This engaging study pits the volunteers of Kitchener's 'New Armies' against the German veterans who defended the Somme sector in the bloody battles of July-November 1916. The mighty struggle for the Somme sector of the Western Front in the second half of 1916 has come to be remembered for the dreadful toll of casualties inflicted on Britain's 'New Armies' by the German defenders on the first day of the offensive, 1 July. The battle continued, however, throughout the autumn and only came to a close in the bitter cold of mid-November. The British plan relied on the power of artillery to suppress and destroy the German defences; the infantry were tasked with taking and holding the German trenches, but minimal resistance was anticipated. In the event the defences were damaged but not destroyed, and small numbers of defenders, many of whom had garrisoned the Somme sector for many months and knew the ground well, inflicted appalling casualties on the British attackers. Both sides incurred major losses, however; German doctrine emphasised that the first line had to be held or retaken at all costs, a rigid defensive policy that led to very high casualties as the Germans threw survivors into ad hoc, piecemeal counterattacks all along the line.Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork and based on meticulous reassessment of the sources.
An eye-popping, innovative approach to one of the most-popular topics in all of history: the European Theater of World War II. The myth-busting designers of this unique book will provide readers with a full account of the campaign to liberate Europe sprinkled throughout with more than 200 unequalled visual assets. Based-on the 6-part mini-series coming from BBC Channel 4 in the UK and History TV in Canada. Includes extensive interviews with WWII veterans such as Col. Edward D. Shames who fought with the legendary 'Band of Brothers' of "E" Company, 2/506, 101st Airborne.
Beginning with a look at D-Day itself, this book begins by analyzing the deadly fighting on the beaches as the Allies launched the first successful cross-Channel invasion in 900 years and concludes with the final victory amidst the ruins of Berlin. Now, almost 70 years afterwards, this book reveals the realities of the final year of the war through the words and recollections of the last surviving veterans. Using their own words and accounts it describes the terror of soldiers facing down a German tank, assaulting a machine-gun post or surviving an artillery barrage on the long, arduous road to Victory-in-Europe. Drawing upon expert analysis and no-holds-barred recreations, it also shows the devastating effects of the weaponry used on a daily basis in an astonishing sequence of full-colour images while historic imagery bring to life the last great battles between the Allies and Nazi Germany from the torturous struggle for control of Falaise to the desperate fighting in the Bulge and the final push to the heart of the Reich. Like no other book before, World War II Frontline Heroes, reveals how ordinary men and women fought and survived throughout the extraordinary final months of World War II.
'Going up Beek trench on a dark night was no picnic. You started along a long narrow alley winding uphill, your hands feeling the slimy sandbag walls, your feet wary for broken duck boards; now and again a hot, stuff smell, a void space in the wall, and the swish of pumped up water under foot proclaimed the entrance to a mine. ... round corners you dived under narrow tunnels two or three feet high, finally emerging into the comparative open of the front line trench.' Soldier, 1/4th Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1916In this new book, First World War trench expert Stephen Bull provides a complete picture of trench warfare on the Western Front, from the construction of the trenches and their different types, to the new weaponry and tactics employed in defense and attack. In addition, the book describes the experience of life in the trenches, from length of service, dealing with death and disease, to uniforms and discharge. Alongside his compelling narrative of the campaigns fought in the trenches from 1914 to 1918, annotated trench maps highlight particular features of the trenches, while photographs, documents, and first-hand accounts combine to give a full and richly detailed account of war in the trenches.
Osprey's examination of jungle warfare tactics of World War II (1939-1945).Suffocating heat, tropical rain and hostile jungle terrain were but a few of the treacherous obstacles that confronted the Allies when they fought against the Imperial Japanese Army in the Southeast Asian rainforest.Aided by the knowledge of the terrain, the Japanese were consistently successful in their advances during the winter of 1941-42. However, once the Allies realized that unconventional means and specific jungle skills would be needed in order to survive and win, they developed effective units able to fight the Japanese in this hostile environment.Lessons were learned by the few British soldiers trapped in the central Malaysian jungle by the time of the fall of Singapore and Malaya. In Burma, Orde Wingate led the Chindits, an allied force that trained in jungle discipline, field craft, survival skills, and special tactics such as combat tracking, close-quarter fighting, and small team operations. These men were responsible for pioneering the key jungle warfare tactics that are still practised effectively to this day.Providing an expert analysis of tactical warfare, this book explains the early successes of the Japanese and highlights how the Allies overcame many physical and psychological impairments, to master the art of jungle warfare and finally conquer the strange and claustrophobic jungle environment.
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.
Although prolonged warfare in subzero temperatures and/or at high altitude had occurred from time to time before 1900, the twentieth century saw an unprecedented emphasis on fighting in all terrains, seasons and weather conditions. Such conditions made even basic survival difficult as subzero temperatures caused weapons to jam, engines to seize up and soldiers to suffer frostbite, snow blindness and hypothermia; even the hardiest, best-equipped troops found defending their positions very difficult, let alone conducting offensive operations. The conditions often favoured small groups of mobile, lightly armed soldiers, rather than the armoured forces or air power that dominated other combat environments.Some European armies developed small numbers of specialist alpine troops before and during World War I, but these proved to be insufficient as nearly all the major combatants of World War II found themselves fighting for extended periods in extremely hostile cold-weather and/or alpine environments. Some, like the German forces invading the USSR in 1941, were - apart from a few specialist formations - poorly equipped and trained for the unique difficulties imposed by such conditions, and were initially forced to improvise. Others, such as the Finns in the Winter War of 1939-40, outclassed their Soviet opponents with their mobility (many soldiers were already competent skiers at the outbreak of war), marksmanship, bold initiative and decisive leadership.Drawing upon manuals, memoirs and unit histories and illustrated with period tactical diagrams and specially commissioned full-colour artwork, this study sheds new light on the winter-warfare tactics and techniques of the US, British, German, Soviet and Finnish armies of World War II.