Although he is mostly remembered for his part in the campaign in Italy from 1943 to 1945, Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring was also chief of staff of the Luftwaffe in 1936-37, playing a crucial role in the shaping of the service for the coming war. As commander of Luftflotte 1 in Poland and Luftflotte 2 in France and the Low Countries, he was responsible for supporting the armoured spearheads of the German Army as they undertook their Blitzkrieg campaigns. With the Fall of France, the Battle of Britain began and Luftlotte 2 was the main force in the air attack against the British air defences, with Kesselring planning many raids. Following the war Kesselring was tried and convicted of war crimes following a number of massacres of civilians in Italy. He was sentenced to death, later commuted to life imprisonment before being released on the grounds of ill health in October 1952. Here Pier Paolo Battistelli provides a detailed study of one of the most famous German commanders of World War II.
The Mississippi River played a decisive role in the American Civil War. The Confederate fortifications that controlled the lower Mississippi valley were put to the test in the lengthy Federal campaign of 1862-63. Vicksburg was a fortress city, known as the "Gibraltar of the Confederacy," whose capture is often seen as the key to victory in the war. This book explores the fortifications of the river valley, focusing on Vicksburg and its defenses which boasted a network of forts, rifle pits, and cannon embrasures surrounding the city and examining the strengths and weaknesses of the fortifications when under siege. Also examined are numerous other fortified strongholds, including New Orleans, Port Hudson, New Madrid and, forts Henry and Donelson, all lavishly illustrated with full color artwork and cutaways.
The Apache culture of the latter half of the 19th century blended together the lifestyles of the Great Plains, Great Basin and the South-West, but it was their warfare that captured the imagination. This book reveals the skillful tactics of the Apache people as they raided and eluded the much larger and better-equipped US government forces. Drawing on primary research conducted in the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, this book reveals the small-unit warfare of the Apache tribes as they attempted to preserve their freedom, and in particular the actions of the most famous member of the Apache tribes - Geronimo.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From an internationally renowned expert on US history, this highly illustrated title details the curtain-closing campaign of the Civil War in the East. Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia faced up to one another one last time, as Lee conducted a desperate series of withdrawals and retreats down the line of Richmond and Danville Railroad. This book, drawing on the detailed visual aid of bird's eye views and maps, tells the full story of the skirmishes and pursuits that led directly to Lee's surrender, as his frantic efforts to extricate his forces from ever more perilous positions became increasingly untenable.
Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this engaging study explains and illustrates the armies that fought in the epic struggle for the rebirth of the independent Polish nation, in the bitter aftermath of World War I and the Russian Revolution.In 1917 Poland was recognized as a state by Russia, but the Bolshevik coup threatened this. The Polish leader Marshal Pilsudski hurried to build an army around Polish World War I veterans, and in 1918 war broke out for Poland's independence, involving the the Poles, the Red and White Russian armies, at least two different Ukrainian forces, and Allied intervention troops. The armies that fought these campaigns were extraordinarily varied in their uniforms and insignia, equipment and weapons, and when peace was signed in 1921, Poland had achieved recognized nationhood for the first time since 1794.
Germany's Atlantic Wall was the most ambitious military fortification program of World War II. Following its conquest of Western Europe, Germany had to defend some 5,000 kilometers of Atlantic coastline from the Spanish border to the Arctic Circle. The United States' entry into the war and the inevitability of an Anglo-American landing in Western Europe resulted in the fortification of this coastline along its entire length. Focusing on the northern Atlantic Wall in the Low Countries and Scandinavia, this title addresses the special defensive features and unique aspects of fortification in these countries, such as the early focus on fortifying Norway, due to early British commando raids; the greater use of turreted naval guns; and the establishment of first-line Flak defenses in the Low Countries to counter the Allied strategic bombing campaign. From the Trade Paperback edition.
According to one popular image, the Aztec army was a ruthless and efficient war machine, that established an empire by convincingly overwhelming its neighbors, sacrificing thousands to bloodthirsty gods along the way. From a contrasting perspective, its native warriors were no match for the modern warring methods of Cortés' greatly outnumbered Spaniards, who decisively defeated them. The reality of the Aztec warrior's ability and effectiveness lies somewhere between those two extremes, as this title makes clear. By examining the experiences of a hypothetical individual, Cuauhtli, this meticulously researched book shows that the history of Aztec warfare is much richer and far more complex than previously understood, and reveals the close relationship between social and military matters in Aztec society.
