Approximately 200,000 African Americans fought for the Union during the Civil War. Initially, many white soldiers doubted their bravery and skill; they were soon proved wrong. The United States Colored Troops performed countless acts of courage, most famously at the battle of Fort Wagner where the 54th Massachusetts marched forth and scaled the parapets, only to be driven back in fierce hand-to-hand combat. Through fascinating first-hand accounts, this title examines the journey of the African American from slave to soldier to free man, ultimately providing a fascinating insight into the impact that these brave men had on the war and how it influenced their lives thereafter.
The American Civil War saw a massive development in the use of field fortifications, the result of the practical application of antebellum West-Point teaching, and the deadly impact of rifled infantry weapons and artillery. Both the Federal and Confederate armies began to develop far more sophisticated systems of field fortification, and the larger field works and fortifications surrounding Washington, DC and Richmond, VA were redesigned and rebuilt several times. This volume explores the role of land and field fortifications in the eastern and overland campaigns of the Civil War between 1861 and 1865. Particular attention is devoted to the nine-month siege of Petersburg, where daily life within the redoubts, lunettes, redans, bomb-proofs, trenches and rifle pits is vividly described.
Osprey's study of the battles fought on America's railroads during the Civil War 91861-1865). The American Civil War was the world's first full-blown 'railroad war'. The well-developed network in the North was of great importance in serving the Union army's logistic needs over long distances, and the sparser resources of the South were proportionately even more important. Both sides invested great efforts in raiding and wrecking enemy railroads and defending and repairing their own, and battles often revolved around strategic rail junctions. Robert Hodges reveals the thrilling chases and pitched battles that made the railroad so dangerous and resulted in a surprisingly high casualty rate. He describes the equipment and tactics used by both sides and the vital supporting elements - maintenance works, telegraph lines, fuel and water supplies, as well as garrisoned blockhouses to protect key points. Full-color illustrations bring the fast-paced action to life in this fascinating read; a must-have volume for both rail and Civil War enthusiasts.
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.
Archibald Wavell remains one of the great Allied commanders of the early phases of World War II. In fact, between June 1940 and June 1941, he was the only British theatre commander actively engaging Axis forces. At a time when the British Expeditionary Force had been expelled from the European continent and the home isles were preparing as best they could for the threat of a Nazi invasion, Wavell was conducting campaigns across nine countries and parts of two continents. In those 12 months, Wavell planned and directly oversaw a multitude of campaigns, from the hugely successful winter campaigns against the Italians in the Western Desert and the conquest of Italian East Africa, through the Iraqi revolt, the invasion of Vichy Syria and Lebanon and the ill-fated British involvement in Greece to the unsuccessful attempts to break the siege of Tobruk that led to his replacement in June 1941. He then took command of all Allied forces in the Burma theatre, leading the desperate and doomed defence against the Japanese offensive. While Wavell's great victories are often overshadowed by those of other commanders later in the war, this should not detract from his proven abilities as a strategist and tactician. This book tells the complete story of Wavell's wartime exploits and examines his strengths and weaknesses as a commander.
'Bill' Slim was one of the greatest British generals of World War II. In a career that stretched from 1914 until 1958 Bill Slim's greatest triumphs came in India and Burma in the long war against the Japanese between 1944 and 1945. This new Command title will cover both expeditions extensively. It also explores the legacy of a general that time often forgets. His success in rebuilding the morale and self-confidence of a defeated army remains at the heart of the way the British Army continues to train its soldiers today. He was no theoretical soldier, but in his demonstration of the principles of what is today called 'manoeuvre warfare' he is regarded as one of the finest commanders of the modern age and this book will help illustrate why.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The battle of Borodino was one of the greatest encounters in European history, and one of the largest and most sanguinary in the Napoleonic Wars. Following the breakdown of relations between Russia and France, Napoleon assembled a vast Grande Armée drawn from the many states within the French sphere of influence. They crossed the river Neimen and entered Russian territory in June 1812 with the aim of inflicting a sharp defeat on the Tsar's forces and bringing the Russians back into line. In a bloody battle of head-on attacks and desperate counter-attacks in the village of Borodino on 7 September 1812, both sides lost about a third of their men, with the Russians forced to withdraw and abandon Moscow to the French. However, the Grande Armée was harassed by Russian troops all the way back and was destroyed by the retreat. The greatest army Napoleon had ever commanded was reduced to a shadow of frozen, starving fugitives. This title will cover the events of Napoleon's disastrous Russian campaign of 1812 in its entirety, with the set-piece battle of Borodino proving the focal point of the book.
