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"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.
Osprey's examination of the Native Americans' participation in World War II (1939-1945). Ed Gilbert uses personal interviews with veterans to tell their fascinating story. Beginning with the first operational use of Native American languages in World War I, he explores how in World War II the US again came to employ this subtle, but powerful "weapon." Despite all efforts, the Japanese were never able to decode their messages and the Navajo code talkers contributed significantly to US victories in the Pacific. Approximately 400 Navajos served in this crucial role. Their legend of the "code talker" has been celebrated by Hollywood in films, such as Windtalkers, and this book reveals the real-life story of their extraordinary involvement in World War II.
This book covers the US Marine Corps in the Vietnam War, centring on the structure and function of the two Fleet Marine Force (FMF) divisions and the corps command level, III Marine Amphibious Force (III MAF). This detailed examination of III MAF explores its infantry, armor, artillery, aviation, service and engineer elements. Author Ed Gilbert explains how they functioned and highlights tensions that arose in the command structure as the war progressed. He also illustrates how the two FMF divisions bore the brunt of the fighting in the more conventional war against Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army units, and the very different role of the four Combined Action Battalions based in Viatnamese Villages.
Osprey's study of the US Marine Raiders (an 'elite within an elite') during World War II (1939-1945). The US Marine Raiders were modeled on the British Commandos and, in the 2nd Battalion, also on Communist Chinese guerillas. They were organized to conduct long-range amphibious hit-and-run raids behind Japanese lines and trained to secure beacheads in advance of more conventional landings. Raiders were trained to land from submarines, specially converted high-speed destroyer transports, and small craft and rubber boats. They were expected to be skilled in watercraft, jungle survival, and jungle warfare. They were the earliest forerunners of the various Special Operations units of the modern US military. Raider units would conduct operations with only the equipment they could carry on their backs, their heaviest weapons being light mortars and machine guns. They were the first American units to be issued with specially manufactured camouflage uniforms and rubber-soled boots developed for jungle warfare. Highly trained in close-in fighting, they carried many distinctive weapons such as the Fairbairn Commando dagger, the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR), the Thompson submnachine gun and even the British Boys Anti-Tank Rifle.The Raiders battle honors include Guadalcanal, as well as the Solomon Islands and the Dragon Peninsula campaign. This book follows two Raiders from different battalions through some of the toughest training ever experienced by a Marine and onto combat during the Makin Raid and the horrific jungle battles of the Solomon Islands giving a soldier's eye view of life, combat and death in this 'elite within an elite'.
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