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Following the close of the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) and the establishment of the Third Republic, France embarked upon a new wave of colonialism, acquiring addition territories in Southeast Asia, including Tonkin and Annam which, together with Cambodia and Cochinchina, formed French Indochina. In North Africa their influence increased, with Tunisia acquired as a protectorate in 1881, until by the turn of the century much of North, West and Central Africa was under their control. France needed and army to police these new territories, and one of then most important elements of their colonial establishment was the French Foreign Legion. Originally founded in 1830, the Legion saw some its finest hours in North Africa and Indochina in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and it is this period of the legions' history that has been immortalized in popular culture in works such as Beau Geste. Drawing on memoirs and other period sources, this book covers a wide range of environments and types of action and will be a valuable reference to any scholar of the legionnaires.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's examination of French infantry tactics during the Napoleonic Wars (1799-1815). For over 20 years France was the dominating, controlling and conquering power of the western world, a result not only of Napoleon's inspired leadership, but of the efforts of almost an entire generation of Frenchmen under arms. The French Revolution heralded both social change and a seismic shift in how armies were organized, trained and deployed. This book provides an analysis of the preparation of French troops from manual regulations to the training ground, studying the changing quality of command and control within the army, which initially ensured that the French infantry were virtually unstoppable. Paddy Griffith not only explores the role of the French infantry at the apex of their powers and their actions in key battles, but also provides a detailed explanation of their eventual decline leading to defeat at Waterloo, providing a critical overview of French Napoleonic infantry tactics.
This book looks closely at the life, military experiences and key battlefield exploits of Giuseppe Garibaldi. Born on July 4, 1807 in the city of Nice, the turning point in his life occurred in April 1833 when he met Giovanni Battista Cuneo, a member of the secret movement known as "Young Italy." Joining this society, Garibaldi took an oath dedicating his life to the struggle for the liberation of his homeland from Austrian dominance. The subsequent years would see him fighting in Brazil, in the Uruguayan Civil War, and on the Italian peninsula. Between 1848 and 1870, Garibaldi and his men were involved in a prolonged struggle that eventually led to the final unification of Italy in 1870.
In 1373, John of Gaunt set off from Calais on a great raid to strike at the heart of France. Driven by the high ideals of chivalry, the raiders left with epic pageantry. However, the reality soon overwhelmed the raiders. Beset on all sides by French ambushes and plagued by disease and starvation, the raiders battled their way through Champagne, east of Paris, into Burgundy, across the Massif Central and finally down into the Dordogne. Unable to attack any major fortifications, John of Gaunt's men plundered the countryside, raiding towns and villages, weakening the French infrastructure. While the military value of the raid is debatable, the English knights who finally made it home were hailed as heroes. This book charts the course of the raid from beginning to end, studying all the battles and skirmishes the raiders fought along the way in this bloody example of chivalric warfare.
In 1585, the English launched a pre-emptive strike against Spain, by attacking her New World colonies. Led by Sir Francis Drake, in command of 21 ships and 1,800 soldiers, the expedition struck first at the Canary Islands, then attacked the city of Santo Domingo and the treasure port of Cartagena. Frequently outnumbered, Drake's soldiers won an series of spectacular victories and, laden with treasure, sailed home to a hero's welcome.
The most famous admiral in history, Horatio Nelson's string of naval victories helped secure Britain's place as the world's dominant maritime power, a position she held for more than a century after Nelson's death. A young officer during the American Revolution, Nelson rose to prominence during Britain's war with Revolutionary France, becoming a hero at the battle of Cape St. Vincent. He went on to win massive victories at the Nile and Copenhagen, before leading the British to their historic victory at Trafalgar in 1805. But, in that moment of his greatest glory, Nelson was struck down by a French sharpshooter. Today Nelson is revered as an almost mythical figure - a naval genius and a national hero. He was also a deeply flawed individual whose vanity, ego and private life all threatened to overshadow his immense abilities. This book reveals the real Nelson.From the Trade Paperback edition.
