Designed in 1942, Britain's innovative Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank (PIAT) provided British and Commonwealth troops with a much-needed means of taking on Germany's formidable Panzers. Replacing the inadequate Boys anti-tank rifle, it was conceived in the top-secret World War II research and development organization known colloquially as 'Churchill's Toyshop', alongside other ingenious weapons such as the sticky bomb, the limpet mine and the time-pencil fuse.
Unlike the more famous US bazooka, the PIAT had its roots in something simpler than rocket science. Operated from the shoulder, the PIAT was a spigot mortar which fired a heavy high-explosive bomb, with its main spring soaking up the recoil. The PIAT had a limited effective range. Troops required nerves of steel to get close enough to an enemy tank to ensure a direct hit, often approaching to within 50ft of the target, and no fewer than six Victoria Crosses were won during World War II by soldiers operating PIATs. A front-line weapon in every theatre of the conflict in which Commonwealth troops fought, from Europe to the Far East, the PIAT remained in service after 1945, seeing action during the Greek Civil War, the Arab–Israeli conflict and the Korean War. This illustrated study combines detailed research with expert analysis to reveal the full story of the design, development and deployment of this revolutionary weapon.
This collection of new essays brings together scholarly examinations of a writer who—despite the prestige that the Nobel Prize has earned him—remains controversial with respect to his place in the literary tradition of his home country. This is in part because the positioning of Turkey itself in relation to the cultural divide between East and West has been the subject of a debate going back to the beginnings of the modern Turkish state and earlier.
The present essays, written mostly by literary scholars, range widely across Pamuk’s novelistic oeuvre, dealing with how the writer, often adding an allegorical level to the personages depicted in his experimental narratives, portrays tensions such as those between Western secularism and traditional Islam and different conceptions of national identity.
The award-winning French novelist pays tribute to a literary hero in this critical biography of the master of horror—with a foreword by Stephen King.
Best known for his acclaimed novels, such as the Prix Goncourt-winning The Map and the Territory, Michael Houellebecq devotes his single work of nonfiction to the pioneering author of horror and weird fiction, H. P. Lovecraft. In a volume that is part biographical sketch and part pronouncement on existence and literature, France's most famous contemporary author praises his prewar American alter ego, whose style couldn't be less like his own.
With a foreword by Lovecraft admirer Stephen King, this eloquently translated edition is an insightful introduction to both Lovecraft’s dark mythology and Houellebecq’s deadpan prose.
A history of the development of London as a European epicenter of queer life.
In Queer City, the acclaimed Peter Ackroyd looks at London in a whole new way–through the complete history and experiences of its gay and lesbian population. In Roman Londinium, the city was dotted with lupanaria (“wolf dens” or public pleasure houses), fornices (brothels), and thermiae (hot baths). Then came the Emperor Constantine, with his bishops, monks, and missionaries. And so began an endless loop of alternating permissiveness and censure. Ackroyd takes us right into the hidden history of the city; from the notorious Normans to the frenzy of executions for sodomy in the early nineteenth century. He journeys through the coffee bars of sixties Soho to Gay Liberation, disco music, and the horror of AIDS. Ackroyd reveals the hidden story of London, with its diversity, thrills, and energy, as well as its terrors, dangers, and risks, and in doing so, explains the origins of all English-speaking gay culture.
Praise for Queer City
“Spanning centuries, the book is a fantastically researched project that is obviously close to the author’s heart…. An exciting look at London’s queer history and a tribute to the “various human worlds maintained in [the city’s] diversity despite persecution, condemnation, and affliction.””—Kirkus Reviews
“[Ackroyd’s] work is highly anecdotal and near encyclopedic . . . the book is fascinating in its careful exposition of the singularities—and commonalities—of gay life, both male and female. Ultimately it is, as he concludes, a celebration as well as a history,” —Booklist
“A witty history-cum-tribute to gay London, from the Roman “wolf dens” through Oscar Wilde and Gay Pride marches to the present day,” —ShelfAwareness
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