Author: Matt Bone

August 24, 2022

The Complete Hedge Hopping

For just about two years, I had the privilege of working with Alex Churchill, Zack White and the History Hack team making podcasts. During that time, I hosted 22 episodes of the Second World War aviation show Hedge Hopping. You can find them all here.

August 2, 2021

The Pathfinders by Will Iredale

To see in the dark and to hit their target was the challenge Bomber Command faced in the Second World War. To see in the dark and stay hidden only complicated matters more. In Will Iredale latest book, The Pathfinders, he paints a vivid of the force set up to guide Bomber Command’s squadrons to their targets in Occupied Europe. The Pathfinders is a superior narrative history that pays the respect that is due and to the price that was paid.

April 29, 2021

The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell

The Strategic Bombing campaign of the Second World War is still one of the most controversial subjects of that conflict 80 years on. The destruction wrought upon hundreds of cities from Coventry to Tokyo brought the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, The Bomber Mafia, looks at the titular group of USAAF thinkers who believed that they had the tools at their disposal to bring high-altitude precision bombing to a realisation.

November 15, 2020

Putting the Pilot Back in the Cockpit

we live in a listicle dominated world that becomes more binary by the day. Nuance now feels like a dirty word and when we look at things, we seem to rank them by default. When this comes to the equipment of the Second World War, the fetishisation of the machinery has begun to override the basic truth that these incredible machines were designed to kill and that they were operated by men little more than boys.

May 12, 2020

Harrier 809 by Rowland White

The story of the Falklands War has quickly become a part of the British mythos. A hastily thrown together Task Force, with two small carriers and twenty even smaller fighters taking on the might of the Argentine Air Force and Navy. It was a close-run thing. In Rowland White’s latest book, Harrier 809, he returns to two of his previous subjects, the Falklands and 809 Naval Air Squadron, and shows us that things really were, at times, upon a wing and a prayer.

September 8, 2019

Arnhem: Ten Days in the Cauldron by Iain Ballantyne

In September 1944, 10,000 airborne soldiers were dropped 64 miles behind the German lines and were required to hold the vital bridges at Arnhem. What would happen would go down in legend. Iain Ballantyne crafts a breathless look at the men on the ground and the civilians who found the war entering every room in their homes.

June 10, 2019

Normandy ’44 by James Holland

D-Day can tend to be remembered by the beaches, the bocage and the Tigers. In his new history of the Normandy campaign, James Holland looks at the myths of the campaign and reminds us that without the incredible logistics machine supporting the tip of the spear, the liberation would never have gotten very far inland at all.

October 11, 2018

Freefall by Robert Radcliffe

Robert Radcliffe returns with the second part of his Airborne Trilogy, Freefall. Theo Trickey’s war takes his to North Africa and some of C Company, The Parachute Regiment’s fiercest battles. In Germany, Daniel Garland is experiencing the reality of total war on the civilian population and piecing more of Trickey’s life back together and his connections to the late Erwin Rommel. As Arnhem looms, the battle to get there will be just as brutal as what is to come.

June 12, 2018

On Battle Scars

Half a year late, but I finally get round to writing about Battle Scars. Which is odd as it is a podcast that pops to mind regularly. Thom Tran’s chats with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are funny, moving and, more often than not, a little shocking. Battle Scars is a podcast of the highest quality that, I hope, these few (delayed) words will hopefully get you tuning (downloading/streaming/whatever) in and have these amazing experiences stay with you. In a good, uplifting, way.

June 9, 2018

The Deadly Trade by Iain Ballantyne

The submarine is one of man’s greatest, and most deadly, inventions. In The Deadly Trade: The Complete History of Submarine Warfare from Archimedes to the Present, Iain Ballantyne takes us from the theory of the underwater warship, through Jules Vern to the U-Boot and today’s Intercontinental Ballistic Submarine. Where Ballantyne’s superior work excels is to look at the development of the submarine through the eyes of the men who took them to war and who, mostly, never came home.

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