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Osprey's study of the African Americans' involvement in World War II (1939-1945). Despite the contribution of black units to the American Expeditionary Force in World War I (1914-1918), and the commissioning of hundreds of black officers to lead them, the small interwar US Army continued to regard them as unsuited to both leadership roles and handling modern technology. Although African Americans had to strive against prejudice for every chance to show what they could achieve, in fact the wartime US Army conceded opportunities for leadership unparaleled in American civil society at that date. In World War II tens of thousands served in segregated units. While the majority were denied the opportunity of combat, a minority of all-black, black-officered units proved their worth in all theaters and a number of roles: black officer fighter pilots (the "Tuskegee Airmen") blazed the trail, followed by several tank and tank-destroyer battalions and a few field artillery units; and more than 20,000 black infantrymen served under both white and black officers. The Army also created the first fully integrated units, whose success prompted President Truman to order the complete integration of the military in 1948. The US Navy and Marines were slower to allow blacks to serve in combat roles and to commission black officers, but by 1945 two complete ships' companies were composed of African-Americans (though with white officers).
This book explores the experiences of the German Afrika Korps soldier during the North Africa campaign of World War II (1939-1945), from the Korps' arrival in the North African theater in February 1941 to its eventual surrender in Tunisia in May 1943, with a particular focus on the intense period of warfare in the Western Desert between 1941 and 1942. Under the leadership of one of the war's most famous commanders, Erwin Rommel, the Afrika Korps grew to include a broad range of armor, infantry, artillery, anti-tank, engineer, communication, supply, medical and service elements. The soldiers of the Afrika Korps considered themselves as part of an elite, a highly select group that had no equal, not only in the German Army, but in the rest of the world.
In the late 19th century, the new nation-state of Italy was eager to join her European neighbors in creating an international empire. Italy's eyes turned towards Africa as a source of potential colonies. Most of the continent had already been carved up between the Great Powers but Italy succeeded in securing a foothold in Eritrea on the Red Sea coast, a vassal of the Emperor of Ethiopia. Trade and other links were established with the Ethiopian empire but quarrels regarding the interpretation of a particular clause led to Ethiopian support for uprisings in Eritrea. Italian troops entered northern Ethiopia and captured Adowa, the capital of the Tigray province. Full-scale war broke out and this new Osprey title tracks every development in the battle and the men who fought in it.From the Trade Paperback edition.
In the face of Soviet invasion in 1939-40, and once again in 1941-44, the armies raised by Finland - a tiny nation of only 4 million people - astonished the world by their effective resistance. At the end of both these campaigns - the Winter War, and the Continuation War - the fiercely patriotic defiance of vastly stronger Soviet forces by Marshal Mannerheim's soldiers won their country a unique prize: although forced to accept harsh terms, Finland was never occupied by the Red Army, and retained its independence. This book explains and illustrates, for the first time in English, the organization, uniforms, equipment and tactics of Finland's defenders.
The dilemma of the young Italian kingdom and the experience of her army in World War I (1914-1918) were unique among the combatant nations. Late to enter the war against the Central Powers, she faced a massively defended Austro-Hungarian front in the north, including strong mountain features, as well as distractions in the Balkans and a simultaneous rebellion in her Libyan colony. Costly and repeated battles on the Isonzo front culminated in the disaster of Caporetto in October 1917, followed by a remarkable revival and eventual victory in 1918. This concise study describes and illustrates the Italian Army's campaigns, organisation, uniforms, weapons and equipment - including the famous 'death companies' and Arditi assault troops.
The Second Italo-Abyssinian War began in October 1935, when Mussolini ordered the invasion of Ethiopia from Italian-held Eritrea and Somaliland, thinking that he would easily crush an ill-prepared and badly equipped enemy. The Italians, in the face of widespread condemnation from the League of Nations, spread terror and destruction through their indiscriminate use of air power and poison gas against an enemy more used to Medieval methods of warfare. David Nicolle examines in detail the units, equipment and uniforms of the forces on both sides of this conflict that unrealistically bolstered Il Duce's colonial ambitions. A great read ably supported by Raffaele Ruggeri's detailed full-page colour plates.
Osprey's examination of the Native Americans' participation in World War II (1939-1945). Ed Gilbert uses personal interviews with veterans to tell their fascinating story. Beginning with the first operational use of Native American languages in World War I, he explores how in World War II the US again came to employ this subtle, but powerful "weapon." Despite all efforts, the Japanese were never able to decode their messages and the Navajo code talkers contributed significantly to US victories in the Pacific. Approximately 400 Navajos served in this crucial role. Their legend of the "code talker" has been celebrated by Hollywood in films, such as Windtalkers, and this book reveals the real-life story of their extraordinary involvement in World War II.
