In January 1944, the Allies decided to land at Anzio in order to overcome the stalemate at Cassino.This amphibious landing has become one of the most controversial campaigns of World War II (1939-1945). Questionable decisions by the Allied leadership led to three months of World War I-style trench warfare, and the entire beachhead suffered from continuous German observation and bombardment. Vividly describing each thrust and counter-thrust, this book takes us through the agonizing struggle as each side sought to retain or regain mastery. It shows how Anzio proved to be a stepping stone not only to Rome but also to the liberation of Italy.
In 1942, with Germany's gradual loss of the strategic initiative to the Allies, Hitler was forced to construct an impenetrable wall of fortifications along the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast. However, Hitler's grandiose Atlantic wall scheme was hampered by the realities of Germany's wartime economy. Without the resources and manpower to fortify the entire coast, the emphasis was placed on the great festung ports, the likely location of an Allied amphibious landing. This first volume in a series of three deals solely with the structures on the French Atlantic coast starting with the Pas de Calais and extending down to Spain. Featuring detailed illustrations and diagrams of the various sections of the Atlantic Wall and the role that they played, it gives an insightful analysis into some of the most accessible fortifications of World War II.
Germany's Atlantic Wall was the most ambitious military fortification program of World War II. Following its conquest of Western Europe, Germany had to defend some 5,000 kilometers of Atlantic coastline from the Spanish border to the Arctic Circle. The United States' entry into the war and the inevitability of an Anglo-American landing in Western Europe resulted in the fortification of this coastline along its entire length. Focusing on the northern Atlantic Wall in the Low Countries and Scandinavia, this title addresses the special defensive features and unique aspects of fortification in these countries, such as the early focus on fortifying Norway, due to early British commando raids; the greater use of turreted naval guns; and the establishment of first-line Flak defenses in the Low Countries to counter the Allied strategic bombing campaign. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's first title examining the Battle of the Bulge, which was the largest and most costly battle fought by the US Army in World War II (1939-1945). The Ardennes fighting was Hitler's last gamble on the Western Front, crippling the Wehrmacht for the remainder of the war. In the first of two volumes on the Ardennes campaign Steven Zaloga details the fighting in the northern sector around St Vith and the Elsenborn Ridge. Sixth Panzer Army, containing the bulk of German Panzer strength, was expected to achieve the breakthrough here. It was the failure around St Vith that forced the Germans to look south towards Bastogne.
The Russian BMP infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) was one of the most significant innovations in infantry tactics in the latter half of the 20th century. Built in response to the threat of nuclear warfare, it was the world's first IFV, providing the infantry squad with unprecedented firepower, mobility and protection. With over 55,000 manufactured since 1966, the BMP is also numerically one of the most important armoured vehicles ever built. This richly illustrated book examines the development and design of the BMP, detailing its armaments, performance in combat and variants.
The second title in Osprey's survey of the D-Day landings of World War II (1939-1945). On their western flank, the Allied landings on D-Day combined a parachute drop by the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions with an amphibious assault on "Utah" Beach by the US 4th Infantry Division. The landings came ashore in the wrong place but met weaker German resistance as a result. The heaviest fighting took place inland where the badly scattered paratroopers gradually gathered in small groups and made for their objectives. This book traces the story of D-Day on Utah beach, revealing how the infantry pushed inland and linked up with the Airborne troops in a beachhead five miles deep. Now the battle to break out and seize the key port of Cherbourg could begin.
German defenses along the Normandy beaches were part of the larger Atlantic Wall fortifications designed to defend Fortress Europe. When Field Marshal Erwin Rommel took command of the invasion front in late 1943, he began a program to enhance fortifications along the Normandy coast as he believed that any Allied assault had to be stopped on the invasion beaches themselves. His most important contribution to the defenses was an extensive program of improvised beach obstructions to complicate any landing attempt. This book analyses these fortifications and describes how the Allied forces overcame them on the morning of June 6, 1944.
