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Updates

Presentation on Saul’s MA in Military History

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

Saul gave a live online presentation on his London-based MA in Military History by Research that runs from September 2020-September 2021 (or from Sept 2020-Sept 2022 if you do the Master’s part-time). It is also possible to join the programme as an Associate: meaning you can attend the guest lectures and dinners, but do not need to submit written work.   Click here to watch the presentation  Click here for more information and to apply

Review in the Daily Telegraph

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Saul’s latest book CRUCIBLE OF HELL was given a 5-star review by Simon Heffer in the Daily Telegraph. Heffer wrote: ‘Saul David is…peerless now among our military historians… [A] superb book…that often reads like a screenplay, but depicts suffering that was all too real’. Click here to read full review

Interview with Mark LiVecche of Providence Magazine

Monday, May 25th, 2020

Saul spoke to Mark LiVecche of Providence magazine about his new book Crucible of Hell. Click here to watch

Interview by Marc LiVecche for Providence Magazine

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

Saul was interviewed about his new book CRUCIBLE OF HELL by Dr Mark LiVecche for Providence magazine. https://providencemag.com/video/crucible-hell-conversation-saul-david/

Live webinar for MA in Military History by Research, 2020-21

Friday, May 22nd, 2020

For those budding military historians out there, Saul will be holding a live webinar at 6pm on Monday 15 June 2020 for his London-based one year MA in Military History (or two years part-time), starting this September. Do join him. https://www.buckingham.ac.uk/event/military-history-from-marlborough-to-montgomery-and-macarthur/

Amazon History Book of the Month

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Saul’s new book Crucible of Hell has been chosen as an Amazon.com History Book of the Month for May 2020. Chris Schluep wrote for Amazon Book Review: ‘Okinawa was the largest air-land-sea battle in history. It was a battle that lasted more than 80 days, and it truly was a crucible. Saul David brings those days to brilliant, bloody, dramatic life in his book.’

Live Webinar for the National World War II Museum

Thursday, May 21st, 2020

Saul spoke about his new book Crucible of Hell on a live webinar for the National World War II Museum in New Orleans on 20 May 2020. Click here to watch

Literary Review and Spectator reviews

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020

Crucible of Hell has received more praise. ‘Written with verve and style,’ notes Malcom Murfett in the Literary Review. ‘If you like your war bold and bloody, its here in abundance… David brings the ghastly mayhem of war to life in a vivid way. You can almost feel the ghoulishness of Hacksaw Ridge and smell the stench of death in the caves cut into the Shuri Heights.’ Jay Elwes adds in The Spectator: ‘Superbly researched, well-written book.’ For the full reviews, click here and here

DeGroot stay-at-home blog praises Saul’s new book

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

Times writer Gerard DeGroot has followed up his thumbs-up review of Saul’s new book, Crucible of Hell, with more praise in a blog on the best new books to read while we’re all at home: https://mymycorona.wordpress.com/2020/03/22/what-a-great-time-to-read/

He writes: ‘This is the best book I’ve read on the Battle of Okinawa. Finally, a military historian has written a book which gives humanity to the Japanese, without taking anything away from what the Americans endured and achieved on that island.

I’ve read a lot of military history over the course of my career. Too often wars are sanitised; they’re reduced to lines on a map, statistics and the decisions of supreme commanders. I saw that recently when reading Victor Davis Hanson’s The Second World Wars, a book in which no one seems to die, no one suffers. There’s none of the mud, piss or shit, the shattered limbs, the spattered brains, the screams for mother during the slow agony of death.  I really wish people wouldn’t write about war in that way. It’s misleading and irresponsible.

Saul David is the opposite. He gets down into the foxholes with soldiers, into the cockpits with kamikaze pilots speeding toward their fiery death. ‘We were in the depths of the abyss’, one American soldier wrote of that battle, ‘the ultimate horror of war … Men struggled and fought and bled in an environment so degrading I believed we had been flung into hell’s own cesspool.’

David restores a human dimension to this battle – both sides are brave, stoic, frightened, barbaric and occasionally cowardly.  This is narrative history at its most visceral as battles unfold almost in real time.  Kamikaze pilots gather together before a big mission and tell bawdy jokes, boasting of sexual experiences they don’t actually have.    At one point, a fierce fight on Sugar Loaf Hill is interrupted when an American ‘war dog’ escapes his lead, charges an Okinawan mutt, mounts her in no-man’s land, then obediently returns.  The battlefield falls briefly silent while dogs copulate, and then annihilation resumes.

David fits perfectly into the fine tradition of war books by Max Hastings and Anthony Beevor. It’s war at its most beautiful and most horrible. You can read my review.’

Review in The Times

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

A wonderful first review of Saul’s new book Crucible of Hell has appeared in today’s The Times. Gerard DeGroot writes: ‘David restores a human dimension to this battle – both sides are brave, stoic, frightened, barbaric and occasionally cowardly. This is narrative history at its most visceral as battles unfold almost in real time… In short chapters David shifts between American and Japanese fronts, providing a gripping reconstruction of the action.’ In a separate tweet, De Groot adds: ‘This is the best book ever on the Battle of Okinawa. Great reading while you’re self-isolating.’ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/crucible-of-hell-by-saul-david-review-the-american-invaders-flung-into-hells-own-cesspool-6zzqv0rd8