To navigate your way through the Big Reveal please use the links in the bar above.

We've reached the end of our Big Reveal for another year, and to round off our preview of what's to come in 2018, we have the final part of our General Military reveal. 

Snapdragon: The World War II exploits of Darby's Ranger and Combat Photographer Phil Stern

Prior to Stern’s death on December 13, 2014, his original, unfinished, tattered manuscript was discovered, stashed away in an old folio box in his cluttered Hollywood bungalow. Although best remembered for his iconic images of James Dean, Marilyn Monroe and JFK’s inauguration, his remarkable service during World War II as a combat photographer has remained unknown. Until now.

Stern’s catchy 1940s lingo, honest and intimate observations, and humour, transport the reader 70 years back in time to experience the key battles of the Mediterranean Theatre. With his lens and pen, Stern introduces readers to the hardscrabble Rangers, the desert oases of Morocco and Algeria, the muddied beaches of Mussolini’s Italy. Snapdragon is an artefact of that time, told not by a man reminiscing in his twilight years, but by a young soldier fresh from the battlefields.

The Third Reich is Listening: Inside German Codebreaking 1939-45

The German navy’s signals intelligence service, the Beobachtungsdienst, or B-Dienst, began trying to crack the codes of the Royal Navy long before the war. Leading the attack was a German cryptanalyst called Wilhelm Tranow, who helped read the signals and pinpoint the exact locations of many British warships and convoys, increasing Germany’s strategic advantage in the bloody Battle of the Atlantic.

The Third Reich is Listening is the comprehensive account of the successes, the failures and the science of Germany’s codebreaking and signals intelligence operations from 1935 to 1945. This fast-moving blend of modern history and popular science is told through colourful personal accounts of the Germans at the heart of the story, and through the bigger strategic picture. And it investigates how and why a regime as technologically advanced as the Third Reich both succeeded, and failed, in its battle to break their enemy’s codes, and to use the resultant intelligence effectively.  

Tidal Wave: From Leyte Gulf to Tokyo Bay

The United States Navy won such overwhelming victories in 1944 that, had the navy faced a different enemy, the war would have been over at the conclusion of the battle of Leyte Gulf.

However, in the moment of victory on 25 October 1944, the US Navy found itself confronting an enemy that had been inconceivable until it appeared. The kamikaze, 'divine wind' in Japanese, was something Americans were totally unprepared for; a violation of every belief held in the West. The attacks were terrifying: regardless of the damage inflicted on an attacking airplane, there was no certainty of safety aboard the ship until that airplane was completely destroyed.

Based on first-person accounts, Tidal Wave is the story of the naval campaigns in the Pacific from the victory at Leyte Gulf to the end of the war, in which the US Navy would fight harder for survival than ever before.

To the Bitter End: The Final Campaigns of 1918

1918 is the defining year of World War I. The initial German offensives saw the Allies stretched to breaking point, while the final Allied advances broke the strength of the German Army and led to the Armistice of November 1918.

To the Bitter End tells the whole story, examining the German revision of operational methods and the Kaiserschlacht offensives of Spring 1918, Allied operational and command reform and the major battles of Amiens, the Scarpe, and the decisive Meuse-Argonne campaign of the Autumn. Dr David Murphy details the critical events of the decisive year of World War I , including the progress of the war beyond the Western Front, and examines its immediate strategic legacy and how, post-1918, the former Allies found themselves involved in further conflict in Russia, Afghanistan, Ireland and Iraq.

Valley of the Shadow: The Siege of Dien Bien Phu

Following the end of World War II, France attempted to reassert control over its colonies in Indo-China. In Vietnam, this was resisted by the Viet Minh, leading to the First Indo-China War. By 1954, the French army was on the defensive and determined to force the Viet Minh into a decisive set-piece battle at Dien Bien Phu.

Over the past five decades, Western authors have generally followed a standard narrative of the siege of Dien Bien Phu, depicting the Viet Minh besiegers as a faceless horde which overwhelmed the intrepid garrison by sheer weight of numbers, superior firepower, and logistics. However, a wealth of new Vietnamese-language sources tell a very different story, revealing for the first time the true Viet Minh order of battle and the details of the severe logistical constraints within which the besiegers had to operate.

