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During the second half of 1943, after the failure at Kursk, Germany’s Army Group South fell back from Russia under repeated hammer blows from the Red Army. Under Erich von Manstein, however, the Germans were able to avoid serious defeats, while at the same time fending off Hitler’s insane orders to hold on to useless territory.Then, in January 1944, a disaster happened. Six divisions of Army Group South became surrounded after sudden attacks by the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts under command of generals Nikolai Vatutin and Ivan Konev around the village of Korsun (near the larger town of Cherkassy on the Dnieper). The Germans’ greatest fear was the prospect of another Stalingrad, the catastrophe that had occurred precisely one year before.This time, though, Manstein was in control from the start, and he immediately rearranged his Army Group to rescue his trapped divisions. A major panzer drive got underway, led by General der Panzertruppen Hans Hube, a survivor from Stalingrad pocket, which promptly ran up against several soviet tank armies. Leading the break-in was Franz Baeke with his Tiger and Panther-tanks. Due to both weather and ferocious resistance, the German drive stalled. Ju-52s still flew into Korsun’s airfield, delivering supplies and taking out wounded, but it soon became apparent that only one option remained for the beleaguered defenders: breakout.Without consulting Hitler, on the night of February 16 Manstein ordered the breakout to begin. Led by the strongest formation within the pocket, SS Wiking, the trapped forces surged out and soon rejoined the surrounding panzer divisions who had been fully engaged in weakening the ring.When dawn broke, the Soviets realized their prey was escaping. Although the Germans within the pocket lost nearly all of their heavy weapons and left many wounded behind, their escape was effected. Stalin, having anticipated another Stalingrad, was left with little but an empty bag, as Army Group South—this time—had pulled off a rescue. In The Korsun Pocket, Niklas Zetterling, a researcher at the Swedish Defense College since 1995 and Anders Frankson, have provided a highly detailed and often breathtaking account of one of the most dramatic battles of World War II. From grand strategy to soldiers’ voices on the ground, including expert statistical analysis, the action, and the stakes, of the battle at Korsun are made vividly clear.
Although the ultimate prize of the Great Game played out between Great Britain and Imperial Russia in the 19th century was India, most of the intrigue and action took place along its northern frontier in Afghanistan, Turkestan and Tibet. Maps, and knowledge of the enemy were crucial elements in Britain’s struggle to defend the ‘jewel in the crown’.The Great Trigonometrical Survey of India had been founded in the 18th century, with the aim of creating a detailed map of the country. While most people today are readily able to identify the world’s highest mountain few know of the man, George Everest, whom it was named after, or the accomplishment that earned him this singular honor. Under his leadership, the Survey of India mapped the Great Arc, which was then lauded as ‘one of the greatest works in the whole history of science’, though it cost more in monetary terms and human lives than many contemporary Indian wars? Much of the work of the Survey was undertaken by native Indians, known as Pundits, who were trained to explore, spy out and map Central Asia and Tibet. They did this at great personal risk and with meager resources, while traveling entirely on foot. They would be the first to reveal the mysteries of the forbidden city of Lhasa; and discover the true course of Tibet’s mighty Tsangpo River. They were the greatest group of explorers the world has seen in recent history – yet they remain the classic unsung heroes of the British Raj.The story of these extraordinary pioneers who explored much of Asia during the 19th century to fill in large portions of its map, and spy out the region for military reasons is often forgotten, but Riaz Dean’s vivid account of their exploits, their adventurous spirit and their tenacity in the face of great adversity, all set within the context of the Great Game and the Survey of India, will finally bring them the attention they deserve.
The strategic potential of the three-day attack of two NVA regiments on Kham Duc, a remote and isolated Army Special Forces camp, on the eve of the first Paris peace talks in May 1968, was so significant that former President Lyndon Johnson included it in his memoirs. This gripping, original, eyewitness narrative and thoroughly researched analysis of a widely misinterpreted battle at the height of the Vietnam War radically contradicts all the other published accounts of it. In addition to the tactical details of the combat narrative, the authors consider the grand strategies and political contexts of the U.S. and North Vietnamese leaders.
