13 December 2014

Omaha Beach Field Guide

The first field guide to the iconic and tragic Omaha Beach. The author, Brigadier General Theodore G. Shuey served under the command of Omaha Beach veterans, including General Cota. Sector by sector (with complete maps), he records the operations, relying upon the testimonies of veterans, as well as studying the battles from a military perspective, in relation to the role played by the German posts.

The book is highly illustrated, with photos from 1944 alongside modern colour photographs of the locations as they are today. This is also supplemented with photos of material and equipment used at the time, some of which has been found in Normandy in recent years. If you are considering visiting Omaha Beach, this book would be a good guide.

Published by Heimdal.

Available from:

The Gentlemen at War: Policing Britain, 1939-45

Very little has been written about the work of the police in the Second World War. The fire service, the wardens, the Home Guard - all have had books devoted to them. But the vital role played by the omnipresent police men and women, has been largely ignored. And yet policing tasks and responsibilities underwent an almost complete change virtually overnight. Draconian new laws were passed; policemen whose beats happened to include a Jewish ghetto found themselves interning some good friends, just because they came from Germany. New organisations were formed (wardens, Home Guard, AFS), many of which had responsibilities that tended to overlap those of the police. No longer did the country bobby have just a little poaching to worry about; he suddenly found a squadron of B17s based on his "patch", with its full complement of attendant US servicemen.

This book examines the changed role of the wartime police force and the effect the War had on the morals and mores of the population. It explores how shortages and rationing affected traditional standards. It reviews how the absence of menfolk and the influx of foreign troops was reflected in changes in moral behaviour, increased prostitution, sexual offences and vice in general. Other matters considered are the variations in crime patterns, the effect of the war on police/public relations and whether the experience fundamentally changed police attitudes and subsequent policing philosophies.

Using both primary sources (the memories of surviving members of the force) and secondary sources (official publications, contemporary books, magazines, etc.), The Gentleman At War successfully conveys the flavour of the period whilst providing an empirical analysis of the philosophy of policing in those uniquely troubled years.

Available from:

2 December 2014

An Englishman in Auschwitz

Leon Greenman was born in London in 1910. His paternal grandparents were Dutch, and at an early age, after the death of his mother, his family moved to Holland, where Leon eventually settled with his wife, Esther, in Rotterdam.

Leon was an antiquarian bookseller, and as such traveled to and from London on a regular basis. In 1938, during one such trip, he noticed people digging trenches in the streets and queuing up for gas masks. He hurried back to Holland with the intention of collecting his wife and return with her to England. The whispers of war were growing louder and louder.

In May 1940, Holland was overrun by the Nazis, by which time Leon and his family had been effectively abandoned by the British Consulate and stranded with neither passports nor money. Eventually, they were deported to Birkenau where Esther and their small son, Barney, were gassed on arrival. Leon was chosen with 49 others for slave labor. This book tells the story of Leon's remarkable survival, of the horrors he saw and endured at Auschwitz, Monowitz and during the Death March to Gleiwitz and Buchenwald camp, where he was eventually liberated.

Leon Greenman died in London in 2008. Read his obituary in The Telegraph.

Available from:
Vallentine Mitchell (currently out of stock)