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Blackbeard's Last Fight - Pirate Hunting in North Carolina 1718

by Mark Stacey Angus Konstam

In April 1713 the War of the Spanish Succession came to an end. During the conflict hundreds of privateers - licenced pirates - preyed on enemy shipping throughout the Caribbean. These privateers now found themselves out of a job, and many turned to piracy. One of theme was Edward Teach - more popularly known as "Blackbeard". He joined the pirates in New Providence (now Nassau) in the Bahamas, and by early 1717 he had become a pirate captain. From then on he caused havoc off the North American seaboard, in the West Indies and off Honduras, before appearing off Charleston, South Carolina in May 1718. He blockaded this major port for a week, an act that made Blackbeard the most notorious pirate of his day. He then "downsized" - deliberately running his flagship aground near Beaufort, North Carolina, before sailing north in a small sloop to seek a pardon from the colony's governor, Charles Eden. For late June onwards, Blackbeard lived in the colony's tiny capital of Bath Town, and pretended to have turned his changed his ways. However, he also established a den on nearby Ocracoke Island in North Carolina's outer banks, and used this as a base for pirate forays into the waters of the Virginia and Delaware. He then used Bath Town as a clearing house for his plunder.In the neighbouring colony of Virginia, Governor Alexander Spotswood decided to take action. Two British warships were anchored in Virginia's James River, and he and their captains began planning a raid - an attack designed to deal with Blackbeard once and all. In November 1718 Lieutenant Maynard was sent south down the coast with two hired sloops, and orders to seek out and destroy Blackbeard's sloop, the Adventure. At the same time a land expedition was mounted, led by Captain Brandt of the Royal Navy. His men "invaded" North Carolina, and marched on Bath Town, hoping to corner the pirates and capture their stockpile of plunder. On Friday 22nd November the sloops Ranger and Jane rounded Ocracoke Island, and attacked the Adventure. In the small but hard-fought action that followed Blackbeard's vessel was boarded, and the pirate captain was slain. While Maynard sailed home to Virginia with Blackbeard's severed head hanging from his bowsprit, Captain Brandt seized Bath Town, captured what pirates still remained at large, and then headed back in triumph to Williamsburg with his prisoners. Most of them would be hanged before the year was out. The attack on Blackbeard's lair was the largest anti-piracy operation of the "Golden Age of Piracy", and a textbook example of how to deal with the scourge of piracy.

French Guardsman vs Russian Jaeger

by Mark Stacey Laurence Spring

After Napoleon's abandonment of Moscow on 18 October 1812, throughout the subsequent Wars of Liberation that saw most of Europe turn against the French and right up to the capitulation of Paris on 31 March 1814, it was the vast armies of Imperial Russia that bore the brunt of the fighting against forces of France and her dwindling list of allies. The Russian Jaegers - nominally skirmishers, but in reality spearhead troops tasked with a host of different and demanding battlefield roles, from storming villages to defending strongpoints - were a relatively new arm of service that gained enormously in combat experience and prestige in the bitter struggle to rid Europe of Napoleon's armies. The French Emperor's Young Guard - elite assault troops hand-picked from the best conscripts available - expanded hugely in the first months of 1813, eventually forming four divisions, and became the main strike force of the French field armies in the battles for Germany and France in 1813-14.These two forces clashed repeatedly during the period. At Krasnoe, southwest of Smolensk, the Russian forces overtook the retreating French army and threatened the invaders' road home, and so on 17 November 1812 the 1er Tirailleurs and 1er Voltigeurs of Roguet's 2nd Guard Infantry Division were ordered to take and hold the town of Uvarovo to cover the retreat of other French troops, clashing with the Tsar's Lifeguard Jaegers among others; although they held off the Russians and allowed Napoleon's decimated forces to evade capture, the two senior Young Guard regiments suffered appalling casualties. At the climactic battle of Leipzig nearly a year later the Finland Lifeguard Regiment, equipped and trained as Jaegers, took part in the Russian 2nd Lifeguard Infantry Division's successful counter-attack on the hotly contested Saxon village of Gossa on 16 October 1813, ejecting the French garrison, which included several Voltigeur regiments of Oudinot's I Infantry Corps of the Young Guard. At Craonne, near Reims, the veteran 14th Jaegers played a key role in frustrating Napoleon's plans to advance on Laon; these crack troops defended their well-sited emplacements for several hours, throwing back the Tirailleurs and Voltigeurs of Meunier and Curial's Young Guard divisions, which had attacked prematurely over difficult ground under heavy artillery fire.Featuring specially commissioned artwork, expert analysis and carefully chosen first-hand accounts, this absorbing study traces the evolving trial of strength between Russia's Jaegers and France's Young Guardsmen by examining three key clashes at unit level.