On March 9, 1916, troops under the command of Pancho Villa attacked Columbus, New Mexico and its local detachment of the US 13th Cavalry Regiment, killing 18 people and burning the town. Six days later, on orders from President Woodrow Wilson, General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing led an expeditionary force of 4,800 men into Mexico to capture Villa. What followed was a series of skirmishes, battles, and chases through the wild and uncharted Mexican countryside. While the Americans failed in their ultimate purpose of catching Villa, they did kill two of his top lieutenants. This book charts the progress of the entire enterprise, covering the dusty marches and the bitter gunfights in the streets of small border towns, analyzing the successes and failures of this unique military expedition.
Osprey's study of Inch'on, which was probably the most significant campaign in the Korean War (1950-1953), as well as the last major amphibious assault of division-size conducted in the history of warfare. The odds were stacked against the US troops, with virtually no time for training and many of the divisions unprepared for the conflict. The success of the Inch'on campaign is a testament to the sheer initiative of the officers and NCOs conducted it. This book details the strategy and tactics that led to the operation's success, as well as narrating the experience of the battle in fascinating detail.
The Israeli Special Forces' operation at Entebbe goes down in history as one of the most audacious counter-terrorist assaults ever conducted. On 27 June 1976, four terrorists - two of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and two of the German Baader-Meinhof terrorist group - highjacked a passenger jet and forced a landing in Entebbe, Uganda. Here they were met by reinforcements, and - although releasing a few hostages - transferred all the Jewish and Israeli prisoners to the terminal building. As Idi Amin's assistance to the terrorists became increasingly clear, the Israeli government began preparations for a military assault. The element of surprise was crucial; never before had such a large-scale raid at such a long distance been successfully undertaken. This is the incredible story of how the Israeli Special Forces defied radar for over 2,000 miles, masqueraded as a tyrant in a Mercedes and captured uniforms, and defeated an army in brutal combat, in a triumph of sheer audacity and nerve. A compelling book chronicling an incredible moment in history.
The landscape of 16th- and 17th-century Japan was dominated by the graceful and imposing castles constructed by the powerful 'daimyo' of the period. In this the most turbulent era in Japanese history, these militarily sophisticated structures provided strongholds for the consolidation and control of territory, and inevitably they became the focus for many of the great sieges of Japanese history: Nagashino (1575), Kitanosho (1583), Odawara (1590), Fushimi (1600), Osaka (1615) and Hara (1638), the last of the battles that brought an end to a period of intense civil war. This title traces their development from the earliest timber stockades to the immense structures that dominated the great centres of Osaka and Edo.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The narrow strip of land now occupied by the modern state of Israel is where all paths from Europe, Asia, and Arabia must come together before they flow into Africa and has been the world's most hotly contested piece of territory for millennia. Occupied by Pompey the Great from 63 BC the region became the Roman province of Iudaea in AD 6. In AD 66 a local disturbance in Caesarea caused by Greeks sacrificing birds in front of a local synagogue exploded into a pan-Jewish revolt against their Roman overlords. Gaining momentum, the rebels successfully occupied Jerusalem and drove off an attack by the Roman legate of Syria, Cestus Gallius, who was defeated at the battle of Beth Horon.The emperor Nero dispatched the Roman general Vespasian along with reinforcements and, having crushed the revolt in Galilee he became embroiled in the events of the Year of the Four Emperors that would lead to his assumption of the Imperial throne. His son Titus was left to carry on the war which culminated in the dramatic siege of Jerusalem in AD 70. Remorselessly, the legions strangled the life out of the defense street by street, leaving nothing but rubble and ashes in their wake. The apotheosis of the conflict was the final stand of the last holdouts in the Temple precinct itself, and the utter annihilation of this, the physical manifestation of Judaism itself.The last remnants held out in the mountain fortress of Masada until AD 73 when with the Romans breaking down the walls the defenders committed mass suicide bringing the revolt to an end.
Khe Sanh was a small village in northwest South Vietnam that sat astride key North Vietnamese infiltration routes. In September 1966 of the Vietnam War (1955-1975), a Marine battalion deployed into the area. Action gradually increased as the NVA attempted to destroy Free World Forces bases, and the siege of Khe Sanh proper began in October 1967. The bitter fight lasted into July 1968 when, with the changing strategic and tactical situation, the base was finally closed. This book details the siege and explains how, although the NVA successfully overran a Special Forces camp nearby, it was unable to drive US forces from Khe Sanh.