Using these sources, complemented by interviews with French veterans and research in the French Army and French Foreign Legion archives, this is a new telling of the climactic battle in the Indo-China War, the conflict that set the stage for the Vietnam War a decade later.

The Cutty Sark Pocket Manual

Constructed on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis Shipping Line, Cutty Sark was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest.

Cutty Sark spent just a few years on the tea routes before the opening of the Suez Canal and the increasing use of steamships made clippers unprofitable on shorter routes. She was turned to the trade in wool from Australia, where for ten years she held the record time for a journey to Britain.

As steamships also came to dominate the longer sailing route to Australia, the ship was sold to the Portuguese company Ferreira and Co. in 1895, and renamed Ferreira. She continued as a cargo ship until she was sold as a training and cadet ship, a role in which she continued until 1954 when she was transferred to permanent dry dock at Greenwich, London, for public display.

This pocket manual collates original documents to tell the fascinating story of how the legendary Cutty Sark was commissioned, her design and building, life on board and her notable journeys.


Ever since humans began to live together in settlements they have felt the need to organise some kind of defence against potentially hostile neighbours. Many of the earliest city states were built as walled towns and weapon systems and siege strategies evolved to counter these defensive designs. During the medieval era, stone castles were built both as symbols of the defenders’ strength and as actual protection against potential attack.

The advent of cannon prompted fortifications to become lower, denser and more complex from the sixteenth century onwards. The design of the forts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries could appear like snowflakes in their complexity and beautiful geometry. Forts were often ephemeral too, first appearing in Tudor times, with earthworks and bastions arranged in star or rose patterns, by the late nineteenth century they were all but redundant.

The development of such fortifications is illustrated using photographs, plans and beautiful drawings and maps to explain the story of these structures. The text and images will explore why they were built, their various functions and their immense historical legacy in laying the foundations of empire. Without forts, the history of America could have taken a very different course, pirates could have sailed the seas unchecked and Britain itself could have been successfully invaded.

HMS Belfast Pocket Manual

A familiar sight on the Thames at London Bridge, HMS Belfast is a Royal Navy light cruiser, launched in March 1938. Belfast was part of the British naval blockade against Germany and from November 1942 escorted Arctic convoys to the Soviet Union and assisted in the destruction of the German warship Scharnhorst. In June 1944 Belfast supported the Normandy landings and in 1945 was redeployed to the British Pacific Fleet. After the war she saw action in the Korean War and a number of other overseas actions. She has been part of the Imperial War Museum since 1978, with 250,000 visitors annually.

This book comprises a series of documents that give information on the building of the ship, her wartime service history and life on board.

The German Soldier's Pocket Manual

This is the first Pocket Manual to be dedicated to the German Army in World War I, with chapters comprising of complete documents or extracts drawn from two major sources: the German Army of 1914–1918 itself, or the intelligence sections of other armies.

It describes the new tactics and units developed by the German army during the war, including the myths surrounding Stormtrooper units. These new methods used were a result of interaction between the opposing forces and incremental in their appearance. Nevertheless the new ideas were hugely influential and important not only to the German army but to others as well, including British and American forces.

This fascinating pocket manual gives a German perspective to World War I.

The Spy Toolkit

Spies claim that theirs is the second oldest profession. Secret agents across time have had the same key tasks: looking and listening, getting the information they need and smuggling it back home. Over the course of human history, some amazingly complex and imaginative tools have been created to help those working under the cloak of supreme secrecy.

During World War II, British undercover agents were the heroes behind the scenes, playing a dangerous and sometimes deadly game – risking all to gather intelligence about their enemies. What did these agents have in their toolkits? What ingenious spy gadgets did they have up their sleeves? What devious tricks did they deploy to avoid detection? From the ingenious to the amusing, this highly visual book delves into espionage files that were long held top secret, revealing spycraft in action.

Warship 2018

Warship 2018 is devoted to the design, development and service history of the world's combat ships. Featuring a broad range of articles from a select panel of distinguished international contributors, this latest volume combines original research, new book reviews, warship notes, an image gallery and much more to maintain the impressive standards of scholarship and research from the field of warship history.

This 40th edition features the usual range of diverse articles spanning the subject by an international array of expert authors.


Well, that's your lot for 2017's Big Reveal, thanks for joining in the fun, and don't forget to let us know which of these 2018 releases you're adding to your wish-lists!