Book Review – Lost Legend of the Thryberg Hawk, The Mystery Crossbow Boy who Saved the Fortunes of York at the Battle of Towton



This is a great story that is well worth reading and will appeal to a much wider readership because it is a cracking tale that demonstrates the strengths and weaknesses of the human character, suspense, thrills and the violence of a Medieval battlefield.

This is an enjoyable and compelling tale that sits somewhere between fiction and non-fiction. As with most victors, the Tudors embarked on an enthusiastic re-writing of the history of the epic struggle between York and Lancaster. Some stories were deliberately suppressed and others were simply left out of the Tudor account of the civil wars between the two houses. However, oral histories, frequently dismissed by historians as ‘folklaw’ in favour of the highly misleading propaganda of the victor, contain valuable information and may prove the true history of events. What they lack is the fine detail and personalities of the story. When an author combines folk law, with historical research and creative imagination, the resulting book can become a very valuable element of historical knowledge. It remains for each reader to decide how far to use this new book as an expansion of knowledge of what took place and how far to treat it as a great story, well-told and a saga of events.

Book Review – Antigonus the One-Eyed, Greatest of the Successors



The publisher is building a fine catalogue of titles covering aspects of the Ancient World, and particularly of the lesser known leaders and conflicts. This new book forms part of that catalogue and tells the exciting story of one of those competing to succeed Alexander the Great. The sudden death of a young Alexander left a huge vacuum and the years following saw a number of individuals seek to succeed him. Enthusiasts will have already come across these competitors, but probably only in rough outline. This book provides a comprehensive review of one of the Successors. Perhaps one of the least likely, Antigonus has come to be regarded as the Greatest of the Successors. ‘Greatest’ is always a subjective description but the story of Antigonus is absorbing and motivating.

Book Review – Sheriffmuir 1715, The Jacobite War in Scotland



The author has provided an accurate account of the events leading to Sheriffmuir to coincide with the three hundredth anniversary. It is a moving and sad story and all the more pertinent as the latter day dependency party, the SNP, tries to replace union with the rest of the British with subservience to Brussels.

This enjoyable book provides a comprehensive account of the battle of Sheriffmuir, throwing light on how it was fought. It has included eyewitness accounts, some previously unpublished and all important to the understanding of this fight. There are also chapters that review the organization, training, weapons, and tactics for both the Jacobite forces and the Government army. It may not convert any of those strongly holding to established views from either extreme, but it will allow the more open minded to consider this critical part of Scottish history.

Book Review – Surrender at New Orleans, General Sir Harry Smith in the Peninsula and America



This is a gripping story of love and war, worthy of a well-crafted novel and all the more absorbing as a true story of two extraordinary characters.

Enthusiasts may know something of the story of General Sir Harry Smith and the Spanish beauty he married, but this carefully researched book provides a level of detail that tells their story in full and an extraordinary story it is. For most, the two subjects will be completely unknown. Napoleon, Wellington, Pitt, and Nelson are such powerful legends that there is little room for the cast of thousands of extraordinary soldiers, sailors and politicians that lived through the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Wellington and Nelson shared much in that they were ably supported by bands of brothers and Smith was one of Wellington’s band of brothers in Portugal and Spain, and again at Waterloo.

Book Review – Images of War, Great War Fighter Aces 1914-1916, Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives



This book is another fine collection of images, many of which have not appeared in publications before. The text supports the images but this is not a simple photo essay. The author has provided well-researched text that provides an essential narrative and adds greatly to the impact of the images. The primary purpose of the book is to provide a comprehensive recognition of those pioneer military aviators who achieved the status of ‘Ace’, being a pilot with five or more ‘kills’ to his credit. It is possible that not every Ace has been included because there are alleged to have been a number of pilots during this period who may have achieved the requisite number of ‘kills’ but died in battle and to have never received due credit. However, that is no reflection on the author because he has reported officially recognized aces and provided also some good images of the aircraft being used at the time.

This book captures the essence the early years of aerial combat in WWI and will be greatly appreciated by enthusiasts, scholars, and those developing an interest in aerial combat.

AHIA Updates prior to End of Year Report.

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A big thank you from AHIA Board. The passing year will be remembered as one of those bad years, “You had to have……!” Caused, in part, by the commencement of the introduction of the new Civil Aviation Safety Regulations (CASRs). The all volunteer AHIA members who formed various working groups to help the regulators paddle away from the uncharted rocky shores are no doubt weary with regulation review burnout. Those who have helped in the industry/regulator sessions must be acknowledged as the ‘AHIA Heroes of 2014’. However, their work is far from finished as the misunderstood and unpopular CASR Part 61 – Flight Crew Licensing is still work-in-progress. Hopefully, the last rewrite of the Instrument and associated Manual of Standards will be completed around the time of the Avalon Airshow or soon after in March 2015.

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Jangmi (South China Sea)

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NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image of Tropical Storm Jangmi over the central and southern Philippines on Dec. 29 at 5:05 UTC.
Image Credit: NASA/NRL

NASA Spots Tropical Storm Jangmi Moving into Sulu Sea

NASA’s Aqua satellite saw Tropical Storm Jangmi as it moved through the central and southern Philippines on Dec. 29. Jangmi is known locally in the Philippines as Tropical Storm Seniang.

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NASA Updates Pre-Launch Briefings for Upcoming Resupply Mission to Space Station


The fifth SpaceX cargo mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract now is scheduled to launch about 6:18 a.m. EST Tuesday, Jan. 6, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 5 a.m.

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As ferry death toll rises, prosecutors start investigation; Appeals court reinstates U.S. case against Bollinger

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As ferry death toll rises, prosecutors start investigation

December 29, 2014—News agency ANSA reports Italian Premier Matteo Renzi as saying that the death toll in the Norman Atlantic ferry disaster has risen to five. Subsequently, the Italian Coast Guard said two more bodies had been found aboard the ship, bringing the total to seven. A fire broke out on a car deck before dawn Sunday as the Italian-flagged RoPax, owned by Vizemar di Navigazione, headed for Ancona, Italy, from Patras, Greece.

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