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Osprey's study of the Battle of the Coral Sea of World War II (1939-1945), which is unique in the annals of naval history. It is the first battle in which enemy fleets never came within sight of one another. Instead, aircraft launched from carrier decks were sent out to attack the enemy with bombs and torpedoes. In May of 1942, the Japanese fleet moved on Port Moresby, the last Allied base between Australia and Japan. Forced to respond, the Americans sent two aircraft carriers to protect the base. In the ensuing battle, one American carrier was destroyed and the other severely damaged. However, the Japanese also lost a carrier and decided to withdraw. Although bloody, it proved to be an important strategic victory for the Allies as the Japanese were forced to attempt future attacks on Port Moresby over land. Using the latest research and numerous period photographs, retired USN Commander Mark O. Stille tells the story of this important and unique battle in the Pacific War.
Gazala was Rommel's greatest victory. After a period of stalemate in the desert war, during which both the British Eighth Army and the Afrika Korps had rested and regrouped, he carried out a daring flanking movement around the strong Allied defensive position. The British command could not match Rommel's masterly co-ordination of armor, artillery and infantry, even when encircled in an area that became known as "the Cauldron", and his outstanding generalship and a timely break-through by his Italian troops enabled him to win a clear victory after 16 days of fierce fighting. However, although the strategically important town of Tobruk quickly fell, Gazala was actually a high-water mark and failure to break the British at Alam Halfa two months later was followed by defeat for the over-extended Afrika Korps by the greatly strengthened Eighth Army at El Alamein. In this important addition to the Campaign series' coverage of the North African desert war, regular contributor Ken Ford vividly portrays the "Desert Fox" at the height of his powers.
When re-armament came after World War I, the German Navy was forced to build anew, so the Reichsmarine and its successor, the Kriegsmarine, found itself in possession of some of the most modern, powerful and technically advanced vessels in the world. Germany was very selective in picking her sailors and the quality of manpower skill levels was thus very high. This book charts the recruitment, training, service conditions and combat experiences of a typical World War II German sailor, focusing on the main branches of the Navy, as well as the last ditch combat units thrown into action as infantry in the final days of the war.
The fateful attack on Pearl Harbor forced the Western world to revise its opinion of Japan's airmen. Before World War II (1939-1945), Japanese aviators had been seen as figures of ridicule and disdain; yet the ruthless skill and efficiency of their performance in December 1941 and the months that followed won them a new reputation as a breed of oriental superman. This book explores the world of the Imperial Japanese Naval airman, from the zenith of his wartime career until the turning of the tide, when the skill and experience of the average Japanese airman declined. Cultural and social background, recruitment, training, daily life and combat experience are all covered.
In this 200th Campaign series title Clayton Chun examines the final stages of World War II (1939-1945) as the Allies debated how to bring about the surrender of Japan. Chun not only describes the actual events but also analyzes the possible operations to capture the Japanese mainland which were never implemented. He details Operation Downfall (the planned invasion of the Japanese home islands) and its two-phased approach. Firstly Operation Olympic would see the invasion of Kyushu, followed by Operation Coronet which would see the invasion of the area around Tokyo.Chun goes on to examine exactly why these plans were never implemented, including Allied fears that both military and civilian casualties would be terrible and would result in a long, drawn out war of attrition. He then goes on to examine the horrific alternative to military invasion - the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons - which made the Allied threat of "prompt and utter destruction" a reality. With a series of illustrations, including detailed diagrams of the atomic bombs, a depiction of the different stages of the explosions and maps of the original invasion plans, this book provides a unique perspective of a key event in world history.
Constructed throughout the 1930s, the Maginot Line was supposed to form the ultimate defense against a German invasion of France. However, different sections of the line were built at different times and the strength of various sections varied widely. During their Blitzkrieg invasion, the Germans were able to identify these weak points and focus their attacks against them. This book uses new maps and period photographs to tell the story of the five German operations launched against the Maginot Line during World War II (1939-1945). While the Germans were able to smash through the lightly defended section of the line along the Meuse River, the line held at other key points. Ultimately the Maginot Line proved a failure, but the stiff resistance put up by some of the fortresses confirms the fighting ability of the French army during the invasion.
Osprey's study of Operation Dragoon, the Allied landings in southern France on August 15, 1944, which was one of the most controversial operations of World War II (1939-1945), leading to deep divides between United States and British planners. The US objective was to threaten the rear of the German armies occupying France by a landing on the eastern French coast and to push rapidly northward towards Lorraine to meet up with Allied forces bursting out of Normandy. Dragoon was a complex operation very similar to the Normandy landings, complete with a US and British airborne assault followed by a naval assault landing. The landings led to a precipitous German retreat from France, authorized by Hitler himself. In September 1944, the US Seventh Army and French First Army reached Lorraine, sealing off any remaining German troops and completing the liberation of the majority of French territory.Popular Osprey author Steve Zaloga tells the story of this operation, from the derisive debates between the Allied commanders to the men who hit the beaches and charged ashore to help liberate occupied France.
A Union supporter once said, "What is a man's life worth if our glorious union is to be shattered by traitors?" President Lincoln's volunteers and conscripted soldiers expanded the permanent Union army to include 1,700 regiments of foot soldiers during the course of the war. Those who became part of "Mr. Lincoln's Army" came from various social and economic conditions, and they documented their day-to-day life in diaries, letters and memoirs. Drawing on these narratives, contemporary photographs, and meticulous archival research, this book provides a vivid account of the common Union infantryman from recruitment and training to his experiences on the battlefield during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
The US naval aviator of World War II played a pivotal part in the winning of the war. From the warm waters of the Pacific to the icy conditions of the Bering Sea (including the battle of Midway), the Naval aviator was on hand to fight the enemy in any and all conditions. Between 1940 and 1942 the training of the naval aviator lasted eleven months, divided into five separate and distinct phases. From phase one, known as the Elimination or "E" base for short, through to final assignment to a carrier based squadron, the training was demanding and unrelenting.This title examines the life and experiences of the US Naval Aviator in all three types of carrier squadron - fighters (VF), dive-bombers (VB) and the torpedo squadrons (VT). From recruitment to battle, the detail of what it was like to fly and fight for the US Navy is brought vividly to life.