High in the Tuscan hills above Florence, an elaborate medieval castle, converted to a POW camp on Mussolini’s personal orders, holds one of the most illustrious groups of prisoners in the history of warfare. The dozen or so British and Commonwealth senior officers includes three knights of the realm and two VCs. The youngest of them is 48, the oldest 63. One is missing a hand and an eye. Another suffers with a gammy hip. Against insuperable odds, these extraordinary middle-aged POWs plan a series of daring escape attempts, culminating in a complex tunnel deep beneath the castle. One rainswept night in March 1943, six men will burst from the earth beyond the castle’s curtain wall and slip away. By assorted means, the three Brits, two New Zealanders and a half-Belgian aristocrat will attempt to make it to neutral Switzerland, over 200 miles away.
Few generals proved themselves better than Scanderbeg. Leader of a small army of Eagles, at the height of its power, he single-handedly could be said to have saved Europe from the jaws of the Ottoman Dragon, when a heartless Mehmed II, the Conqueror, had already captured Constantinople and wanted to carry Rome to achieve universal victory over Christianity. He would have achieved his purpose had not Scanderbeg, an Albanian Christian General, not put an obstacle to his march in Albania, for about a quarter of a century. After Scanderbeg’s death, the Albanians continued their resistance for another decade. Thus, Mehmed II was delayed long enough to thwart his plans. He managed only to start his Italian invasion, and when he died his mission died with him. World-famous individuals, painters, like Bellini and Durer, composers like Vivaldi and Francœur, philosophers like Voltaire, poets and writers like Longfellow, Byron, and Holberg, generals like Wolfe, and popes like Paul II, have all been generous enough to dedicate a part of their work to this great general. Yet, surprisingly many historians have maintained silence about Scanderbeg’s fame as a general. This ingratitude brings pause to any with the knowledge regarding such a great general, one who met such success and performed so brilliantly as to be recognized among the greatest generals of all time. He was the principal deterrent in stopping the Ottoman expansion westward and in that, he was the true defender of Christendom from the danger of becoming totally Ottomanized. If, for such great deeds, he does not deserve to be mentioned in world history, who does?
Twenty folk tales represent hundreds of years of the collective Irish imagination. Vivid descriptions of battles with giants, humans imprisoned in animals' bodies, heroes with incredible strength, and more.
Enid Blyton's much-loved classic series, packed full of adventure and mystery. Why are the locals so afraid of the deserted old castle on the hill? When lights are seen there in a distant tower, Philip, Dinah, Lucy-Ann and Jack decide to investigate - discovering a very sinister plot concelead in its gloomy rooms and secret passages. First published in 1946, this edition contains the original text and is unillustrated.
Set in the last years of Elizabeth I's reign, Winston Graham's The Grove of Eagles seamlessly blends historical fact and fiction in a rich tale full of unforgettable characters. In 1588 the Spanish Armada had been defeated in the English Channel and the whole of Elizabethan England was alert for the revenge that surely had to follow. On the Cornish coast, men like John Killigrew - in charge of the castle at Pendennis - were vital to the survival of the country, and on their backs rested the trust of those defending the nation. His eldest but base-born son, Maugan, emerges in the novel, through his loneliness and his love, as a touchingly honest and believable character who is, above all things, a man of his word.
In this authoritative and beautifully illustrated new account of Napoleon's greatest victory and the campaign that preceded it, Ian Castle sheds new light on the actions of the commanders and questions the assumptions - and explores the myths - that have shaped our understanding of the event ever since. His account follows every twist and turn of a war that was fought out across central Europe two centuries ago. In particular he reconstructs the course of the action in every sector of the Austerlitz battlefield, using French, Austrian and Russian records, and re-evaluates the place of the battle in the history and mythology of the Napoleonic era.
Peter Willey is the world authority on the Ismaili castles of Iran and Syria. Educated at Charterhouse and Cambridge, he was badly wounded at Anzio in 1944 and subsequently spent many years in the discovery and investigation of the Ismaili castles. He now lectures on the Middle East and Islamic art and culture at Bristol University. He has written a number of books including 'The Castles of the Assassins' (1963) which is still regarded as the standard work on the subject, and he has contributed to the 'Encyclopaedia of Islam' on Islamic monuments.