Osprey's examination of the Battle of Chancellorsville (1863) of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Following the debacle of the battle of Fredricksburg in December 1862, Burnside was replaced as commander of the Army of the Potomac by General Joseph Hooker. Having reorganised the army and improved morale, he planned an attack that would take his army to Richmond and end the war. Although faced by an army twice his size, the Confederate commander Robert E. Lee split his forces: Jubal Early was left to hold off Sedgwick's Fredericksburg attack, and 'Stonewall' Jackson was sent with 26,000 men in a wide envelopment around Hooker's right flank. This title details how at dusk on May 2, Jackson's men crashed into the Federal right flank, and how stiffening Federal resistance slowed the Confederate advance the next day.
The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) is the largest army in the world. China is predicted to be on the brink of overtaking the USA as the world's largest economy, and China's military capabilities and global ambitions are the single greatest long-term pre-occupation of Western governments. The PLA has progressed steadily - if slowly - since its creation in 1949, from a mass army of unsophisticated infantry limited to 'human wave' tactics into a highly sophisticated force with wide capabilities. The most recent reforms (1989 to the present day) have been made possible by massive economic liberalization, and have seen not only the modernization of all the armed forces but the beginnings of global outreach, even including Chinese participation in UN peace-keeping missions to Africa, the Middle East, and Haiti. Featuring rare photographs and specially commissioned color artwork, this study explores the developing structure, organization, equipment, appearance, and character of the Chinese People's Liberation Army from its creation until today.
Many accounts portray the conquest of the New World as a remarkable military achievement, with Cortés' vastly outnumbered but better armed Spaniards defeating hordes of superstitious savages. However, the reality of these events is far more complex and no less significant. The first Conquistadors who had sailed in search of prosperity, inspired by dreams of unlimited riches, soon became disillusioned and restless. With disease rampant, resources exhausted, and the Caribbean populations dwindling, they had little alternative but to find new territories and peoples to exploit. This title shows how, bolstered by influxes of war-hardened veterans from Europe and an army of over 30,000 allied Indian troops, they came to rely on and perfect what they knew best - killing for profit, and without mercy.
Crusader castles and other fortifications in Cyprus, the south-western coast of Turkey, and Greece are among the best examples of late medieval military architecture to be seen in Europe. These important fortifications, erected by the Hospitallers during the 15th century to face the growing Ottoman Turkish threat, vary considerably from those in the Middle East. Despite there being many visible remains of fortifications in Cyprus, Greece, and the Aegean, few studies exist of these areas compared to the fortifications of the Holy Land.Providing numerous architectural plans, maps, and color illustrations, this book seeks to redress this imbalance and complement the previous bestselling treatments of Crusader fortifications in the Fortress series.
The Rhine River represented the last natural defensive barrier for the Third Reich in the fall of 1944. Although Hitler had been reluctant to allow the construction of tactical defense lines in France, the final defense of the Reich was another matter. As a result, construction of a Rhine defense line began in September 1944. Steven J Zaloga examines the multiple phases of construction undertaken to strengthen the Westwall (Siegfried Line), to fortify many of the border villages, and finally to prepare for the demolition of the Rhine bridges. Using detailed maps, color artwork, and expert analysis, this book takes a detailed look at Germany's last line of defense.
During World War II Germany was subjected to the growing threat of Allied bomber attack, from RAF night bombing to American daylight bombing. From flak artillery to fortified structures, this book focuses on the land-based infrastructure of Germany's defense against the air onslaught.The Third Reich created the most lavish Flak defenses of any country in World War II. This book provides an overview of the Flak artillery, with a special emphasis on how Flak was deployed and some of the unique fortified structures that were created to enhance Flak performance such as the legendary Flak towers of the German cities. It also briefly examines the revolutionary potential of anti-aircraft missiles for Flak defense that were on the verge of deployment at the end of the war. Although the artillery element of Flak is the most widely known, Flak effectiveness was highly dependent on advanced electronic sensors, especially radar, for fire control and precise targeting. This book examines how the Third Reich deployed radar and other advanced sensors in its defensive belts such as the Kammhuber Line.Besides active defense against air attack, Germany also invested heavily in passive defense such as air raid shelters. While much of this defense was conventional such as underground shelters and the dual use of subways and other structures, Germany faced some unique dilemmas in protecting cities against night fire bomb raids. Some cities were located in regions where the soil conditions and lack of bedrock did not permit deep underground bunkers. As a result, German architects designed massive above-ground defense shelters which were amongst the most massive defensive structures built in World War II. The success of the US Army Air Force offensive against Germany industry in early 1944 threatened to crush German military production. A program was initiated in the spring of 1944 to defend the industry by dispersion and fortification. An elaborate program was created to house the most vital industries in underground shelters. Some of these were located in caves or tunnels, but in other areas, large reinforced concrete structures were created where caves were not a practical solution. These structures were amongst the most advanced for their day, and in many ways presaged the heavily reinforced shelters created during the Cold War for protection against nuclear attack.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The simple castles raised after the Norman conquest had been developed throughout 11th and 12th centuries, whilst the introduction of Islamic and Byzantine fortification techniques from the late 12th century led to further developments in castle architecture. These fortifications were to be well tested throughout the course of the 13th century as England was riven by the conflict, characterized by prolonged sieges, between the monarchy and powerful magnates. As well as providing the focus for warfare, castles increasingly became the centres of their communities, providing a more permanent base for the lord, his family and retainers, as well as acting as centres for justice and administration.
