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Because of the length of the coastline of the United States, from the beginning American ordnance and engineers placed an emphasis on heavy artillery mounted in coastal defences. The Union army organised its 'Heavy Artillery' into separate regiments, uniformed and equipped differently. While the Field Artillery was assigned across the fighting fronts Heavy Artillery units served the big guns in the forts and the defences of Washington. The Confederates did not differentiate types of artillery and those that became known as Heavy Artillery did so through informal association rather than formal designation. This book details the development and usage of the big guns.
The "Original Six" frigates were commissioned by the new-born US Navy at a staggering cost of $688,888.82. Designed to be light and fast, these warships enabled America to project its power across the globe. Among the ships Mark Lardas examines is USS Constellation: the first ship to be commissioned by the United States Navy, and also the first ship to engage and capture an enemy vessel, the French L'Insurgente - this engagement is vividly portrayed in original color artwork. The fascinating history of the USS Chesapeake is also brought to life through the dramatic account one of the bloodiest duels in the age of fighting sail as the Chesapeake meets the British frigate Shannon and is overwhelmed, the dying cry of the captain, "Don't give up the ship!" inspired the US Navy thereafter. Alongside stirring accounts of engagements during the Barbary Wars and the Quasi-War, the author explores the design and development of these frigates, explaining the shortcomings that led to their replacement by larger, heavier 44-gun models by 1800. Contemporary illustrations of US frigates and their British and French rivals help to place these ships in the context of European ship design, clearly showing the escalation of the naval 'arms race' during the seventeenth century. American Light and Medium Frigates is an ideal resource for any naval enthusiast wanting to learn more about the ships that witnessed the rise of the US Navy and Marines.
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.
In August 1917, at the height of the First World War, a small biplane landed on the makeshift flight deck of HMS Furious - the first ever carrier landing in aviation history. This small act ushered in a new era. Two decades later, when Britain stood on the brink of another World War, the Royal Navy had a small fleet of aircraft carriers, with several more nearing completion. When war came the newly-formed Fleet Air Arm would demonstrate that what it lacked in modern equipment, it made up for in skill and daring. The first of these carriers were converted from existing ships. Then in 1938 HMS Ark Royal was launched - Britain's first purpose built carrier. Its design set the standard for what was to come. The "Ark" was followed by the highly successful Illustrious Class, and then by others whose design was modified in the light of wartime experience. British fleet carriers had steel flight decks, and although smaller and able to carry less aircraft that the carriers seen in the Pacific, they were better suited to conditions in European waters. It also meant they were more resilient, and could shrug off damage that would cripple their American counterparts. Over the next six years these British aircraft carriers would launch attacks against a major Italian naval base, attack the Italian battle fleet on the high seas, and cripple the Bismarck, so that the battleships of the Home Fleet could overtake her. They would also see service in every theatre of war, including the Pacific. Inevitably, their success came at a price. Courageous, Eagle and Ark Royal were torpedoed by U-Boats, Glorious was sunk by the guns of a German battlecruiser, and Hermes was lost to Japanese bombs. Most of the rest of the carrier fleet were damaged to some extent during their service lives, but they survived and kept on fighting.This New Vanguard title tells the story of these remarkable warships, and reveals the secrets of their design, how they operated, and above all, what they achieved.
At a time when German U-Boats were ruthlessly attacking the maritime convoys engaged in bringing essential supplies to British shores, British airships played a vital role in neutralizing this danger and were crucial in enabling Britain to eventually emerge victorious. In 1907 the British Army built the military's first airship, and at the outbreak of World War I there were a total of seven airships under control of the Admiralty, hunting U-Boats from the skies. This book reveals the fascinating story of the cat and mouse duel between the airship and another pioneering form of technology - the submarine. Detailed cut-away drawings reveal the design and development of the airship, during and after the war, whilst full-color illustrations depict the airship in dramatic action shots. A tragic accident in 1930 brought the airship's military service to an end, resulting in a tiny window in which they were used and little acknowledgement over the years. Ian Knight gives deserved attention to an aeronautical wonder that for a short amount of time played a crucial service to the defense of Britain.
