The first major clash between a European and Asian state in the modern era signalled the beginning of Japan's rise as a major power on the world stage. What began as differing expansionist interests in Manchuria and Korea developed into a full-blown war in 1904, with an unexpected outcome. Watched by the rest of the world's superpowers, this incredibly violent war was disastrous for the Russians who, despite their superior numbers, were defeated by the Japanese underdogs in a spectacular fashion. Japan won major victories against the Russians including the critical naval battle of Tsushima in May 1905 which saw almost the entire Russian fleet sunk, captured or interned. This was the first and last encounter of pre-dreadnought battleships and it was a huge success for Japanese tactics, skill and planning. This book discusses the design and development of the pre-dreadnoughts that would ultimately lead to a new wave of battleships. The key technical elements of firepower, protection, maneuverability and communications for each side are covered in detail and accompanied by first-hand accounts and specially commissioned artwork to explain and illustrate this historically significant duel.
The 1944 invasion of Saipan was the first two-division amphibious assault conducted by US forces in World War II (1939-1945). Saipan and Tinian had been under Japanese control since 1914 and, heavily colonized, they were considered virtually part of the Empire. The struggle for Saipan and Tinian was characterized by the same bitter fighting that typified the entire Central Pacific campaign. Fighting side-by-side, Army and Marine units witnessed the largest tank battle of the Pacific War, massed Japanese banzai charges, and the horror of hundreds of Japanese civilians committing suicide to avoid capture. In this book Gordon Rottman details the capture of these vital islands that led to the collapse of Prime Minister Tojo's government.
Santa Cruz is the forgotten carrier battle of 1942. Despite myth, the Japanese carrier force was not destroyed at Midway but survived to still prove a threat in the Pacific theater. Nowhere was this clearer than in the battle of Santa Cruz of October 1942. The stalemate on the ground in the Guadalcanal campaign led to the major naval forces of both belligerents becoming inexorably more and more involved in the fighting, each seeking to win the major victory that would open the way for a breakthrough on land as well.The US Task Force 61 under the command of Rear Admiral Kinkaid and consisting of the carriers Hornet and Enterprise, as well the battleship South Dakota and a number of cruisers and destroyers, intercepted the Japanese fleet, which boasted four carriers - Shokaku, Zuikaku, Junyo and Zuiho - as well as four battleships and numerous other ships, on 26 October. Though US aircraft managed to damage the Japanese carriers seriously, in turn Hornet was so badly damaged that shed had to be sunk, while Enterprise was hit and needed extensive repairs. Both sides withdrew at the end of the action.The Japanese were able to gain a tactical victory at Santa Cruz and came very close to scoring a strategic victory, but they paid a very high price in aircraft and aircrew that prevented them from following up their victory. In terms of their invaluable aircrew, the battle was much more costly than even Midway and had a serious impact on the ability of the Japanese to carry out carrier warfare in a meaningful manner.
Not only did the Sicily operation represent a watershed in tactical development of combined arms tactics, it was also an important test for future Allied joint operations. Senior British commanders left the North African theater with a jaundiced and dismissive view of the combat capabilities of the inexperienced US Army after the debacle at Kasserine Pass in Tunisia in February 1943. Sicily was a demonstration that the US Army had rapidly learned its lessons and was now capable of fighting as a co-equal of the British Army. The Sicily campaign contained a measure of high drama as Patton took the reins of the Seventh US Army and bent the rules of the theater commander in a bold race to take Palermo on the northern Sicilian coast. When stiff German resistance halted Montgomery's main assault to Messina through the mountains, Patton was posed to be the first to reach the key Sicilian port and end the campaign. The Sicily campaign contains a fair amount of controversy as well including the disastrous problems with early airborne assaults and the Allied failure to seal the straits of Messina, allowing the Germans to withdraw many of their best forces.
The St Mihiel salient had been formed in 1914 as the Germans drove towards Paris. The French had attempted to recapture it in 1915 without success and in 1916 the Germans used the area as a base to attack Verdun. The bitter battle for Verdun had cost hundreds of thousands of German and French casualties. After the Germans called off their attack the salient the war shifted north, leaving the salient protruding ominously into the Allied lines. Despite holding the salient since 1914, after the losses of early 1918, Ludendorff reluctantly decided to abandon the area and retire to a heavily fortified line at the base of the salient. The evacuation was ordered to begin on September 8, 1918. This was to be the scene for the newly formed American Army's first major offensive of the war. This highly illustrated and detailed account will highlight every aspect of this important campaign.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The raid on the port of St. Nazaire in March 1942 by a sea-borne task force from British Combined Operations remains one of the most daring actions of World War II. The port lies at the mouth of the River Loire and in 1942, as well as a U-Boat base, contained the massive 'Normandie' dock, the only facility on the Atlantic coast large enough to accommodate the German pocket battleship Tirpitz. This book tells the story of the raid on St. Nazaire that denied the use of the dock to the Tirpitz, the sister ship of the Bismarck, and constituted a crucial victory in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Osprey's study of the conflict between Japan and the United States during World War II (1939-1945). The island of Betio in the Tarawa Atoll was defended by the elite troops of the Special Naval Landing Force, whose commander, Admiral Shibasaki, boasted that "the Americans could not take Tarawa with a million men in a hundred years". In a pioneering amphibious invasion, the Marines of the 2nd Division set out to prove him wrong, overcoming serious planning errors to fight a 76-hour battle of unprecedented savagery. The cost would be more than 3000 Marine casualties at the hands of a garrison of some 3700. The lessons learned would dispel forever any illusions that Americans had about the fighting quality of the Japanese.
