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The British viewed the War of 1812 as an ill-fated attempt by the young American republic to annex Canada. For British Canada, populated by many loyalists who had fled the American Revolution, this was a war for survival. The Americans aimed both to assert their nationhood on the global stage and to expand their territory northward and westward. Americans would later find in this war many iconic moments in their national story--the bombardment of Fort McHenry (the inspiration for Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner"); the Battle of Lake Erie; the burning of Washington; the death of Tecumseh; Andrew Jackson's victory at New Orleans--but their war of conquest was ultimately a failure. Even the issues of neutrality and impressment that had triggered the war were not resolved in the peace treaty. For Britain, the war was subsumed under a long conflict to stop Napoleon and to preserve the empire. The one lasting result of the war was in Canada, where the British victory eliminated the threat of American conquest, and set Canadians on the road toward confederation. Latimer describes events not merely through the eyes of generals, admirals, and politicians but through those of the soldiers, sailors, and ordinary people who were directly affected. Drawing on personal letters, diaries, and memoirs, he crafts an intimate narrative that marches the reader into the heat of battle.
From the Trojan Horse to the Gulf War, this book is an engrossing account of the art of the bluff, the power of deceit, and the most thrilling episodes of cunning in warfare. 29 photos. 10 maps.
January 16, 1991. Operation Desert Storm's coalition forces are arrayed along the Saudi border with Kuwait, on the other side of which lurks the bulk of Saddam Hussein's army. While the battle for air supremacy is being waged in the skies, the coalition forces pull off a stunning, and ultimately decisive, deception. Later dubbed the "Hail Mary Pass," it consists of the abrupt relocation of the coalition ground forces hundreds of miles to the West. Meanwhile, as inflatable decoys, deceptive radio transmissions, and psyops leaflets all lead them to believe, the Iraqis are expecting an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf, hundreds of miles from where it is actually occurring. The world's fourth largest army is preparing to engage a horde of phantoms. The coalition forces are able to march deep into Iraq with little opposition. Within one hundred days, Kuwait City is liberated and a decisive victory by the coalition forces is won. Deception on the battlefield is surely as old as warfare itself. The examples stretch from the very beginnings of recorded military history--Pharaoh Ramses II's campaign against the Hittites in 1294 B.C.--to modern times, when technology has placed a stunning array of devices into the arsenals of military commanders. Military historians often underestimate the importance of deception in warfare. This book is the first to fully describe its value. Jon Latimer shows how simple some tricks have been, but also how technology has increased the range and subtlety of what is possible--bogus radio traffic, virtual images, even false smells. He draws examples from land, sea, and air to show how great commanders have always had, as Winston Churchill put it, that indispensable "element of legerdemain, an original and sinister touch, which leaves the enemy puzzled as well as beaten."
Osprey's Campaign title for the first battle of the desert war, Operation Compass, which was originally envisaged as a spoiling attack, combined with a reconnaissance in force to disrupt the Italian forces that had advanced into Egypt in September 1940. Lt Gen. Richard O'Connor launched what amounted to a British 'Blitzkrieg'. In less than two months the British forces swept 500 miles along the coast of North Africa. 7th Armoured Division raced across the desert to cut off the retreating Italians, and O'Connor's men destroyed 9 Italian divisions, and took 130,000 prisoners. In March 1941 General Rommel and the Afrikakorps landed at Tripoli.