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In 1914 the artillery of Britain's 'Field Army' encompassed those weapons judged to have sufficient mobility to keep up with troops in the field. This book describes all major variants, from the 60-pdr guns of the heavy field batteries, perched somewhat uncomfortably on the cusp between field artillery and siege artillery, to the 2.75in. guns of the mountain batteries, almost toy-like in comparison. Between these two extremes lay the bulk of the artillery of the Field Army: the 13-pdr guns of the Royal Horse Artillery, and the 18-pdr guns and 4.5in. howitzers of the Royal Field Artillery batteries.
In the last years of his reign Henry VIII needed a radically modern system of defense to protect England and its newly Protestant Church. Anticipating a foreign onslaught from Catholic Europe after his split from Rome, Henry energetically began the construction of more than 20 stone forts to protect England's major ports and estuaries, whilst modernizing existing fortresses from Hull to Milford Haven. The majority of this was paid for with his new-found fortune plundered from the monasteries, allowing Henry to employ a strong workforce well supplied with materials.Aided by excellent full-color illustrations and a range of photographs and diagrams, Peter Harrington explores the departure from artillery-vulnerable medieval castle designs to the low, sturdy stone fortresses inspired by European ideas. He explains the scientific care taken to select sites for these castles, and the transition from medieval to modern in this final surge of English castle construction. With many of these fortifications still standing today, this is an ideal book for fortification enthusiasts and tourists alike.
The ring of fortifications protecting the city of Verdun on the Meuse River would become critical in the infamous battle of World War I. This book examines these fortifications, including the famous forts of Douaumont and Vaux that saw some of the fiercest fighting during the battle.
First besieged in 305 BC, the island of Rhodes became part of the Roman Empire and was later fortified in the Byzantine style. Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean, Rhodes was also attacked and besieged for over a century by Islamic forces. This title details the development of these fascinating fortifications, as well as the sieges that sought to reduce them.
"New France" consisted of the area colonized and ruled by France in North America from the 16th to the 18th century. At its peak in the early 18th century its territory was huge, stretching from Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico. This title reviews the lengthy chain of forts built to guard the French frontier in the American northeast from the province of Quebec through New York State to Pennsylvania and Indiana. Among the sites examined are forts Chambly, St. Frédéric (Crown Point), Carillon (Ticonderoga), Duquesne (Pittsburgh, PA), Ouiatenon (Quebec) and Vincennes (IN).These forts, some of them well-preserved and popular tourist destinations, ranged from large and elaborate, stone-built structures with classic, Vauban-style elements, to little more than cabins surrounded by stockades. Some, such as Chambly, looked more like medieval castles in their earliest forms. Formerly Senior Curator with National Historic Sites of Canada, historian René Chartrand examines the different fort-types and the French military technology that went into their construction, and describes the strategic vision that led to their construction, their part in the conflicts with the British colonies in the east and the Indian nations of the interior, and their effect on trade.
Following the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and the absorption of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine into the newly formed German Empire, the German Army decided to construct a fortress line from Strasbourg to Luxembourg to protect their new territory and counter the great fortress system that was being built from Switzerland to Belgium, the centerpiece of which was the great Moselstellung (Moselle Position) of Metz/Thionville.The fortress consisted of concrete batteries that fired 10 and 15cm guns from steel turrets, concrete barracks, infantry strong points with ditches defended by casemates, and concrete trenches with shelters and steel observation cupolas. The entire position was surrounded by a wide belt of barbed wire entanglements that were defended by machine gun and rifle positions, and hidden from the view of the attacker. Illustrated with photographs and full color cutaway artwork, this book examines the design and development of the fortress and analyzes its use in combat, focusing particularly on the part it played in holding up General Patton's Third Army's advance across France in 1944
Panzer warfare is synonymous with the Wehrmacht of World War II. This book examines the story of the Panzer's more mysterious ancestors, the little-known panzers of the Great War. Germany was very slow to develop armored vehicles compared to Britain and France. Efforts to catch-up proved difficult, and only a few dozen German A7V tanks were completed in time to take part in the final campaigns of 1918. As a result, the majority of German panzer units actually used captured British tanks, the Beutepanzer. This book will trace the development of German panzers of the World War One, including the A7V and its intended but unfinished stablemates.
