Berkshire's Military Heritage explored in new book
A new book providing an engaging insight into Berkshire's proud military history is due to hit shelves tomorrow (March 15).
This new title covers it all, from the Battles of Newbury to nuclear missiles at Greenham Common.
Military historian, battlefield guide and former soldier Dean Hollands says his book will interest anyone keen to know more about Berkshire's remarkable military history.
Centuries of armed struggle, foreign domination, oppressive monarchs and rebellious citizens have repeatedly clashed to forge Berkshire's military heritage.
The oldest remnants of Berkshire's military heritage date to the Atrebates, an Iron Age people whose impressive hill forts once dominated the county's skyline, and whose remains are visible today.
Alfred the Great fought the Viking Danes at Englefield, while Newbury hosted two English Civil War battles that saw nearby Donnington Castle reduced to a ruin.
The extensive GHQ Line which ran through the county to repel an enemy invasion during the Second World War also left its mark by way of the numerous concrete pillboxes littered along the Kennet and Avon Canal. These would have formed the last line of defence against a Nazi onslaught.
While engineers scurried away building defences on the ground, Newbury, Thatcham and the surrounding villages endured their fair share of enemy bombing from above, culminating in a devastating attack on Newbury in February 1943.
Berkshire's military forces include the Royal Berkshire Regiment's 'Biscuit Boys', who have protected the county and nation at home and abroad since 1881, and the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary service, who were formed and operated out of the county during the Second World War.
The book is available to buy online at https://www.amberley-books.com/catalog/product/view/id/11383/s/berkshires-military-heritage/category/6/ and will be available in print from local and independent book shops tomorrow.