Book Reviews


It Never Snows in September 1990

John Keegan: Sunday Telegraph 18 Aug 1990.

‘This is a model of the battle monograph, and will be an essential source for students of the Arnhem tragedy and of air landing operations in perpetuity. Original, penetrating and highly readable.’

Max Hastings: Sunday Telegraph 24 April 2006.

‘…an outstanding analysis of the 1944 Arnhem battle.’

D-Day. Piercing the Atlantic Wall 1993

Alastair Horne:
 The Times 30 May 1994.

‘‘He has followed the Cornelius Ryan technique of ‘orals’ interspersed with historical text. But it is particularly well done; as a para himself, he describes well the scattering and near failure of many of the airborne drops…

War Without Garlands 2000

Richard Holmes 2000:

‘It will be up to the usual cracking standard, and the point about the ‘Ostheer’ simply running out of combat power confirms my judgment’.

Kenneth Macksey, Tank Magazine 2000:

‘Only rarely have I been so hauntingly absorbed by a military history as I have been by this one…It is beyond doubt unique and important.

Red Sabbath 2005

Max Hastings: Sunday Telegraph 24 April 2005

‘Kershaw shows that, by a nice irony, the Indians outgunned the horse soldiers…his analysis exposes many historical myths about Custer’s last fight. 

Tank Men 2008

Sir John Keegan April 2008.

‘It was far too realistic for comfort and I was grasped by it…
I greatly admire it as a book and consider it to be a highly original and valuable piece of military history. It ought to transform our idea of the Second World War, it has mine.’ 

Nottingham Evening Post

Some of the eye-witness accounts Kershaw has collected for this comprehensive review of tank warfare have the power to chill the reader to the bone. This is warfare at the sharp end…

Skymen 2010

Sunday Times August 2010.

‘‘Kershaw has built up a telling portrait of both the courage and the vulnerability that the paratroopers displayed…

…much the best part of the book is his reconstruction of the experiences of airborne soldiers in the Second World War’.

Daily Mail July 2010

‘A fascinating new book tells how the Parachute Regiment was born and the terrors they faced learning to jump out of aeroplanes’.

Shropshire Star August 2010

‘This is a fascinating book which brings home the odds which were always stacked against the paratroopers…Kershaw takes a close look at what it takes to be a paratrooper’.

A Street in Arnhem 2014

History of War Magazine

‘An important contribution to the military history of World War Two, but a fascinating slice of social history to boot’.

Waterloo 2014

Daily Express:

‘‘This is a gripping, anecdote-packed read…he captures in graphic detail the tension…the hour-by-hour account is packed with fascinating and often poignant vignettes.

The Scotsman:

‘‘He shows us the battle at its grittiest and bloodiest’…’This is the experience of living through a day and night in hell’. .

The Independent:

‘A blow by blow account of the fateful day. I couldn’t put it down. This book stands in comparison with John Keegan’s classic, The Face of Battle..

24 Hours at the Somme 2016

The Telegraph: Saul David

‘…visceral and atmospheric 24 Hours at the Somme:

Bookbag: Louise Jones 2016

‘…a balanced view of the battle that raises some serious thinking points and tells a very human story amidst shocking recollections of violence, gore and suffering…The tales of individual soldiers were particularly poignant…transports the reader to the filthy trenches of the Somme…The stories are often harrowing, shocking and heartbreaking

Britain at War Magazine: Aug 2016.

…harrowingly recounted through the words of soldiers from both sides, creating a powerful account….

Glasgow Sunday Herald: Russell Leadbetter. Jun 2016

…a book deeply and unavoidably entrenched with tales of battlefield horror and suffering…

ARRSE Review: Jun 2016

Kershaw has painted such a clear picture that as you are reading you are holding your breath and mentally checking and rechecking your kit. 

My non fiction book of the year…

Mail on Sunday Simon Humpreys

This is above all, a soldier’s view.

The Tablet. Chris Nancollas Jul 16

His main theme is the awful waste of young lives, a liturny of death made more poignant by the simple words of these ordinary men.

Landing on the Edge of Eternity

24 Hours at Omaha beach 2018

Barnes and Noble Nov 2018

Kershaw’s research into the crack German troops stationed at Omaha is exceptionally detailed. Kershaw brings home the significance of the battle with suspense and uncertainty that has been glossed over in other recent accounts.

Kirkus Review: Oct 2018

Kershaw describes an awful day of battle…A revisionist look that won’t cheer America-firsters but that helps broaden our understanding of a crucial battle.

Net Galley Non Fiction Review:

…a meticulously researched, gripping account

New York Journal of Books: Thomas McClung

…a virtual personal eye level view of the enemy’s viewpoint.

Shelf Awareness Review:

….a thrilling narrative of the longest day’s most trying hours. He switches deftly between command and unit level on both sides…This is a visceral account of apparent defeat, ultimate victory and how the United States Army sustained more than 2,400 casualties on a single beach in one day.

24 Hours at Balaclava 2019

Military History Matters: Neil Faulkner July 2019

…as an evocation of the visceral human experience of combat, it ranks high among books on battle in general…one of the most gripping pieces of battle narrative I have ever read…a reading experience almost as intense as watching combat footage on screen.

Military Historical Society Review Jan 2020

This is an interesting, detailed analysis which reveals a soldier’s eye for ground and the tactical employment of troops.