Here’s our list with Christmas shopping ideas for enthusiasts with a big interest in history and military, including veterans. Our list was compiled with data, from this year, from warfare history related products which were bought the most.
The Ghost Army of World War II
“The Ghost Army of World War II describes a perfect example of a little-known, highly imaginative, and daring maneuver that helped open the way for the final drive to Germany. It is a riveting tale told through personal accounts and sketches along the way—ultimately, a story of success against great odds. I enjoyed it enormously.” – Tom Brokaw
From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Between missions the artists filled their duffel bags with drawings and paintings and dragged them across Europe. Every move they made was top secret and their story was hushed up for decades after the war’s end. The Ghost Army of World War II is the first publication to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives.
|We’ve written an article on the “Dummy Tanks of the Ghost Army” which you can read. You can purchase this book on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk. There’s also a DVD available here Amazon.com.|
Hitler’s American Friends: The Third Reich’s Supporters in the United States
Americans who remember World War II reminisce about how it brought the country together. The less popular truth behind this warm nostalgia: until the attack on Pearl Harbor, America was deeply, dangerously divided.
Bradley W. Hart’s Hitler’s American Friends exposes the homegrown antagonists who sought to protect and promote Hitler, leave Europeans (and especially European Jews) to fend for themselves, and elevate the Nazi regime.
Some of these friends were Americans of German heritage who joined the Bund, whose leadership dreamed of installing a stateside Führer. Some were as bizarre and hair-raising as the Silver Shirt Legion, run by an eccentric who claimed that Hitler fulfilled a religious prophesy. Some were Midwestern Catholics like Father Charles Coughlin, an early right-wing radio star who broadcast anti-Semitic tirades. They were even members of Congress who used their franking privilege―sending mail at cost to American taxpayers―to distribute German propaganda. And celebrity pilot Charles Lindbergh ended up speaking for them all at the America First Committee.
We try to tell ourselves it couldn’t happen here, but Americans are not immune to the lure of fascism. Hitler’s American Friends is a powerful look at how the forces of evil manipulate ordinary people, how we stepped back from the ledge, and the disturbing ease with which we could return to it.
|You can purchase this newly released book on Amazon.com and on Amazon.co.uk.|
Never in Finer Company: The Men of the Great War’s Lost Battalion
It was one of the most heroic events in American military history. Here is the larger-than-life story of World War I’s “Lost Battalion” and the men who survived the ordeal, triumphed in battle, and fought the demons that lingered.
In the first week of October, 1918, six hundred men attacked into Europe’s forbidding Argonne Forest. Against all odds, they surged through enemy lines–alone. They were soon surrounded and besieged. As they ran out of ammunition, water, and food, the doughboys withstood constant bombardment and relentless enemy assaults. Seven days later, only 194 soldiers from the original unit walked out of the forest. The stand of the US Army’s “Lost Battalion” remains an unprecedented display of heroism under fire.
Never in Finer Company tells the stories of four men whose lives were forever changed by the ordeal: Major Charles Whittlesey, a lawyer dedicated to serving his men at any cost; Captain George McMurtry, a New York stockbroker who becomes a tower of strength under fire; Corporal Alvin York, a country farmer whose famous exploits help rescue his beleaguered comrades; and Damon Runyon, an intrepid newspaper man who interviews the survivors and weaves their experiences into the American epic. Emerging from the patriotic frenzy that sent young men “over there,” each of these four men trod a unique path to the October days that engulfed them–and continued to haunt them as they struggled to find peace.
Uplifting and compelling, Never in Finer Company is a deeply moving and dramatic story on an epic scale.
|You can purchase this new book on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.|
History’s Great Untold Stories: The Larger Than Life Characters and Dramatic Events That Changed the World
This eye-catching volume combines vivid first-hand accounts of pivotal events in history with authoritative commentary. Revealing startling links among events and people separated by centuries and continents, the epic struggles and bombastic personalities have been carefully chosen for their power to challenge some of the fiercest debates of our present day.
Readers encounter William the Silent, a Dutch monarch whose assassination may have triggered the 1588 launch of the Spanish Armada and led Queen Elizabeth I to create the first known attempt at gun control. Another chapter introduces Rabban Sauma, a thirteenth-century Christian monk sent by Kublai Khan to seek a Christian-Mongol alliance against Muslims. There is also the remarkable story of twelve anti-slavery activists who fought the prevailing business and political establishment of their day to outlaw slavery in England, using tactics that have become tools of the trade for every grassroots movement that has followed.
Filled with fascinating sidebars, narratives, maps, illustrations, and concise biographies, this new volume gathers up the rich details that Western history left on the cutting room floor and turns them into stories that shed light on both vanquished and victor over the ages. With its fresh, design and accessible format, History’s Great Untold Stories will be welcomed by the legions of readers who are eager to uncover “history’s mysteries” and explore lesser known, non-Western views of world events.
|You can purchase this book for a small price on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.|
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation’s communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States’s nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky’s name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain’s obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets.
Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky’s nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre’s latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man’s hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.
|You can purchase this new, best-seller on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.|
TIME-LIFE The Civil War in 500 Photographs
The narrative of the Civil War, fought from 1861 to 1865, is familiarly to almost all Americans, from Presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln’s noble declaration that “the government cannot endure permanently half-slave, half-free” to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Yet the details of the battles and battlefields, the political maneuverings, and the personalities who defined the war continue to fascinate citizens of all ages.
TIME-LIFE The Civil War in 500 Photographs taps into that into that interest, providing a fresh and accessible way to appreciate this most important conflict. It will lay out the war’s major developments in arresting, colorized images and cover topics from the backstory through secession, the Union’s early setbacks, the Underground Railroad, victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg, and Reconstruction.
|You can purchase this book on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.|
Road to Disaster: A New History of America’s Descent Into Vietnam
“The most thoughtful and judicious one-volume history of the war and the American political leaders who presided over the difficult and painful decisions that shaped this history. The book will stand for the foreseeable future as the best study of the tragic mistakes that led to so much suffering.”—Robert Dallek
Many books have been written on the tragic decisions regarding Vietnam made by the young stars of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Yet despite millions of words of analysis and reflection, no historian has been able to explain why such decent, brilliant, and previously successful men stumbled so badly.
That changes with Road to Disaster. Historian Brian VanDeMark draws upon decades of archival research, his own interviews with many of those involved, and a wealth of previously unheard recordings by Robert McNamara and Clark Clifford, who served as Defense Secretaries for Kennedy and Johnson. Yet beyond that, Road to Disaster is also the first history of the war to look at the cataclysmic decisions of those in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations through the prism of recent research in cognitive science, psychology, and organizational theory to explain why the “Best and the Brightest” became trapped in situations that suffocated creative thinking and willingness to dissent, why they found change so hard, and why they were so blind to their own errors.
An epic history of America’s march to quagmire, Road to Disaster is a landmark in scholarship and a book of immense importance.
|You can purchase this new book on Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk.|
First Man In: Leading from the Front
No one is born a leader. But through sheer determination and by confronting life’s challenges, Ant Middleton has come to know the meaning of true leadership. In First Man In, he shares the core lessons he’s learned over the course of his fascinating, exhilarating life.
Special forces training is no walk in the park. The rules are strict and they make sure you learn the hard way, pushing you beyond the limits of what is physically possible. There is no mercy. Even when you are bleeding and broken, to admit defeat is failure.
To survive the gruelling selection process to become a member of the elite you need toughness, aggression, meticulous attention to detail and unrelenting self-discipline, all traits that make for the best leaders.
After 13 years service in the military, with 4 years as a Special Boat Service (SBS) sniper, Ant Middleton is the epitome of what it takes to excel. He served in the SBS, the naval wing of the special forces, the Royal Marines and 9 Parachute Squadron Royal, achieving what is known as the ‘Holy Trinity’ of the UK’s Elite Forces. As a point man in the SBS, Ant was always the first man through the door, the first man into the dark, and the first man in harm’s way.
In this fascinating, exhilarating and revealing book, Ant speaks about the highs and gut-wrenching lows of his life – from the thrill of passing Special Forces Selection to dealing with the early death of his father and ending up in prison on leaving the military – and draws valuable lessons that we can all use in our daily lives.
|You can purchase this new best-seller on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.|
Uncommon Valor: The Recon Company that Earned Five Medals of Honor and Included America’s Most Decorated Green Beret
Uncommon Valor is a look into the formation and operation of an advanced Special Forces recon company during the Vietnam War. Code-named the Studies and Observations Group, SOG was the most covert U.S. military unit in its time and contained only volunteers from such elite units as the Army’s Green Berets, Navy SEALs, and Air Force Air Commandos. SOG warriors operated in small teams, going behind enemy lines in Laos and Cambodia and along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, tasked with performing special reconnaissance, sabotaging North Vietnamese Army ammunition, attempting to rescue downed U.S. pilots, and other black ops missions.
During that time, Forward Operating Base-2’s (FOB-2’s) recon company became the most highly decorated unit of the Vietnam War, with five of its men earning the Medal of Honor and eight earning the Distinguished Service Cross-America’s second highest military award for valor. Purple Hearts were earned by SOG veterans at a pace unparalleled in American wars of the twentieth century, with casualties at times exceeding 100 percent. One, Bob Howard, was wounded on fourteen different occasions, received eight Purple Hearts, was written up after three different missions for the Medal of Honor, and emerged from Vietnam as the most highly decorated soldier since World War II’s Audie Murphy.
|You can purchase this new best-seller on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.|
You can also find here all books related to Easy Company – 101st Airborne or books on German Paratroopers.