With the outbreak of World War II, Britain's Royal Navy and her fleet of battleships would be at the forefront of her defence. Yet from a fleet of 12 battleships, ten were already over 20 years old, venerable veterans of World War I. Extensive modifications throughout the 1930s allowed these ships to perform a vital service throughout the six long years of conflict, and further improvements made during the course of the war enabled them to hold their own against their German and Italian counterparts. This title offers a comprehensive review of the development of these British battleships from their initial commissioning to their peacetime modifications and wartime service. Detailed descriptions of the main armament of each ship will offer further analysis of individual battleships' effectiveness, discussing how the guns were manned when engaging the enemy. Describing HMS Warspite during the battle of Matapan in 1941, the author details how this British battleship, together with other Royal Navy and Australian vessels, defeated the might of the Italian navy so that they never again threatened Allied fleets within the Mediterranean. With specially commissioned artwork and a dramatic retelling of key battleship engagements, this book will highlight what it was like on board for the sailors who risked their lives on the high seas.
In 1915 a machine christened Little Willie changed the way that wars were fought. Little Willie was a fully tracked armoured vehicle that could break a trench system. Its development was completed in December 1915, but by then it had already been superseded by an improved design, Mother. This was the first rhomboid tank, and the prototype for the Mark 1 which would influence a whole generation of tank building. This book details the development of the Mark I, and its surprise arrival in France in the middle of 1916 during the closing weeks of the battles of the Somme.
The formidable Mark IV tank was pitted against the German Army from 1917 until the end of World War I. This book reveals the important role the tank played in the historic battle of Cambrai in 1917 as well as the first ever tank-versus-tank actions against German A7Vs. In awe of British technology, the Germans actively captured, salvaged and repaired Mark IVs for deployment against the Allies. Using rare photographs and detailed artwork, David Fletcher explores the Mark IV's design and development, its variants and accessories, and brings to life its exciting deployment on the battlefields of World War I.
During World War II, few groups within the Royal Navy fought a harder, more intense war than the men of Coastal Forces. Their job was to operate the Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs), Motor Launches (MLs) and Motor Gun Boats (MGBs) that protected coastal convoys, attacked enemy ones, and performed a myriad of duties, which include the dropping of agents and commandos on a hostile shore, raids on enemy ports, and near-suicidal attacks on larger enemy warships. While the MTBs were the "bombers", delivering their payload of high explosive torpedoes, the crew of the MGBs used their machine guns and small-calibre guns to sink, burn or destroy their enemy counterparts. For that reason they saw their frail, sleek craft as the "Spitfire of the Seas". Motor Gun Boats were similar to Motor Torpedo Boats, only their decks were crammed with as many guns as they could carry - and to man these weapons, they required a larger crew. During the early years of the war, they were used to counter the threat posed by German E-Boats in the English Channel, but by 1941 they were in use offensively, conducting sweeps along the enemy coast in search of prey. By 1942 British MGBs were seen in the Mediterranean, interdicting Axis supply routes to North Africa, and later supporting the Allied invasion forces as they landed in Sicily, Italy and the South of France. The majority of these small wooden craft were built in Britain by the British Power Boat Company or Fairmile Marine. They came in a variety of shapes and sizes, but in late 1942 the Fairmile "D" MGB made its appearance - a boat which would come to dominate coastal operations during the last years of the war. Known as "Dog Boats" by their crew, they were fast, powerful and versatile. By the end of the war, over 200 of these small boats had been built and they represented the pinnacle of wartime British motor boat design.This New Vanguard title tells the story of these fragile but deadly little warships.
The submarine was as formidable a weapon for the Royal Navy in World War II as for the other main combatant nations. The first half of this book explores the conception, design, development and subesequent evolution of the three major classes: the "S", "T", and "U".The "S" Class submarine was originally conceived in the 1920s, specifically for deployment in narrow seas. As the war progressed the submarine was modified to increase its diving capability and fuel-carrying capacity, and radar and many other features were added. The "S" Class served in all theaters from the North Atlantic to the Pacific with notable success, in many cases surviving very severe damage.The "T" Class submarine was originally conceived for operations in the Far East, thus was one of the largest types to be built and serve in World War II. The development of the "T" Class during the war was sometimes at the expense of its underwater stability and in the Mediterranean theater half of the submarines that were deployed sunk.The "U" Class include Upholder, the most successful British submarine of World War II.The second half of the book surveys the major submarine actions of the war, including the Norwegian Campaign, operatins to save Malta and many other engagements in all theaters involving British submarines, German U-Boats and the Japanese. The author has accessed many previously unpublished sources and draws on his own extensive underwater research to give a highly detailed and informed account of the British submarine.
