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Osprey's study of the evolving US, Viet Cong and NVA tactics at battalion level and below throughout the Vietnam War (1955-1975). Beginning with a description of the terrain, climate and the unique nature of operations in this theater of war, author Gordon Rottman, a Vietnam veteran himself, goes on to explain how unit organization was broken down by combatant forces and the impact this had on the kind of tactics they employed. In particular, Rottman highlights how units were organized in reality on the battlefield as opposed to their theoretical tables of organization. US tactics included the standard US tactical doctrine as prescribed by several field manuals and in which leaders and troops were rigorously trained. But it also reveals how many American units developed innovative small unit tactics specifically tailored to the terrain and enemy practices. Key Free World Forces' tactics that will be discussed in detail include Command and Control, Combat Patrols and Ambushes, Counter-Ambushes, Defensive Perimeters, and Offensive Operations (sweeps, search and destroy, clear and secure). In contrast, this book reveals the tactics employed by Viet Cong and NVA units including their own Offensive Operations (attacking bases and installations, attacking moving forces), Reconnaissance, Movement Formations and Security, and Ambushes.
Osprey's Campaign title for the battle that marked Major General Arthur St. Clair's downfall in the Northwest Indian War (1785-1795). In 1791, the US Army conducted its first important operation. St. Clair led an American army of about 2,000 into what now is Ohio. On 4 November 1791, the campaign ended in what was, in proportion to the size of the US Army at the time, by far the greatest disaster in American military history. At the battle of the Wabash, also known as St. Clair's Defeat, more Americans died than in any prior battle, more than would fall on any field prior to the Civil War. In the tactical masterpiece of their military history, an Indian army destroyed a force that was larger, encamped on high ground, supported by artillery, and led by many of the best American officers of the Revolutionary War. This highly illustrated and detailed title illuminates all aspects of this historic campaign.From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the same day that the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they also launched air attacks on Wake Island, an American marine and naval base in the Pacific. Three days later a Japanese invasion force stormed the island, but were bloodily repulsed by the scratch force of marines, sailors and even service personnel who defended it. Despite US attempts to relieve the island, the Japanese launched a much greater invasion a few weeks later and, despite gallant resistance, eventually caused the US Forces to surrender. This book tells the complete story of the vicious fighting on Wake Island, one of the near-legendary 'last stands' made by US military forces.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The walls of Constantinople are the greatest surviving example of European medieval military architecture in the world. They withstood numerous sieges until being finally overcome by the artillery of Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453, and exist today as a time capsule of Byzantine and Medieval history. This book examines the main defensive system protecting the landward side of the city, which consisted of three parallel walls about 5 miles long. The walls defended the city against intruders, including Attila the Hun, before finally being breached by European knights during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 and, ultimately, destroyed by Turkish artillery in 1453.
Elephants have been deployed as weapons for centuries, particularly in South and South-East Asia, where war elephants constituted the bulk of most armies in the region from antiquity right up to the 19th century. This book offers an insight into the incredible history of these "living tanks," focusing on the design of the equipment and armament that made them so terrifying, particularly the development and structure of the fighting tower.The author, Konstantin S. Nossov goes on to trace the battle history of war elephants, from their deployment against Alexander the Great's army at the battle of Gaugamela, through to their use in the 19th century by the myriad armies of South-East Asia, all the time analyzing the battle formation and tactics of war elephants in action and how these tactics changed over time. He then goes on to examine the most famous action that war elephants took part in, Hannibal's dramatic march over the Alps and his subsequent invasion of Italy. Supported by rare illustrations and full-color original artwork, this book is a vivid account of the development and operation of one of history's most unusual "machines of warfare."
The Webley .455in service revolver is among the most powerful top-break revolvers ever produced and has a claim to be the first 'tactical fighting pistol'. First adopted in 1887, in various marques it was the standard-issue service pistol for British and Commonwealth armed forces for nearly fifty years; later versions in .38in calibre went on to see further service in World War II and beyond, as well as in a host of law-enforcement roles around the world into the 1970s.Developed to give British service personnel the ability to incapacitate their opponents in 'small wars' around the globe, the Webley used the formidable - and controversial - .455in cartridge, a variant of which was known as the 'manstopper'. Users found it offered good penetration and excellent stopping power with only mild recoil - indeed, it was rated superior to the US .45 Colt in stopping power.Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, this is the compelling story of the Webley revolver, the powerful pistol that saw service across the British Empire and throughout two world wars.
