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Few branches of the German armed forces were represented on so many fronts as the mountain infantrymen, or Gebirgstruppen. From the Blitzkrieg campaigns of 1940, through the invasions of the Balkans and Russia and the North African campaign, to the defence of the Reich 1944-45, the Gebirgsjäger earned a reputation for reliability and courage. Typically each trooper was a supremely fit individual: the need to cover difficult terrain in full kit, without the back-up of a motorised baggage train, demanded this. This new volume examines the recruitment, training, and combat experiences of the common Gebirgsjäger.
The Baltic nations - Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania - enjoyed a brief independence between the World Wars before being annexed by the USSR in 1940 during World War II. The grim experience of Soviet occupation made it inevitable that after the German invasion of Russia in 1941 they would fight beside the Wehrmacht as allies against the Red Army while always hoping for restored independence. That hope was crushed again in 1944-45; yet 'Forest Brother' guerrillas continued to fight against hopeless odds for years after the second Soviet occupation. This extraordinary story is illustrated here with rare photos, insignia charts, tables of units and detailed uniform plates.
The scourge of Allied shipping during World War II, the U-Boot Waffe was one of the most feared components of Hitler's war machine, yet the Kriegsmarine was the least political branch of the Third Reich. The sailors of the U-boat arm were courageous, highly skilled seamen, who fought a war in the toughest conditions: subject to immense tension, and forced to cope with the challenges of the Atlantic, life for a U-boat recruit was far from easy. This title explores the life of a typical U-boat crewman, from recruitment, through training and service conditions, to combat experience throughout the war. Illustrated with many previously unpublished images, this book offers a fresh insight into the experiences of the men in Dönitz's legendary 'wolf packs'.
The Royal Hungarian Army was Germany's largest ally on the Eastern Front during World War II (1939-1945), providing a vital contribution in terms of both men and equipment. Information about the Hungarian Army in English is rare, and in this book co-authors Nigel Thomas and Hungarian expert Laszlo Szabo fill in the gaps about an important German ally.Deployed in Ukraine at the beginning of the war, the Hungarian Army were involved in a number of brutal encounters with the Red Army, including stubborn resistance in Transylvania in the summer of 1944 and the brave defence of Budapest in the face of overwhelming odds. The Hungarian Army was a varied and colorful force, ranging from mountain troops and tank units to horse cavalry and specialist infantry. All of these are illustrated in full color artwork, and the text is full of details about the Hungarian Army's own, quite distinct uniforms and insignia as well as many of its own weapons and tanks. With so little of this information readily available outside of Hungary, this is an essential starter resource for war gamers, modelers, re-enactors and military historians.
Osprey's study of the U-Boat and its crews during World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945). If one single weapon in Germany's arsenal can be said to have come closest to winning the war for the Third Reich, it was without doubt the U-Boat. German U-Boat technology, training, tactics and combat successes far exceeded those of any of the other combatant nations, and even as the Third Reich was crumbling, technically advanced vessels such as the Type XXI, many years ahead of its time, were being put into volume production. Gordon Williamson provides a fascinating overview of the achievements of the U-Boat Waffe in both wars, together with a study of the uniforms and insignia worn by U-Boat crews.
To be a successful commander requires experience, character, tenacity and boldness: the ability to establish a good rapport with both your staff and your men is also vital. The real test comes in combat though, where a large proportion of luck is involved - the luck to be in the right place at the right time - and lasting reputations can be formed in a very brief and frenetic period. The key US commanders of World War II were subject to (and often gratuitously fostered) the projection of their 'characters', exploiting the growing power of the media. This title examines the careers, personalities and fortunes of the key US Army and Air Force commanders of World War II (1939-1945).
The remarkable war effort of the German armed forces on three fronts between 1939 and 1945 was recognised by a wider range of insignia than seen in the Allied armies. While the Wehrmacht displayed fewer unit insignia than the Allies, a glance at a German soldier's tunic could reveal much more about his actual combat experience. In this book an experienced researcher explains and illustrates the Battle and Assault Badges of the Army, Waffen-SS and Luftwaffe ground troops of World War II; the sleeve shields and cuffbands issued to mark service in particular campaigns; wound badges, commemorative medals, and other types of insignia.
This title presents a detailed analysis of the Soviet Army at the outbreak of World War II (1939-1945), including the Red Army's campaigns against Japan on the Manchurian plains as well as in Finland. It also covers the Red Army's first operations during Operation Barbarossa when the Red Army was forced to defend Mother Russia against the German onslaught. With a breakdown of all the armed forces including the army, air force, paratroopers, navy and NKVD troops, author Nigel Thomas gives special attention to the evolution of uniforms, equipment and insignia with the introduction of new regulations in 1935 and 1940.
Osprey's examination of Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia's involvement in the Yugoslav Wars (1991-1995), as well as their involvement in the conflicts of the years that followed. Following the death of the Yugoslavian strongman President Tito in 1980, the several semi-autonomous republics and provinces that he had welded into a nation in 1945 moved inexorably towards separation. As the world watched a series of wars ripped through this modern European state. In this second of two volumes, experts on the Balkan region give an unprecedented, clear and concise explanation of the armies of the the Bosnian Civil War 1992-5 as well as the conflicts in Kosovo and Macedonia. This includes the regular and militia forces which fought in these campaigns and which ultimately resulted in the UN/NATO policing of the region that continues to this day. The book is illustrated with rare photos and an extraordinary range of colour uniform plates.
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