As the major powers engaged in an arms race in the early years of the 20th century, the Admiralty was tasked with developing that deadly stalker of the high seas - the submarine. In 1905, briefed with creating a vessel that could be employed on an enemy's coastline, the Admiralty took several technological leaps forward to match Germany's own revolutionary vessels. Written by an influential expert in the field and covering all classes of submarine developed and deployed during the war, this book includes great technical detail, gripping operational accounts and is accompanied by artwork. With fascinating details of daring submarine raids in the Baltic and the Dardanelles, this book reveals the exceedingly dangerous world of early submarine warfare which claimed an extraordinary number of lives on both sides and paved the way for a new kind of naval warfare in the 20th century and beyond.
A fire-breathing 'monster' on the battlefield, the Churchill Crocodile flamethrower was one of the most devastating and awe-inspiring weapons of the Second World War. Tank expert David Fletcher chronicles the development of the flamethrower tank, detailing the variants of the Crocodile and examining the dramatic effects of these tanks in battle from D-Day to the dramatic flamethrower attack on the River Senio in Italy. Revealing the strengths and weaknesses of the flamethrower tanks, Fletcher investigates the post-war use of Crocodiles to burn down and sterilize the site of Belsen concentration camp, as well as their mobilization for the Korean War, and post-war developments to the prototype Centurion Crocodile. In addition to the role of the Churchill Crocodile on the battlefields of Western Europe, the various wheeled flamethrowers designed for home defense in Britain during World War II are examined. Researched using the papers of Reginald Fraser- the genius behind the flamethrowers and dramatically illustrated with detailed artwork and previously unpublished contemporary photographs, this book brings to life the true terror of these tanks.
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.
This book discusses the concept of the Battlekreuzer. The German Großerkreuzers, as they were known, were built to strict financial limits, and therefore the German designs were always a compromise between the factors listed under design philosophy. Individual ship histories are detailed with particular emphasis upon their battle experience and deployment in conflict, and author Gary Staff includes a variety of official records and personal first-hand accounts will be used. The battlekreuzer had a remarkable ability to withstand battle damage, as demonstrated by the Goeben, which suffered five mine hits on one occasion. Full colour artwork plates and detailed line drawings and photographs support the and enrich the engaging text.
The Imperial Japanese Navy was a pioneer in naval aviation, having commissioned the world's first built-from-the-keel-up carrier, the Hosho. Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, it experimented with its carriers, perfecting their design and construction. As a result, by the time Japan entered World War II and attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941, it possessed a fantastically effective naval aviation force. This book covers the design, development and operation of IJN aircraft carriers built prior to and during World War II. Pearl Harbor, Midway and the first carrier vs carrier battle, the battle of the Coral Sea, are all discussed.
The Imperial Japanese Navy of World War 2 surpassed the Allied and Axis fleets in innovation and technology. This title covers the 12 Japanese battleships that saw service between 1941-45. Each class is considered in turn in light of its design and construction, its armament and wartime modifications. The author, Mark Stille, also uses first-hand accounts and dramatic photographs to tell the story of these mighty battleships at war, including major engagements during the raid at Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway. He also examines the wider context of Japanese battleship development by looking at the naval strategy and cult of the battleship. This title will fascinate any naval enthusiast, and the detailed color plates will make it essential for modelers of the period.
The Imperial Japanese Navy in World War II possessed the most technologically advanced and varied submarine fleet in the world. Ranging from the largest pre-nuclear submarines in the world to manned torpedoes, with the fastest combat vessels and midget submarines operating alongside craft capable of carrying floatplane bombers, the fleet should have been an awe-inspiring and highly effective force. Yet, despite playing a crucial scouting role and being equipped with the best torpedoes available, the Japanese submarine fleet was surprisingly ineffective.With unique color plates, Mark Stille highlights the technical details of this diverse fleet, including the design successes and operational errors as well as investigating the underlying causes behind the failures of one of the greatest naval forces in the Pacific.