At the beginning of 1942, the Tirpitz, the heaviest battleship ever built by a European navy and sister ship of the Bismarck, was on the cusp of breaking out into the north Atlantic. The prospect of the huge German battleship patrolling the Atlantic posed a huge threat to the convoys that were the lifeline for an embattled Britain. Determined efforts were made to damage the ship through bombing raids: these failed. An altogether more daring and radical plan was conceived: destroy the dry-dock facility at St Nazaire on the French Atlantic coast, and without the use of the only suitable base for the ship, the threat would be neutralized.The plan was to ram the entrance gates with a ship packed with explosives on a delayed fuse to give the men on board time to take shelter before the ship exploded. A motor boat armed with torpedos would fire at the inner gate causing further damage to submarine pens. The troops and crew would then destroy as many dockyard targets as they could and withdraw in fast motor launches which had followed them in. All this was to be achieved under cover of an air raid. HMS Campbeltown, a US lend-lease destroyer was chosen for the task.On the night of 27th March the raid commenced; heavy shelling killed or wounded over half of the motor boat crews in the approach but the Campbeltown succeeded in lodging its bows in the outer gates. On shore fighting was ferocious and close-quartered. The delayed action fuses detonated the high explosives in the Campbeltown's hold at noon on the 28th, killing over 400 German officers and men. The dock gates were destroyed and were not repaired until after the war. The cost to the Allies was high, of the 241 Commandos who took part, 168 were either killed or captured. But the Tirpitz was never able to leave Norwegian waters: the raid was an overwhelming success.This volume in the Casemate Illustrated series gives a clear overview of the planning and execution of the raid and its aftermath, accompanied by 125 photographs and images, including color profiles and maps.
Keith Nightingale’s accomplishments in both military and civilian life largely contribute to the excellence of Just Another Day in Vietnam as a memoir of unusual depth as well as breadth.Uniquely adopting a third-person omniscient point of view, Nightingale eschews the “I” of memoir in favor of multiple perspectives and a larger historical vision that afford equal time and weight to ally and enemy alike. Examples of the many perspectives based on real-life characters include: Hu, a VC “informant” whose false information led the Rangers straight into the jaws of a ferocious ambush; General Tanh, the COSVN commander; Major Nguyen Hiep, the 52d Ranger Commander; and Ranger POWs later returned by the North.Nightingale moreover offers the point of view of an American advisor to elite Vietnamese troops, a vital perspective regrettably underrepresented in the literature of Vietnam, including Burns’ documentary. Added to this are well-informed conjecture of enemy psychology; insight into the dedication and often misunderstood role of the elite Vietnamese Ranger forces; the intelligence acquired from debriefing captured Rangers, whose captors had told them that the entire battle had been a carefully staged attack planned by COSVN as part of a larger Total War strategy developed by the leadership of the North Vietnamese Army; and an eyewitness account by a gifted author who is a rare survivor of one of the most vicious—and heretofore forgotten—battles of the war.
Sighted Sub, Sank Same examines the United States Naval air campaign against German U-boats prowling for allied merchant shipping traversing the waters of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean; an economic war waged to cut the lifeline of food and armaments sailing across the Atlantic from North America. This battle of the Atlantic evolved into a far-ranging conflict beyond the North Atlantic and the eastern seaboard of the United States. It covered the frigid waters off Iceland down to the warm waters of Florida, through the Caribbean Sea, across the ocean to the Bay of Biscay, the Mediterranean Sea, down to Africa, and across the South Atlantic to Brazil’s southern tip. Nazi Germany’s efforts to deny supplies from reaching Europe came at a high price, losing 783 U-boats and approximately 30,000 men between 1939 and 1945 with land and carrier-based naval air units sinking 83 German submarines of the 159 sunk by American aircraft. German allies saw their submarines targeted as well in the Atlantic with Imperial Japanese submarine I-52 and the Italian Archimede falling victim to American naval aircraft armed with depth bombs or acoustic homing torpedoes.This story of the United States Navy’s use of air power to hunt down and destroy German submarines unfolds in dramatic detail in Sighted Sub, Sank Same. The book contains over 200 color and black and white photographs allowing for a visual imagery of the campaign while personal interviews, interrogation reports, personal correspondence, and after action reports weave a fascinating history about the naval air campaign in the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Mediterranean Theaters during World War II.
