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.
Osprey's study of the Battle of Gettysburg (1863), one of the decisive battles of the American Civil War (1861-1865). The Confederate invasion of the Northern states was General Lee's last great gamble. By taking the war to the Union he hoped to force Lincoln into peace negotiations, or win support from the European powers who were watching events closely from across the Atlantic. Equally, Meade's Army of the Potomac needed to regain it's fighting credibility after the setbacks of Fredericksburg and saw this as an opportunity to redeem its honour. The clash of 150,000 soldiers from both sides would ultimately decide the fate of a nation.
By the Spring of 1781, the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783) had dragged on for almost six years and the outcome still hung in the balance. When the British commander Lord Cornwallis launched his invasion of North Carolina in early 1781, his objective was to destroy General Nathaniel Greene's American army. At Guilford Courthouse on 15 March 1781 the two armies met. In a desperately hard-fought battle the small but professional British army succeeded in fighting its way through three separate lines of American troops - but at a dreadful cost. Cornwallis lost over a quarter of his command. When news of the 'victory' reached Britain, a politician remarked; 'Another such victory would ruin the British army'.
This book gives a focused, military biography of Heinz Guderian, perhaps the most highly respected German tank commander of World War II. Guderian was a typical product of the Prussian military elite; the son of a general in the army, there was little doubt that he would follow in his father's footsteps. Some consider Guderian to be the founding father of blitzkrieg warfare, and he certainly brought the whole concept to public attention and prominence, chiefly through the publication of his book Achtung Panzer in 1937. He commanded the XIX Motorized) Army Corps in the 1939 Polish campaign, and Panzergruppe Guderian during Operation Barbarossa. In March 1943 he became chief inspector of the Panzer forces, but even the great tank commander could achieve little more than to delay the inevitable defeat of Germany.
The Kampfflieger are relatively unknown within aviation circles, although many of them had careers as distinguished as those of their fighter-pilot counterparts. The men of the bomber crews did not enjoy the luxury of combat tours - they flew until they died or became unfit for combat duty. This book studies the attitudes, beliefs and motivation of the average crewman, following him through recruitment and training to experience on campaign in western Europe, Africa and the Russian front during World War II (1939-1945), detailing the exploits and trials of the famous Ju 87 'Stuka' dive-bomber crews and their own crucial part in Germany's war effort.
On April 15, the day after the fall of Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln issued a call for 75,000 volunteers to enlist for three months' service to defend the Union. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this is the engaging story of the first wave of soldiers who volunteered to defend and preserve the Union in 1861, based on detailed research in US sources, including many eye-witness accounts of their very varied uniforms and equipment.When war broke out with the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, on April 12-14, 1861, the regular US Army numbered just 16,000 troops, most of them scattered widely, and far from what would clearly become the main theater of operations between the two capitals - Washington, DC, and Richmond, Virginia. It was at this time Lincoln called for a three-month enlistment from volunteers. The 90-day period was, of course, entirely unrealistic, and would be followed by further and much more extensive mobilizations; but for the first few months, when Washington itself was in real danger, the defense of the capital depended on a hastily gathered army of militiamen and volunteers from those states that declared their immediate loyalty to the Union. These units were mostly entirely inexperienced, barely trained, weakly officered, and provided with the most motley uniforms, equipage, and weapons. Nevertheless, they bought the Union time during the first vital months. This period ended with the First Battle of Bull Run (Manassas) on July 21, at which only some 2,000 of General McDowell's 28,500 Union troops were regulars. This ground-breaking study draws upon a very wide range of period sources to describe and illustrate the actual appearance of this diverse and colorful force, including photographs, eyewitness accounts in period newspapers and letters, the reports of government agents, and the records of the many manufacturers who received orders to clothe and equip their state troops. The units were composed of separate companies drawn from both wealthy and poorer communities, so varied widely in style, from copies of fashionable French uniforms to plain working-men's clothing. There were no rules at this date specifying that the North should wear blue and the South gray, and the extremely mixed appearance of both armies caused much dangerous confusion. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned artwork and rare period illustrations, this engaging account brings to life the first wave of volunteers who stepped forward to defend and preserve the Union in 1861.