In World War II the Britsh Bren light machine gun saw service in Commonwealth armies and in resistance forces throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia. Adopted in 1938 and remaining in British service right up to 1991, the popular and reliable Bren was an iconic light machine gun, and probably the most recognisable Commonwealth weapon of World War II. Gas-operated and magazine-fed, it was based on a Czech design and was issued in large numbers during and after World War II as a section-level automatic weapon; it used the same .303in ammunition as the Lee-Enfield rifles that equipped British and Commonwealth infantry, and the Pattern 1937 webbing they wore was designed around the dimensions of the Bren's distinctively curved 28-round magazine.Offering remarkable accuracy for an LMG, the Bren had an effective range of 600yd, but could reach out to over 1,500yd. It was generally fired from the prone position using a bipod, but could be fired from the hip when necessary. If kept clean, the Bren gave reliable service in the harshest of environments, from the deserts of Libya to the Korean mountains in winter. As well as seeing widespread infantry use, the Bren was widely supplied to resistance movements in Occupied Europe. It was often vehicle-mounted, notably in the Universal Carrier, popularly called the 'Bren Carrier'; however, the Bren's design precluded its use as a coaxial weapon in tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles.When the UK adopted the 7.62mm NATO cartridge from 1958, the Bren was adapted for this new, rimless ammunition and redesignated the L4; this further improved the Bren's already solid reliability and made it possible for SLR magazines to be used in the weapon. Although officially superseded by the L7 GPMG, the Bren remained a popular weapon in the many post-1945 conflicts involving British and Commonwealth forces, owing to its light weight, manageable length and sheer dependability. Featuring specially commissioned full-colour artwork and based on meticulous research, this is the engaging story of the Bren, the iconic light machine gun that equipped British and Commonwealth forces throughout World War II and in a host of postwar conflicts right up to the Falklands and beyond.
In the Age of Fighting Sail (1650-1820), ambitious officers of the navies of many nations sought command of a frigate. Speedy, nimble and formidably armed, frigates often operated independently, unlike the larger ships of the line. Legendary sailors such as Edward Pellew and Charles-Alexandre Léon Durand, Comte de Linoise, found that commanding such a ship offered numerous opportunities for wealth - in the form of prize money paid out for captured enemy vessels - and, even more importantly, prestige and promotion for captains who prevailed in the numerous single-ship duels that characterized frigate warfare. During in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars both Great Britain and France employed frigates to achieve their maritime objectives: to perpetuate its supremacy the Royal Navy needed to be strong everywhere, while the French Navy concentrated its efforts on deploying single frigates or small frigate squadrons to probe for weak points in the British mastery of the seas. Between 1793, when HMS Nymphe fought and captured the French frigate La Cléopâtre, and the 1814 clash between HMS Hebrus and L'Étoile British and French frigates met and fought in over 100 battles. Of these no fewer than 32 were pure frigate duels, with a pair of frigates fighting without the interference of another major warship before the battle ended. Attention and romance attached to these clashes, both at the time and right up to the present day; literary characters such as Horatio Hornblower and Jack Aubrey have perpetuated the legend of these spirited battles on the high seas for successive generations. In this book, four representative frigate duels are examined: first, a battle fought between two closely matched ships (HMS Nymphe (36) vs La Cléopâtre (32), 18 June 1793); second, a victory won by an inferior British frigate over a superior French frigate (HMS Pallas (32) vs Minerve (40), 14 May 1806); third, a victory - the only one - by an inferior French frigate over a superior British frigate (HMS Ambuscade (32) vs Baïonnaise (24), 14 December 1798), and fourth, victory of a superior British frigate over an inferior French frigate (HMS Indefatigable (44) of Hornblower fame vs La Virginie (40), 21 April 1796). Featuring specially commissioned artwork and offering expert analysis, this study provides a vivid account of the bloody combats fought by the most romantic warship of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era - the frigate.