Fighter aircraft were developed during World War I at an unprecedented rate, as nascent air forces sought to achieve and maintain air supremacy. German manufacturers innovated at top speed, while constantly scrutinizing the development of new enemy aircraft. The Germans also utilized the concept of systematic production or modular engineering during the war—Fokker capitalized on this aspect with all his aircraft built in a similar fashion—wooden wings with welded steel fuselages. This meant that they could be disassembled or reassembled quickly in the field—unlike many Allied aircraft. Pfalz and Albatros were the first to realize the importance of a streamlined fuselage—the precursor to all that would follow. Both of these companies built semi-monocoque fuselages using plywood to develop semi-stressed skin—the Allies had nothing like this. The Germans also perfected powerful inline engines, as exemplified by the Albatros fighters. These engines did not have the gyroscopic effect of the rotary engines and as such were easier and more stable to fly. Fokker was slow to give up his rotary engines but once he did, the result was the iconic Fokker D VII—years ahead of its time and the only aircraft specifically mentioned in the Treaty of Versailles that Germany could not build after the war.German Fighter Aircraft in World War I explores how German fighter aircraft were developed during the war, the innovations and trials that made the Fokker D VII possible, and the different makes and types of aircraft. Using unpublished images including photographs of surviving aircraft, archive images, and models and replicas, it shows details of aircraft that were kept top secret during the war. Extensively illustrated with 140 photos and ten color profiles, this is will be essential reading for all WWI aviation enthusiasts and modelers.
Adolf Hitler considered the Mediterranean an unimportant theater of the war, leaving it to the troops of Benito Mussolini who wanted to dominate the “Mare Nostro.” Nevertheless, when the Italian army was defeated on the Libyan-Egyptian border at the beginning of 1941, the Führer was forced to help his ally by sending an air detachment first to Sicily, then Africa. This latest in the Casemate Illustrated series examines that tiny expeditionary force, solely devoted to protecting Italian possessions in North Africa. When General Erwin Rommel launched his Afrika Korps to the east, the Luftwaffe had to go on the offensive to cover that advance. With over 100 images, this book explores how German and British air forces were quickly reinforced and, in the following months, Germany was forced to engage more and more aerial units on what was initially considered a peripheral arena of the war for the German High Command. Losses in bombers and fighters were high on both sides and when, at the end of 1942, the Allies landed in Morocco and Algeria on the back of the Afrika Korps, the Wehrmacht’s fate was sealed. The depleted Luftwaffe did its best but could not change the course of the battle. The last German units capitulated in Tunisia in May 1943.
Ask most combat veterans to name the worst experience of their lives, and they’ll probably tell you it was war. But ask them to choose the best experience of their life, and they’ll usually say it was war, too. For someone who has not been to war, this is nearly impossible to understand. The spectrum of emotions experienced by a combat veteran is far wider than that experienced in civilian life and for that reason it can be hard for a veteran to re-assimilate to civilian life. Ask a combat veteran about this, it’s a common feeling.What is it about war that soldiers miss? This is a question that every civilian should try to understand. Weaving together a wide range of stories from the flight deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier off Syria to climbing a forbidden Himalayan pass into Tibet, this moving and insightful book explains one of the most everlasting human pursuits – war. But its focus isn’t solely war; it is also about coming home and confronting another kind of struggle, which we all share—the search for happiness.In this collection, Peterson writes of war from the perspective of both a combatant and a witness taking the reader from combat missions over Afghanistan as an Air Force special operations pilot to the frontlines against ISIS in Iraq, and the trench and tank battles of the war in Ukraine. Interweaving his frontline reports with a narrative about his own transformation from a combat pilot to a war journalist, Peterson explores a timeless paradox – why does coming home from war feel like such a disappointment?
