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The Philippines were declared an American Territory on January 4, 1899, and fortification construction soon began on the islands in the mouth of Manila Bay. Among the sites built were Fort Mills (Corregidor), Fort Frank, and the formidable "concrete battleship" of Fort Drum. The defenses suffered constant Japanese bombardment during World War II, leading to the surrender of American forces. In 1945 the forts were manned by Japanese soldiers determined to hold out to the bitter end. This title details the fortifications of this key strategic location, and considers both their effectiveness and historical importance.
The border between East and West Germany was closed on 26 May 1953. On 13 August 1961 crude fences and walls were erected around West Berlin: the Berlin Wall had been created. The Wall encircled West Berlin for a distance of 155km, and its barriers and surveillance systems evolved over the years into an advanced obstacle network. The Intra-German Border ran from the Baltic Sea to the Czechoslovak border for 1,381km, and was where NATO forces faced the Warsaw Pact for the 45 years of the Cold War. This book examines the international situation that led to the establishment of the Berlin Wall and the IGB, and discusses how these barrier systems were operated, and finally fell.
Following the fall of France and the surrender of Paris on 14 June 1940, the British Government announced that the Channel Islands had no strategic importance and would not be defended. The Germans occupied the islands from the end of June onwards and remained in control until the end of the war. On 10 October 1941 Hitler announced his intention to 'convert them into an impregnable fortress', and the islands formed the most heavily fortified and defended section of the entire Atlantic Wall. This book describes the design, construction and manning of these defensive positions, as well as considering more widely the occupation of the Channel Islands by the Germans.
The United States has been developing space for many years, and satellites provide the US military with an unparalleled advantage over adversaries. Constellations of both military and civilian satellites provide protection and support for military operations, deliver ballistic missile early warning, supply reliable, secure and jam-proof communications, gather audio-visual amd electronic intelligence, predict weather patterns, guide navigation, target weapons, and perform a host of other missions. These systems are critical to America's status as a world power, and potential threats to them are carefully assessed by US military planners. In January 2001, a commission led by Donald Rumsfeld warned of the growing threat to US space assets from so-called "rogue states," who (with varying degrees of difficulty) might build and deploy "space mines", launch ballistic anti-satellite weapons, deliberately increase orbital debris or detonate high-altitude nuclear explosions. The defensive options currently available to the US include improving satellite defenses (making them more robust and maneuverable, and improving threat detection) and the controversial placing of weapons in space (in "sentinel satellites") to protect military and civilian hardware. Since the 1950s research and development has been applied to space weaponry with mixed results, and not only by the USA. This book explains the origin and development of systems used to defend the United States from past, present and future threats, and to support military operations.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the military importance of the Hawaiian Islands became clear. Oahu in particular was a key bastion in projecting America's military power in the Pacific. The island was turned into a military fortress - and yet it also became the site of one of America's greatest defensive failures, the Japanese attack of December 7, 1941. By the end of World War II, the harbor itself was the most heavily defended in the world, and the island had earned the sobriquet "Fortress Oahu". This title documents the development of the coastal, air and land defense systems that served to protect Pearl Harbor and Honolulu from 1907 to 1950, and seeks to understand why these failed at a critical point.
In the course of the Peninsular War, Wellington's army fought several hard battles and smaller actions, but it was the bloody sieges that troubled him more than anything else. Indeed, the performance of his army during the sieges was probably the most disappointing aspect of what was otherwise an extremely successful campaign. Taking 1808 as its starting point, this title deals with the fortress sieges that involved Wellington's AngloPortuguese army, and concentrates on four key sites in particular (Ciudad Rodrigo, Badajoz, Burgos and San Sebastián). All of these played a vital role in the war due to their strategically important positions. It documents both the sieges and the storming of the fortresses, as well as the general role of the fortresses in Spain and the impact they had on the thinking of the commanders and strategies of the armies involved.