Movies and Series
Band of Brothers & The Pacific Gift Set
Band of Brothers – Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part miniseries Band of Brothers tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men who knew extraordinary bravery and extraordinary fear. They were an elite rifle company parachuting into France early on D-Day morning, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge and capturing Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest at Berchtesgaden. They were also a unit that suffered 150 percent casualties, and whose lives became legend.
The Pacific – is an epic 10-part miniseries that delivers a realistic portrait of WWII’s Pacific Theatre as seen through the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines – Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge. The extraordinary experiences of these men and their fellow Marines take them from the first clash with the Japanese in the haunted jungles of Guadalcanal, through the impenetrable rain firests of Cape Gloucester, across the blasted coral strongholds of Peleliu, up the black sand terraces of Iwo Jima, through the killing fields of Okinawa, to the triumphant, yet uneasy, return home after V-J Day. The viewer will be immersed in combat through the intimate perspective of this diverse, relatable group of men pushed to the limit in battle both physically and psychologically against a relentless enemy unlike any encountered before.
He Has Seen War – is an exclusive documentary that examines the postwar lives of veterans of both Band of Brothers and The Pacific. From their initial steps at reintegrating into civilian life to the lasting impact the war had on each of their lives, He Has Seen War features Easy Company and 1st Marine Division veterans and their families relaying their own unique stories. Complemented by renowned historian and author Donald L. Miller as well as rarely seen archival and documentary footage, He Has Seen War captures the struggle and ultimate triumph of a generation who, after helping rescue the world from unprecedented calamity, reclaimed their lives and re-forged a country.
|You can purchase this unique series gift set on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.|
The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
The Vietnam War, an immersive ten-part, eighteen hour documentary film series directed by acclaimed filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, tells the epic story of one of the most divisive, consequential and misunderstood events in American history, as it has never before been told on film.
|You can purchase this box set on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.|
The entire series of the much-loved BBC sitcom set in occupied France during the Second World War. Double entendres abound at the Cafe Rene in the French village of Nouvion as lusty lothario proprietor Rene Artois (Gorden Kaye) and his tuneless wife Edith (Carmen Silvera) aid and abet the resistance effort in their own inimitable way. It’s incredible funny and addictive to watch.
This set is the complete series, there’s also a separate Christmas Edition set.
|You can purchase one of the funniest war sitcom on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.|
Academy Award(r), Golden Globe(r) and BAFTA nominee for Best Foreign Film, JOYEUX NOEL (Merry Christmas) tells the true-life story of the spontaneous Christmas Eve truce declared by Scottish, French and German troops in the trenches of World War I. Enemies leave their weapons behind for one night as they band together in brotherhood and forget about the brutalities of war.
Diane Krüger (Troy), Daniel Brühl (Good Bye Lenin!) and Benno Fürmann (The Princess and the Warrior) head a first-rate international cast in a truly powerful, must-see film.
|You can purchase this movie on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk.|
1944 – Forces to Fight
In 1944 the Battle of Tannenberg would become one of the bloodiest conflicts of World War II. The SS are repelling the Russian invasion of Germany, but half of the infantry is made up of eastern Europeans, drafted in from Siberian labor camps and forced to fight their own brothers. 1944 Forced To Fight is the incredible and harrowing true story of one of the darkest periods of World War II.
From director Elmo Nüganen one of the stars of the Academy Award nominated Tangerines 1944 is a thrilling and emotional war story that shows the hopes, aims and drama of the Estonian men caught between two forces as objectively as possible.
Ranking as Estonia’s biggest domestic box office success, Elmo Nuganen’s gritty war epic, 1944, provides a harsh perspective on the country’s painful 20th-century history. –Alissa Simon, Variety.
|You can purchase this best-seller on Amazon.com and on Amazon.co.uk.|
You can always check our latest movie releases list from 2018 to receive more ideas.
Collectibles & Games
2019 History Channel This Day in Military History Boxed Calendar: 365 Days of America’s Greatest Military Moments
Perfect for history buffs and trivia lovers alike, this 2019 calendar comes from one of the most relied-upon and best-respected sources of historical material, The History Channel. This Day in Military History features a special look at military history with remarkable facts about important battles, military operations, soldiers, and the innovations that shaped the battlefield―and the world.
|You can purchase this calendar on Amazon.com. On Amazon.co.uk you’ve a different version available, not solely military related.|
Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition
It’s spring 1942, and the world is at war. Five major powers struggle for supremacy: Germany and Japan are aligned against the great alliance of the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, and the United States. Designed for 2-5 players, the game is set in 1942 – the historical high-water mark of Axis expansion. Controlling one of the Axis or Allied powers, players will command both their country’s military forces and its war-time economy, with the chance to plan attacks, marshal forces into embattled territories, and resolve conflicts.
