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Rottman's latest title discusses the original reorganization of Vietnam forces, from the original colonial structure implemented by the French into the first national army of Vietnam. Complete with a detailed history of the command structure and orders of battle, Rottman sheds light on the little known divisional histories of the army through rare, original source material. Moreover, the author examines in detail the evolution of such key units as armoured forces, ranger commands as well as combat unit organization. This, together with a detailed analysis of the experiences of the typical rank and file soldier as well as officer corps, provides a concise and and in-depth history of an army that is too often neglected or quickly judged.
Osprey's survey of the Blue Division soldiers of World War II (1939-1945). The all-volunteer 'Blue Division' was a formation that allowed Franco's technically neutral Spain to support Nazi Germany's invasion of Russia. Following initial training in Germany, the Blue Division's units were sent to the Eastern Front in August 1941, where, after a 40-day march to the front, the Division fought in several major battles including Leningrad. In 1943, with the tide turning against the Axis forces in Russia, the Division was ordered to be withdrawn, yet many men chose to stay on and serve with the Volunteer Legion. Even after the collapse in the East, some volunteered to serve with Waffen-SS units through to the fall of Berlin in 1945. This book narrates the experiences of the common soldier, exploring his motivation for serving the Wehrmacht, and detailing his dramatic experiences in a brutal and hostile theater of World War II.
In the English-speaking world, it is generally unknown that a volunteer Brazilian Expeditionary Force (FEB) fought alongside the US Army in Italy from mid-1944 until the end of the war. This was in effect a light infantry division, consisting of three infantry regiments augmented with artillery and light armour. It was supported by a Brazilian Air Force contingent of a light reconnaissance squadron as well as a P-47 Thunderbolt-equipped fighter squadron. Although all weapons, uniform, kit and equipment were either American-supplied or American models, there were distinctive Brazilian adaptations to uniforms and other key pieces of kit. This is a seriously researched volume on a little-studied subject matter complete with a range of previously unpublished photographs and specially commissioned artwork plates.
Often over-shadowed by contemporary events in China and Japan, the Chaco War (1932-1935) was a massive territorial war between Bolivia and Paraguay, which cost almost 100,000 lives. It was sparked by Bolivia's attempts to capture a stretch of the Paraguay River to gain access to the Atlantic. An old fashioned territorial dispute, the contested area was the Gran Chaco Boreal, a 100,000-square mile region of swamp, jungle and pampas with isolated fortified towns. The wilderness terrain made operations difficult and costly as the war see-sawed between the two sides. Bolivian troops, under the command of a German general, Hans von Kundt, had early successes, but these stalled in the face of a massive mobilization programme by the Paraguans which saw their force increase in size ten-fold to 60,000 men. Both sides acquired 'modern' technology including tanks and planes in an attempt to seize the initiative but by 1935 both sides were exhausted and a ceasefire concluded. This book sheds light on a vicious territorial war that waged in the jungles and swamps of the Gran Chaco and is illustrated with rare photographs and especially commissioned artwork.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's examination of German forces prior to World War II (1939-1945). The Condor Legion was the expeditionary force of soldiers and airmen sent by Hitler to aid Franco's Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). The Germans used the war as an opportunity to develop equipment and tactics, and their force included not only instructors, but also combat units of artillery, tanks and aircraft. These units tested guns, tanks and planes and perfected techniques which were used in the 1940 Blitzkrieg. Many of the officers prominent in the early campaigns of World War II won their first successes in Spain. This book details the Legion and its unique uniform and insignia.
The Czech Legion was not just a single military unit, but a volunteer army that fielded up to 100,000 troops on the Allied side on all three main fronts in World War I (1914-1918). Since only the defeat of Austro-Hungary and Germany offered any hope of Czech national independence, they were amongst the most motivated and steadfast of the Allied forces in France, the Italian Alps and Russia. In one of the most colorful and extraordinary episodes of the 20th century they fought their way across Russia in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, captured the Russian national gold reserves in Kazan, and used this as a bargaining chip to force the Bolsheviks to allow them to return home, in an epic journey closely followed by the Western press. The Legion played a central part in the foundation of the Czechoslovakian nation with the leaders of independent Czechoslovakia - Masaryk, Benes and Stefanik - all emerging from the Legion's ranks. Today the Legion is recognized as the founding fathers of Czech nationhood and are idolized by the US Czech community as a result.
In World War II a number of German Army units and divisions were classed as élites, and were distinguished by special insignia of various kinds. For some this status was simply a matter of lineage - e.g. the Infantry Regiment 'List', which traced its identity to the Bavarian unit with which Hitler had served in World War I. Some, like the 'Grossdeutschland' and Panzer-Lehr divisions, were raised from particularly high grade personnel. Other titles honoured extraordinary battlefield exploits or heroic sacrifice, like the 'Brandenburg' and 'Hoch und Deutschmeister' divisions. This fact-packed introduction to these famous units is illustrated with rare photographs and detailed colour plates.