This engaging study pits the volunteers of Kitchener's 'New Armies' against the German veterans who defended the Somme sector in the bloody battles of July-November 1916. The mighty struggle for the Somme sector of the Western Front in the second half of 1916 has come to be remembered for the dreadful toll of casualties inflicted on Britain's 'New Armies' by the German defenders on the first day of the offensive, 1 July. The battle continued, however, throughout the autumn and only came to a close in the bitter cold of mid-November. The British plan relied on the power of artillery to suppress and destroy the German defences; the infantry were tasked with taking and holding the German trenches, but minimal resistance was anticipated. In the event the defences were damaged but not destroyed, and small numbers of defenders, many of whom had garrisoned the Somme sector for many months and knew the ground well, inflicted appalling casualties on the British attackers. Both sides incurred major losses, however; German doctrine emphasised that the first line had to be held or retaken at all costs, a rigid defensive policy that led to very high casualties as the Germans threw survivors into ad hoc, piecemeal counterattacks all along the line.Featuring specially commissioned full-color artwork and based on meticulous reassessment of the sources.
Expert ananlyis and first-hand accounts of combat during the Anglo-Zulu war in 1879: Nyezane, iSandlwana, and Khambula. As seen in the movie Zulu, starring Michael Caine, Zulu discipline and courage overcame British firepower at iSandlwana, and almost at Rorke's Drift. Featuring specially commissioned artwork, expert analysis and carefully chosen first-hand accounts, this absorbing study traces the development of infantry tactics in the Anglo-Zulu War by examining three key clashes at unit level.The short but savage Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 pitched well-equipped but complacent British soldiers and their auxiliaries into combat with one of history's finest fighting forces, the Zulu Nation. The clashes between these two very different combatants prompted rapid tactical innovation on both sides, as the British and their Zulu opponents sought to find the optimal combination of mobility and firepower.Fought on 22 January 1879, the clash at Nyezane saw Zulu forces, among them the uMxapho ibutho, ambushing a British column; the British forces, including Lieutenant Martin's company of the 2/3rd Foot, engaged their opponents in the prescribed fashion, as honed in the recent conflict with the Xhosa a year earlier. The Zulu attack was premature, and by 9.30am, after about 90 minutes of heavy fighting, they were repulsed. The British tactics worked, but largely only because the Zulus had an uncharacteristically low numerical superiority.At iSandlwana later that same day, however, the shortcomings of the British tactics, obscured at Nyezane, were made brutally apparent. The Zulus had sufficient manpower not only to withstand that level of casualties but also to complete their encirclement of the British forces, and as the British line disintegrated the firefight gave way to the close-quarter fighting at which the Zulus excelled; not one man of the 1/24th and 2/24th Foot survived. The British forces surrounded and crushed at iSandlwana included Captain W.E. Mostyn's company of the 1/24th Foot, which was initially deployed in advance of the British camp but was later withdrawn to form part of the firing line; their opponents included the iNgobamkhosi ibutho, many of whose warriors left first-hand accounts of the battle.While iSandlwana demonstrated the strengths of the Zulu tactics, it also demonstrated their weaknesses - for the casualties inflicted by the British foreshadowed the carnage they would reap once the British wholeheartedly embraced close-order tactics and defended positions. At Khambula on 29 March 1879, a much bigger British force adopted a defensive position and defeated the same Zulu units who had previously triumphed at iSandlwana, including the uKhandempemvu ibutho, which came close to storming the British defences. At iSandlwana, the Zulus had been able to screen their advance with skirmishers and take advantage of the broken and grassy ground, but at Khambula their spontaneous attack did not allow them to disperse properly and they were funnelled together on a contracting front over woefully exposed ground. The British had learned the tactical lessons of iSandlwana and deliberately sought to restrict the Zulu ability to manoeuvre and co-ordinate their attacks, and to concentrate their own firepower.
One of the key objectives of British forces on D-Day during World War II (1939-1945)was the capture of the strategically vital city of Caen. General Montgomery saw Caen as the key to Normandy and the springboard for the Allied breakout, but so did the Germans and the city did not fall. It took three major offensives and more than 30 bloody days of struggle to finally take Caen. In the process the city was controversially devastated and its civilian population decimated. The Allies paid a high price for Caen but the horrific German casualties bled their forces in Normandy white and helped open the way for the American breakout in Operation Cobra.