At the end of 1943 the SS and the Gestapo arrested several prominent Germans involved in plotting to overthrow Adolf Hitler, including Dietrich Bonhoffer, Klaus Bonhoffer, Josef Muller and Hans Dohnanyi. Others under suspicion, such as Wilhelm Canaris and Hans Oster, were dismissed from office in January 1944. Major Claus von Stauffenberg emerged as a leader of the group of German Army officers opposed to Nazi rule, and began to plan for the assassination of Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and Heinrich Himmler, and for a takeover by the Army. Once these three prominent Nazis had been killed, the plan called for troops in Berlin and other major German-controlled areas, commanded by his co-conspirators, to seize key government buildings, telephone and signal centres and radio stations. At least six attempts were aborted before von Stauffenberg decided on trying again during a conference attended by Hitler on 20 July 1944. It was decided to abandon the plans to kill Goering and Himmler at the same time, and to focus solely on removing the Führer. Von Stauffenberg carried the bomb in a briefcase and placed it on the floor beside Hitler before excusing himself to make a phone call. The bomb exploded killing four men in the hut. Hitler was injured but survived the bomb blast. The plan that called for Ludwig Beck, Erwin von Witzleben and Erich Fromm to take control of the German Army and declare martial law was abandoned when it became known that Hitler had survived the assassination attempt. In an attempt to protect himself, Fromm organized the execution of Claus von Stauffenberg and two other conspirators, Friedrich Olbricht and Werner von Haeften, in the courtyard of the War Ministry. It was later reported that von Stauffenberg died shouting "Long live free Germany". As a result of the 20 July Plot, the new chief of staff, Heinz Guderian, demanded the resignation of any officer who did not fully support the ideals of the Nazi Party and presided over the Army Court of Honour that expelled hundreds of officers suspected of being opposed to the policies of Adolf Hitler. This removed them from military jurisdiction and left them to be sentenced by Roland Freisler and his fanatically pro-Nazi People's Court. Over the next few months most of the group including Wilhelm Canaris, Carl Goerdeler, Julius Leber, Ulrich Hassell, Hans Oster, Peter von Wartenburg, Henning von Tresckow, Ludwig Beck, Erwin von Witzleben and Erich Fromm were either executed or committed suicide. It is estimated that nearly 5,000 Germans were executed as a result of the events of the July Plot. Hitler ordered that the leaders should have a slow death. They were hung from meathooks with piano wire, and their executions were filmed and later shown to senior members of both the NSDAP and the armed forces.
British Commandos attempted to assassinate Rommel, the Desert Fox, in a daring special forces raid in North Africa during World War II.On the night of 13 November 1941 two British submarines surfaced off the Libyan coast 250 miles behind German lines. It was dark and stormy, and the 28 commandos on board Torbay had great difficulty climbing into their rubber dinghies and paddling towards the shore. Disaster struck the second submarine, Talisman, when a giant wave swept eleven commandos waiting on deck overboard. At dawn on the morning of 13 November the depleted raiding party was finally ashore, cold, wet and exhausted, but determined nonetheless to press on with their audacious mission - the assassination of General Erwin Rommel, commander of the German forces in North Africa. The raid made headlines round the free world. It was a shining example of British pluck and daring, proclaimed the papers, and to prove the point, Keyes was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Yet in truth the raid had been a glorious failure, a mission bedevilled by bad planning and poor intelligence. Yet crucial lessons were learned by subsequent special forces' operations, particularly by the SAS who carried out their first mission on the same night as the raid on Rommel's HQ. By the end of World War II the British special forces were the best in the world.
It was the beginning of the end for the James gang. In the past ten years Frank and Jesse James had gone from unknown ex-Confederate guerrillas to the most famous outlaws in the world. A string of daring robberies of banks, trains, and stagecoaches had brought them fame, admiration, hatred, and a surprisingly small amount of wealth. In 1876 they planned their most daring raid yet--to ride hundreds of miles from their home state of Missouri to rob the First National Bank at Northfield, Minnesota. This book will tell the story of one of the most daring bank jobs in American history. With most of the gang being former bushwhackers, they used many guerrilla tactics in the planning and execution of the raid, yet failed because of poor discipline and their own fame, which meant that every town in the Midwest had their guns loaded waiting to fight off bandits.