Merrill's Marauders were the first American Army infantry unit to fight in the China-Burma-India theater, and one of the most renowned units to come out of World War II (1939-1945). The Marauders established a lasting reputation for hard fighting and tenacity in the face of adversity, combating a determined enemy, some of the most difficult and disease-ridden terrain in the world, and a seemingly indifferent higher command. Pushed beyond the limit of their endurance, at the end of nearly six months of operations behind Japanese lines, the remaining Marauders were withdrawn from combat after suffering over 90% casualties. Because of its courageous actions, the unit received the very rare honor of having every member presented with a Bronze Star for gallantry. This book explores the creation, training and combat experiences of the Marauders, one of the most famous units in the US Army's roll of honor.
Mustafa Kemal was one of the 20th century's greatest combat commanders. Born in Salonika to a middle-class family, this book follows the life of a great commander who served in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12 and the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 before taking command of the 19th Division based in Gallipoli during World War l. His sterling service led to his promotion to corps command during the fighting against the Russians in the Caucasus. Following the end of the war he took command of the nationalist forces struggling against the occupation of Turkey, and managed to defeat Greek forces that sought to occupy Smyrna, thus preserving Turkey's territorial integrity. Labelled as the 'Man of Destiny' by Winston Churchill, his services in Gallipoli and the War of Independence were pivotal to the success of his armies. After leading the nationalist army to victory, he established the modern Turkish Republic and became Turkey's first ever president taking the name Atatürk, meaning Father of the Turks, as his own.
During the Napoleonic Wars the supreme battlefield shock weapon was the heavy cavalry - the French cuirassiers, and their British, Austrian, Prussian and Russian counterparts. Big men mounted on big horses, the heavy cavalry were armed with swords nearly a metre long, used for slashing or thrusting at their opponents; many wore steel armour, a practice revived by Napoleon. They were tasked with smashing a hole in the enemy's line of battle, with exploiting a weakness, or with turning a flank. Their classic manoeuvre was the charge; arrayed in close-order lines or columns, the heavy cavalry would begin their attack at the walk, building up to a gallop for the final 50 metres before impact.Illustrated with diagrams, relevant paintings and prints and specially prepared colour plates, this is the first volume of a two-part study of the cavalry tactics of the armies of Napoleon and those of his allies and opponents. Written by a leading authority on the period, it draws upon drill manuals and later writings to offer a vivid assessment of how heavy cavalry actually fought on the Napoleonic battlefield.
During the Napoleonic Wars, all the major combatants fielded large numbers of light cavalry as Hussars, Dragoons, Chasseurs, Lancers, or even Cossacks. Ridley Scott's 1977 feature film debut The Duelists portrayed French Hussars. Light cavalry provided nimble, fast-moving regiments that performed a variety of vital roles, from reconnaissance and keeping contact with the enemy during the movement of armies, to raiding, skirmishing, and the pursuit to destruction of beaten enemies. In practice, light cavalry were often also employed for battlefield charges alongside the heavy cavalry.The light cavalryman typically carried a curved sabre, one or two pistols and sometimes a carbine, and rode a smaller horse than his counterpart in the heavy cavalry. As the Napoleonic Wars progressed, the dashing Chasseurs and Light Dragoons and glamorous Hussars were joined by growing numbers of Lancers, while the Russians employed vast numbers of Cossacks. Often the first to engage the enemy, these colourful regiments saw combat on a host of bloody battlefields across Europe.Featuring period illustrations and specially commissioned colour artwork, this is the second volume of a two-part study of the cavalry tactics of the armies of Napoleon and those of his allies and opponents. Written by a leading authority on the period, it draws upon drill manuals and later writings to offer a vivid assessment of how light cavalry actually fought on the Napoleonic battlefield.
Descended from the Viking raiders who settled in Northern France under the leadership of Rollo in around 911, the Normans were amongst the most feared warriors of their time. Their territorial ambitions culminated in Duke William 1's conquest of England in 1066, but although victory at Hastings left the English crown in William's hands, Norman sovereignty remained far from established on the island. In order to consolidate his position, the new king built a series of fortifications across the country - this book covers all these developments from the early days of William I through to the fortifications of Henry II, Richard I and John.