Whispers in the Tall Grass is the second volume of Nick Brokhausen’s riveting memoir of his time serving in Recon Teams Habu and Crusader, CNN, part of MACV-SOG. These small recon teams, comprising Americans and indigenous Montagnards, conducted some of the most dangerous missions of the war, infiltrating areas controlled by the North Vietnamese in Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Picking up where We Few left off, Whispers in the Tall Grass opens as the war moves into a new phase. The enemy are using special formations to hunt recon teams and missions are now rarely accomplished without heavy contact. Despite the teams’ careful prep, losses are mounting. More and more missions are extracted by Bright Lights until eventually classic recon missions are almost impossible, and the teams briefly trial HALO insertion. Finally, as the US prepares to withdraw, the teams undertake back-to-back missions directing air strikes and disrupting supply lines to ease the pressure on the ARVN. Broken by the pace, but desperate not to leave the Yards, Brokhausen is ordered to out-process, his request for extension denied, and is forced to leave his friends—his brothers—behind.Written in the same vivid, immediate style that made We Few a cult classic, Whispers in the Tall Grass follows Habu, Crusader and other teams as they undertake missions in this new, deadlier phase of the war. The narrative veers from hair-raising to tragic and back as the teams insert into hot targets, act as Bright Light for stricken teams, and play hard in between missions to diffuse the ever-rising tension.Brokhausen’s account brings home the reality and the detail of operating for days within mere meters of the enemy, and movingly convey the bonds that war creates between soldiers.
Airborne assault was one of the great innovations of the 1930s and 1940s, adding a new ‘vertical’ dimension to infantry warfare. By the onset of World War II in 1939, Germany, Italy and Russia were already advanced in their development of paratrooper units. Germany in particular demonstrated the tactical shock of paratroopers in Western Europe in 1940 and, most spectacularly, in Crete in 1941, galvanizing the UK and the United States to expand and train their own airborne forces, which they unleashed in 1943–45. The Allied paratrooper drops on D-Day (6 June 1944) and those of Operation Market Garden (17–25 September 1944) were the stuff of legend, huge in scale and ambition, but both Allied and Axis paratroopers were deployed in numerous other actions, including special forces raids.It quickly became apparent that the physical and tactical demands placed upon paratroopers required men of exceptional stamina, courage and intelligence. To create these soldiers, levels of training were unusually punishing and protracted, and those who came through to take their ‘wings’ were a true elite.Casemate’s The Paratrooper Training Pocket Manual 1939–1945 provides an unusually detailed insight into what it took to make a military paratrooper, and how he was then utilized in actions where expected survival might be measured in a matter of days. Using archive material from British, US, German and other primary sources, many never before published, the book explains paratrooper theory, training, and practice in detail. The content includes: details of the physical training, instruction in static-line parachute deployment, handling the various types of parachutes and harnesses, landing on dangerous terrain, small-arms handling, airborne deployment of heavier combat equipment, landing in hostile drop zones, tactics in the first minutes of landing, radio comms, and much more.Featuring original manual diagrams and illustrations, plus new introductory text explaining the history and context of airborne warfare, The Paratrooper Training Pocket Manual 1939–1945 provides a detailed insight into the principles and practice of this unique type of combat soldier.
