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First seen during the American Civil War and later appearing in the Franco-Prussian War and the Anglo-Boer Wars, the armored train came to prominence on the Eastern Front during World War I. It was also deployed during the Russian Civil War and the technology traveled east into the Chinese Civil War, and the subsequent war with Japan. It saw service on the Russian Front in World War II, but was increasingly sidelined by its vulnerability to air attack. Steven J Zaloga examines the origins and development of the armored train focusing equally on the technical detail and on the fascinating story of how armored trains were actually used in combat. This title will appeal to armor, military history and railroad enthusiasts alike.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Following on from two previous volumes covering the Atlantic Wall, this book completes the story of one of the most formidable defensive lines in Europe in World War II, looking at the lesser known Mediterranean extension and describing how it was conceived of, built and used. After the alarming collapse of Italy in 1943, the Germans launched a crash building program and the 'Sudwall,' (South Wall) sprang up quickly along the French Mediterranean coast and the neighbouring Italian coast around Genoa. The new defences were bolstered by existing French fortifications of key port towns such as Marseilles and Toulon - many of them bristling with heavy artillery. Whilst describing the wall's physical design features, this book also recounts the defences' role in the Allied invasion of Southern France; Operation Dragoon - 'The Second D-Day'. As the Germans' worst fears became a reality, the southern Atlantic Wall would face its ultimate test.
The Battle of the Bulge was the last major German offensive in the West and the largest and the most costly battle fought by the US Army in World War II. Fought during the bitter winter of 1944-45, and resulting in over 100,000 German casualties and over 80,000 American casualties, it turned an apparent defeat into what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill called 'an ever-famous American victory'. Three armies attacked through the Ardennes, the weakest point in the American lines - and almost broke through. At St Vith and Elsenborn Ridge, Hitler, gambling everything in the hope that the residual might of the German army would not only force a breakthrough but would also split the Allied coalition in two, concentrated the bulk of his Panzer forces in the form of the Sixth Panzer Army. When the German advance here failed, Hitler switched the focus of the offensive to General Manteuffel's 5th Panzer Army in the south. Heavily attacked by superior German armor, outnumbered and without air support, the US army was on its own. The green US 106th Division held its own for a time, but then gave way in the biggest US surrender since Kasserine. German Panzers flooded towards the River Meuse. But at Bastogne their way was barred by the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne, the "Screaming Eagles". The ensuing battle of Bastogne would prove to be one of the most decisive battles of the war. In spite of its ultimate German failure, the Battle of the Bulge would have an important effect on the War and its aftermath: it slowed the Allies down, resulting in more territory being ceded to the Russian sphere of influence at the end of the War. This book on the decisive campaign of the war in northwest Europe provides a full account of the campaign strategy; the American and German forces and command; their equipment and tanks; and a detailed account of the fighting.
Steven Zaloga offers up a rigorous and absorbing study of the first major Allied operation in Normandy after the D-Day landings - the capture of Cherbourg. Blending expert analysis, specially commissioned artwork and illustrative maps, this book tells the story of a quintessential example of Coastal attack and defense. Cherbourg was recognized by both The German and Allied High commands as crucial to the Allied foothold in Normandy - it was the nearest major port and was desperately needed by the Allies for major logistical operations to support their forces on long stretches of open beach. Hitler, on the other hand, declared Cherbourg to be a 'Festung' (fortress), a designation everyone knew to mean that its defenders were to fight to the last man. After a gruelling struggle involving several distinct tactical phases designed to overcome the different elements of Cherbourg's defence, the campaign resulted in a bittersweet Allied victory, the drama and significance of which are explained in full in this work.
Stalin's Red Army entered the Second World War as a relatively untried fighting force. In 1941, with the launch of Operation Barbarossa, it joined battle with Hitler's army, the most powerful in history. After a desperate war of attrition over four years the Red Army beat the Nazis into defeat on the Eastern Front and won lasting fame and glory in 1945 by eclipsing the military might of the Third Reich. This book begins with a review of the historical background of the Red Army in the years leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939, and follows with a discussion of the major themes in the development of Soviet forces during the `Great Patriotic War' that ensued in 1941. The Red Army's organisational structures are examined, from high command down to divisional level and below, Soviet combat arms and weaponry are also described in detail. This is an indispensable source of reference for anyone interested in the armies of the Second World War.
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim is a legendary figure, whose life and career were deeply influential in Finnish and European history. He is viewed by many as the father of modern Finland after leading the 'White' faction to victory and independence in the Finnish Civil War of 1918. That conflict preceded a sequence of bitter clashes between Finland, Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany in the buildup to, and during, World War II: The Winter War in 1940, the Continuation War and the Lapland War in 1944-45. Throughout these fierce clashes in the ice and snow, Mannerheim managed his forces with great skill, even though the initiative was to swing back and forth between the adversaries. This study provides a fascinating insight into Mannerheim's career, analysing his traits, his biggest victories and his key enemies. Complete with uniform artwork and detailed tactical maps, it is a comprehensive guide to one of history's most capable military leaders and statesmen.
