It's always nice to see a QI-esque book hitting the shelves that provides an insightful look into the hidden facts of history that much of the mainstream history books leave behind. Terry Crowd's short book 'Military Misdemeanours' takes a sideswipe examination of the corruption, incompetence and downright daft things leaders, political figures and civilians have achieved throughout our history. From a witch trial that took place a few days before a Second World War engagement to a spy that was actually a transvestite, the reader is subjected to a plethora of witty and amusing anecdotes of history that should not be forgotten. The scope of research Crowd incorporates into the book is vast but what he selects to use as sources is rich. One of my personal favourites is the story of the Zimmerman Telegram - A German conspiracy plot to initiate the Mexican Goverment to invade the US in order to prohibit them from entering on the side of the allies in World War One. Although this is a story I am familiar with, Crowd provides a take on the incident that is fresh and new. This could possibly apply to many of the anecdotes throughout the book that have over time become common knowledge, but nonetheless, with the way Crowd uses the sources that are available to him, he provides a new spin on a familiar tale.
Apart from the book being slightly on the short side it makes an interesting read on a quiet train journey.