The Landing Ship Tank (LST) is one of the most famous of the many World War II amphibious warfare ships. Capable of discharging its cargo directly on to shore and extracting itself, the LST provided the backbone of all Allied landings between 1943 and 1945, notably during the D-Day invasion. Through its history, the LST saw service from late 1942 until late 2002, when the US Navy decommissioned the USS Frederick (LST-1184), the last ship of its type. This book reveals the development and use of the LST, including its excellence beyond its initial design expectations.
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.
From the moment that the M4 Sherman had been matched against German Panther and Tiger tanks, the American tank crews had known that their vehicles were outclassed by the opposition. What was needed was a more powerful tank, more heavily armed and armored, that could take-on the powerful German panzers on a more equal footing. Although it took time to develop by the latter months of the war numbers of M26 Pershing tanks were reaching the frontline US armored units. Well armored and with a powerful 90mm gun the Pershing was a match for any tank in the German order of battle.
One of the weaknesses of airmobile forces has always been their vulnerability to enemy armor. Since the 1940s, there have been numerous schemes to field light tanks that could be deployed by parachute or other methods to reinforce paratroopers and other airmobile forces. This book tells the story of the US experience with airmobile tanks, starting with efforts in World War II, notably the M22 Locust airmobile tank. Although not used in combat by the US Army, it was used during Operation Varsity in 1945 by British airborne forces and ended up supporting US paratroopers during this mission on the Rhine river. The book then turns to post-war efforts such as the unique T-92 airborne tank, designed for paratroop drop.The only airborne tank actually manufactured in significant numbers was the M551 Sheridan. The history of this tank provides the focal point of this book, highlighting the difficulties of combining heavy firepower in a chassis light enough for airborne delivery. The book examines its controversial combat debut in Vietnam, and its subsequent combat history in Panama and Operation Desert Storm. It also rounds out the story by examining attempts to replace the Sheridan with other armored vehicles, such as the short-lived M8 MGS and Army LAV programs. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The M8 light armored car was the only significant wheeled combat vehicle used by the US Army in World War II. In conjunction with the lightly armed utility version, the M20, it was the staple of the army's cavalry squadrons for use in reconnaissance and scouting. First entering combat in Italy in 1943, it was widely used throughout the campaign in northwest Europe, though its off-road performance was found to be wanting. This title describes the design and development of the M8, covering the many variants that were produced during World War II and afterwards, along with a comprehensive survey of its operational use.
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River and in the first few months both sides scrambled to gather a flotilla, converting existing riverboats for naval use. These ships were transformed into powerful naval weapons despite a lack of resources, trained manpower and suitable vessels. The creation of a river fleet was a miracle of ingenuity, improvisation and logistics, particularly for the South. This title describes their design, development and operation throughout the American Civil War.
Over the last two decades, the Israel Defence Force (IDF) has introduced a variety of new AFVs. Old models such as the M48 and M60 have been improved beyond recognition, in the form of the Magach 7. The performance of Israel's indigenous Merkava tank has been similarly enhanced with new variants and the new Merkava 4 MBT has recently entered service. Israeli infantry have also received machines such as the Achzarit assault carrier, the Puma combat engineer vehicle and the Nagmachon and Nakpadon (tank-based carriers intended for low intensity conflicts). This book examines the design, modification and combat history of these formidable fighting machines.
One of the most decisive months of World War II (1939-1945) was the 30 days between 25 July and 25 August 1944. After the success of the D-Day landings, the Allied forces found themselves bogged down in a bloody stalemate in Normandy. On 25 July General Bradley launched Operation Cobra to break the deadlock. US forces punched a hole in the German frontline and began a spectacular advance. As Patton's Third Army poured into Brittany and raced south to the Loire, the German army was threatened with encirclement. By the end of August German forces in Normandy were utterly destroyed, and the remaining German units in central and southern France were in headlong retreat to the German frontier. In this title Steve Zaloga explains how the breakout from Normandy came about.