The HMMWV, better known as the Humvee or Hummer, has set the world standard for army tactical vehicles since its introduction into the US Army in the 1980s. Designed to be the successor to the jeep of World War II with a greater load-bearing capacity, the Humvee has proven to be adaptable to a wide range of roles, including weapons carrier, missile launcher, command vehicle and other specialized types. This book traces the development and use of the Humvee and its variations, including the latest families of armored Humvees used in Iraq in 2003-05, and its adoption in a peacekeeping role the world over.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The prevailing Western view of Russia's Cold War strategic nuclear weapons policy is that it resulted from a two-part interplay between the leaders of the Communist Party and the military. Steven J. Zaloga has found that a third contributor--the Russian defense industry--also played a vital role.Drawing from elusive Russian source material and interviews with many proud Russian and Ukrainian engineers, Zaloga presents a definitive account of Russia's strategic forces, who built them, and why. The book is the first in English to refer to the weapons by their actual Soviet names, providing the bedrock for future works. Helpful appendices list U.S., NATO, and other designations, and the illustrations provide clear visual references.
A voluminous writer on arms trading and technology, Zaloga explores the development of the Soviet Union and Russian strategic nuclear forces, focusing primarily on the offensive forces though looking at strategic defensive forces when necessary. The intercontinental ballistic missile being the most important element of the forces, it sits at the center of the study. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
The Gulf War bore witness to a number of deadly encounters between these two great adversaries. Heavily armored, highly mobile and capable of killing at over 2500m the M1 Abrams is, to this day, a veritable fighting machine. Superior to both Iraq's Soviet era T-55 and T-62 tanks, nearly all sources claim that no Abrams tank has ever been destroyed by enemy fire. Despite entering service in 1980, the M1 Abrams remained untested in combat until the Gulf War in 1991, where it was to be confronted by its archenemy the Iraqi-assembled Soviet-designed T-72. Entering production in 1971, the T-72 arguably outstripped its contemporaries in a balance of mobility, protection and firepower. By the time of Operation Desert Storm, however, the tables had turned and the tank suffered due to low quality ammunition and poorly trained crews. In this fascinating study, Steven Zaloga pits these two great fighting machines against one another, plotting the development of the Cold War until both tanks met in combat in the deserts of Iraq and Kuwait. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The history of US light tanks during World War II is a chequered one. The Light Battalions of US Armored Divisions were initially filled with M3A1 and M5 Stuart tanks, however, on the battlefields of North Africa it was realised that these were disastrously under armoured and gunned, and a replacement, or the abandonment of light tank doctrine, was desperately needed. It wasn't until the last few months of WWII that the M24 Chaffee came into service and it was extensively used in combat from the Battle of the Bulge to the final campaigns in Germany. This book will trace the history of this design, its combat record in World War II, its many variants, and its extensive combat record post 1945.
The M3 and M5 family of light tanks were the culmination of American tank development of the 1930s. By the time of the outbreak of the World War II, they were approaching obsolescence, as tank forces in Europe were shifting from light to medium tanks as the main element of their armored forces. First entering combat in the autumn of 1941 in the Western Desert with the British Army, the Stuart quickly proved its inadequacies. The M3 and M5 light tanks proved more suitable in the Pacific theater than in Europe, and fought successfully in many of the major battles including Guadalcanal, Tarawa and Peleliu. This title narrates this distinctive and unusual fighting vehicle's history.
United States tanks and other armored fighting vehicles in World War II have always been some of the most popular subjects for scale modelers, and hundreds of kits have been and are currently manufactured. Now, renowned modeler and AFV expert, Steven J. Zaloga, presents the definitive guide to modeling these famous fighting vehicles. Based around four building projects, Zaloga presents all the techniques necessary to get a great finish on a model, including super-detailing, correcting a flawed kit, building a resin model, scratch building, and painting and markings. These step-by-step guides is enhanced by numerous photographs specially shot form Steven's personal collection of US WWII armor, which looks at the vehicles with a modeler's eye and aid in obtaining the most realistic results on a finished project.
This book looks in detail at the plans and build-up to the the largest amphibious military operation called Operation Overlord in which The greatest armada the world had ever seen was assembled to transport the Allied invasion force of over 150,000 soldiers across the English Channel and open the long-awaited second front against Hitler's Third Reich. Discusses the events of D-Day in each of the key areas of the operation.