Between 1845 and 1872, various groups of Maori - the Polynesian people who had inhabited New Zealand since medieval times - were involved in a series of wars of resistance against British settlers, which in many ways mirrored the American Indian Wars. Like some Native Americans, the Maori had a fierce and long-established warrior tradition (epitomized today by the intimidating haka war-challenge performed by the All Blacks rugby team), and lived in tribal communities dispersed throughout rough and thickly wooded terrain. Subduing them took a lengthy British Army commitment, only surpassed in the Victorian period by that on the North-West Frontier of India.Warfare had been endemic in pre-colonial New Zealand - in contests over territory and group prestige, and in generations-long feuds - and Maori groups maintained fortified villages or pas. The small early British coastal settlements, also widely dispersed, were tolerated, and in the 1820s a chief named Hongi Hika travelled to Britain with a missionary and returned laden with gifts. He promptly exchanged these for muskets, and began an aggressive 15-year expansion at the expense of neighbouring tribes. When new waves of major British settlement arrived between the 1840s and 1860s, competition over the available productive land caused increased friction and clashes. British troops were shipped in, and fought a series of essentially local wars in both North and South Islands over more than 25 years. However, some Maori groups always allied themselves with the Europeans, in pursuit of ancient enmities with their neighbours.By the 1860s many Maori had acquired firearms and had perfected their bush-warfare tactics. Their defences also evolved, with conspicuous log fortifications giving way to deep entrenchments less visible and vulnerable to artillery. The British, too, were adapting their uniforms, equipment and tactics to broken-country fighting in the bush, and employing more portable artillery and mortars. In the last phase of the wars a religious movement, Pai Maarire ('Hau Hau'), inspired remarkable guerrilla leaders such as Te Kooti Arikirangi to renewed resistance. This final phase saw a reduction in British Army forces as operations were increasingly taken over by locally recruited constabulary and militia units. European victory was not total, but led to a negotiated peace that preserved some of the Maori people's territories and freedoms; in modern times this has allowed a real (if sometimes strained) progress towards a genuinely unified national identity.
The tragic national epic of Polish history began in these late 18th-century wars. Under Poland's Saxon monarchy, Russia and Prussia constantly meddled in the affairs of the Kingdom. In 1768 a civil war broke out between pro-Russian 'Commonwealth' Poles and 'Confederate' patriots who opposed foreign intervention; Russia intervened directly, and the First Partition followed in 1772. Guerrilla resistance continued, and anti-Russian political moves were snuffed out by a second Russian invasion in 1792. Following a Second Partition between Russia and Prussia in 1793, Poland's national hero Thaddeus Kosciusko led a national uprising against the invaders in April 1794. After remarkable victories against the odds at Raclawice and Warsaw, the patriots were finally defeated by the combined armies of Prussia and Russia at Maciejowice. This led to the Third Partition of 1795, between Prussia, Russia, and Austria, and Poland ceased to exist as a political nation. Featuring specially commissioned full-color illustrations, this is the epic story of Poland's doomed struggle to remain independent in the face of aggression from its neighbours in the late 18th century.
On 24 April 1877 Tsar Nicholas II declared war on the Ottoman Empire. The Sultan had a battle-hardened army ready for war. For the Tsar, this was to be the first major conflict since the abolition of serfdom and the creation of a German-style military reserve system. Ian Drury details the campaigns fought in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877, and the uniforms and organisation of the armies of both sides, in a text backed by numerous illustrations and photographs, including eight full page colour plates by Raffaele Ruggeri.
Following the Battle of Wounded Knee in 1890, the US Cavalry were called into action again with the declaration of war against Spain in 1898. In the years that followed, cavalrymen saw action in a wide variety of theaters. This title takes a close look at the formation and experiences of the average cavalryman in this fascinating period of change and development, and also considers the cavalry officer corps. Numerous developments in dress, training, equipment, weaponry and tactics are all covered here.
Less well known than the Zulu of South Africa, the warriors of East Africa had just as fearsome a reputation. This fascinating study, illustrated with rare early drawings and meticulous colour plates, covers six of most prominent tribes. The prowess of the lion-hunting Masai deterred all foreign penetration for most of the 19th century; the Ngoni, driven north by the Zulu, revolutionized warfare in the region; the HeHe put up fierce resistance to German colonisers; the Ruga-Ruga produced two formidable warlords and adorned themselves with bloody trophies; the Nandi showed reckless bravery even against machine guns; and the Turkana dominated one of the most pitiless wildernesses in all of Africa.