In 1945, with her fleet destroyed and her armies beaten, the only thing that stood between Japan and an Allied invasion was the numerous coastal defence positions that surrounded the islands. This is the first book to take a detailed look at the Japanese home island fortifications that were constructed during 1941-45. Utilizing diagrams, specially commissioned artwork, and sources previously unavailable in English, Steven Zaloga examines these defences in the context of a possible Allied invasion, constructing various arguments for one of the greatest 'what if' scenarios of World War II, and helping to explain why the Americans decided to go ahead with a nuclear option.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Rhine River represented the last natural defensive barrier for the Third Reich in the fall of 1944. Although Hitler had been reluctant to allow the construction of tactical defense lines in France, the final defense of the Reich was another matter. As a result, construction of a Rhine defense line began in September 1944. Steven J Zaloga examines the multiple phases of construction undertaken to strengthen the Westwall (Siegfried Line), to fortify many of the border villages, and finally to prepare for the demolition of the Rhine bridges. Using detailed maps, color artwork, and expert analysis, this book takes a detailed look at Germany's last line of defense.
During World War II Germany was subjected to the growing threat of Allied bomber attack, from RAF night bombing to American daylight bombing. From flak artillery to fortified structures, this book focuses on the land-based infrastructure of Germany's defense against the air onslaught.The Third Reich created the most lavish Flak defenses of any country in World War II. This book provides an overview of the Flak artillery, with a special emphasis on how Flak was deployed and some of the unique fortified structures that were created to enhance Flak performance such as the legendary Flak towers of the German cities. It also briefly examines the revolutionary potential of anti-aircraft missiles for Flak defense that were on the verge of deployment at the end of the war. Although the artillery element of Flak is the most widely known, Flak effectiveness was highly dependent on advanced electronic sensors, especially radar, for fire control and precise targeting. This book examines how the Third Reich deployed radar and other advanced sensors in its defensive belts such as the Kammhuber Line.Besides active defense against air attack, Germany also invested heavily in passive defense such as air raid shelters. While much of this defense was conventional such as underground shelters and the dual use of subways and other structures, Germany faced some unique dilemmas in protecting cities against night fire bomb raids. Some cities were located in regions where the soil conditions and lack of bedrock did not permit deep underground bunkers. As a result, German architects designed massive above-ground defense shelters which were amongst the most massive defensive structures built in World War II. The success of the US Army Air Force offensive against Germany industry in early 1944 threatened to crush German military production. A program was initiated in the spring of 1944 to defend the industry by dispersion and fortification. An elaborate program was created to house the most vital industries in underground shelters. Some of these were located in caves or tunnels, but in other areas, large reinforced concrete structures were created where caves were not a practical solution. These structures were amongst the most advanced for their day, and in many ways presaged the heavily reinforced shelters created during the Cold War for protection against nuclear attack.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Dwight Eisenhower represented a fundamentally new type of military commander in the 20th century: commander as manager rather than the traditional warrior commander. Armies had become so large and military coalitions so dependent on politics that this new type of commander emerged. Eisenhower never fought in a single battle, but he commanded the most modern and powerfully armed force to fight in Europe. As Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force, Eisenhower had at his disposal not only the British, US, and French armies, but the RAF, USAAF, Royal Navy and US Navy-Atlantic. This book explores every aspect of his military career.From the Trade Paperback edition.
This title examines the emergence of the first modern tank, the Renault FT. It is a little known fact that France fielded more tanks in World War I than any other army. However, France's early tanks suffered from poor mobility and armor compared to their contemporaries. Indeed, their initial use on the Chemin des Dames in 1917 was a bloody fiasco. In spite of initial set-backs, the French army redeemed its reputation with the Renault FT. The Renault FT pioneered the modern tank design, with armament in a revolutionary central turret and the engine in the rear. More importantly, the Renault was designed to be cheap and easy to manufacture. Discover the history of the early French armor developments and their triumphant new design, the Renault FT, that helped to turn the tide of war in the favor of the Allies.From the Trade Paperback edition.
