Book Reviews

bloodThe Blood Tub

‘Walker’s command of the sources held at archives in Britain and Australia is masterly. The publication of The Blood Tub marks the emergence of a major new writer on the First World War’. Prof. Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies, University of Birmingham

‘This is an excellent, even handed account of what remains a highly contentious battle. Walker debunks many of the myths that have been allowed to fester.’ British Army Review

‘Deeply researched and well written. For the serious student of the war, The Blood Tub will repay thoughtful reading.’ The Tank Journal

‘The width and soundness of The Blood Tub‘s research both in UK and in Australia yields a mass of diary material… This is a thorough, lucid and unbiased account of Bullecourt that must be the standard work on that ghastly battle’. Journal of the Society for the Army Historical Research

‘Jonathan Walker has produced a comprehensive and most readable account of one of the notable actions involving Australians during the First World War. It is a great read.’ Australian War Memorial

IMG_5949War Letters to a Wife

‘One of the great masterpieces from the Great War… An Englishman, knowing nothing about the Irish before he joined the Connaught Rangers, he soon grew to love them, both for their piety and their refusal to be bullied. He discovered, however, that they were the bravest of the brave.’ Irish Times

‘Colonel Rowland Feilding created a record of his front-line service that hid little of its horrors’. International Encyclopedia of the First World War

‘An extract from Rowland Feilding’s War Letters to a Wife was a good choice, I thought, for the unseen passage in the AQA AS Level ‛Literature of the First World War’ paper this year. Jonathan Walker’s preface to his excellent edition of the letters fills in the background on this very competent and thoughtful soldier’. History News Network

‘The Editor has done a very good job, Rowland frequently mentions meeting such and such, and a brief note is included about the individual, viz Stanley Holloway. But he also includes the location where Rowland was when he wrote the letter on a particular date, but could not say where. Where needed, explanations are provided for more general aspects. Finally, ‘War Letters’ is well written, well edited, and well worth getting if you can find this version’. Journal of the CI Great War Study Group

‘Under Walker’s editorship, this volume is worth the money for the chapter ‘endnotes’ by themselves.’ If you see a copy, grab it!’ The Irish in the Great War website.

IMG_5948Aden Insurgency

‘Walker does a great service by providing by far the most accurate account of key events such as the Radfan campaign of 1964 and the mutiny of 1967…a memorable account of the British experience of the end of empire.’ Middle East Journal

‘Jonathan Walker is to be congratulated for his meticulous research’ The Times

‘Well written and thoroughly documented. It provides another element of the Middle East puzzle and makes some powerful lessons about fighting terrorism.’ Journal of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

‘Detailed and meticulously researched account which charts both the political and military aspects of the conflict’. Military Historical Society

‘This is a first class and comprehensive account. Written by a military historian, he is as good on the historical background and politics as he is on the military campaign.’ The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

‘Jonathan Walker’s detailed research has made excellent use of recently released archive material and eye-witness accounts as well as earlier historical records’. Army Rumour Service

‘An authorative commentary and topical read packed with valuable lessons from Britain’s last colonial war’. The British Army Website


IMG_5956Poland Alone

‘A timely book…Not only was the Warsaw Rising a huge partisan battle, but it was also a colossal war crime. Walker rightly senses all this and puts these events in their emotional, as opposed to their purely historical, context. He tells the story well and interestingly. He has an eye for the arresting fact or detail and the narrative flows well. His judgements are sound and his instincts good…This book is a welcome addition to the literature on the tragic history of Poland in the Second World War and as such deserves a wide audience’. The Polish Review

‘A moving, dispassionate account of the Polish tragedy. The book has rightly elicited much interest in Polish quarters in Britain, US and Canada’. Global Newsbox

‘Well researched and written in a ‘crisp style’ packing in much information and analysis. The personal accounts adds context and emotions to a turbulent period of Poland’s history…Poland Alone marks a ‘watershed’ in recent publications’. Poland-in-Exile

‘This book is a compelling and moving account of what actually happened and is a fitting tribute to the brave resistance of the Poles’. Western Morning News

IMG_5957Polska Osamotniona

‘Few people in Britain know the details about what happened to the Poles under Nazi domination. Not enough people know about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact or about what happened at Katyn… These reports of official British indifference to the suffering are shocking.’ PolskaTimes (Polish Times)

‘The British and Americans knew they were unable to fulfil their promises to the Poles, yet they still fuelled Polish hopes. Did the Allies betray Poland?’ Polish Super Express

‘Marks a watershed in recent publications on Poland where Jonathan Walker has joined notable authors like Josef Garlinski, Norman Davies and Adam Zamoyski in re-affirming the vital role of the country.’ Poland in Exile

BlueBeastThe Blue Beast

‘The impending centenary of the start of the Great War will see a huge amount of books about battles. The Blue Beast takes a refreshingly different tack, and allows us to eavesdrop on an exclusive world of decadence, desire and deceit set against a background of the war. It is compulsive reading’.
Western Morning News

‘Tales of Passion and weekend house parties as war raged. Jonathan Walker shows that those charged with winning the Great War had more on their minds than just guns and politics’
Manchester Evening News

‘The author provides a lively background to passion and politics on the Home Front, which included politicians, businessmen, literary figures and generals. Downton Abbey is a pale imitation’.
The Foreign Office Recommended Reading List

‘Splendid. It is a tale, by turns outragious, fascinating and humerous in recounting the ‘careers’ of three remarkable, liberal, and liberated women…It is written with wit, elegance and feeling for the period’.
Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association

‘Walker’s narrative provides a fascinating insight into the private lives and emotions of well-known figures…and does a great deal to show how women played a number of vital roles during times of trial and crisis.A highly readable book written in an engaging and colourful style’.
Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

IMG_5952 001Operation Unthinkable: The Third World War

‘Walker has produced the first full-scale study…he uses original documents to excellent effect in his detailed portrayal of Operation Unthinkable’. The Literary Review

‘Jonathan Walker has written a gem of a book…Very highly recommended’ The Military Reviewer

‘A thrilling and ground-breaking account’. Eye-Spy Magazine

‘Most terryfying of all, is the notion that even as crowds everywhere celebrated the end of the Second World War; preparations were in place for its even more chilling successor’. Western Daily Press

‘Jonathan Walker is the first historian to give the subject a thorough going over, relating the origins, details and ultimate fate of the plan. Prof. David Freeman, Finest Hour

Jonathan Walker has produced a fascinating study of Operational Unthinkable (as it was titled) from primary sources and detailed research. The book is studded with quotes and excerpts from major players and archived material alike which paints a chilling picture of the risks that the scheme would have involved. This excellent book works very hard at filling in the gaps between VE Day and the formation of NATO and the Bundeswehr. I highly recommend it. Army Rumour Service