Sandwiched between the heart of ancient Greece and the lands of Persia, the Greek cities of Western Anatolia were the spark that ignited some of the most iconic conflicts of the ancient world. Fought over repeatedly in the 5th century BC, their conquest by the Persians provided a casus belli for Alexander the Great to cross the Hellespont in 334 BC and launch the battle of Granicus and the sieges of Miletus and Halicarnassus. A blend of Greek and Asian styles of military architecture, these fortified cities were revolutionary in their multi-linear construction - successive defensive walls - with loopholes and mural arches. Konstantin Nossov illustrates the evolution of Greek fortifications and the influences of the region they bordered in this fascinating study.
In the second half of the third millennium BC the Indo-European tribe known as the Hittites migrated and settled in Central Anatolia, at that time a land of small city-states whose rulers lived in fortresses. These fortifications enabled the Hittites to transform themselves into a Bronze Age super-power defeating the Egyptians at Kadesh in c.1274 BC. Konstantin Nossov examines the fortifications constructed by the Hittites in their efforts to sustain and then halt the decline of their once flourishing empire. Providing an in-depth anatomy of the fortresses, focusing on the major sites of the principal city Hattusha as well as sites at Alacahï¿½yï¿½k and Karatepe, with full-color reconstructions, this is an intriguing glimpse into the history of an empire which at its height rivalled the Egyptians and Assyrians. It concludes with an examination of these sites as they survive today, information that will appeal to both enthusiasts and tourists visiting the area.
From the beginning of the 11th century onwards, the constant sate of war amongst the various Indian kingdoms left them open to outside attack, and Muslim Turkic tribesmen began to pour over the north-west border from modern-day Afghanistan. These raiders consolidated their successes and by 1206 a Muslim state, the Sultanate of Delhi, had been founded, which then extended its direct rule or influence over most of the subcontinent.A turbulent period followed. The Sultanate was in constant flux as five dynasties rose and fell: Mamluk or Slave (1206-90), Khalji (1290-1320), Tughluq (1320-1413), Sayyid (1414-51), and Lodi (1451-1526). 19 out of the 35 Sultans died at the hands of assassins and the Sultanate was torn by factional rivalries and court intrigues. As a consequence of this, the territory under its direct control expanded and shrank depending on the personality, fortunes and military success of each individual Sultan.This era is considered to be the defining age of Indian castle and fortification design. The instability and feudal division of the country throughout the greater part of the period led to the intense fortification of many of the provinces, as each small lord sought to bolster his position by constructing castles. It was also the period during which Indian castles started to show their defining features, elements of which would be modified in later years as the technology of siege warfare evolved. The combined influence of the Islamic and Hindu architectural tradition lends these fortifications a unique and exotic style. This book covers all the major sites of the period, including the fabled seven medieval cities on the site of present-day Delhi, as well as the most prominent sieges.
In the wake of the bloody civil war that followed Finland's independence from Russia in 1917, the border between the two countries was established across the Karelian Isthmus, an area long fought over by Russia, Finland and Sweden in their attempts to dominate the northern tip of Europe. Neither the Soviets nor the Finnish were comfortable with such a divide, which provided an open route for a potential invader to Helsinki on the Finnish side, and was only 32km from the important military and industrial city of Petrograd in Russia. As such, both sides began an intensive period of fortification and defensive planning. As the Winter War broke out in November 1939, the complex and heavily defended Mannerheim Line suffered intense bombardment and armored assaults. The armistice of May 1940 saw Finland cede control of the entire Karelian Isthmus to the USSR however, and a propaganda war ensued; the Russians emphasizing the strength of the line, and the Finnish downplaying its importance, accentuating instead the heroism and bravery of the common Finnish soldier. Through a detailed analysis of the background, design and operational history of the Mannerheim Line, Bair Irincheev attempts to dispel such myths and provide an accurate assessment of its immense historical importance.