In the early 12th century AD a large area of present-day France was not under the direct control of the French king. In fact, the French king's direct authority stretched little further than Paris and the area immediately around it, the Ile de France. Many of the other regions were semi-independent duchies and counties, controlled by, amongst others, the King of England and the Holy Roman Emperor. One such area free from direct French control was the Languedoc, the area stretching from the Massif Central south to the Pyrenees, and as far as the river Rhone to the east. This area was under the loose overlordship of the counts of Toulouse, and by the beginning of the 12th century the whole region had become the centre of an early form of Protestantism called Catharism that flourished to an extraordinary degree and threatened the rule of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Innocent III, alarmed at this heresy and the unwillingness of the southern nobility to do much to uproot it, launched a crusade in 1209 against European Christians. The crusading army, represented the established Church consisting predominatly of northern French knights. They saw this as an opportunity both to 'take the cross' and to obtain new lands and wealth for themselves more conveniently than crusading to the Holy land. This, the Albigensian Crusade, became a brutal struggle between the north and the south of France as much as between orthodox Roman Catholic and heretic Cathar. The inhabitants of the Languedoc had always relied for their safety upon a series of strongly fortified walled cities, such as Albi, Carcassonne, Bï¿½ziers, Toulouse and a large number of fortified hill-top villages and castles which dotted the countryside. These so-called 'Cathar Castles' now became the last refuge against the invading crusaders and the conflict developed into a series of protracted and bloody sieges that lasted for over 30 years. The author describes these two very different types of fortification, the walled city and the hill-top castle. He explains why they were positioned where they were, how they were built, and the defensive principles behind their construction, and also reviews how well they withstood the test of the Albigensian Crusade.Related TitlesThe Crusades (Essential Histories)Medieval Siege Warfare (Elite)French Medieval Armies 1000-1300 (Men-at-Arms)
In May and June 1918 the newly arrived American Expeditionary Force fought two actions that helped defeat the last German offensive of World War I. At Château Thierry a combined French and American force stopped the Germans from crossing the Marne River. Building on this success the US 2nd Division stopped the German advance on Paris and were given the task of recapturing Belleau Wood. First-hand accounts, photographs, and detailed maps dramatically bring to life these key battles, America's baptism of fire in World War I.
First used in combat during the Punitive Expedition into Mexico and then extensively during both World War 1 and World War 2, the Colt Government Model (1911) pistol remained the standard issue handgun in the US armed forces for nearly 80 years and has continued in service with some units to this day. In fact, the M1911 has seen a resurgence among US Special Operations units, as US Marine MARSOC and MEUSOC personnel are issued current generation 1911-type pistols. In addition, the pistol has seen service with famous law enforcement agencies such as the Shanghai Municipal Police, LAPD Swat and Texas Rangers. Nearly a century after its introduction, the M1911 Pistol remains a popular design and is now produced by virtually every major firearms manufacturer doing business in the USA.In this new volume, handgun expert Leroy Thompson sheds new light on the development, history and use of this revolutionary handgun, complete with specially-commissioned artwork depicting the firing process and cutaway profile of the gun, as well as its use in various theaters of war.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Admiral von Spee's German East Asia Cruiser Squadron of World War I stand out amidst the annals of 20th century surface naval warfare. Upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, the British Royal Navy was deployed globally, whilst aside from a small number of local vessels, the Imperial German Navy was concentrated in two areas - Home Waters (i.e. the North Sea and the Baltic) and Tsingtao in China, the home port of the crack East Asia Cruiser Squadron which, under the command of Admiral Reichsgraf von Spee contained some of Germany's most modern cruisers. As it was clear that Spee's relatively small force would be quickly overwhelmed by superior enemy numbers, the Admiralty in Berlin immediately ordered him to weigh anchor and return to Germany, a mission that many were to describe as a Himmelfahrtskommando or suicide mission. Whether Spee made it or not, the main consideration was that he would tie down a large number of enemy warships and thus prevent their deployment in other areas. This Raid title details all aspects of the exciting mission.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The original forced conversion of pagan Livonia, what is now the Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia, was carried out by a military order known as the Brethren of the Sword. In 1236 this order was incorporated into the Teutonic Knights following a catastrophic military defeat. The knights had always consolidated their conquests through networks of castles and fortified places, and the Livonian Chapter of the Teutonic Order built castles of stone. This title covers the developmental and operational history of these fortresses over the length of the Middle Ages. It details how the Baltic fortifications of the Teutonic Knights evolved to reflect the changing nature of siege warfare and the increasing dominance of gunpowder in warfare.From the Trade Paperback edition.
