
Leo Marks first wrote his book about his time during the Second World War in the Special Operations Executive, Between Silk and Cyanide, in the 1980s but it failed to receive official clearance. It was not published until 1998. Why it was embargoed is not clear, but what is very evident is that Between Silk and Cyanide is less than complimentary about the workings of the SOE.
Marks originally applied to join the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park but failed to be taken on after the eight-week introductory course. Marks, though, did have a gift for codes and he was soon snapped up by SOE to help organise its communications with its agents.
The study of modern conflict archaeology is a relatively new and developing discipline, and interest is growing in this subject. It is now possible to formally study the subject of modern conflict archaeology at degree level at certain universities.
Beyond the Dead Horizon is formed from a selection of collated studies by students studying at Bristol University and is edited by Dr Nicholas J. Saunders. The book contains eighteen chapters detailing a wide range of subjects. Whilst much practical archaeology is conducted on actual battlefield sites, a lot of academic study is also carried out off site. The subject is also studied academically, including from a more anthropological stance.
This latest book by Alan Cooper tells the story of the air operation in support of Operation Market-Garden. The operation was described to the air crews before take-off by US General Lewis Brereton, who commanded the Combined Airborne Headquarters: “You are taking part in one of the greatest airborne operations in military history. On the success of your mission today, on the navigational and flying skill and courage of the aircrew and the skills, courage and speed of the landing force rests the difference between a quick decision in the west and a long drawn out battle.”