The Partisan's Companion was produced by the Red Army to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II, as it was later used to train Third World guerrillas in their wars of national liberation during the 1950s–70s, and even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought US and coalition forces in Iraq.By the end of 1942, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war. The partisan ranks grew as did the training requirements for partisan commanders. The 1942 edition of The Partisan's Companion helped quickly train new guerrillas to a common standard. Besides field craft, it covers partisan tactics, German counter-guerrilla tactics, demolitions, German and Soviet weapons, scouting, camouflage, anti-tank warfare and anti-aircraft defense for squad and platoon-level instruction. It contains the Soviet lessons of two bitter years of war and provides a good look at the tactics and training of a mature partisan force. The partisans moved and lived clandestinely, harassed the enemy, and supported the Red Army through reconnaissance and attacks on German supply lines. They clearly frustrated German logistics and forced the Germans to periodically sideline divisions for rear-area security. The partisans and their handbook were clearly part of the eventual Soviet victory over Germany. This pocket manual puts The Partisan's Companion in context, explaining its importance.
While small wars are not new, how they should be fought by a modern industrial nation is still very much a matter for debate. It is thus worth paying heed now, to the experiences of another power which once encountered the same problems. This pocket manual examines German analysis of the problem, covering experiences from the Napoleonic era to the Third Reich, based upon the historical analysis, Kleinkrieg, provided to the German High Command by Arthur Ehrhardt in 1935 (republished in 1942 and 1944), and the Bandenbekampfung (Fighting the Guerrilla Bands) document provided to Germany's OKW in 1944. In both, conditions that were specific to broader military operations were separated from circumstances in occupation campaigns, and the new background in the German experience in suppressing rebellion in World War II is presented.Avoiding ideological biases, this manual examines the purely military problem as seen by professionals. Rediscovered and presented in English, these German thoughts on how best to fight small wars have been edited and annotated by Charles D. Melson, former Chief Historian for the US Marine Corps.
In December 1943, with the rising realization that the Allies are planning to invade Fortress Europe, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel is assigned the title of General Inspector for the Atlantic Wall. His mission is to assess their readiness.What he finds disgusts him. The famed Atlantikwall is nothing but a paper tiger, woefully unprepared for the forces being massed across the English Channel. His task—to turn back the Allied invasion—already seems hopeless.His superior, theater commander, crusty old Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, who had led the Reich to victory in the early years of the war, is now fed up with the whole Nazi regime. He lives comfortably in a plush villa in a quiet Paris suburb, waiting for the inevitable Allied invasion that will bring about their final defeat.General der Artillerie Erich Marcks, badly injured in Russia, is the corps commander on the ground in Normandy, trying to build up the coastal defenses with woefully inadequate supplies and a shortage of men to fulfill Rommel's demands. Marcks is convinced that the Allies will land in his sector, but no one higher up the chain of command seems interested in what he thinks.Meanwhile, aristocratic Generaloberst Hans von Salmuth, an outspoken, cocky, experienced veteran of the Russian Front, has been given responsibility for defending Fifteenth Army's coastline at Calais—the area that the High Command thinks is most likely to be the Allies' objective. General der Panzertruppen Geyr von Schweppenburg is preparing the élite panzer divisions for what may lie ahead. Generalmajor Max Pemsel struggles in coordinating efforts to prepare Seventh Army, suspecting that if an invasion comes he will be the hub of the German response. All of the Western Theater commanders are subject to the whims of Adolf Hitler, hundreds of miles away but continually issuing orders increasingly divorced from the reality of the war.Countdown to D-Day takes a detailed day-to-day journal approach, tracing the daily activities and machinations of the German High Command as they try to prepare for the Allied invasion