Gibraltar is not only an archetypal fortress, preserving in its dominating topography and walls, bastions and emplacements a rich testament to extended periods of human conflict, but it is also a unique record of the evolution of the sciences of fortification and associated defensive structures over a period of more than six centuries. Gibraltar has a complex and varied military history, lying as it does at the gateway to the Mediterranean and the meeting points of the continents of Europe and Africa. Its history, always shaped by its unique combination of strategic position and topography, begins in ancient times with successive occupations by Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Romans. It then passed through Arab, Castilian and Spanish hands, and has been a British possession since 1704. The Rock served as a base for Nelson's fleet in the Napoleonic Wars and, in World War II, for the Royal Navy's Task Force 'H' and as as a vital stopping place for supply convoys plying to and from the East through the Suez Canal and supporting the Allied effort in the Mediterranean Theater. An unprecedented amount of tunnelling took place on Gibraltar, making it a veritable warren that housed aircraft hangars, ammunition stores, hospitals and even a secret chamber (the Stay-Behind Cave) that was to be manned as an observation post in the event of a hostile takeover.
The greatest period of Inca expansion occurred during the reigns of Pachacuti (1438-71), Tupa Inca (1471-93), and Huayna Capac (1493-1527). From the mountain stronghold of Cuzco, they subjugated the surrounding kingdoms and territories, absorbing their civilizations and their peoples. By 1525, they dominated much of the west of the continent, relying on fortified strongholds, an extensive system of roads an bridges, and obligatory military service to control local populations. This title takes a detailed look at the development of Incan fortification techniques, and examines how they came to be overrun by the Spanish conquistadors.
This book analyzes the fortifications of Hasmonaean and Herodian Judaea from the middle of the second century BC, when the Maccabees rebelled against their Seleucids overlords and established an independent state, until the end of the Jewish-Roman War in AD 73.
With the violent separation between the United States and Britain which began in 1776, the new 'Americans' set off to fulfill their manifest destiny and rule their new land from coast to coast. As they pushed westward, they came into conflict with both natives and other European settlers, and began to build fortresses to defend their newly claimed land. This book charts the development and variation of the fortresses of the American Frontier, covering both American defenses and those of the Spanish in the west. It also examines the little-known forts of early Russian settlers on the Pacific coast.
Osprey's examination of the Battle of Fredericksburg of the American Civil War (1861-1865). In December 1862, things were still confused for the Union. Antietam had been a failure for both sides, and although the battle showed that the Union army could bring the Confederates to bay, it couldn't pin them in one place long enough to destroy them. In December 1862, General Burnside, newly appointed to command the Army of the Potomac, planned to seize and secure the town of Fredericksburg, and then take the Confederate capital of Richmond. Carl Smith's book details the epic struggle that engulfed the Union side as it crossed the Rappahannock on December 11, encountering stiff opposition from Lee's men.