This third volume of a mini-series covering the German forces in World War I (1914-1918) examines the troops that fought during the climax of the war on all fronts: the last great battles of attrition in the West (Arras, Messines, 3rd Ypres - Passchendaele/Langemarck - and Cambrai, 1917) and the collapse of Russia in the East. The 'Kaiserschlacht' campaign is covered, as are the German operations in Italy, the Balkans, and in support of Turkey in the Middle East. Uniform changes during this period reflected the introduction of new tactics and weapons and new types of troops, such as tanks and assault battalions.
This book explores the origins, development, combat use and lasting influence of Nazi Germany's automatic rifles, focusing on the Gew 41(W), Gew 43/Kar 43, FG 42 and MP 43/StG 44. The Blitzkrieg campaigns of 1939-40 convinced many observers that most infantry combat took place at closer ranges than the 750-1,000m. From 1941 Germany's arms designers took note and produced a new series of infantry firearms. This study not only provides a detailed technical description of each weapon, but also explores how the firearms performed on the battlefields of World War II. The combat takes us from the FG 42 in the hands of Fallschirmjäger at Monte Cassino through to StG 44s being used by Waffen-SS soldiers on both the Eastern and Western Fronts. Postwar service is also studied, such as the Gew 43's adoption by the Czech Army and the StG 44's use by the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War. Setting each firearm in its tactical and historical context, and employing striking photographs and full-colour artwork, firearms expert Chris McNab sets out the absorbing story of this distinctive and influential series of weapons.
Osprey's survey of the recipients of the Knight's Cross and Oak-Leaves awards during World War II (1939-1945). In 1939 a new grade in the Iron Cross series was introduced, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross (Ritterkreuz des Eisernen Kreuzes). It was awarded for a variety of reasons, from skilled leadership to a single act of extreme gallantry, and was bestowed across all ranks, grades, and branches of service. As the war progresed, further distinctions were created for bestowal on existing winners, namely Oak-Leaves (Eichenlaub); Oak-Leaves with Swords (Eichenlaub und Schwertern); and Oak-Leaves with Swords and Diamonds (Eichenlaub, Schwerter und Brillanten). This book, the first in a sequence of four, covers winners of the Knights Cross and the Oak-Leaves distinction in the period 1939-40.
On 21 June 1941, as the Wehrmachtstormed forward across the frontiers of the Soviet Union, Hitler instituted a new higher grade of the Knight's Cross decoration for gallantry and leadership: the silver clasp of the Oak-Leaves with Swords. It would be awarded to only 159 men of the approximately 15 million who served in the German armed forces during World War II. This third in a sequence of four titles describes and illustrates a selection of the recipients: from much-wounded front line infantry officers, to Hitler's 'brother-in-law'; from a sergeant pilot fighter ace, to the commanding general of the greatest tank force ever gathered on the Russian Front.
Osprey's examination of the recipients of the Knight's Cross with Diamonds award of World War II (1939-1945). On 1 September 1939, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was created by Hitler. It could be distributed to all ranks within any branch of the Wehrmacht, Waffen-SS or the auxiliary services, and it was the highest award that the Third Reich could offer. During the war, new grades of Knight's Cross were added. The Diamonds were introduced on 28 September 1941, and were the next highest grade above the Oakleaves and Swords. Only 27 awards of Diamonds were made during the war creating an elite echelon of war heroes and many of the awards were made for acts of extreme bravery which are detailed in this volume.
With the MG 34, the German Wehrmacht introduced an entirely new concept in automatic firepower - the general-purpose machine gun (GPMG). In itself the MG 34 was an excellent weapon: an air-cooled, recoil-operated machine gun that could run through belts of 7.92mm ammunition at a rate of 850rpm, delivering killing firepower at ranges of more than 1,000m. Yet simply by changing its mount and feed mechanism, the operator could radically transform its function. On its standard bipod it was a light machine gun, ideal for infantry assaults; on a tripod it could serve as a sustained-fire medium machine gun; aircraft or vehicular mounts turned it into an air defence weapon; and it also served as the coaxial machine gun on numerous tanks.During World War II, the MG 34 was superseded (although it remained in combat use) by a new GPMG - the MG 42. The MG 42 was more efficient to manufacture and more robust, and had a blistering 1,200rpm rate of fire. Nicknamed 'Hitler's buzzsaw' by Allied troops, it was arguably the finest all-round GPMG ever produced, and alongside the MG 34 it inflicted heavy casualties on Allied soldiers on all European and North African fronts. Such were its qualities of firepower and usability that it became the foundation of an entire series of postwar machine guns, including the MG 1 and MG 3 - the latter is still in production and service to this day.Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and drawing upon numerous technical manuals and first-hand accounts, this study explores the technological development, varied roles and lasting influence of the revolutionary MG 34 and MG 42 machine guns and their postwar successors.