How did a few notes scribbled on a legal pad in 1973 by George Lucas, a man who hated writing, turn into a four billion dollar franchise that has quite literally transformed the way we think about entertainment, merchandizing, politics, and even religion? A cultural touchstone and cinematic classic, Star Wars has a cosmic appeal that no other movie franchise has been able to replicate. From Jedi-themed weddings and international storm-trooper legions, to impassioned debates over the digitization of the three Star Wars prequels, to the shockwaves that continue to reverberate from Disney's purchase of the beloved franchise in 2012, the series hasn't stopped inspiring and inciting viewers for almost forty years. Yet surprisingly little is known about its history, its impact#151;or where it's headed next. In How Star Wars Conquered the Universe Chris Taylor unearths the human-scale stories that have gone into the making of this galactic-sized legend, and describes how and why Star Wars has been such an astonishing success. In a richly detailed narrative, Taylor traces the history of the series from its difficult birth through four drafts, a disastrous first cut, and many sequels and spin-offs. Today, he shows, Star Wars finds itself at a crossroads, with a new company holding the reins and a new trilogy looming on the horizon. Interspersing the story of Star Wars' evolution with in-depth portraits of all the major names behind the films, as well as reportage about the franchise's awesome cultural reach and its immensely lucrative business operations, Taylor shows that Star Wars has become ubiquitous: It is loved as much by children as adults, and as much by women as by men. Its action figures now outnumber human beings. And the films themselves have a reach that extends far beyond their viewership; even most so-called Star Wars #147;virgins" know that Darth Vader is Luke's father, and can identify an Ewok (remarkable, considering that the creatures are never named in any of the Star Wars films). This incredible fertility of the Star Wars universe, Taylor explains, is reflected in its bottom line; the films' merchandising revenue alone rivals the GDP of a small country. And with the series' fandom only continuing to grow (despite the general consensus that the recent trilogy was an artistic failure), chances are good that Star Wars will still be galvanizing our imaginations#151;and minting money#151;for generations to come. An energetic, witty account of this stunning cinematic and business success story, How Star Wars Conquered the Universe is the saga of how a young filmmaker's idle idea became such an immense, transformative cultural force.
From June 1941, the Soviets were forced to undertake large-scale defensive operations in the face of the overwhelming German blitzkrieg assault, operations which ran counter to their preference for highly mobile, offensive warfare. Lessons were quickly learned across a wide variety of terrain and climates, including the open steppes, dense forests, wooded swamps, cities, and in snow and ice, where the availability of construction materials differed greatly. The first to cover this topic in the English language and containing detailed information about the trenches, bunkers, observation posts, and weapon positions, this book examines field fortifications built from local materials by infantrymen, as well as their use of mines, field camouflage techniques, and construction tools. It provides a first fascinating insight into Russian defensive attempts against the overwhelming might of the German Army.
For 40 years following the end of World War II, the Western democratic governments and the Eastern Bloc Communist powers were locked in the ideological, political, and economic struggle of the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union developed missile systems capable of delivering conventional and nuclear explosives against enemy massed bomber formations in the air, and of delivering retaliatory nuclear payloads against ground targets located on distant continents. The missile systems played both a defensive role, and a potential offensive role, which was parlayed to the public as deterrence against attack by the rival bloc. This title provides a detailed overview of the fixed-launch-site strategic missile systems of the United States.
Field fortifications and tunnel systems are typically thought of as defensive and active protective measures, but the VC/NVA also employed them offensively. It was common for extensive field works to be constructed to support assaults and sieges on US fire-support bases and remote camps. Their tactics reflected attempts to counter the massive firepower they faced: when directly engaging the enemy they employed "hugging" tactics (moving in and remaining closely engaged, even intermingling units, to prevent the enemy from bringing his artillery and close air support to bear). Their field works included defended villages, base camps, fortified complexes, hilltop defenses, trench systems, individual fighting positions, crew-served weapon positions, bunkers, caches, and extensive tunnel systems. Camouflage and deceptive measures, and the employment of obstacles and booby traps went hand-in-hand with such field works. This book examines these unique fortifications.
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