Pen and Sword Books

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Pen and Sword Books
Pen and Sword Books logo
Parent company Barnsley Chronicle
Predecessor Leo Cooper
Founded1990;30 years ago (1990)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters location Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England
DistributionSelf-distributed (UK)
Casemate Publishers (USA) [note 1] [1]
Peribo (Australia) [2]
Publication typesBooks, magazines
Nonfiction topics Military history, naval and maritime history, aviation, local history, family history, collectables and antiques, nostalgia and true crime
Imprints Air World,
Frontline Books,
Green Bean Books,
Seaforth Publishing,
White Owl
Official website

Pen and Sword Books, also stylised as Pen & Sword, is a leading British publisher which specialises in printing and distributing books in both hardback and softback on military history, militaria and other niche subjects; factual non-fiction, [1] primarily focussed on the United Kingdom (UK). Pen and Sword has over 6,000 titles available in print, and also available as ebook download. [1] Releasing 500 new titles each year on a variety of subjects, [1] it is part of the Barnsley Chronicle newspaper group.



The first books produced by the company were in response to public demand, following a series of articles first published weekly in the Barnsley Chronicle . Dark Peak Aircraft Wrecks told the story of crash sites in the Dark Peak National Park, and a further weekly feature on the history of two Kitchener battalions, known as the Barnsley Pals, aroused a public interest. Over the years these books have been reprinted a number of times.

Following on from the success of the Dark Peak and Barnsley Pals books, a number of local history paperbacks were produced, along with a series of battlefield guide books. Battleground Europe proved successful, and as more titles were produced, the company made the decision to launch a book publishing arm of the group.

When the Leo Cooper imprint became available, the Barnsley Chronicle purchased it; [1] and the Pen and Sword publishing house was established in 1990. [3] Leo Cooper (born: 25 March 1934 – died: 29 November 2013(2013-11-29) (aged 79)), the late husband of novelist Jilly Cooper, had established a reputation for publishing military history titles. Leo Cooper later retired. [3]

Pen and Sword subsequently expanded its subject matter, branching out to cover naval and maritime history, aviation, local history, family history, collectables and antiques, nostalgia and true crime. [1] It further expanded to include transport and railways, science, archeology, exploration, and political memoirs. [1]

In 2008, Pen and Sword made two acquisitions: Frontline Books, which focuses on United States -based military history; and Seaforth Publishing, which is a leading maritime history imprint. [1]

Select series


  1. Note all titles are distributed in the USA; only 2,892 books (as of December 2020) are available from Casemate Publishers.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Pen and Sword". Casemate Publishers . Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  2. "Prelude Books". Retrieved 12 February 2018.
  3. 1 2 "Obituary: Leo Cooper". The Telegraph. 2 December 2013.
  4. "Battleground Europe - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  5. "Cold War 1945–1991 - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  6. "FlightCraft - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  7. "History of Terror - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  8. "Napoleonic Library - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  9. "ShipCraft - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  10. "TankCraft - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  11. "Images of War - Pen and Sword series". Casemate Publishers. Retrieved 6 December 2020.
  12. "Shot in the Tower: the story of the spies executed in the Tower of London during the First World War". Leonard Sellers: Books. Retrieved 8 March 2014.