On September 15, 1944, the United States, in its effort to defeat the Japanese Empire, invaded a tiny island named Peleliu, located at the southern end of the Palau Islands. This island chain lay in the main line of the American advance eastward. The Pacific High Command saw the conquering of this chain as a necessary prelude to General Douglas MacArthur's long-awaited liberation of the Philippines.Of all the Palaus, Peleliu, the second southernmost, was the most strategically valuable. It boasted a large flat airfield located on a relatively low plain at its southern end. If it was taken, it could be used as a major airbase from which the Americans could mount a massive bomber campaign against the Philippines if needed, and eventually against Japanese home islands. Except for the airfield, Peleliu was a typical humid tropical island, covered by dense jungle and swamps, with many coconut, mango, and palm tree groves.The main amphibious assault was to be made by the famed First Marine Division under the command of Major General William Rupertus. The Pacific High Command was confident that victory would be theirs in just a few days, convinced that the Japanese defending the island were relatively weak and underprepared.They were drastically wrong. The Peleliu campaign took two and a half months of hard bitter fighting, and just a week after landing, having sustained terrific losses in fierce combat, Chesty Puller’s 1st Marine Regiment was withdrawn. The entire division would be out of action for six months, with the three rifle regiments averaging over 50% casualties - the highest unit losses in Marine Corps history. This book analyzes in detail the many things that went wrong to make these casualties so excessive, and in doing so, corrects several earlier accounts of the campaign. It includes a comprehensive account of the presidential summit that determined the operation, details of how new weapons were deployed, a new enemy strategy, and command failure in what became the most controversial amphibious operation in the Pacific during WWII.
Throughout the Second World War, a shift occurred in the composition of the large armored units of armies which lead to an increase in the power of their tanks in particular. The Germans were no exception. Many of its recently formed Panzer divisions, from the 12th SS-Panzerdivision Hitlerjugend to the 2nd SS-Panzerdivision Das Reich, were thrust into the effort to repel the Allies from June to August 1944 in Normandy. Within just ten weeks they would be defeated.This volume of Casemate Illustrated starts by exploring the initial struggle to gain control of Caen after the Allies had landed on the beaches of Normandy which resulted in the ferocious German Tiger tanks destroying the 7th Armored Division, with British losses totaling twenty-seven tanks. The subsequent strategies the commanders devised for the Panzer tanks during Operations Goodwood and Cobra were not so successful, ultimately ending in disaster for the Germans as the Allies broke through the German line by the end of July.With over 100 photos, diagrams showing the composition of German armored divisions, and color profiles of tanks and other armored vehicles, this is a detailed examination of the German armored forces in Normandy in 1944, focusing on the organization of the 10 Panzer divisions that took part, the vehicles they relied on and the battles they fought in and why ultimately their combined strength was not enough.
One of the greatest paradoxes of the Battle of Normandy is that the German divisions found it much harder to reach the front line than the Allies, who had to cross the sea and then deploy in a cramped bridgehead until the American breakthrough of late July 1944. The Waffen-SS were no better off than the Heer units and German high command never quite got on top of operations, as the divisions were thrown into the melee one by one. During the month of June 1944, the Panzer divisions present succeeded in containing the Allies in a small bridgehead. In July, the arrival of more SS divisions should have finally allowed the Germans to counter-attack decisively. This was not the reality. The Allies had also strengthened in number and kept the blows coming, one after another. Each SS-Panzer division had a different experience of the fighting in July.This Casemate Illustrated looks at the divisions one by one throughout Operations Goodwood and Cobra which saw large tank battles and the collapse of the German front in Normandy. It includes over 100 photographs, alongside biographies of the commanders and color profiles of trucks and tanks which played a key role in operations as the Americans succeeded in breaking through the German line of defense.
