Books

Published in 2000 by Pen & Sword books ISBN 0 85052 770 8

Arnhem - The Fight to Sustain

The British airborne drop at Arnhem in September 1944 was one of the most dramatic incidents of World War II. No story of the Arnhem campaign is more filled with courage and devotion than that of the British support units, such as the Royal Army Service Corps and the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Some support units were to land by parachute and others as glider troops and set up supply dumps at the front line, while others were to drop supplies from RAF aircraft flying over the battlefield. 

The unforeseen presence of a German field marshal and two SS divisions quickly turned Arnhem into a trap for the British paratroops. On the ground the airborne logisticians at the battle of Arnhem fought to the bitter end, indistinguishable from their paratrooper comrades. In the air, their deeds and sacrifice were shining examples of duty done under the most desperate circumstances.

Witness the account of Flight Lieutenant HJ King, navigator of Dakota KG 374 of 271 squadron RAF, Down Ampney: "These men were not volunteers like aircrew. They received no flying pay, yet were, without doubt superb in their fulfilment of duty even though KG 374 was burning for the whole period over the dropping zone."

Arnhem - The Fight to Sustain tells the stirring story of the men and the methods employed in sustaining 1st Airborne Division. It is the first account of the Corps that make up today's Royal Logistic Corps in action together. Following extensive research, the story draws heavily on contemporary documents and eyewitness accounts and is lavishly illustrated.

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Published in 2005 by Pen & Sword Books ISBN 1 84415 329 0

To The Warrior His Arms: The Story of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1918-1993

This is the story of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps from its formation in 1918 until its absorption into the Royal Logistic Corps in 1993. Its seventy-five year life as a Royal Corps was preceded by a long history dating back before time immemorial where Ordnance in various shapes, forms and organisations provided the vital support needed to maintain the Army's weapons at war and in peace. In the Post WWI world and running right through to the end of the century wherever the Army was, so was the RAOC.

Its skills were wide ranging, its decorations, particularly for Bomb Disposal, among the highest and hardest won, its sporting prowess of the highest order and its bearing, record, pride and regimental tradition as fine as any in the Army. This is a most worthwhile project which will mean a great deal to those surviving members of the Corps in which we served with no small amount of pride. 

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Published in 2002 by Pen & Sword Books ISBN 0 85052 856 9 and re-printed in 2009 ISBN 978 0 8502 856 5

Arnhem - The Landing Grounds and Oosterbeek

This is the latest of the well-respected Battleground series of books and covers a number of aspects of the Battle of Arnhem.

It concentrates on the landings and the desperate and legendary battle fought by the remnants of 1st Airborne Division in the town of Oosterbeek. The book relies on both historical knowledge and anecdotes from veterans to bring to life the events of those fateful days of late September 1944.

 

Having set the strategic scene on the opening chapter the guide suggests four separate tours around the area, one on foot and the others requiring a car.

 

They can all be completed in a full day, but a structured in such a way that visitors can make their own choice of how and where to visit. For a clear, concise and accurate account of the Arnhem-Oosterbeek battlefield, this is unlikely to be beaten.

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Published privately in 2005 by UPSO ISBN 1 84375 161 5

Very Exceptional Soldiers

This is my novel, in which I tell the story I have always wanted to tell: of the magnificent little Army, the BEF, that went to France in 1914 and never returned.

So much of the literature of the period is consumed with the mud and blood of Flatlanders and the theme of Lions led by Donkeys. Well it wasn't like that for the BEF, and I wanted to set the record straight, at least as I saw it.

Synopsis: August 1914 and war came to Europe. To help its Belgian and French allies Britain sent a "Contemptible" little Army. It performed magnificently and, despite appalling casualties, helped stem the German tide. This is the chronicle of events that befell one of its battalions, the 1st Norfolks, in the first ten months of the war. Viewed through the eyes of soldiers, it is a compelling tale of their lives, loves, fears and feelings. It is the story of 'Thomas', without whom none of it would have been possible.

The book is available from all good bookshops or can be ordered by your local library. If you read it, please write a short review on Amazon, which so far has a full five-stars.

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Published in 2003 by Pen & Sword Books ISBN 0 85052 939 5

Arnhem - The Bridge

In the second of his two Battleground guides to the epic fight put up by the British and Polish paratroopers at Arnhem, Frank Steer concentrates on the battle in the town itself and particularly for the vital bridge. 

Seized at a comparatively early stage, the bridge became the focus for prolonged and vicious fighting. Cut off from further reinforcement by the furious Germans, the small garrison, led by the redoubtable Colonel John Frost, waged an increasingly desperate struggle for survival against overwhelming odds, hoping against hope that 30 Corps would arrive in time. As is well known, they did not. 

The fact that this battle was lost, and the bold aims of Market Garden were not fully achieved, in no way diminished the extent of the achievement of the Paras. Indeed, it has added to their glory. 

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Published in 2007 by GOAL/QPC ISBN 10 1 57681 100 X: ISBN 13 978 1 57681 1009

Waterloo: Two Styles of Leadership

Frank's last book offers lessons of leadership gained from studying military warfare. It is the job of the military tactician to study the past to discover insights that can improve future performance and this book presents a retrospective of a military battle aligned with lessons learned about leadership that could easily be transferred to the modern business world. Frank and co-author Diana Vermeulen tie the two together and offer the engaging idea that major historical events are so redolent of the pressures faced in business today that a great deal can be learned from studying history in a modern context.

While Frank and Diana consider the perspective of the criteria for business excellence as a framework for evaluating leadership, their central focus is on the opposing leadership styles of the two forces. Join Frank and Diana as they lead you around the battlefield at Waterloo to examine the reasons why all did not go to plan, and to evaluate how the personalities of the various leaders had such a profound impact on events.

The personalities studied are those of Napoleon and Wellington - two men three months apart in age but a lifetime apart in background and character - and also Blucher and Ney, and Grouchy and Soult. Frank's knowledge of the military events at Waterloo and his interpretation of them into modern management beliefs and standards is unrivalled, while Diana's contribution from an industrial psychologist's experience adds a valuable layer of depth.

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1991 Feb 23 Frank during the Gulf War.jp

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