Osprey's examiantion of pike and shot tactics employed in various wars of the 17th century. Throughout the 17th century, large parts of Europe were depopulated during wide-ranging and savage wars of religion and dynasty involving all of the major powers. These included the Dutch-Spanish wars of independence, The Thirty Years' War (1618-1648) and the English Civil Wars (1642-1651). This was the key period in the development of 'modern' infantry tactics, incorporating the use of pole-arms and muskets together, hence the popular expression 'pike and shot'. Although cavalry participated in such conflicts, it was the infantry that was the decisive arm. Such infantry tactics involved different national schools on thought and practice, tested bloodily in great battles. Keith Roberts is a respected expert in this field, who draws on extensive knowledge of original manuals of tactics to create a revealing study of the period. This volume will be both attractive to wargamers and worthy of serious academic attention.
Written by an expert on the Prussian army of the Napoleonic era, this is a fascinating insight into the 18th-century evolution of the Prussian forces into the war-winning troops of the final battles against Napoleon. Using contemporary materials including drill regulations, instructions, staff and regimental histories and after-action reports, this book provides a compelling history of Prussian tactics from 1792 until 1815. It includes studies of the professional Prussian army during the Revolutionary Wars and the mass mobilization of a conscript army that fought during the Wars of Liberation and Waterloo. Following on from the success of Osprey's other Elite Tactics volumes, this is a must-have for serious students of Napoleonic warfare, armchair generals, and wargamers alike.
Robert E. Lee is widely recognized as the greatest commander in U.S. History. But why? In his new book, Ron Field, a member of the DC-based Company of Military Historians, seeks to convey the character, outlook, bearing, leadership style, and military brilliance of the "Old Man." His narrative builds to Lee's "hour of destiny" during the Civil War where Lee outshined McClellan during the Seven Days, Pope at Second Manassas, Burnside at Fredericksburg, and Hooker at Chancellorsville. Field also explores the tragic side to Lee's legend: the heart attack that in 1963 sidelined him at Gettysburg; the loss of Stonewall Jackson to friendly fire that weakened his Western flank; and difficulties with fellow general Longstreet that contributed to his eventual defeat. Field also provides a balanced assessment of Lee's flaws, including his difficulty in giving clear commands to his subordinates. Readers of Osprey will find in Robert E. Lee everything they have come to expect from an Osprey series title, including campaign maps, full-color illustrations--this time from Adam Hook, dozens of photographs and a selected bibliography.
Osprey's survey of the Royal Naval Air Service pilot during World War I (1914-1918). In 1914 the Naval Wing of the Royal Flying Corps was subsumed into the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). With the bulk of the Royal Flying Corps engaged in France, the aircraft and seaplane pilots of the RNAS protected Britain from the deadly and terrifying Zeppelin menace. In 1915 the RNAS sent aircraft to support the operations in the Dardanelles, and also gave increasing support to the Royal Flying Corps units engaged on the Western Front, conducting reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and artillery spotting, bombing raids, and aerial combat with German pilots. This book explores all of these fascinating areas, and charts the pioneering role of the RNAS in military aviation.
The Islamic world developed its own highly sophisticated, effective and varied style of fortification. It drew upon pre-existing Romano-Byzantine, Iranian, Central Asian and Indian traditions of military architecture, plus influences from China, to produce something new and distinctive. In turn, Islamic concepts of military architecture influenced fortifications throughout the Byzantine Empire and, to an even greater extent, in Western Europe. One key point of distinction with the latter in particular was that Islamic fortifications were primarily focussed upon defending cities and frontiers, rather than being associated with royal and feudal elites, as was the case in most of Europe. Despite this highly practical role, medieval Islamic military architecture went beyond the merely functional, and the finest surviving examples are imbued with a sense of symbolic magnificence. This title, the first of several proposed volumes in the Fortress series, takes a look at early Islamic fortifications in the central and eastern lands. It covers the historical background, socio-political circumstances, and purposes of early military architecture; the incorporation of several different traditions and the development of a distinctive character; and the fortifications' role in protecting industry, trade and the frontiers of the Islamic world. Subsequent volumes will deal with the 12th to 16th centuries in the center and east, and the western Islamic lands of North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula, respectively.