By the time of American Civil War things had changed from the Age of Fighting Sail - steam power and explosive shells were transforming naval warfare. Iron was beginning to supplant wood. Britain had just finished HMS Warrior, an iron-hulled warship and coastal ironclads dominated the waters off the United States. The changes meant that ships sank, during battles instead of afterwards. The fights were no less bloody, but in addition to flying splinters, a host of other dangers were added - burst steam boilers, fire due to exploding shells, and the burst from the shells themselves. But, just as in the age of sail, warship captains that won one-on-one battles with another warship became as famous as modern sports stars. During the course of the American Civil War, three single ship actions were fought between Union cruisers and Confederate raiders: CSS Florida vs. USS Wachusett, CSS Alabama vs. USS Hatteras, and CSS Alabama vs. USS Kearsarge. This book will present those, with an emphasis on the most famous battle: Alabama's fight with Kearsarge. Next to the battle between USS Monitor and CSS Virginia, no other naval duel of the American Civil War drew as much interest. That story is told from the eyes of the participants filtered through the lens of historical analysis available since the battles were fought. This includes archeological studies of wrecks of some of these ships, making this book an indispensible guide for anyone interested in Civil War and naval history.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The fighting around the town of Demyansk was one of the longest encirclement battles on the Eastern Front during the Second World War, stretching from February 1942 to February 1943. Originally, the German 16. Armee occupied Demyansk in the fall of 1941 because it was key terrain - a crossroads located on high ground amidst a sea of swampy terrain - that would be used as a springboard for an eventual offensive into the Valdai Hills. Instead, the Soviet winter counteroffensive in February 1942 encircled the German II Armeekorps and other units, totalling about 100,000 troops, inside the Demyansk Pocket. Another pocket was also created around Kholm, with another 5,000 Germans inside. Yet despite severe pounding from five Soviet armies, the embattled German troops held the pocket and the Luftwaffe organized a major aerial resupply effort to sustain the defenders. For the first time in military history, an army was supplied entirely by air.After stopping the Soviet winter counteroffensive, the German 16. Armee mounted two major relief efforts to rescue their trapped forces in the Demyansk and Kholm pockets, which were finally relieved in April-May 1942. During the siege, the crack 3. SS-Division 'Totenkopf' was virtually destroyed, suffering 80 per cent casualties. However, Hitler demanded that the 12 divisions of II Armeekorps remain in the narrow Demyansk salient, whose base was only 6km wide. Throughout the summer and autumn of 1942, the Soviets pounded the salient from all sides, inflicting heavy casualties on the defenders. In February 1943, Marshal Timoshenko was ordered to launch an offensive to cut off the base of the salient and annihilate the 12 divisions. At the same time, Hitler finally came to his senses after the Stalingrad debacle and authorized the 16. Armee to withdraw from the pocket. Thus, the Germans began to withdraw just as Timoshenko opened his grand offensive to cut them off and destroy almost 100,000 German troops. This volume will conclude with the drama of a German army-size withdrawal under fire in winter, under attack from three sides.
From legend and mythology to The Hobbit and A Game of Thrones, the dragon is a perennial favorite in the fantasy genre.With its fiery breath, scaly armour, and baleful, malevolent stare, the dragon became the ultimate symbol of evil and corruption in European folklore and mythology. Often serving as a stand-in for Satan, or the power of evil gods, dragons spread death and hopelessness throughout the land. Only heroes of uncommon valour, courageousness, and purity could hope to battle these monsters and emerge victorious. Those that did became legends. They became dragonslayers. The list of dragonslayers is small, but it is filled with great and legendary names. Hercules, Beowulf, Cuchulain, Sigfried, Lancelot, and Saint George all battled to the death with dragons. Other heroes such as the Danish King Frotho, the French Saint Mercurialis, the Polish champion Krak, and the Russian warrior Dobrynya Nikitch might be less well known to western readers, but also fought and defeated dragons. This book will retell the greatest legends of this select group of warriors, while examining the myth of the dragonslayer in a historical, mythological, and even theological context.