"He who relies on militia leans upon a broken cane." (George Washington)Osprey's survey of militiamen of the War of 1812. The great military effectiveness of semi-trained local militia is one of the enduring myths of American military history. In this book Ed Gilbert reveals the truth behind this myth. Quoting from memoirs of men like Sam Dale, Sam Houston, and rare histories, he sheds light on who these frontier men actually were. He chronicles how militiamen, ranging from hard-working farmers to politicians like Davy Crockett, were transformed through hard campaigning, fierce combat, and Andrew Jackson's equally fierce discipline, into a formidable fighting force. Contemporary illustrations and artwork depict the rough life on campaign and the uniforms worn by the militia. He details how they fought and won the crucial battle of Horseshoe Bend, and how finally on the swampy Plains of Chalmette a scratch force of State Militias, Federal Regulars, US Marines, and Jean Lafitte's mercenary pirates inflicted a stunning defeat on General Pakenham's forces, opening up the western frontier for the new nation.
The 100th title in the Fortress series, this book describes and examines the Führerhauptquartiere - the 14 or so headquarters built for Hitler. Revealing their locations and how they were used to direct the Nazi war apparatus, this is a fascinating insight into a range of historical sites from Berghof to the Wolf's Lair. With a map showing the locations of all of Hitler's bunkers and fortifications on the eastern and western fronts and illustrated with photographs and specially commissioned artwork, this book is an essential introduction to Hitler's command structures and recreates numerous bunkers and buildings which were destroyed by Allied bombing raids or by fleeing German troops.
Zhukov was the dominant figure in the Red Army during World War II even though his actual job title varied from day to day. Serving as a senior General Staff representative from the Stavka, Zhukov moved from one critical sector to the next, serving as advisor, coordinator and de facto front commander as required. There is no doubt that Zhukov played a critical role in salvaging the critical situation in the fall of 1941 and leading the Red Army to an amazing reversal of fortunes in 1942-43 and eventual victory in 1944-45. He was instrumental in the initial defence of Leningrad, before moving to Moscow to stem the German advance and lead the counterattack in the winter of 1941. In 1942-43 he was responsible for Operation Uranus that cut off the German 6. Armee in Stalingrad, and led the defence of the Kursk Pocket against Manstein's attacks. His was the voice of reason and patience that convinced Stalin to let the Germans expend themselves at Kursk before launching the Soviet offensive that drove the Germans back hundreds of miles and almost broke the German Army inthe Ukraine. Without him Kursk would never have been fought as a defensive battle by the Russians. In 1944 he led the massive Soviet Operation Bagration that destroyed the German Heeresgruppe Mitte and continued on in command of front through to the end of the war, which saw him become the first post-war Soviet commander in East Germany.However, Zhukov's methods were brutal and contributed to massive Soviet casualties, while he continued to keep his hand in political affairs as well. As the most recognized Soviet soldier of World War II, Zhukov's post-war fall from grace was equally precipitous and it was not until the fall of the Soviet Union that he was awarded his reputation was restored.
The common German infantryman played a crucial role in the events that led to the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), and the burden of duty lay on his shoulders during the opening moves of the conflict, in the invasion of Poland, the conquest of Norway and Denmark, the Low Countries and France. The Wehrmacht was unstoppable in this period, as it defeated almost every country that took the field against it. This volume examines the recruitment, training, weapons and equipment of the German infantryman in the eventful years building up to and including Blitzkrieg. Weaponry, team roles, tactics, training and personal equipment are all covered.
The Eastern Front of World War I is sometimes overshadowed by the fighting in the West. But the clashes between Imperial Germany and Tsarist Russia in East Prussia, Poland and Lithuania were every bit as gruelling for the participants as the great battles in Western Europe. In spite of the crushing German victory at Tannenburg in August 1914, the war in the East would grind on for two more years. Featuring full-color artwork, specially drawn maps and archive photographs, this study assesses the tactics, leadership and combat performance of German and Russian footsoldiers fighting in battles at Gumbinnen, Göritten and Mahartse, revealing the evolving nature of infantry warfare on the Eastern Front during World War I.
The East Wall was where the final battles for the stricken Third Reich were fought, amid scenes of utter carnage. Beginning life at the end of World War I, the wall became a pet project of Adolf Hitler's, whose ascent to power saw building work accelerated, with plans for a grand, 'Maginot-style' defence put in place. But with a characteristically erratic change of heart, Hitler began to systematically strip the wall of its best defensive assets to bolster the Atlantic Wall, never dreaming that he would face an attack on two fronts. Despite belated and somewhat bungled reinforcements later in the War, the Eastern Wall would face a monstrous challenge as it became the Reich's last redoubt in the face of the mighty Soviet war machine. Neil Short brings his expert knowledge to bear with an analysis of different stages of the wall's construction, the years of neglect and decay and the hasty, drastic redevelopment in the face of the looming Soviet threat.
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