All the French medium and heavy tanks of 1940 are in this title: Renault FT, Renault R-35, FCM-36, Hotchkiss H.38, Char B1bis, Renault D-1, and Renault D-2.The first volume of this two part series will cover the infantry tanks and battle tanks that served in 1940. Starting with the Renault FT of World War I fame, it will cover the modernization of the FT in the inter-war years. The focus of the infantry tank section will be on the attempts to replace the FT with designs such as the Renault R-35, FCM-36, and the Hotchkiss H.38. Derivatives of these types will also be covered such as the R-40. France also had a separate family of battle tanks starting with the Renault D-1, Renault D-2, and finally the best known tank of the campaign, the Char B1 bis. This book will provide a brief development account these tanks types, covering the tactical rationales for their design and their basic technical features. It will also briefly address their performance in the 1940 campaign, pointing out the salient features of the combat record.
The design quality of France's armored vehicles is somewhat forgotten in light of the myth of superiority surrounding the German Panzers' role in the Blitzkrieg against France, Belgium and the Netherlands.The second volume of two covering the French tanks of World War II, this title focuses primarily on the design, development, combat performance, and technical features of France's armored cavalry vehicles, including the AMR and AMC families of light reconnaissance tanks, and the famous Somua S.35 cavalry tank. Also examined are the wide array of armored cars and half-tracks employed by the French Cavalry, and the extensively produced Hotchkiss H-35/H-39 series that was designed for the Cavalry but also saw widespread use by the Infantry. This volume also looks at the specialized armored vehicles used by the French military, including the Chenillette US, Lorraine, and the various tank destroyer types brought hastily into service in 1940.
George S. Patton Jr. was the iconic American field commander of World War II, and widely regarded as the US Army's finest practitioner of mechanized warfare. This title examines Patton's colorful life and leadership in three wars, with a concentration on his command in World War II. Despite his ability, Patton was thoroughly reviled by most GIs, partly due to his insistence on traditional military discipline in the ranks, but also because of his unwillingness to pander to the growing power of the press. This combination of ability and controversy have combined to make him one of the most interesting figures in American military history.Steven Zaloga's contribution to Osprey's newest series, Command, addresses this iconic figure from his early life to his life after war. Including an analysis of Patton's mind and motivations, strict training methods and the controversies surrounding Patton and his relationship with his soldiers and with Eisenhower, Zaloga's text is a concise but important look into the life of one of the most famous commanders of World War II.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Panzer warfare is synonymous with the Wehrmacht of World War II. This book examines the story of the Panzer's more mysterious ancestors, the little-known panzers of the Great War. Germany was very slow to develop armored vehicles compared to Britain and France. Efforts to catch-up proved difficult, and only a few dozen German A7V tanks were completed in time to take part in the final campaigns of 1918. As a result, the majority of German panzer units actually used captured British tanks, the Beutepanzer. This book will trace the development of German panzers of the World War One, including the A7V and its intended but unfinished stablemates.
Designed to change the course of the war, the V-weapons required ambitious plans to defend their expensive and complicated launch sites. Steven J Zaloga describes the configuration and planned deployment of heavy missile sites, as well as the unique Allied tactics developed to counter this threat, including a remote-control version of the B-17 bomber. Covering the V-1 ski sites, the mobile units employed for V-2 launches and other secret weapons bases like the "V-3" high-pressure gun at Mimoyeques, he reviews the impact of these weapon systems and defenses not only on World War II but also on the development of modern weaponry. This book is an excellent guide to the sites described, many of which still survive and are visited on battlefield tours.