Osprey's new Weapon series provides a highly-detailed yet affordable overview of the development, use, and impact of small arms throughout history - from the sword to the machine gun.Learn the surprising truths behind one of modern warfare's most popular and controversial firearms. Developed immediately after World War II, the RPG-series have proved to be simple, flexible, and powerful devices, which have had an impact far beyond original expectations. Track its development and deployment firsthand, from the Vietnam hills to the streets of modern Baghdad.Gordon Rottman provides a detailed analysis of perhaps one of the most important weapons to be developed in the 20th century. He has been at the receiving end of the RPG-2 and RPG-7 as well as firing them himself, providing personal testament to the effectiveness with which they accomplished their missions. This in-depth coverage is well-accompanied by Ramiro Bujeiro's battlescene artwork and Tony Bryan's cutaway illustrations.
Intelligence specialist Leigh Neville identifies, describes and illustrates the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the US and other Allied (Coalition) forces committed to the 'War on Terror' in Afghanistan since 2001, providing a fascinating insight into specific operations detailing weapons, equipment and experiences in combat. With a surprising amount of recently unclassified material from government departments that are yet to be published in the mass media, this is a ground-breaking analysis of the largest mobilization of Special Forces in recent history. Extensive first-hand accounts provide an eyewitness perspective of the fighting including a description of the assault on Tora Bora, all illustrated with an array of unpublished photos and full color artwork. Containing detailed information on the US Delta Force, the British SAS, Australian and Canadian Special Forces as well as CIA and MI6 operational units this book provides a crucial study of their skills and success amidst Afghan mountains.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This volume provides an in-depth look at the experience of the ordinary US marine 'grunt' in Vietnam. Organisation of the corps, weaponry, equipment, uniforms, training and medical arrangements are all discussed. However, where this book differs from other similar works is not only in the detail that it goes into but also in the unifying theme of examining all these differing aspects of marine life from the point of view of a soldier serving in the conflict. The author, Charles Melson, actually served in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), and it is this personal experience that allows him to provide such a unique angle on the subject.
Osprey's examination of the United States Navy during World War II (1939-1945). In 1941 the US Navy had 17 battleships - of which eight would be knocked out on the first day of the war - four aircraft carriers, and about 340,000 men including reservists. Pearl Harbor so weakened it that it was unable to prevent the Japanese capture of the Philippines and a vast sweep of Pacific islands. By 1945 it was the strongest navy the world had ever seen, with nearly 100 carriers, 41,000 aircraft and 3.3 million men; the unrivalled master of air-sea and amphibious operations, it was poised to invade Japan's home islands after reducing her fleet to scrap and her Pacific empire to impotence and starvation. This extraordinary story is illustrated here with dramatic photos, and nine meticulous colour plates showing a wide range of USN uniforms.
The skill and care of the women of the Allied military nursing services was remembered gratefully by hundreds of thousands of wounded servicemen of World War II (1939-1945). The small peacetime services increased rapidly by enrolling reservists and volunteers; the great majority of the nurses who cared for Allied casualties were 'civilians in uniform', who worked tirelessly under difficult conditions and - in tented hospitals close to the front lines - in real danger; many nurses paid for their devotion with their lives. This first-ever fully illustrated study of the US, British, Commonwealth, and other nursing organisations includes many unpublished photographs and 24 meticulously illustrated colour figures.
Under the Nazi regime, Hitler's conservative views on the place of housewives and mothers in society limited German women to a much less active role in World War II (1939-1945) than their British and Allied counterparts. Nevertheless, the demands of a prolonged war did see German women in a range of uniforms as auxiliaries with the Army, Navy, Air Force and SS, particularly in the signals and air defence services. This unique book explains and illustrates these organisations and their uniforms and insignia, as well as Red Cross nurses, and auxiliaries of the Labour Corps, Customs Service, National Socialist Women's Organisation, and League of German Maidens (Hitler Youth).
The Medal of Honor is the highest military award that can be bestowed on personnel in the United States' Armed Forces. This book is the first of two titles looking at the recipients of the Medal of Honor during World War II (1939-1945). It covers Navy and Marine Corps awardees in all theaters of war, from the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 to the brutal fighting on Iwo Jima in 1945. Among the inspiring stories told are those of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, the only Coast Guardsman to ever receive the Medal of Honor, and Commander Antrim, who faced almost certain death to save fellow prisoners in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be awarded to personnel in the United States' Armed Forces. From the early fighting in the Philippines through the D-Day landings in Northwest Europe to the final assaults in the Pacific, this book looks at the brave US soldiers and airmen who were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions in the face of danger. It tells the exciting combat stories of such famous figures as the film star Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated US soldier of World War II (1939-1945), alongside less well-known awardees.