Italian Navy and Air Force Elite Units and Special Forces 1940-45

by Piero Crociani Mark Stacey

This volume assesses the formidable Special Forces fielded by Italy's navy and air force in World War II. Italian Navy Special Forces were particularly active and respected in the Mediterranean, where 10th Motor-Torpedo Boat Flotilla used frogmen, 'two-man torpedoes' and explosive ram-boats. The Italian Air Force formed a special commando unit, ADRA, before the 1943 surrender; it was tasked with attacking Allied airfields and communications in North Africa. Men from ADRA and Army paratroopers formed the new 'Folgore' Regiment, which also continued to fight alongside German forces until 1945. In both cases, the pro-Allied Italian forces also formed 'mirror' units to fight alongside US and British forces, including the Recce Squadron 'F'. Featuring rare photographs and specially commissioned artwork, this book tells the story of the little-known elite forces fielded by Italy's navy and air force in World War II, some of whose successors remain in service with today's Italian armed forces.

The M60 Machine Gun

by Kevin Dockery Mark Stacey

The US M60 Machine Gun, known as "the Pig," was developed in the years after World War II from two revolutionary German designs, combining the effective belt-feed system of the MG 42 machine gun with the bolt-operating design of the FG 42 rifle. Chambered for the standard NATO 7.62mm round, the M60 was the first US-issue machine gun to have a true quick-change barrel; it was capable of firing 100 rounds per minute in a sustained-fire role, with the gun team only having to change barrels every few minutes.Adopted in 1957, the M60 came into its own in the jungles, hamlets, and city streets of Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. "Humping the Pig" became common in US military squads, with at least one soldier equipped with an M60 and every squad member carrying ammunition for it. The M60 design transformed infantry tactics as squads took advantage of the immediate volume of fire offered by the design. In a fast-moving combat environment, the M60 could move forward with the troops, giving them a base of fire to attack a position without slowing down. Although the M60 could be operated by one man, the tripod mount allowed the weapon to be set up to fire over the heads of advancing troops, while the built-in bipod could be used by the gunner to quickly set up the weapon to fire on targets of opportunity. Special operations troops particularly favored the M60, and several versions of the weapon were mounted in helicopters, vehicles, and watercraft.In the decades following Vietnam, the M60 was extensively modified as a result of combat experience, resulting in the adoption of the M60E3. By the 1990s, Naval Special Warfare units had adopted the Mk43 Mod 0 Machine Gun, the M60E4. Although it has now been replaced by the M240 series of weapons in US infantry and mechanized units, the M60 is still in common use with the US armed forces. Meanwhile, its iconic status has been assured by its frequent appearance in many popular films and television shows, from Full Metal Jacket to The A Team.Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this is the full story of the M60, the innovative squad base-of-fire weapon that has equipped the US military from the jungles of Vietnam to the deserts of Iraq.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Of Gods and Mortals - Mythological Wargame Rules