The Lee-Enfield is one of the 20th century's most recognizable and longest-serving military rifles. It was adopted by the British Army in 1895 and only replaced by the L1A1 SLR in 1957; even then a sniper variant, the L42A1, was used until 1989, giving a service life of nearly a century. It saw combat from the Boer War onwards, and thousands are still in use today, notably by the Taliban in Afghanistan; it is estimated that 17 million have been produced. The Lee-Enfield featured an innovative detachable ten-round magazine; this large capacity, together with the weapon's revolutionary bolt-action operation, made it possible for well-drilled shooters to fire 20 to 30 rounds in 60 seconds (the 'mad minute'). This extraordinary speed gave rise to mistaken German reports of being opposed by massed machine guns in 1914. The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE), introduced in 1903, set a new precedent in military rifles, being neither a carbine nor a full-length rifle but an ingenious compromise that was soon copied by other countries.The Lee-Enfield equipped British, Commonwealth and other forces throughout the world wars and well into the 1960s, giving excellent service in every kind of terrain and weather. Soldier's recollections of the rifle are overwhelmingly affectionate (it was known as the Smellie); today it remains a very popular target rifle for competitive shooting, and modern copies are being manufactured to meet demand.Featuring first-hand accounts, brand-new full-colour artwork and close-up photographs, many in colour, this is the story of the Lee-Enfield, the innovative, reliable and long-lived rifle that equipped British and other forces through the world wars and beyond.
Boasting a rate of shooting not seen again in English hands until the late 19th century, the longbow was the weapon at the heart of the English military ascendancy in the century after 1340. Capable of subjecting the enemy to a hail of deadly projectiles, the longbow in the hands of massed archers made possible the extraordinary victories enjoyed by English forces over superior numbers at Crécy and Poitiers, and remained an important battlefield weapon throughout the Wars of the Roses and beyond; it also played a leading role in raiding, siege and naval warfare. Its influence and use spread to the armies of Burgundy, Scotland and other powers, and its reputation as a cost-effective and easily produced weapon led to calls for its widespread adoption in the nascent armies of the American Republic as late as the 1770s. Wielded by Englishmen, Welshmen and others, the longbow fulfilled the requirements of all infantry missile weapons throughout history - it was a well-made weapon suitable for production in quantity that projected a man-stopping missile over a suitable distance at a sustainable, relatively rapid rate of shooting. The longbow was a ''self-bow'' - that is to say, it was made from one piece of wood, normally yew, with the ''belly'' of the bow being ''heartwood'' and a thinner layer of ''sapwood'' being the ''back'' of the bow. Its arrows were normally made of aspen, a light and strong wood - although ash and other woods were also used - with a variety of metal heads available, depending on the intended use. A sophisticated piece of ammunition requiring many resources and skill to manufacture, the longbow arrow could penetrate plate armour if the conditions were right; this study argues, however, that the ''blunt trauma'' inflicted on the target, however well armoured, resulted in debilitating injuries and was far more significant on the field of battle. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and informed by the latest research into this intriguing weapon, this lively study debunks lingering myths and casts new light on the battle-winning longbow, the lethal missile weapon that enabled English victories against the odds in a series of famous battles of the 14th and 15th centuries.