The Iosef Stalin tanks were the ultimate heavy tanks developed by the Soviet Union and were popularly called 'Victory tanks' due to their close association with the defeat of Germany in 1945. Yet in spite of their reputation, the Stalin tanks emerged from a troubled design, had a brief moment of glory in 1944 and 1945, and disappeared in ignominy after 1960. This title covers the events contributing to the Soviet Union's need to design the new series, with particular reference to the unsuccessful KV series and the advent of a new generation of heavy German tanks including the Tiger. It also covers their development, operational history and myriad variants. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Contrary to popular belief, the Japanese Army widely employed tanks within the Pacific theater of war. This title details their key role in the conquests of Singapore and Malaya, as well as their later use in Burma, Saipan, and the Philippines, including in the amphibious assault of Corregidor. Tank development succeeded against the odds, with the programme often neglected to pursue the higher priority of warship development. Their use in the most difficult of terrain is a testament to their ingenuity.Steven J Zaloga's book offers a rare insight into a largely overlooked subject and is rich with photographs and artwork, providing a wonderful resource for the construction and design of these fascinating tanks.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The jeep was the most famous military vehicle of World War II, and its name has become synonymous with a whole class of military and civilian all-terrain vehicles. The jeep originated in a prewar US Army requirement for a simple, inexpensive, and robust vehicle for basic utility chores. Its simple design proved to be adaptable to a host of military tasks including use as a scout vehicle, battlefield ambulance, communications vehicle, and staff car. This book, covering "the savior of World War II", focuses on the design and development of this versatile vehicle used on nearly every front of World War II. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The destruction of much of the remainder of the Japanese fleet and its air arm in the later half of 1944 left the Japanese Home Islands vulnerable to attack by US naval and air forces. In desperation, the Imperial Japanese Navy proposed using "special attack" formations, a euphemism for suicide attacks. These initially consisted of crude improvisations of conventional aircraft fitted with high-explosive bombs that could be crashed into US warships. Called "Divine Wind" (Kamikaze), the special attack formations first saw action in 1944, and became the scourge of the US fleet in the battles for Iwo Jima and Okinawa in 1945. In view of the success of these attacks, the Japanese armed forces began to develop an entire range of new special attack weapons. This book begins by examining the initial kamikaze aircraft attacks, but the focus of the book is on the dedicated special attack weapons developed in 1944, including the Ohka, a rocket-powered guided missile and the Kaiten man-guided torpedo submarines. It also covers specialized suicide attack weapons such as anti-tank lunge mines. Much of the information in this book comes from little known US intelligence reports and photos compiled after the war that have never been widely published.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Osprey's examination of the North African campaign of November 1942-May 1943 of World War II (1939-1945), which was a baptism of fire for the US Army. After relatively straightforward landings, the US II Corps advanced into Tunisia to support operations by the British 8th Army. Rommel, worried by the prospect of an attack, decided to exploit the inexperience of the US Army and strike a blow against their overextended positions around the Kasserine Pass. However, the Germans were unable to exploit their initial success, and later attacks were bloodily repulsed. The fighting in Tunisia taught the green US Army vital combat lessons, and brought to the fore senior commanders such as Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley.
Named after Klimenti Voroshilov, the People's Commissar for Defence, the KVs proved a nasty surprise for German tank crews during the early days of Operation Barbarossa. Although slow, they were extremely heavily armoured. This volume examines the transition from multi-turreted tanks to heavy single-turret vehicles, consisting of the KV-1 and 2, and the increased favour given to the heavy single-turret after the Germans began to develop ammunition capable of penetrating even the thickest armour, whilst detailing the design, development and operational history of the Soviet Union's monstrous KV series of tanks.
In July 1944 of World War II (1939-1945), Operation Cobra broke the stalemate in Normandy and sent the Allies racing across France. The Allied commanders ignored Paris in their planning for this campaign, considering that the risk of intense street fighting and heavy casualties outweighed the city's strategic importance. However, Charles de Gaulle persuaded the Allied commanders to take direct action to liberate his nation's capital. Steven J Zaloga first describes the operations of Patton's Third Army as it advanced towards Paris before focusing on the actions of the Resistance forces inside the city and of the Free French armored division that fought its way in and joined up with them to liberate it on August 24. De Gaulle could then proclaim, "Paris liberated!" and one of the world's loveliest cities had survived Hitler's strident command that it should be held at all costs or reduced to rubble.
Osprey's examination of the confrontation between the US Army and German forces in Lorraine during World War II (1939-1945). In the wake of the defeat in Normandy in the summer of 1944, Hitler planned to stymie the Allied advance by cutting off Patton's Third Army in the Lorraine with a great Panzer offensive. But Patton's aggressive tactics continued to thwart German plans and led to a series of violent armored battles. The battle-hardened Wehrmacht confronted the better-equipped and better-trained US Army. The Germans managed to re-establish a fragile defensive line but could not stop the US Army from establishing bridgeheads over the Moselle along Germany's western frontier.
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