In this title, David Fletcher relates the story of the Sherman Crab Flail using rare sources and photographs. Among the first tanks ashore on D-Day, the "Crab" proved its worth both in its mine-clearing role and as a fighting machine. This book recounts some of its more glorious moments with the famous British 79th Armoured Division and the US Army, giving a detailed exploration of the history of a powerful and innovative machine and the deadly mines it faced.
The most powerfully gunned tank fielded by the Allies during World War II was the Sherman Firefly. An ordinary American-built Sherman modified by the British, the Firefly had the firepower that could finally match the awesome German tanks that had dominated Europe. David Fletcher examines the controversy that dogged the Firefly and the psychological boost the tank provided to Allied forces. Exploring its successes and failures on the battlefield and providing a realistic assessment of the tank's worth, this is essential reading for anyone wanting to know the facts about a tank variant that quickly developed its own mythology.
The tanks used during the Spanish Civil War are not often examined in any great detail, and are often labeled as little more than test vehicles in a convenient proving ground before World War II. But, with groundbreaking research, armor expert Steven J Zaloga has taken a fresh look at the tanks deployed in Spain, examining how future tanks and armored tactics were shaped and honed by the crews' experiences, and how Germany was able to benefit from these lessons while their Soviet opponents were not. Based on recently uncovered records of Soviet tankers in Spain and rare archival accounts, this book describes the various tanks deployed in Spain, including the PzKpfw I and the T-26. From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Sherman DD (Duplex Drive) tank was designed by the Allies specifically for the D-Day landings; enveloped in a waterproofed canvas screen, the tank was launched at sea from landing craft and then 'swam' slowly to shore, where the screens were deflated, allowing the tanks to operate as fighting vehicles. Exploring the development and modifications of the Sherman DD, this book discusses its many variants, including the prototype Valentine DD tank and its role as a training tank in Britain and limited operational use in Italy, and examines the successes and tragic failures on the beaches of Normandy and further into North-West Europe, including the challenge of crossing the River Rhine.
The Soviet Army hastily developed the T-62 in a struggle to compete against the rapid proliferation of NATO tanks in the 1960s. It was essentially a modification of the widely-manufactured T-55 tank with the addition of a new 115mm gun. Within the USSR itself, the T-62 was quickly superseded, but it was widely exported, becoming a critical component of the Egyptian and Syrian armies in the 1973 Yom Kippur conflict and heavily influenced later designs of the M1 Abrams and Challenger tanks. In the first English-language history of this tank, Steven Zaloga examines the development of the T-62 using detailed combat descriptions to bring to life the operational history of this tank from the deserts of the Sinai to the harsh terrain of Afghanistan. From the Trade Paperback edition.
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River, which was a vital strategic artery. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads. First commissioned in January 1862, these ironclads spent the next two years battling for control of the Mississippi, fighting in a string of decisive engagements that altered the entire course of the war. This book explains how these vessels worked, how they were constructed, how they were manned and how they were fought.
The Universal Carrier was a fast, lightly armed vehicle developed by the British Army to carry infantry across ground defended by small-arms fire, specifically the Bren light machine gun, hence the name 'Bren Gun Carrier'. This name would stick with the Universal Carrier and all of its future variants. This book details the Carrier, which was employed in a number of roles including carrying ammunition and towing anti-aircraft guns and trailers. All Allies used the Universal Carrier extensively during practically every World War II campaign. By the war's end, the Universal Carrier had proved itself to be an invaluable and successful cross-country vehicle that was both agile and fast for its time.
Dominating the seas during World War II, the US aircraft carrier played a crucial role in every major naval combat of the war. Development of the Essex class began in 1941, and was the largest class of carrier ever built. During the Pacific War it formed the backbone of any fighting force and became renowned for its mighty 'Sunday Punch' - the impressive offensive power of 36 fighter planes, 36 dive bombers, and 18 torpedo planes.The Independence class was a lighter and faster carrier, built after Pearl Harbor, to bring more ships into action as quickly as possible. Alongside the Essex class their crews saw a dramatic change in tactical deployment as they began to form the fast carrier task forces that were so effective in Pacific operations.Featuring an annotated cutaway and artwork detailing both the interior and exterior features of the ships, this book explores the design, development, and deployment of both the Essex and Independence class of light carriers. This sequel to US Navy Aircraft Carriers 1922-45: Prewar classes (New Vanguard 114), provides a detailed exploration of the carriers that were at the forefront of many actions in World War II, including the climatic battles of Phillipine Sea and Leyte Gulf in 1944.
"Silent but deadly" - Osprey's US Nuclear Submarines: The Fast-Attack takes a fresh look at the controversial design and development of the nuclear submarine of which the United States Navy operates the largest fleet in the world. The advent of nuclear power transformed the submarine from a slow underwater vessel, incapable of staying submerged for long periods, into a weapon of stealth and endurance. Jim Christley, a former submariner, uses his own experience of serving aboard these vessels, and a wealth of technical information, to explore the many engineering issues and trade-offs, as well as the high risks of running a nuclear reactor at sea, which have dominated the intriguing story of the US nuclear submarine.
Naval warfare in the Pacific changed completely with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. The strategic emphasis shifted from battleships to much more lethal, far-ranging weapons systems; one of these was the submarine. This book details the design and development, classes, weapons and equipment, tactics and operational history of the US submarine in World War II. Detailed tables, photographs, and superb color plates depict the force that had an effect far beyond its size - the submarine accounted for 55% of all Japanese shipping losses, despite suffering the highest percentage loss of any unit of the United State Armed Forces in World War II.
From the end of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th, most Western powers maintained a naval presence in China. These gunboats protected traders and missionaries, safeguarded national interests, and patrolled Chinese rivers in search of pirates. It was a wild, lawless time in China as ruthless warlords fought numerous small wars to increase their power and influence. This book covers the gunboats of all the major nations that stationed naval forces in China, including America, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Japan, and looks at such famous incidents as the Japanese bombing of the USS Patay and the dramatic escape of the HMS Amethyst from Communist forces in 1947, which marked the end of the gunboat era.