by Mark Stacey Andrea Sfiligoi

Factions represented in the rulebook include: Greco-Roman, Egyptian, Japanese, Aztecs, Pre-Islamic Arabs (Arabian Nights), Norse, Celts and Chinese. For every army list, a list suitable models from various manufacturers and scales will be included. New armies may be added as free PDF add-ons, keeping the game fresh for years.Two armies clash: Thor, surrounded by crackling lighting, leads the assault of a horde of Viking berserkers. Preparing to receive this charge stands a wall of grim-faced, determined Spartan hoplites, commanded by Ares. Of Gods and Mortals is a scalable skirmish rules set where the average scenario plays in about one hour using up to 20 models per player on a 4'x4' table. Each player controls one god, 1-3 Legends (priests, demigods, heroes, monsters or other mythical creatures), and 10 to 20 men (infantry, cavalry, and the occasional artillery piece). This creates a three-tiered structure in the warband. The three troop types are interdependent in more than one way.Gods lead men by their powers, while at the same time men give power to the gods by their faith in them. A God cannot exist without its Faithful. The Faithful cannot win without the help of their God. There is no automatic winning strategy: the player must balance his limited resources and outguess his opponent. A bit of luck helps, too!Gods may seem all-powerful but they lose power as their troops are killed. At the same time, if the God is defeated, the mortals' morale is weakened. Gods do not die but they disappear if defeated. Legends are a sort of middle ground and provide special abilities to the warband. Mortals are more effective when used against other mortals - kill your opponent's mortal forces and you will deprive his god of much needed energy.The faith level of the warband is tracked with dice at the side of the table. When the faith level is at the maximum, the army is bolstered, priests may invoke miracles and curses, mortal troops activate at +1, and so on. When the faith level is severely reduced, the power level of the god is reduced too, and priests may not perform miracles or use spells. When the faith level drops to zero, the god disappears and all the troops still in play must make a rout test.Combat between gods is conducted like normal, but in certain cases (if both roll a six), an explosion of power hits all mortal models in range. Combat between gods use a colored dice mechanic so they can battle each other for an extened time. Combat between mortals and legends use normal Song mechanics - opposed die rolls plus modifiers, with different game results based on how much the contest is won by. The game also introduces a mechanic in which a hero or other personality may swear an oath or boast that he will accomplish something within a set number of turns. If he manages to fulfill his oath, his army gets a morale bonus.

Oldest Allies - Alcantara 1809

by Mark Stacey Rene Chartrand

Although somewhat overshadowed by Wellington's main campaign in the north, the Alcantara raid was an outstanding success. The primary objective of alarming and distracting the French forces in Spain was achieved. Furthermore, the raiders also succeeded in preventing a French incursion into Portugal and tied down one of Napoleon's best marshals. There were further raids to come, but the 1809 Alcantara raid delivered a strong, permanent message: that the Anglo-Portuguese were willing and able to strike back against the French, and that they would support their Spanish allies as much as they were able.

