Osprey's examination of the events in the Bay of Pigs (1961) that led to the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962). In early 1961 President John F. Kennedy gave the go-ahead to an existing plan for Cuban exiles to return to overthrow Fidel Castro's communist regime. While the CIA helped in the planning stages, the attempt would not be assisted by any US armed forces. On the night of April 16, 1961, a force of 1,400 exiles, known as 2506 Brigade, landed at the Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba, supported by a few World War II vintage aircraft flying from Nicaragua. While they succeeded in knocking out some of Castro's small air force on the ground, the remaining Cuban aircraft sank two of the exiles' support ships, and the beachhead became isolated. Fighting continued for three days before Castro's army overwhelmed the landing force. Most of the exiles were captured and suffered a harsh imprisonment before the US negotiated their release. This episode, followed by the installation of Soviet missiles in Cuba, led directly to the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, and continues to affect US/Cuban diplomatic relations to this day. This book, written by the nephew of a surviving 2506 Brigade veteran, includes detailed color plates, unpublished photographs, and interviews with veterans.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This is a concise history of the Royal Navy's air arm during World War II (1939-1945), from the Arctic convoys, to the battle for Malta, to the last raids on Japan. The contribution of British Naval aviation to the ultimate Allied victory cannot be underestimated. Amazingly the Admiralty only had 406 operational pilots and 8 carriers when war broke out, but a mere 6 years later there were over 3,000 operational pilots and 53 aircraft carriers patrolling the seas in every theater of the war. The author charts the rapid evolution of the Fleet Air Arm during the war years as air power took over the cutting edge of naval warfare from surface battleships. The carriers were in action from the first with actions by HMS Ark Royal and Courageous in September 1939 to the major actions of the carrier force off Japan in the closing days of the war. This book offers a complete overview from recruitment and training to the thrilling accounts of operational successes and failures. Discover some of the most dramatic actions of the war as Royal Navy aces battled against Axis forces scoring both the first and last kills of the war.
Discover the men behind one of the most exotic military environments of the 20th century. Humiliatingly defeated in the Sino-Japanese War 1894-95 and the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, Imperial China collapsed into revolution in the early 20th century and a republic was proclaimed in 1912. From the death of the first president in 1916 to the rise of the Nationalist Kuomintang government in 1926, the differing regions of this vast country were ruled by endlessly forming, breaking and re-forming alliances of regional generals who ruled as 'warlords'. These warlords acted essentially as local kings and, much like Sengoku-period Japan, a few larger power-blocks emerged, fielding armies hundreds of thousands strong. This book, the first detailed, illustrated guide to do so, studies each great warlord in turn, as well as the organization of their forces which acquired much and very varied weaponry from the west, including the latest French air force bombers. They were also joined by Japanese, White Russian and some Western soldiers of fortune which adds even more color to a fascinating and oft-forgotten period. The fascinating text is illustrated with many rare photographs and detailed uniform plates by Stephen Walsh.
From the Boxer Rebellion to Tsingtao to German East Africa (Tanzania), and colonies across Africa and the central Pacific, the Kaiser's Second Reich created a worldwide empire, and then lost it. Following Prussia's victory over France in 1871 and German unification, the invigorated Second Reich sought international status alongside the older colonial powers - Britain, France, Spain and Russia. Actual overseas settlement was always sparse, counted in the low tens of thousands only, but by the mid-1880s German trading companies had established footholds in what became German East Africa (Tanzania), German South-West Africa (Namibia), and German West Africa (Cameroon, and Togo). To consolidate their position against native resistance, and to extend their frontiers, the German Imperial government soon took over these enclaves as colonies or 'protectorates'. In the 1890s it established a new branch of the armed forces, the Schutztruppe, composed largely of African askaris with German officers and NCOs, backed up by German artillery and machine guns. In parallel, the Imperial Navy raised marine battalions - eventually, three Seebataillone - to protect its overseas bases and to reinforce the colonies as needed. After German participation in putting down the Boxer Rebellion (1900) their primary responsibility was the German concession territory at Tsingtao in China, where Germany also raised a local East Asia Brigade; but the marines also served in the German Pacific possessions - Samoa, New Guinea, the Bismarck Archipelago, the Northern Solomon Islands, the Marshalls, Marianas and Carolines. Marine companies were also rotated through the African colonies at need. In addition to small-scale 'police' work, the brief German colonial period involved putting down rebellions in East Africa (1888-98) and Cameroon, and crushing - with great ruthlessness - the determined resistance of the Herero and Nama tribes in SW Africa (1890-1907), where there was a degree of German settlement. In World War I, Germany soon lost almost all her colonies to much stronger Allied forces. In China, Tsingtao was captured late in 1914 by a Japanese force with token British assistance. Resistance was minimal in the Pacific; and in 1915 the last defenders of German South-West Africa surrendered to South African forces. However, in East Africa the Schutztruppe, commanded by the very able Col (later MajGen) Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, fought a skillful mobile war against much larger British and Empire forces, and were the very last German troops to surrender in November 1918. Meanwhile, the Navy's marine infantry branch had been enlarged, forming first one, then two Marine Divisions, which fought on the Western Front - including the Ypres and Somme sectors - throughout the war. Featuring specially drawn full-colour artwork, this book tells the story of Imperial Germany's colonial and overseas troops, who fought in a host of environments including China, Africa, and the Western Front of World War I.