Osprey's elite title dealing with various sabotage devices and booby traps that were used by the British and the Americans during World War II (1939-1945). Following Churchill's directive to set occupied Europe ablaze, the SOE and later its American sister organization, the OSS, were deployed across the continent. Outnumbered, surrounded and in great peril, these brave agents were armed with a wide variety of devices to help them achieve their objectives, including numerous pieces of sabotage equipment and cunning booby traps. This book examines these different pieces of equipment and the technicalities involved in deploying them effectively. It also discusses the specialist equipment developed by Special Forces units, including the SAS Lewes Bomb. Touching on some of the stranger developments, such as explosives disguised as lumps of coal, the author goes on to describe the German clearance techniques that were developed to avoid these dangers.Complete with specially commissioned artwork and period diagrams, together with detailed descriptions of the dangerous missions of Allied agents, this book is a fascinating insight into the secret war behind enemy lines.
Booby traps laid by troops in war zones in World War II (1939-1945) are largely neglected in histories and memoirs, and rarely examined in detail. Yet for a soldier, the threat of booby traps was hugely significant and the ability to find and disarm them was essential. This is the first comprehensive study of World War II Axis battlefield sabotage equipment, using information from rare wartime intelligence publications covering both Allied and Axis practice to identify, illustrate and describe the vintage munitions used in World War II. Examining all aspects of this secretive subject, from the equipment used to the techniques of placing and uncovering them, this book is an invaluable resource, revealing the daily risks faced by soldiers on the ground through the course of the war.From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Eben Emael to Crete, Sicily, Market Garden, the Rhine, and Burma, glider-borne paratroopers brought extra firepower to bear using techniques that helicopter troops adapted for modern air cavalry techniques.This book explains the development and organization of World War II glider troops, their mounts, and the air squadrons formed to tow them; the steep and costly learning-curve, as armies and air forces worked out the techniques needed to carry and deliver men and equipment safely to the chosen landing zones; and the tactics that such troops learned to employ once they arrived on the battlefield. All these aspects are illustrated by reference to famous operations, including the German assault on Crete (1941), the Allied assault on Sicily (1943), the Allied Normandy landings and Operation Market Garden (1944), the Rhine crossings (1945), and also the Allied operations in Burma to insert and resupply the "Chindits" behind Japanese lines (1944).The major weakness of the military paratrooper is the limited load of kit that he can carry during the jump, making his combat endurance short unless he is quickly re-supplied. Military gliders came of age in World War II, when glider-assault infantry were the forerunners of today's helicopter-delivered airmobile troops. From the light pre-war sports and training machines, several nations developed troop-carrying gliders capable of getting a whole squad or more of infantry, with heavy weapons, onto the ground quickly, with the equipment that paratroopers simply could not carry. Gliders were also developed to carry light artillery, antitank guns, jeeps, and even special lightweight tanks. They made up at least one-third of the strength of US, British, and German airborne divisions in major battles, and they also carried out several daring coup de main raids and spearhead operations. However, the dangers were extreme, the techniques were difficult, the losses were heavy (particularly during night operations), and the day of the glider assault was relatively brief.
Osprey's examination of Japan's tank figting tactics during World War II (1939-1945). In this book expert author and tactician Gordon L Rottman provides the first English-language study of Japanese Army and Navy tank units, their tactics and how they were deployed in action. The Japanese army made extensive use of its tanks in the campaigns in China in the 1930s, and it was in these early successes that the Japanese began to develop their own unique style of tank tactics. As Japanese tanks battled in Singapore, Malaya and Burma this Japanese vision became clearer as light tanks were deployed in the jungles of southeastern Asia, where conventional Western tactics dictated that tanks would be useless.From the steam-rolling success of the Japanese as they invaded Manchuria until the eventual Japanese defeat, the book provides a battle history of the Japanese tank units as they faced a variety of enemies from the Chinese, to the Russians, to the British and the Americans, providing a fascinating insight into the range of tactics that were deployed against these contrasting enemies - from innovative attack procedures to desperate defensive maneuvers even as their tanks were rapidly outclassed in terms of design and armament.From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the major European and Russian fronts throughout World War II, the challenge of crossing rivers and other water obstacles under fire was absolutely central to any advance. The Panzers that crossed the Meuse at Sedan in May 1940 cut the French Army in two; the Wehrmacht's ability to cross the great rivers of the western USSR was vital to the lightning advances of Operation Barbarossa in 1941, and in 1943-45 the Red Army had to drive the Germans back from a succession of river lines during their advance to the Reich, culminating in the Vistula and Oder lines; in Italy the Rapido formed a bloody moat for the Cassino defences; and after D-Day the milestones on the Western Allies' advances were the Seine, the Somme, the Moselle, and finally the Rhine. The initial (hopefully surprise) assault could be made by infantry in light assault boats, and over rudimentary improvised bridges. But World War II armies depended on heavy mechanized equipment, and even if a bridgehead was seized, it then had to be held for long enough for engineers to bring up and erect prefabricated bridges strong enough to carry the tanks and artillery without which the bridgehead was doomed. Some of the most savage fighting of the war took place around bridgeheads, and the Allies invested considerable resources in the development of equipment and tactics for contested river crossings.This book explains the methods and the means, and analyzes specific successes and failures. It features a wealth of wartime photos, particularly from German sources, and full-color plates illustrate tactical scenarios that bring the subject alive.