Osprey's survey of US Army soldiers' participation in the war in Iraq. In April 2003, after a month of heavy bombardment, Baghdad fell under coalition forces' control. The forces established the Coalition Provisional Authority and in the heart of the city, an 8km square mile "Green Zone" was formed to maintain order until the new Iraqi government became a reality.This title focuses on the lives of those soldiers whose task it was to bring stability to the area, primarily recounting the experiences of Task Force 1st Armored Division (TF 1AD) ("Old Ironsides"). The division's first operation, dubbed Iron Dig, was intended to verify the death of Saddam Hussein by finding his remains in a bombed restaurant in Baghdad. This was the first of many operations that combined combat and intelligence skills in attempts to capture or kill significant numbers of former regime leaders that were thought to be responsible for the remainder of attacks on coalition forces. This unique theater of operations severely tested the troops on many levels, both personally and professionally, as not only did they have to deal with living and fighting in extremely high temperatures, poor standards of living, and little respite, but also their operations became the center stage of a controversial debate surrounding the occupation.Discussed are the soldiers' personal experiences from recruitment, specialist training, and weaponry; to the aftermath and effects that the conflict had on them. The author, Ken Estes, uses interviews and recently declassified material to offer a full and accurate insight into this controversial theater of war.
Revealing what it was like to live and fight in a medium tank during World War II (1939-1945), this book is structured around the career of a single tanker from 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division. The focus is largely on the crew of an M4 Sherman, though light tank service is also studied. Tank operation required a well- trained and well-coordinated crew. The crew positions and roles of tank commander, gunner, driver, loader, and assistant driver are all covered in detail, together with recruitment procedure, specialist training, and the variety of specialized clothing and personal weaponry.
The ferocity of the Pacific war almost defied the available military technology. In this environment the evolving use of tanks by the US Marine Corps played a significant role; at the end of the Battle of Okinawa, Major General Lemuel Shepherd wrote in his report that 'if any one supporting arm can be singled out as having contributed more than any others during the progress of the campaign, the tank would certainly be selected.' This book traces the history of the US Marine Corps tank crewman, including the significant changes in doctrine, equipment, and organization that World War II brought, and his experience fighting in the Pacific theater.
By 1960, following Korea, tanks and their crews had proved themselves to be a fundamental part of the Marine Corps' combined arms team. When the Marines were ordered to Vietnam in 1965, they took their tanks with them. This book explores this decision, which created a political storm. The presence of the tanks became a lightning rod for accusations of an 'escalation' of the war. Nevertheless, the tanks not only proved their value in the anti-guerrilla campaigns, but also amid the bitter conventional fighting and extraordinary casualties at Hue City. The ability to undertake such radical change and to prevail demonstrated the versatility, courage and tenacity that are the hallmarks of the 'ordinary' Marine.
Osprey's study of United States Marine Corps riflemen during World War II (1939-1945). It is sometimes a basic assumption that a US Marine Corps rifleman was essentially trained, uniformed, equipped, and armed much the same as a US Army rifleman during World War II. While there were of course similarities, the Marines conducted their own unique training programs, wore mostly different uniforms and equipment, and possessed some unique weapons, although they also used many of the same weapons as the Army. The Marine Corps was not part of the Navy, but a component of the Navy Department alongside the Navy. While the Marines specialized in amphibious warfare, the Army actually conducted more amphibious assaults in the Pacific than the Marines. The typical Marine was extremely proud of his service and acutely aware that there were only six Marine divisions but 89 Army divisions. The Marine Corps began World War II with less than 66,000 officers and men; more than that would be wounded before it ended. The Corps grew to almost 487,000. It provided only 5 percent of the US armed forces, but suffered 10 percent of overall American casualties.The Marines were able to build on their proud traditions and history to transform a small branch of service into a premier combined arms amphibious assault force. Regardless of its expansion by 750 percent, the Corps was able to maintain its sense of tradition, instill that into thousands of new Marines, and create an elite arm of service. Here, Gordon L Rottman, follows the Marine rifleman through his draft and training, and then participation in operations such as Roi-Namur in the Marshall Islands, Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands, and Iwo Jima.The opening sentences of the Marine Creed, composed shortly after the attack on Pearl HarborThis is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless.
Osprey's first title in the study of the Yom Kippur War (1973). At 1345hrs on 6 October 1973, Israeli spotters in the observation post atop Mount Hermon saw Syrian gunners below them removing the camouflage nets from their guns. Ten minutes later shells began to rain down on Israeli positions all along the Golan Heights - The Yom Kippur War had begun. The shock Syrian attack caught the Israelis by surprise and by the afternoon of 7 October a Syrian brigade was less than 10km from the Sea of Galilee. Simon Dunstan describes in detail how amid desperate and bitter fighting the Israeli forces managed to turn the tide on the Golan Heights.