Devastated by the civil wars of the 17th century or by the neglect and deliberate destruction of their owners who saw them as archaic and barbaric, the vast majority of Scottish baronial castles built between 1250 and 1450 survive as little more than skeletal ruins. These reminders of Scotland's past have captured the imaginations of romantics, artists, writers and tourists since the late 18th century. Often set in spectacular surroundings, on cliff-tops, islands, and gorges, their ruined grandeur evokes a medieval world of sieges, banquets and murders, and provides a rare physical link with the Anglo-Scottish wars of Robert the Bruce and William Wallace. This book examines the three periods of castle building in the years 1250-1450: the years of peace in the late 13th century; the six decades of war with the English when the castles became key centers for garrisons and government; and the post-war era of castle building and reconstruction. Covering castles in the Isles, the Lowlands and the Highlands, and featuring some of the most striking examples of the art, such as Caelaverock and Bothwell this book presents the story of these monuments in an accessible and highly-illustrated format.
Virginia's Shenandoah Valley in 1864 was the scene of one of the most crucial campaigns of the Civil War. The outcome of the fighting there would have consequences that stretched far outside the valley to help decide the fate of the nation.In 1864 the Union Army's new commander, Ulysses Grant, created the Union's first cohesive strategy for conquering the Confederacy. One of his key objectives was to control the Shenandoah Valley. The valley shielded the Confederacy, served as the bread basket for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, and provided remounts for Confederate cavalry. When an initial invasion in spring 1864 failed in the face of a skillful counter-attack by General Jubal Early, Grant turned to his cavalry commander, Brigadier-General Philip Sheridan, to drive the Confederacy from the valley.On August 7, 1864, "Little Phil" assumed command of the Army of the Shenandoah, as the new command was styled. Over the next 90 days two armies--the Union forces led by Sheridan and the Confederate troops commanded by Early--maneuvered across the Shenandoah Valley in a storied campaign of move and countermove, where unexpected attacks were met by equally unexpected ripostes. The stakes in the battles were not just the fate of one disputed agricultural valley in the United States. Rather, its implications would be felt throughout a nation torn by Civil War. Victory or defeat in the Shenandoah could affect the outcome of the Presidential election to be held in November 1864. Confederate loss of the Valley would cripple the Army of Northern Virginia. Sheridan's eventual victory helped ensure Lincoln's re-election and removed the Confederate threat, hastening the eventual end to the Civil War.
"Stonewall" Jackson's Valley Campaign saw a Confederate Army outmaneuver and defeat three times their number of Union troops in a lightning-swift campaign in the following battles: First Kernstown, McDowell, Front Royal, First Winchester, Cross Keys, Port Republic.On the morning of June 9 1862, victorious Confederate troops under the command of Major General "Stonewall" Jackson began a general advance in pursuit of the withdrawing Union forces following the battle of Port Republic. This was the sixth major battle fought between Union and Confederate troops during a three-month period in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the spring of 1862. It was also, effectively, the final battle of what became known as Jackson's Valley Campaign. The campaign, which had begun with a Confederate defeat at the First Battle of Kernstown on March 23, became a showcase for the maneuverability and mobility of Jackson's forces as, heavily outnumbered, they kept the larger Union forces pinned and down and off balance."Stonewall" Jackson had performed his task of keeping General McDowell's Union forces away from the Peninsula Campaign better than anyone could have expected, and following his final victory at Port Republic he was able to force march his men to join up with Lee at Richmond in time to take part in the Seven Days Battles that saved Richmond for the Confederacy.Jackson became a legend for his actions in the Valley Campaign. His army marched over 600 miles in 48 days to win five major battles. His forces, at no time numbering more than 17,000 men, overwhelmed a combined Union force of 50,000, demonstrating in every case his ability to maneuver his troops into a tactical advantage of at least four to three.