The M1 Carbine was produced in more numbers than any other US small arm in World War II (1939-1945). In 1938 the US Chief of Infantry requested that the Ordnance Department develop a carbine or light rifle to be used by service and support troops, artillerymen, machinegun crews, tankers, mortar crews and other troops not needing the power of the M1 Garand rifle. The development of this new weapon was given an added impetus by Germany's successful use of airborne and glider troops early on in World War II. This caused a fear amongst US officers that troops normally considered "behind the lines" personnel might have to fight elite German troops and would therefore require a more effective weapon than their standard pistols. The resulting M1 Carbine was a not a shortened version of the standard service rifle but instead a brand-new design chambering a new cartridge. This new weapon would see service in every theater and with all US service arms as well as American and Allied special units including the OSS, Merrill's Marauders, the SAS and the SBS. Eventually numerous manufacturers would combine to produce over six million M1 Carbines before the end of the war. This new title provides an in-depth analysis on this crucial, trailblazing weapon.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The M1 Garand gave US infantrymen a marked edge during World War II. It shot faster and further than enemy infantry rifles and hit harder. No less an authority on killing the enemy than General George S. Patton called the Garand, "The greatest battle implement ever devised." At a time when opposing forces were armed with bolt action rifles, US troops had a highly reliable self-loader. It was the US Army's principal infantry weapon in World War II, beloved of troops for its ability to withstand hard use and be ready when needed. In most battles the Garands speed of fire combined with the powerful .30-06 cartridge gave US troops a distinct advantage. The eight-round clips which were used to load the M1 Garand were, however, viewed with mixed emotions by the troops on the ground. Eight rounds was not much magazine capacity for a self-loading rifle, thus requiring frequent reloading in combat. Some Army and Marine Corps troops allegedly felt that the distinctive "twang" as the Garand's clip was ejected when empty alerted the enemy that the soldiers were reloading and resulted in an attack. But this problem may have been overstated as experienced troops did not all empty their weapons at the same time. It was also a particularly heavy weapon in contrast to the much lighter M1 Carbine. But the Garand became the defining mankiller of the war, despite its weight and magazine problems, and many US combat veterans consider it one of the key reasons they survived the war, as one veteran succinctly commented, "I let my Garand do the talking."
The death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC threw the Macedonians into confusion; there was no capable heir, and no clear successor among the senior figures in Alexander's circle. Initial attempts to preserve the unity of Alexander's conquests gave way to a period of bloody and prolonged warfare. For well over a century the largely mercenary armies of Alexander's successors imposed their influence over the whole of the Near East, while absorbing local military practices. After Rome's decisive defeat of Carthage in 202 BC, Macedonia came under increasing pressure from the Romans. Three wars between the two powers culminated in the Roman victory at Pydna in 168 BC, which laid Alexander's empire to rest and established Roman hegemony in the Near East. Drawing upon a wide array of archaeological and written sources and written by a noted authority on the Hellenistic period, this survey of the organization, battle history and appearance of the armies of Alexander's successors is lavishly illustrated with specially commissioned full-colour artwork.
The German A7V and the British Mark IV were similar in weight, size, and speed, but differed significantly in armour, armament and maneuverability. The A7V had thicker armour, and had nearly double the horsepower per ton. The Mark IV's pair of side-mounted 6pdr cannons forced the vehicle to present its side arc to an enemy in order to fire one of its main guns. Possessing twice as many machine guns as the Mark IV, the A7V had a frontally mounted 57mm gun that proved capable of defeating the Mark IV's armour. The Mark IV's rhomboid design proved superior in crossing trenches, climbing obstacles and moving over rough terrain. As the first tank-versus-tank engagement in history, the fighting around Villers-Bretonneux showcased the British Mark IV and German A7V designs. Although not purpose-built to combat enemy armour, both vehicles proved the viability of such operations, which during the postwar period led to key advances in suspension, armour, gunsights, ammunition, and command and control. While the British continued to develop their armoured forces, German armour development never materialized, and only in the postwar period did they address the issue.
