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Ever since C. S. Forester's fictional hero Horatio Hornblower began to delight readers, there has been speculation as to whether his adventures were based on the career of a real naval officer. Several names were suggested, but the general conclusion was that Hornblower was a composite character. In this well-written and thoroughly researched book the author argues convincingly that Forester's model for his hero was Adm. James Gordon, a genuine flesh-and-blood hero of Nelson's Navy.Gordon entered the Royal Navy as a semi-literate eleven-year-old and rose to become Admiral of the Fleet. He took part in major sea battles, frigate actions, single-ship duels, cutting-out expeditions, and operations far behind enemy lines. It was the fire of Gordon's ships against Fort McHenry that inspired the American national anthem. He was the last governor of the Royal Naval Hospital at Greenwich, and when he died, having served for more than seventy-five years in the Navy, The Times called him the last of Nelson's captains . To support his claim, Bryan Perrett points to The Commodore and Hornblower's venture into the Baltic to harass the seaward flank of Napoleon's Grand Armee during its retreat from Moscow as a remarkable parallel to Gordon's invasion up the Chesapeake in 1814 and his return down the Potomac with twenty-one prizes. The author explains that Forester lived in the United States at the time he wrote The Commodore and fearful of offending his American readers, studiously obscured the identity of the real Hornblower.In telling the largely unknown story of Admiral Gordon's active service career, the book will be appreciated not only by the thousands of readers who have enjoyed theadventures of Hornblower, but also by those interested in the naval warfare of the Napoleonic period. Readers who enjoy biography will find that they have the added bonus of an absorbing literary and historical detective story.
The author argues convincingly that Forester's fictional Hornblower was modeled after James Gordon, a hero of Nelson's navy.
Readers have come to expect a level of detail and critical rigour from the established military historian and author Bryan Perrett. They will not be disappointed at all here by this new publication. Focussing predominantly on the British armoured car units of World War One, it also untangles many fascinating strands forming the history of modern warfare. Full of detail, it acquaints the reader with the complete history of the armoured car, from invention onwards, setting the history of its Great War service career firmly in context. Well written in an accessible style, this publication serves as an impressive tribute to the armoured car, one of the most effective weapons utilised by the allies during the course of the Great War.
A world where little light penetrates. Of dense vegetation, tangled roots, fetid mud and swamps. Where the helicopter, sophisticated weaponry and technology have revolutionized military combat. But where survival still depends on acute observation and listening for the slightest sound. The jungle. Backdrop to one of the most gruelling of all forms of warfare. To wars that in recent times have changed the course of history. The subject of this expert, extensively illustrated study by Bryan Perrett. Originally published to acclaim in 1990 by Patrick Stephens Limited, this re-issue represents a determination on the publisher's part to keep this esteemed volume in print.
Approximately one-fifth of the earth's surface consists of desert, and throughout history these arid regions have witnessed some of the world's most decisive battles. Here, Bryan Perrett gives an absorbing account of desert conflicts from the first century BC to more contemporary conflicts such as those in Iran and Iraq. As he demonstrates, acclimatization and familiarization with the day-to-day problems of desert life are vital not only to teach troops how to protect themselves and their equipment, but also to bring them to terms with the harsh environment. The desert does not compromise, and battles fought there result in total victory or total defeat, often at horrific cost. Initially released in 1988 by Patrick Stephens Limited, this re-issue marks a determination on the author's and the publisher's part to keep an esteemed publication in print.
Victory on the battlefield is sometimes achieved against the odds - victory snatched from the jaws of apparently inevitable defeat. A daring counter attack, an unexpected manoeuvre, a stubborn refusal to be beaten and the impossible victory is won. In the ten dramatic episodes in this book, military historian Bryan Perrett revisits battles from the Peninsula War of 1811 to Vietnam in 1967, via colonial action in two world wars...an excellent book, informative, fascinating in detail, and above all an easy and enjoyable read - The Royal Tank Regiment Journal
Fighting in a somewhat forgotten corner of Empire during the Second World War, the British and Indian armoured regiments called upon to harness the power of tank warfare to extreme new levels did so in an effort to outwit an army until that point considered invincible - the Imperial Japanese Army. Their collective efforts were heroic and massively effective, giving the Japanese a taste of mechanised warfare from which they never recovered. Bryan Perrett describes the full course of the armoured units' efforts, illustrating the importance of the mighty 7th Armoured Brigade; a 'magnificent formation' in General Slim's estimation. In a conflict that saw much development in the field of tank design and production, Perrett illustrates the practical repercussions of such advances in this most extreme of wartime environments. Detailed research has produced hard evidence of the Japanese use of gas against British tanks, and countless instances of Japan's human-bomb anti-tank technique. Above all, this book shows to what extent the tank can prove a decisive weapon in the unlikeliest areas.
It's 1944 when Lieutenant Andy Pope takes part in the D-Day landings, crossing the English Channel to the beaches of Normandy. Ordered to cut off the Germans' line of retreat, Andy's company comes under sustained attack until, as the only unwounded officer left, Andy finds himself in command and fighting for survival...
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