The North Vietnamese Army is often forgotten by the histories of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Commonly mistaken for the locally raised Viet Cong guerrillas, the NVA was in fact an entirely different force for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. After first supporting the VC in the Republic of Vietnam in 1958, the NVA entered into their own violent armed struggle as the war escalated. Entire divisions and vast numbers of NVA troops were sent south, conducting large-scale operations in a conventional war fought almost entirely by the NVA, and not the VC, as is often believed. Despite limited armor, artillery and air support, the NVA were an extremely politicized and professional force with strict control measures and leadership concepts - soldiers were expected to be totally committed to the cause, and to sacrifice all to ensure its success. Gordon Rottman follows the fascinating life of the highly motivated infantryman from conscription and induction through training to real combat experiences. Covering the evolution of the forces from 1958 onwards, this book takes an in-depth look at the civilian and military lives of the soldiers, while accompanying artwork details the uniforms, weapons and equipment used by the NVA in their clash against America and her allies.
In 1965, soon after the first US combat troops had arrived in Vietnam, it was realized that in some areas the Viet Cong had developed vast tunnel complexes in which to hide from the enemy. It was long known that such complexes existed, but it was not realized just how extensive they were in some areas, how important they were to the Viet Cong, and how difficult it was to detect and neutralize them.Most complexes were not nearly as developed and extensive as the famous tunnels of Cu Chi, but nonetheless they caused difficulties for Free World Forces. Tunnels served as hiding places for soldiers, weapons, ammunition, food, and supplies and negated the purpose of search and destroy missions intended to root out the Viet Cong. Once the Free World Forces had "cleared" the area the Viet Cong emerged from their tunnels and continued their activities.It did little good to learn how to detect tunnel entrances and air holes and not ferret out the enemy. Someone had to go in and get them. Not only that but the extent of the tunnel complexes needed to be discovered, weapons, munitions, supplies, and documents had to be recovered or destroyed, and the tunnels themselves had to be destroyed or neutralized to prevent their continued use.At first infantrymen volunteered to enter the tunnels armed with only pistols and flashlights - the "tunnel runners" were born, known to the Australians as "tunnel ferrets."Starting as an ad hoc force of infantrymen, combat engineers and chemical troops, it was not long before units were "formalized" as "tunnel exploration personnel" and 4-6-man"tunnel exploitation and denial teams" were created. They came to be known simply as "tunnel rats" with the unofficial motto, Non Gratum Anus Rodentum--"Not Worth a Rat's Ass."This title will be based on the personal accounts of those who served in this unique role, and will describe the specialist training and equipment, not to mention the tactics and combat experiences, of those who fought an underground war against the Viet Cong in Vietnam.
The US Army's development of the 37mm anti-tank gun began in response to needs identified during the Spanish Civil War. By the time it entered service in Tunisia in 1943, the gun was already obsolete, and the US began the licensed manufacture of the British 6-pdr in the hope of finding a quick solution to its artillery requirements. This in turn proved unequal to the demands of warfare in France in 1944, and further anti-tank measures were developed - rocket propelled grenades for infantry use, and weapons designed specifically for use by the Tank Destroyer Force.
Determined to learn from the lessons of World War I where it was unprepared and heavily reliant on British and French guns, the US Army developed a whole new generation of field artillery weapons and tactics during the 1930s. Consequently, in World War II it was the clear leader in field artillery.Providing a thorough examination of the many critical innovations and doctrines, and the impact they had on performance in combat, this book demonstrates why US field artillery was so effective in World War II. Innovations featured include the motorization of artillery, which increased mobility; fire direction centers, which enhanced their firepower; aerial observation; and radio communications.Exploring, in their entirety, the weapons that formed the backbone of the US artillery arsenal in World War II, this book reveals a wealth of detail not readily available elsewhere.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's study of the Military Assistance Command of the Vietnam War (1955-1975). In 1964 Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, activated a joint unconventional task force known as the Studies and Observation Group--MACV-SOG. As a cover its mission was to conduct analysis of lessons learned in combat involved all branches of service. SOG's real mission was to conduct covert strategic reconnaissance missions into Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam as well as sabotage and 'Black' psychological operations. Ground, air, and naval assets were employed to insert, collect, extract, and otherwise support these operations. Drawing on detailed, first-hand accounts of the experiences of the service, including action on operations, this book will shed light on one of the most crucial units of the Vietnam War.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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