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1812: War with America

by Jon Latimer

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.

Operation Compass 1940

by Jim Laurier Jon Latimer

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.

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