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Adrian Gilbert
Hertfordshire, England
Military history author and book reviewer
Interests: military history, world war two, world war one, prisoners of war, sniping, foreign legion
Recent Activity
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Christian Jennings' At War on the Gothic Line in War Books Review Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2016 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Beyond the Call by Lee Trimble with Jeremy Dronfield. By the end of 1944 the forces of the Soviet Union had pushed the Germans back to their own borders. In the process, the Red Army had liberated scores of German prison, labour and concentration camps, Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Shock Factor by Jack Coughlin. A former US Marine sniper with extensive experience in Somalia and Iraq, Gunnery Sergeant Jack Coughlin has collaborated with Oregon-based journalist John R. Bruning to produce this engaging collection of sniper stories Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2015 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Attrition by William Philpott. The strategy of attrition has rarely been given a good name, associated with a lack of imagination and a too easy propensity to accept heavy casualties for limited results. The antipathy to attrition was strongest as a consequence of World War I Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews D-Day by Jonathan Mayo. The regular decennial commemorations of D-Day show no sign of abating, as a fresh crop of books fill the shelves with the onset of the 70th anniversary. Among them is this offering from Jonathan Mayo, Continue reading
Posted May 31, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Combat Camera by Christian Hill. Most narratives of the war in Afghanistan come from either servicemen or journalists. This engaging account from Christian Hill is a combination of both. Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Obedient Unto Death by Werner Kindler. A highly decorated NCO in the SS Leibstandarte Division, the author saw action on both east and west fronts, from Poland in 1939 to the final defeat in 1945. Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews At War with the 16th Irish Division by Richard S Grayson. On the outbreak of war in 1914, John ‘Max’ Staniforth was a student at Oxford University, and while most of his contemporaries applied for temporary commissions in the Army, because of an Irish family connection he took the unusual choice of enlisting in the Connaught Rangers as a private soldier. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Catastrophe by Max Hastings. In the opening salvo of publications marking the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, Max Hastings’ book has been an early victor, with critical acclaim buttressed by commercial success. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Stemming the Tide by Spencer Jones. The scrutiny of British military leadership during the First World War has become an enduring feature of academic study over the last couple of decades. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Gallipoli by Peter Hart. Turkey’s entry into World War I on the side of the Central Powers seemed to provide an ideal opportunity for the Allies to exploit their naval superiority in the Mediterranean Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Dead Men Risen by Toby Harnden. The publication of this exceptional book was unfortunately attended by farce, when, at the last minute, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) demanded that it be withdrawn. Toby Harnden Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews David Edgerton's Britain's War Machine. The standard interpretation of Britain’s role in World War II is of the battling underdog, a nation fighting alone against an opponent possessing far greater material resources. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Afgantsy by Rodric Braithwaite. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979 led to a hail of denunciation from both Western states and the Muslim world that came as a shock to Leonid Brezhnev and the other Soviet leaders locked away in the Kremlin. Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Black Watch by Tom Renouf. A former soldier in the Black Watch, Tom Renouf has an abiding affection and respect for his former comrades in the 51st Highland Division Continue reading
Posted May 20, 2011 at War Books Review
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SGT DAN MILLS Early in 2004, with 18 years of service behind him, Sergeant Dan Mills of the 1st Battalion, Princess of Wales Royal Regiment began to wonder if he would complete his military career without seeing serious military action. As he admitted, ‘not actually being shot at by an enemy standing right in front of you, and not getting the chance to shoot back, used to make me question whether I could ever call my self a real soldier’. That April, Mills – commander of the battalion’s sniper platoon – was sent to southern Iraq to provide support for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews The Dead Hand by David E. Hoffman. When the Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb in 1949 the Cold War began in earnest. Over succeeding years the nuclear arsenals of East and West grew in size and potency, so that by the early 1980s some 60,000 separate nuclear warheads were in place Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews The Real German War Plan by Terence Zuber. German strategy in the west in 1914 was based on a vast enveloping manoeuvre through Belgium and northern France that was designed to destroy the French Army and knock France out of the war. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2011 at War Books Review
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Adrian Gilbert reviews Hitler's Pre-Emptive War by Henrik O. Lunde. If any single individual was responsible for the German invasion of Norway then it was Winston Churchill. As First Lord of the Admiralty he chafed at the inactivity of the Phoney War, and he considered Norway as a potential battleground. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2011 at War Books Review
Major Tom Bridges, commander of C Squadron the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards, led his men through the Belgian town of Mons on the afternoon of 21 August 1914. In the midst of a heat wave, a scorching sun beat down on troopers and horses alike; some men had rolled... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2010 at Challenge of Battle
The battle for Ypres had seen the British Army at its best, fighting a straightforward defensive battle where the thin khaki line held firm against far superior forces. British casualties at Ypres amounted to 58,155 men, thus forming the bulk of the BEF’s total casualty figure of just under 90,000... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Challenge of Battle
During early November the weather began to deteriorate, as did the morale of the exhausted soldiers on both sides. General Haig expressed concern at the way troops would slip away from the trenches under a relatively light bombardment, while German front-line soldiers began to make their own decisions on how... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Challenge of Battle
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Sensing that one more push would break the Allied line, the Germans brought up fresh divisions from the Aisne, organised as Army Group Fabeck. Following an initial assault on 29 October, the six divisions of Army Group Fabeck joined the attack the following day, focussing on the battered British lines... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Challenge of Battle
The line held by the British to the south of Ypres, from Armentières down to La Basée, was more industrial than the farmland surrounding Ypres, so that the pitheads and slag heaps of the Béthune coal fields were visible to the soldiers at a distance. But like Ypres, it was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Challenge of Battle
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Field-Marshal French had been waiting for Haig’s I Corps, and on its arrival at Ypres on 19 October he instructed it to march directly against the enemy. But on the same day the German Sixth and Fourth Armies launched their long-awaited offensive, and almost immediately the British and French were... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2010 at Challenge of Battle