Seventeenth century British history comes alive in Charles Spencer’s To Catch a King: Charles II’s Great Escape. It races along, telling the story of the greatest manhunt in our history. In 1649 Charles I was beheaded and, after the defeat of royalist forces at the Battle of Worcester, his son and heir seemed certain to be caught and follow his father to the scaffold. If he had, Richard Buccleuch would have found it difficult to introduce the author. He is a direct descendant of Charles II.
Britain’s greatest historian of the Second World War has published a superb new account of what was hailed as the last German victory. Antony Beevor’s Arnhem tells a remarkable story of great audacity and ultimate failure. A massive paratroop operation attempted to capture the bridges leading to the lower Rhine and thereby help to end the war by encircling German industry and armament production in the Ruhr. But the Wehrmacht reacted quickly and decisively, capturing thousands of mainly British soldiers and holding a defensive line along the River Rhine. This operation was dramatic but ultimately not decisive. Beevor’s new book tells the tale brilliantly.
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