Victory will go to the side that conquers its opponents on the field of battle and liberates or occupies the greatest cities of the world. Change the course of history in a few short hours! New Miniature Sculpts: There are 5 new sculpts in the game including UK artillery, submarine and destroyer units; German artillery; and a Russian submarine. There’s even an all-new combat unit: the Antiaircraft Artillery.
|You can purchase this on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk, know there are various editions for this game (Pacific Theatre, 1914 and more…)|
Children’s War – World War 2 Replica Memorabilia Packs
You’ve various memorabilia packages (replicas from original material) to teach children about the history of World War 2. See below for more information. One of the package is:
This replica pack includes: Newspaper from 1941: An 8 page replica of the Childrens Newspaper from 1941 aimed at children with Hungry minds. (21cm x 29.5cm) — Ministry of Food War Cooking Leaflet: Puddings and Sweets, people were not encouraged to eat puddings during the war, due to shortages in fats and sugars. This leaflet sets out a number of recipes for puddings that if a household was prudent they could make. (20cm x 13m) – Ministry of Food Junior Ration Book: Food that was rationed during World War 2. This replica book is from 1944-1945, it contains stamps from retailers for products such as Meat, Eggs, Milk, Cheese, Bacon and Sugar. (10.5cm x 13.5cm)- Boys Own Paper (Christmas 1944) A superb boy’s own booklet, 32 pages of rip roaring fun a bumper read for only 9d. (17cm x 11cm) — Public Information Leaflet: Evacuation — Why and How?: Government leaflet for parents on what to do in the event of war. (14cm x 21.5cm)
School Essay: A unique insight from a childs experience of collecting gas masks and preparing for evacuation. Heart wrenching stuff. (16.5cm x 21cm) — Poster: An A4 sized classic WW2 poster appealing for volunteers to help with the massive evacuation programme. — Paperwork: Visitors record form, City of Lincoln babies anti-gas helmet request (15cm 25cm) — A Collection of Cigarette Cards: Life goes on, A ticket to see Aladdin at a local Methodist hall, dated 3rd February 1940 (9cmx 6cm), 2 cigarette card sized cards, we are all in it Mum (Home front) and Dad (Away at war), 6 small cards depicting, evacuation, Air raid , re-using old clothes, Dinky Toys, 2 post cards.
|You can purchase this package on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Other versions include: Resources For Teaching Home Front, Resources For Teaching The Blitz and Americans in England.|
U.S. WWII D-Day Signaling Cricket Clicker Clacker
New Made Item: Remember The Longest Day? Historical Fact: US Paratroopers were issued these clicking “Crickets” which were intended for use to communicate with other Airborne Troops in the total darkness of Night immediately preceding the landings on June 6th, 1944.
Genuine Brass and steel construction, each marked “US”, these are great nostalgia items that work perfectly. Ideal for domestic and office use, if you’ve got that sort of courage…
|You can purchase this signaling cricket on Amazon.com and on Amazon.co.uk.|
COBI Bricks (Lego-like)
COBI is almost the same as Lego and are building bricks to build fantastic models of ships, tanks, aircrafts, submarines and more.. An example is the German battleship “Bismarck”.
The 1:300 scale model created by COBI consists of nearly 2000 blocks and is 84.5 cm long. It was designed in such a way as to reproduce its prototype as closely as possible. It has many movable elements such as propellers, rudders, rotating towers and gun barrels that can be raised and lowered. The set includes an aesthetic, black display stand with a plate on which the name of the ship is printed.
|You can purchase this on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk. Find all COBI bricks set here on Amazon.com or on Amazon.uk.|
Gift Ideas for Veterans
Josh Bach Men’s Military Ships and Submarines
Beautiful Josh Bach necktie which is 100% silk, hand finished and USA made. Ideal gift for Navy veterans.
|You can purchase this on Amazon.com.|
Dad “My Greatest Hero” Poem
This poem, which is printed on quality paper, makes a very Special Gift to let your ad Know HE is Your HERO! Comes with a 14″ X 11″ Beautiful Black and Frosted Gold Dual Matte Border. Perfect for Framing and hang it proudly on a wall. The poem reads:
POEM READS : “Dad My Greatest Hero This world has many heroes, some you’d know by name. They give their best at what they do, so they deserve their fame. But among all of the heroes this world has ever had, There is not one admired more than the guy that I call Dad. Perhaps not like the others, he doesn’t look for praise. He’s heroic in his special way, in his thoughtful caring ways. Perhaps he’s not as famous as the others that you see. But he’s everything and so much more that heroes ought to be. He keeps his word, it’s good as gold, on this you can depend. He’s honest and he’s loyal too, he’s also a true friend. When I hear about a hero, and the great things they have done, It reminds me of my father, he is the greatest one…”
|You can purchase this beautiful framed poster on Amazon.com.|