Some of the most famous Western movies have been set against the background of the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century. Now, for the first time in English, Osprey offer a concise but fact-packed account of the events, armies, uniforms and weapons of those ten chaotic and bloody years, putting in context such famous but half-understood names as Diaz, Pancho Villa, Zapata, Madero and Huerta. The text is illustrated with many rare and fascinating period photographs, and with eight detailed color plates of orfiristas and Rurales, Maderisitas, Federales, Villistas, Zapatistas,and US volunteers and intervention troops.
On 9 July 1755 amid the wilderness of North America, Britain suffered one of the most humiliating defeats in her history. General Braddock's army, a mixture of British regulars and American militia, was shattered, losing over 900 men from a force of 1,300. Braddock was killed and the remnants of his army rescued by his aide, Colonel George Washington. The origins of this defeat can be traced back to the death of a junior French officer little more than a year before in a relatively minor skirmish with a party of Virginian militia commanded by the same George Washington. René Chartrand examines the subsequent chain of events that ultimately sparked a world war.
The emergence of Russian classical music in the nineteenth century in the wake of Mikhail Glinka comprises one of the most remarkable and fascinating stories in all musical history. The five men who came together in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg in the 1860s, all composers of talent, some of genius, would be--in spite of a virtual lack of technical training--responsible for some of the greatest and best-loved music ever written. How this happened is the subject of Stephen Walsh's brilliant composite portrait of the group known in the West as the Five, and in Russia as moguchaya kuchka--the Mighty Little Heap. Friends, competitors, and creative intellectuals whose ambitions and ideas reflect the ferment of their times, Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Alexander Borodin, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov, and--most important of all--Modest Musorgsky, come wonderfully to life in this extended account.The detail is engrossing. We see Borodin composing music while conducting research in chemistry ("he would jump up and run back to the laboratory to make sure nothing had burnt out or boiled over there, meanwhile filling the corridor with improbable sequences of ninths or sevenths"); Balakirev tutoring Musorgsky ("Balakirev could not remedy the defects in his pupil's character, but he could confront him with works of genius"); Cui doggedly producing operas during breaks from his career as a military fortifications instructor. Musorgsky asserts his independence, moving from writing songs and the showpiece Night on Bald Mountain to the magnificent Boris Godunov, meanwhile struggling against poverty and depression. In the background such important figures as Vissarion Belinsky and Nikolay Chernïshevsky shape the cultural milieu, while the godfather of the kuchka, critic and scholar Vladimir Stasov, is seen offering sometimes combative support. As an experienced and widely skilled musical scholar and biographer (his two-volume life of Stravinsky has been called "one of the best books ever written about a musician"), Stephen Walsh is exceptionally wellplaced to tell this story. He does so with deep understanding and panache, making Musorgksy and His Circle both important and a delight to read.
In his Chronicles, Froissart describes Otterburn as 'the best fought and the most severe' battle of his time. Fought at Redesdale in Northumberland in August 1388, the battle originated from the ongoing war between the Scots and the English following Robert Bruce's victory over the English at Bannockburn in 1314. Using all the contemporary sources, this book details the events that led up to the clash on the borders, examines the opposing armies, their weaponry and their commanders - including the Douglases on the Scots side and the Percys on the English - and gives a full account of the battle and its aftermath.
Osprey's examination of the brief but colorful history of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry, detailing the rich experiences of the men who fought in its ranks. Founded in May 1898, the unit's actions in Cuba during the Spanish-American War (1898) have passed into military and national legend. The men who volunteered for the force came from a broad spectrum of American society, including seasoned ranch hands and cowboys, college athletes, and policemen. The unit was posted to Cuba in June 1898, where the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry fought in the battles of Las Guasimas, Kettle Hill and San Juan Hill. At this time, its commander, Colonel Leonard Wood, took charge of the US 2nd Cavalry Brigade, leaving Theodore Roosevelt to assume command of the 1st US Volunteer Cavalry. The unit subsequently became known as 'Roosevelt's Rough Riders', after Buffalo Bill's popular cowboy show that featured 'Rough Riders of the World'. Many of the volunteers were struck down by disease and sickness during the campaign, and the unit was eventually withdrawn, returning to a hero's welcome in the US. The last veteran of the unit died in 1975, but a rich body of source material has survived, and much of this is covered in this fascinating work.