During the Russian Civil War, the Red Army created a series of fortified areas, or ukreplinnyje rajony (UR), which were to be used not only for defence but were also to act as staging points for offensive operations. Following the end of the war these defences were extended, creating a front that stretched over 2,000km from the Baltic to the Black Sea, that consisted of more than 3,000 positions from forts to machine gun and antitank positions, emplaced tank turrets, and observation and command positions. By the outbreak of World War II, these defenses - known as the Stalin Line - were largely complete. However, after the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland in October 1939 the Stalin Line was too far behind the new border to be of use as a springboard for an offensive. So, a new set of defenses was begun, named after the Soviet Foreign Minister, Molotov. Equipment was stripped from the Stalin Line, but only 25 percent of the positions had been completed by the time of the German invasion in June 1941 and it proved no match for the Wehrmacht - positions were mostly empty or simply bypassed during the advance. Illustrated with cutaway artwork and rare photographs this book provides a detailed examination of the development of these defensive lines, and the fighting that took place around them in 1941, and is packed with detail and information that is not readily available in the English.
Osprey's survey of the Long-Range Patrol Scouts of the US Army during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The Vietnamese knew the Long-Range Patrol Scouts as "the men with green faces," a reference to the camouflage paint that they used. Operating in patrols of four to six men these men were like ghosts, operating well behind enemy lines and fighting in the shadows. In the rough, inhospitable jungle war these Scouts became invaluable assets. They did not engage the enemy, rather they became the Free World's eyes on the ground, spying out enemy positions and movements before calling in strikes to eliminate them. This book examines the Long-Range Patrol Scout's superior stealth movement techniques, camouflage and concealment, tracking, counter-tracking, observation, and other fieldcraft skills. It also examines the occasions they participated in small scale direct actions including ambushes and small scale raids. Written by a Special Forces' Veteran who fought in Vietnam, and packed with rare photographs and full-color artwork this book not only provides an insight into the remarkable lives of these scouts when on campaign, but also details the training and conditioning that it took to become a shadow warrior.
At its peak in World War II (1939-1945), the United States Army contained over 700 engineer battalions, along with numerous independent brigades and regiments. The specialized soldiers of the Engineers were tasked with a wide variety of crucially important tasks including river bridging, camouflage, airfield construction, and water and petroleum supply. However, despite their important support roles, the engineers were often employed on the front lines fighting beside the general infantry in the desperate battles of the European theatre. This book covers the role of these soldiers, from their recruitment and training, through their various support missions and combat experiences, forming an account of what it was truly like to be a combat engineer in World War II.
Dedicated to the life of the average US soldier during World War I, this book follows the doughboy during the course of the war: from conscription, arrival at a training facility, transportation to Europe, and finally into combat in the trenches. The evolution of the US Army is discussed, and its organization, the tension between Pershing's desire for "open" warfare and the actual reality of trench warfare is examined in detail. Appearance, equipment and weaponry of the American soldier are all featured, along with vivid descriptions of day-to-day experiences and the shock of combat on the front.
Osprey's examination of the US Mechanized Infantrymen of the First Gulf War (1990-1991), In many ways the end of the Vietnam War left the US army a spent force. Plagued by low morale, drug and race issues, and terrible public relations, the army faced an uphill climb in the effort to rebuild itself. The story of this reconstruction is mirrored in the rise of the Mechanized Infantryman. Deciding that the key to future conflict lay in highly trained and mobile warriors that could be delivered quickly to battle, the army adopted the mechanized infantryman as its frontline troops. This new, all-volunteer force was given the best training and equipment that money could buy. Most notably, they were to be deployed onto the battlefield from the new M2 Bradley Armored Fighting Vehicle.This new breed of American warriors got their first test in the First Gulf War. Fighting in the deserts of Kuwait and Iraq, these soldiers proved that the US Army was once again a force with which to be reckoned. This book tells the complete story of the rise of the US mechanized infantryman, focusing on his recruitment, training, lifestyle and combat experiences in Iraq.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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