Tombstone - Wyatt Earp, the O.K. Corral, and the Vendetta Ride 1881-82

by Sean Mclachlan Mark Stacey

The Gunfight at the OK Corral on 26 October 1881 is one of the most enduring stories of the Old West. It led to a series of violent incidents that culminated in the Vendetta Ride, in which Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and several other gunslingers went after their rivals the Cowboys.Like most tales of the Wild West, the facts are buried under layers of myth, and the line between good guys and bad guys is blurry. Wyatt Earp, leader of the so-called "good guys", was charged with stealing horses in the Indian Territory in 1870 and jumped bail. Becoming a buffalo hunter and gambler, he got into several scrapes and earned a reputation as a gunfighter. Several times he helped lawmen arrest outlaws, but usually his assistance came more because of a personal grudge against the criminal than any real respect for law and order. He even got fired from a police job in Wichita for beating up a political rival. So it was in Tombstone. He settled there in 1879 along his three brothers and "Doc" Holliday. Virgil and Morgan Earp worked as lawmen. As the Earps became a power in the town, investing in some businesses and starting others, they were soon at loggerheads with the Clanton Gang, the so-called "Cowboys." In that time and place, honest cowboys called themselves "ranchers" and the term "cowboy" was reserved for rustlers and other unsavory characters.The Tombstone Cowboys had Cochise County sheriff John Behan in their pocket and the struggle between the Earps and Cowboys was partially a political rivalry. It was also because the Earps had invested in the stagecoaches and the Cowboys liked to rob them. There was an element of lingering differences over the Civil War as well, something common in Wild West feuds. The Earps and friends were mostly Republican Northerners, while the Cowboys were mostly Democrats and former Confederates. This distinction wasn't clear cut, however, as at least one Confederate veteran rode with the Earps. Brawls and threats between the two sides became more frequent and culminated in a showdown near the OK Corral. Several Cowboys were loitering around hoping to attack Doc Holliday, so the Earps and Holliday decided to arrest them on the grounds that they were carrying weapons in town. In the shootout three Cowboys were killed and Virgil and Morgan Earp wounded.The Cowboys thirsted for revenge and shot Morgan Earp in the back five months later. Virgil was crippled in a separate shooting. Taking Morgan's body to Tucson, the surviving Earp brothers and Holliday spotted Frank Stillwell, one of the Cowboys suspected of murdering Morgan. They shot him down. A large posse under John Behan, including many Cowboys, chased after the Earps but never caught them.

US World War II Parachute Infantry Regiments

by Gordon Rottman Mark Stacey

From North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, to Normandy and Holland, the Battle of the Bulge, into the heart of Nazi Germany, and also in jungle battles in the Pacific the parachute infantry regiments were among the most highly decorated US Army units of World War II, and between them they saw action right across the world. The elite nature of these units led to their being committed to action not only in the way that had been intended; their quality tempted commanders to keep them in the line longer than their light armament justified, and they were tested to the limit. This engaging study traces the story of each of the 17 regiments, from their creation and training in the USA, through their deployments overseas, to their combat jumps and all their battles. It explains their structure and organization, and records their commanding officers and other notable personalities, such as their Medal of Honor recipients. The book is illustrated with wartime photographs, many previously unpublished, and with eight full-color plates detailing the specifics of their uniforms, insignia, and equipment practices - which often differed from unit to unit. Together, these plates offer a comprehensive study of the special clothing and gear worn throughout the US Army's parachute forces.

The War of Horus and Set

by David Mcintee Mark Stacey

Egyptian mythology tells us that long ago the brother gods Osiris and Set ruled peacefully over the lands of Upper and Lower Egypt, each in his own kingdom. But over time Set came to covet his brother's lands and crown, and eventually the temptation overwhelmed him. Usurping Osiris' throne, Set began a blood feud that spread war, death and mutilation through both the heavens and the earth. Gods and men chose sides and took up arms on behalf of both Set and Horus, the heir of Osiris. This book retells the mythic struggle between Horus and Set, exploring the variations and background to the feud, and examining the earthly realities that inspired, or reflected, the actions and allegiances of the Gods, such as the political rivalries between the two kingdoms, and the invasion by Cambyses II. Egyptian weapons and strategies are also examined, showing how their gods and men did battle.

A World Aflame # Interwar Wargame Rules 1918-39

by Mark Stacey Paul Eaglestone

Often called the "Pulp Era", the years between the two World Wars have seen a tremendous surge in interest among wargamers. A World Aflame captures the adventurous nature of the time period to present a fun, fast-paced set of tabletop miniatures rules that can handle the many diverse conflicts of the period, from the Chinese Civil Wars and the "Great Game" in Central Asia, to the Irish War of Independence and the bitter ideological warfare of the Russian and Spanish Civil Wars. The rules also contain options for the "Very British Civil War". This gaming trend has sprung up in recent years, following a "what-if" scenario that has Edward VIII refusing to abdicate the throne, thrusting the country into civil war in 1938. It is a quirky, fun setting, and one that is surprisingly popular. Written by a life-long wargamer, A World Aflame focuses on the daring and heroism of battles fought in the last great era of adventure.

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