In 1898 US public opinion turned against the Spanish for their repression of Cuba. Relations between the two governments soured and ultimately resulted in the mysterious blowing up of the USS Maine in Havana harbor, which triggered a short but demanding war. A US expeditionary force was sent to Cuba, where the troops encountered both difficult climate and terrain, and a fierce Spanish garrison which, despite being greatly outnumbered, fought hard before surrendering.Many famous US personalities were involved, including future President Theodore Roosevelt, future general John Pershing, and journalists William Randolph Hearst and Stephen Crane.The war against the Spanish may have been brief but as Henry Cabot Lodge declared: "Its results were startling, and of world-wide meaning." Victory made the US a nation with global interests.As an extension of the war, US troops also captured the island of Puerto Rico. The US Navy bombarded Manila in the Philippines, and landed its troops. The Spanish garrison quickly surrendered, but a local anti-Spanish insurgent force under Emilio Aguinaldo resisted US occupation. The conflict continued until 1902, more than 100,000 US troops were eventually committed, and the campaign saw difficult jungle fighting, with indigenous Moro tribesmen fiercely resisting US forces.Providing a detailed examination of the experiences and equipment of the opposing sides, and featuring rare and previously unpublished photographs, this book highlights this crucial yet oft-forgotten war that changed the future of American foreign policy during "the age of American imperialism."From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Spanish Civil War, 1936-39, was the curtain-raiser to World War II, and the major international event of the 1930s. It was the first great clash of 20th-century ideologies, between the rebel Nationalist army led by General Franco (right-wing, and aided by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy), and the Republican army of the government (left-wing, and aided by the Communist Soviet Union and many volunteers from liberal democracies). Three years of widespread campaigns involved the most modern weapons available (submachine guns, mortars, artillery, tanks, and combat aircraft operating in direct support of ground forces). The war was fought ruthlessly by both sides, and when the Nationalists secured victory they installed a dictatorship that lasted until November 1975 - the last such regime in Western Europe.The Nationalist forces were varied in origin and appearance. Their spearhead was provided by the colonial army brought over from Spanish Morocco - the Spanish Foreign Legion, and Spanish-led Moroccan native regiments. Apart from sympathizers within the pre-war regular army, troops raised in Spain reflected a number of distinct regional traditions and political militias, and included both internal security units and foreign volunteer contingents. Weapons and equipment came from a wide variety of Spanish and foreign sources. Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork, this first part of a two-part study depicts the fighting men of the Nationalist forces that strove to take control of Spain alongside their German and Italian allies.
Picking up where the first volume left off, Walsh, a critic and musicologist at Cardiff U. , continues his biography of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) from 1934 in France to his death in 1971. The biography follows his life and career from Paris to America, during a time when his wife died, he remarried, composed neoclassical works such as The Rake's Progress and Symphony in C, and dabbled in serialism. The first volume of the biography is Stravinsky: A Creative Spring: Russia and France, 1882-1934, which was published in 1999. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
When the USA entered World War I in April 1917 her Regular Army counted just 128,000 men and lacked all the necessary equipment and training for modern trench warfare. By the Armistice of November 1918, General John J.Pershing's American Expeditionary Force in France had more than 2 million men and was holding 25 per cent of the Western Front. They had helped smash Ludendorff's brilliant Operation "Michael" in the lines before Paris; had turned onto the offensive themselves at St Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne; and if Germany had not negotiated peace with unexpected speed the US Army would have taken over from their tired Allies an even greater share of the planned 1919 campaign. This concise account of America's first world class army, its organization, uniforms, weapons and character, is illustrated with rare photos and eight full color plates.
Alex de Quesada reveals the full history of the US Coast Guard throughout World War II (1939-1945) in this Elite title. In particular, the book draws attention to the little-known history of how the US Coast Guard ran a number of the landing craft throughout D-Day in 1944 as well as providing crucial anti-U-boat patrols throughout the war years. A number of Coast Guard servicemen were lost in these two campaigns, and their undeniable contribution to the US war effort deserves greater recognition. There was a diverse array of roles within the wartime Coast Guard, from the manning of landing craft, to Coast Guard aviators and gunners to the Merchant Marine and Port Security Services. These roles are all fully explained and illustrated with a number of rare photographs and specially commissioned artwork.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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