The breech-loading, single-shot .458in Martini-Henry rifle has become a symbol of both the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 and the numerous battles in Egypt and the Sudan in 1884-85, but continued to be used by both British and colonial troops well into the 20th century. Its invention and introduction into British service were in direct response to the success of the Prussian Dreyse needle gun, which demonstrated that the breech-loading rifle offered faster loading, improved accuracy and superior range; significantly, the weapon could be loaded and fired from a prone position, thus offering the rifleman greater security on the battlefield.The Martini-Henry first saw active service in the Ninth Cape Frontier War (1877-79), where it was particularly effective at stopping the charge of rebellious tribesmen at the battle of Centane. Indeed the success of the rifle bred a certain amount of complacency in the British Army that, armed with such a weapon, the British could repel any attack, even if seriously outnumbered. The British defeat at Zulu hands at Isandlwana dispelled this myth and it was only with the adoption of the square formation at Gingindlovu and Ulundi, with a corresponding concentration of fire, that the Martini-Henry really demonstrated its 'stopping power'. The same tactical formation and use of the Martini-Henry continued in the battles in Sudan in 1884-85. The Martini-Henry again showed its ability to stop charging warriors in the Second Afghan War (1878-80), particularly at the battle of Ahmed Khel, but against a force armed with modern weaponry, as at the defeat of Maiwand, the British Army did not fare as well. In 1888 the rifle was replaced in British service by the bolt-action, magazine-fed .303in Lee-Metford and Martini-Henry production ended in 1889, but it was to remain in service with colonial forces into World War I.The Martini-Henry rifle was not without its faults or its critics. The rifle possessed a dreadful recoil when fired, especially once the bore was fouled, and in sustained combat severe bruising, even dislocation of shoulders and nose bleeds, were likely. The rifle had no safety mechanism of any sort and was prone to discharge if grit or sand entered the trigger mechanism. The weapon could jam, for the extractor grip might tear through the soft brass of the cartridge, or sand could enter the mechanism and cause a similar jam. The barrel became intensely hot when fired and although, from the Mk II design onwards, a wooden forestock was added to give some protection, the barrel would frequently become too hot to touch.Despite these faults, the Martini-Henry Mk II was far superior to any firearm previously issued to the British Army. Its small bore - which meant soldiers could carry more ammunition - greater accuracy, lower trajectory, ease of operation and reloading with consequent rapidity of firing, as well as its robustness, all combined to make the Martini-Henry a solid, if not always completely dependable, weapon to be used against Britain's enemies. It was sighted to 1,000yd and could maintain a reasonable degree of accuracy at that range. The soft lead bullet could stop a charging warrior in his tracks, and in experienced hands ten to twelve 'aimed' volleys could be fired per minute into the charging ranks of a massed enemy.
Using archaeological evidence and first-hand sources, Konstantin Nossov charts the history of the medieval Russian fortress from its early beginnings until the 14th century.According to Russian legend, in AD 862, the Slav tribes of what is now European Russia invited a number of Scandinavian princes to rule over them. In AD 882, Prince Oleg united these kingdoms as the feudal state of Kievan Rus, by building a series of settlement and border fortifications, including the Zmievy Valy (Snake Ramparts), to protect against foreign invasion.The rise of feudalism through the 11th century saw the development of individual fortified sites to the detriment of the extended border defenses. Consequently, Mongol hordes poured over the border, introducing the siege warfare techniques of the East, and heavily influencing the fortification styles thereafter.The rise of Muscovy in the fourteenth century saw an enhanced role for Moscow and the Kremlin, which was rebuilt in stone reflecting its increased significance.This book brings all these diverse strands together into a comprehensive volume on the fortifications of Russia from the early days of the Kievan Rus' until the foundation of the modern state in 1480.
Napoleon Bonaparte is renowned as one of the great military commanders in history, and the central figure in so many of the events of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Throughout the first decade of the 19th century he won battle after battle by wielding the Grande Armï¿½e decisively against the other powers of Europe - Prussia, Austria and Russia. Yet his fortunes changed in 1812 when the invasion of Russia wrecked his forces, and Napoleon suffered his final defeat at Waterloo in 1815.
Osprey's examination of one of the most famous battles of the latter part of the American Indian Wars (1622-1918). With the wars between the US and the Native Americans drawing to a close, one tribe in Eastern Oregon continued to resist. The Nez Perce, led by the "Red Napoleon" Chief Joseph, refused to surrender and accept resettlement. Instead, Chief Joseph organized a band of 750 warriors and set off for the Canadian border, pursued by 2,000 US Army troops under Major-General Oliver Howard. The army chased the natives for three months, fighting 13 actions. Finally, just 40 miles from the Canadian border, the Army ran Chief Joseph to the ground, and forced him to surrender after a five-day battle near Bear Paw Mountain.
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