Zaloga offers a fascinating comparison of the combat performance of the two most important tanks involved in the crucial fighting of 1944, the Sherman and the Panther. Examining the design and development of both tanks, Zaloga notes the obvious superiority that the Panther had over the Sherman and how the highly engineered German tank was eventually beaten back, not necessarily by the improvements made to the Sherman, but rather by the superior numbers of tanks that the Allies were able to put into the field.Putting the reader into the heart of this battle between quality and quantity Zaloga examines the tactical intricacies of the battles between these two rivals. Using a compelling account of the ferocious fighting in the Ardennes region to explain the successes and failures of each tank he also highlights the fact that a tank can only be as good as its crew, weighing up the impact of low morale, high cost and mediocre crew training on the Panthers superiority. Packed with full-colour battlescenes, technical drawings, photographs, digital gunsight views, extracts from crew training manuals and real combat reports, this book brings to life the titanic battles between the Sherman and the Panther.
The German invasion in 1941 led to a series of staggering defeats for the Russians. In the first five months of fighting, the Soviets lost about four million men, amounting to 80 per cent of the total strength of the ground forces at the time of the outbreak of the war. Yet the Red Army managed to hold on. The Soviets had been steadily growing throughout in capability and effectiveness, and after the smashing of the German offensive at the battle of the Kursk salient, they were never again seriously checked, advancing to the ruins of Berlin itself. This title examines the organisation, equipment and uniforms of the Red Army of the Great Patriotic War.
This book surveys the development of the T-26 as well as its combat record in the Spanish Civil War, the war in China, the border wars with Poland and Finland in 1939-40, and the disastrous battles of 1941 during Operation Barbarossa.The T-26 was the first major Soviet program of the 1930s, beginning as a license-built version of the British Vickers 6-ton export tank. Although the T-26 retained the basic Vickers hull and suspension, the Red Army began to make extensive changes to the turret and armament, starting with the addition of a 45mm tank gun in 1933. The T-26 was built in larger numbers than any other tank prior to World War II. Indeed, more T-26 tanks were manufactured than the combined tank production of Germany, France, Britain, and the United States in 1931-40.
The T-54 and T-55 tanks are the most widely manufactured tanks of all time. They have become ubiquitous to wars around the globe since the 1950s, starting with Hungary in 1956, and including the the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967, 1973 and 1982, the Vietnam war of 1967-75, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, the Afghanistan conflict, Operation Desert Storm, the Yugoslav Civil Wars, and the recent conflict in Iraq. This book will examine the roots of this prolific tank family, starting with the Soviet Army's first attempts to replace the legendary T-34 during World War II, and covering the T-43 and the T-44, the more successful T-54, and its ultimate evolution into the T-55.
The T-64 tank was the most revolutionary design of the whole Cold War, designed to provide the firepower and armor protection of a heavy tank in a medium-weight design. It pioneered a host of sophisticated new technologies including laminate armor, stereoscopic tank rangefinders, opposed-piston engines, smooth-bore tank guns with discarding sabot ammunition, and gun-fired guided projectiles. These impressive features meant that the Russians were loath to part with the secrets of the design, and the T-64 was the only Soviet tank type of the Cold War that was never exported. Written by an armor expert, this detailed technical history sheds light on the secrets behind the Cold War's most controversial tank, revealing how its highly advanced technologies proved to be both a blessing and a curse.
The 37mm anti-tank gun developed by the U.S. army becoming obsolete, the U.S. began the licensed manufacture of the British 6-pdr. Further anti-tank measures and weapons designed specifically for use by the Tank Destroyer Force were developed.
Details the evolution of U.S. armoured warfare tactics and doctrine, learned from the difficult experiences of North Africa, and illustrates how they were used elsewhere in the MTO, particularly in the Italian Peninsula.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are the most dynamic field of aerospace technology, and potentially the harbingers of new aviation technology and tactics. They have only emerged from the shadows in recent years, but in fact have been in use for decades. After some limited use in World War II, UAVs began to emerge as a substitute for manned reconnaissance aircraft in the 1950s for missions deemed too dangerous to risk an aircrew. Used in significant numbers in the Vietnam War as well as less-heralded missions such as spy flights over China in the 1950s and 1960s, the contemporary UAV began to emerge in the 1980s. This book examines the development of this unique and mysterious technology, revealing how it has changed combat through the years and speculating on its potential to transform the nature of warfare in the future. Steven J. Zaloga examines the pioneering use of UAVs conducted by the Israeli air and the use of UAVs during Operation Desert Storm. Packed with rare, recently declassified photographs and detailed full-color cutaways, this book investigates the wide deployment of UAVs over Iraq and Afghanistan today, and considers the possible future of the UAV as an actual military weapon.
The first deployment of the V-1 was in June 1944 when, following two years of tests, Hitler gave the order to attack England. Known to the Allies as the Buzz Bomb or Doodlebug, the V-1 was the world's first cruise missile. This book explores the V-1 in detail, from its initial concept, first use in 1944, the various Allied counter-measures, and the later use of the V-1 during the Battle of the Bulge. The major foreign derivatives, including the US copy JB-2 Loon and numerous post-war Soviet variants, are also covered.