Nicknamed 'The Desert Fox' for his cunning command of the Afrika Korps, Erwin Rommel remains one of the most popular and studied of Germany's World War II commanders. He got his first taste of combat in World War I, where his daring command earned him the Blue Max, Germany's highest decoration for bravery. He followed this up with numerous successes early in World War II in both Europe and Africa, before facing his biggest challenge - organizing the defence of France. Implicated in the plot to kill Hitler, Rommel chose suicide over a public trial. This book looks at the life of this daring soldier, focusing on his style of command and the tactical decisions that earned him his fearsome reputation.
In early May 1940, the fortress of Eben Emael was a potent sentinel over the Belgian-Dutch borderlands. The fortress covered 75 hectares on the surface, had 5km of tunnels underground and was studded with bunkers, gun turrets and casemates. Add a garrison of 1,200 men and the natural protection of 60m-high canal walls, and Eben Emael gave the impression of near-impregnability. Yet on 10 May just 78 elite airborne soldiers managed to defeat this fortress in an operation of unprecedented tactical skill. Deployed by glider onto the very top of the fortifications, they utilized elite training, fast movement and specialist explosives to destroy many of the gun positions and trap much of the garrison within the fortress. Simultaneously, three other assault detachments conducted high-risk glider operations to capture critical bridges over the Albert Canal. By the end of 11 May, following the arrival of German infantry reinforcements, Eben Emael was in German hands. This Eben Emael RAID title tells the complete, fascinating story of this unique action.
Following the defeat at Wabash, in 1792 the Washington administration created a new US Army to replace the one that had been destroyed. The man chosen to lead it was the famous Major-General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Having trained his new force, Wayne set out in 1793 to subdue the Ohio Indians. Wayne faced many of the same problems as St Clair including the logistical and intelligence problems of campaigning in the wilderness, not to mention the formidable Ohio Indians. Wayne faced additional problems including the likelihood that he would have to fight both British and Spanish forces, not to mention an American army led by the celebrated commander George Roger Clark. He also faced an insurrection in western Pennsylvania, "Whiskey Rebellion", and a conspiracy led by many of his officers and contractors. Despite all these difficulties, Wayne managed to defeat the Ohio Indians at the battle of Fallen Timbers. This was a decisive defeat that led directly to the Treaty of Greeneville the following year which ended 20 years of conflict between the Americans and the Ohio Indians.
Following the early battles of 1914 along the Marne and in the Ypres salient, World War I rapidly changed from a war of movement into one of attrition, with the opposing sides entrenching themselves in a line of fortified positions from the Flanders coastline to the Swiss border. This volume details the different styles of fortification used on the Western Front throughout the course of the war, from the early ditches of 1914 to the complicated systems of 1918. It explains the development of the 'defence in depth' German system and the British reaction to it, as well as illustrating the importance of the pre-war forts, particularly around Verdun.
Buddhism has been influential in the mountain kingdoms of the Himalayas since the 7th century AD, most notably in the kingdom of Tibet where it permeated all aspects and levels of society until the 20th century. From the 9th-century AD onwards, the secular rulers of Tibet sought to extend their influence, and that of Buddhism, throughout the region. To this end, huge stone and mud-brick fortifications, known as dzongs, were constructed to dominate the secular landscape, while massive Buddhist monasteries dominated the religious - both following a very specific style of Tibetan architecture. It has been estimated that as many as 3,000 monasteries were built along with 200 dzongs. Mongol invasions from the 12th century onwards provided another influence, while internecine fighting in the 17th century led to increased fortification of the monasteries and the rise of the Dalai Lama as the head of a theocracy in Tibet, centred on the Potala Palace in Lhasa - a true fusion between secular dzong and religious monastery.Elsewhere in the Tibetan-influenced Himlayas the Buddhist Indian Kashmiri kingdom of Ladakh withstood assaults by both Muslims and Sikhs and developed a style of fortress monastery located on rocky peaks for defence, these often became combined with the fortified palaces of the rulers of Ladakh. With the foundation of Bhutan in the 17th century, further fortified monasteries were created in an effort to protect the new state's independence form the Dalai Lama.These fortifications have survived largely intact through today, as Chinese control over the Tibetan Autonomous Region has led to the destruction of the vast majority of the fortified monasteries and dzongs of that particular area.This title recreates the dramatic and colorful fortifications created in these mountain kingdoms, and recounts their operational history through the foreign incursions, religious conflicts and civil wars that litter their history, right through to the Tibetan uprising and flight of the Dalai Lama form the Potala Palace in 1959
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