Osprey's study of street-fighting tactics during World War II (1939-1945). In a continuation of the tactics mini-series, this new book describes and analyzes the physical tactics of the close-quarter fighting that took place in the ruined cities on both the Western and Eastern Fronts of World War II. Street-to-street fighting in cities was not a new development, but the bombed-out shells of cities and advances in weaponry meant that World War II took it to a new level of savagery and violence. New tactics developed around the defenses that ruined cities offered. This book examines these tactics, describing how a small group of infantry could now destroy whole tank units for very little cost before melting away into the cities' rubble. It also analyzes the need for infantry units to clear ruins of the enemy, and looks at how this was done, and the cost of the slow house-to-house fighting that was seen across the war, from Stalingrad to Berlin. Packed with eye-witness accounts, tutorials from original training manuals, maps, and full color artwork which illustrates these tactics, this is an eye-opening insight into the tactics and experiences of infantry fighting their way through ruined cities in the face of heavy casualty rates and vicious resistance.
This book explains and illustrates the actual materials and techniques adopted (both successfully and unsuccessfully) by tactical units - i.e. the concealment of personnel, weapons, equipment, field positions, and movement by infantry riflemen and weapons crews, artillerymen, and vehicle crews. It covers all areas and seasons in the European and Mediterranean theaters of operations, for the US, British, German, and Soviet armies. It includes camouflage of the person, personal equipment, and weapons; natural materials and "expedient" techniques; issued camouflage materials such as nets, ponchos, etc; the principles of camouflaging equipment and vehicles, of positioning and terrain integration, the effects of light and shadow, and the use of decoy and dummy positions. Featuring meticulous full-color artwork and specially selected period photographs, this absorbing study casts new light on the camouflaging techniques developed by the major armies of World War II on a host of European battlefields.
Osprey's study of America's armored infantry tactics in World War II (1939-1945). Little has been published on US armored infantry units and tactics over the years despite their key role in World War II. There were a total of 57 armored infantry battalions and two regiments that served throughout the war and in all theaters. Equipped with halftracks, they fought as part of combined arms teams and combat commands alongside tanks, tank destroyers and artillery battalions. Significantly, they were not simply standard infantry battalions provided with halftracks. Their company and platoon organization was very different from the standard infantry unit and these highly mobile, heavily armed battalions fought in an entirely different manner. Using period training manuals and combat reports this book provides an exclusive look at the unique tactics developed by US armored infantry units including movement formations and battle drills.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The cavalry regiments of the US Army were in the process of being transformed into a mechanized force when the USA entered World War II. While those cavalry regiments deployed to the Pacific to fight the Japanese were turned into infantry units, those sent to Europe were employed as light armor in the cavalry's traditional spearhead roles - reconnaissance, the screening of advances and flanks, and the pursuit of beaten enemy forces. Equipped with M8 Greyhound armored cars, M5 Stuart and M24 Chaffee light tanks, and halftracks, these units were designated cavalry groups (mechanized), each c. 1,700 strong and divided into two heavily armed squadrons. They were seldom attached to divisions, but to higher-level corps commands, meaning they could be shifted around quickly and independently and be formed at need into flexible battle groups with armored, infantry, and other units, depending on the mission. Featuring specially drawn full-color illustrations depicting uniforms, insignia, armored vehicles, and tactical scenarios, this is the story of the US cavalry units that led the advance to victory in Europe during World War II.
Osprey's elite series title for all cavalry units that participated in World War II (1939-1945). At the time of Pearl Harbor, the United States Army still had ten cavalry regiments that were mounted on horses. One, the 26th (Filipino Scouts) fought on horseback in the Philippines, while the rest were dismounted and fought as infantry. Despite this, the cavalry units maintained their own unique organization, traditions, and identity as they saw action in the Pacific and China-Burma-India theatre. This book covers all of the US cavalry units to see action during World War II, most of which survive to this day. It includes the little-covered Texan National Guard regiments, who took part in the vicious street fighting in Manila in 1945, and who fought beside ex-Merrill's Marauders as a deep penetration unit. It also contains detailed color-plates showing the unique uniforms of the US Army's last mounted cavalry as well as tropical combat dress worn by the dismounted units.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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