Spain in Arms is a new military history of the Spanish Civil War. It examines how the Spanish Civil War conflict developed on the battlefield through the prism of eight campaigns between 1937-1939 and shows how many accounts of military operations during this conflict are based upon half-truths and propaganda.The book is based upon nearly 60 years of extensive research into the Spanish Civil War, augmented by information from specialized German, Italian and Russian works. The Italian campaign against the Basques on the Northern Front in 1937 was one of the most spectacular Nationalist successes of the Civil War, with 60,000 prisoners taken. This is also the first book to quote secret data about Italian air operations intercepted by the British. The figures intercepted by the British show the Italians flew 1,215 sorties and dropped 231 tons of bombs during the campaign, whilst also suffering the heaviest losses.It also demonstrates how the Nationalists won not simply by benefitting from a cornucopia of modern arms from the Fascist powers but by using its limited resources to maximum effect. Spain in Arms reveals the Nationalist battlefield superiority in terms of training and overall command, and the Republic's corresponding weaknesses in the same fields. The Republican Brunete and Belchite offensives of 1937 are described in detail, from the weapons they carried and the tactics they employed to the dynamic Nationalist response and reaction of the generals. This book also explores how the extent of foreign intervention on both sides has been greatly exaggerated throughout history and provides the first accurate information on this military intervention, using British and French archives to produce a radically different but more accurate account of the battles and the factors and men who shaped them.Hooton finally gives the historical context and operational implications of the battlefield events to provide a link between the First and Second World Wars.
Elite units carried out many dangerous operations during the Vietnam War, the most secret and hazardous of which were conducted by the Studies and Observations Group, formed in 1964.In the years since the Vietnam War, the elite unit known as SOG has spawned many myths, legends and war stories. Special Forces medic Joe Parnar served with SOG during 1968 in FOB2/CCC near the tri-border area that gave them access to the forbidden areas of Laos and Cambodia. Parnar recounts his time with the recon men of this highly classified unit, as his job involved a unique combination of soldiering and lifesaving. His stories capture the extraordinary commitment made by all the men of SOG and reveal the special dedication of the medics, who put their own lives at risk to save the lives of their teammates. Parnar also discusses his medical training with the Special Forces. During his tour with SOG, Parnar served as a dispensary medic, chase medic, Hatchet Force medic and as a recon team member. This variety of roles gave him experience not only in combat but in dealing with and treating the civilians and indigenous peoples of that area. There is a graphic account of a Laotian operation involving America’s most decorated soldier, Robert Howard, during which Parnar had to treat a man with a blown-off foot alongside nearly fifty other casualties. It is a reminder of the enormous responsibility and burden that a medic carried.This new edition of SOG Medic makes this highly-praised and sought-after book available again once more, with additional photos and maps.
The saga of the flags on Iwo Jima has fascinated America for decades. Hammel himself grew up in the company of WWII veterans and has always been intrigued by ‘The Photo’ of the flag, which became a powerful symbol of patriotism and national pride. But the story of how the flag got there, and even the identity of the soldiers in the photo, has been muddied by history. Eric Hammel here sets the record straight, viewing complex events through the lens of the story of the infantry company in which all the flag raisers served.Joe Rosenthal’s “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” photo is one of the best-known images of US war history. The photo captures the moment that the first American flag flew over the core of Imperial Japanese territory on the top of Mount Suribachi. The focus of this book lies on the 28th Marine Regiment’s self-contained battle in February 1945 for Mount Suribachi, the 556-foot-high volcano on Iwo Jima. It was here that this one regiment defeated more than 1500 heavily armed Japanese combatants who were determined to hold the highest vantage point on the island.Two Flags over Iwo Jima reveals the all-but-forgotten first-flag raising, and the aftermath of the popularization campaign undertaken by the post-WWII Marine Corps and national press. Hammel attempts to untangle the various battles which led up to the first and second flag raisings, as well as following the men of the 28th Marine Regiment in the events which took place after. Not only is the full story behind one of the most iconic photographs ever taken revealed, but also the real heroism and stories of the men behind this most fervent expression of American patriotism.
In this interactive work, you are U.S. Army Second Lieutenant, Bruce Davis. Your light infantry battalion has been airlifted into the Middle East on short notice, and now your platoon must defend Wafi Al Sirree against the superior might of an advancing enemy's mechanized force. The stakes are high; the odds are long. Your knowledge and judgment will determine your success. If you are wrong, defeat and death may be your fate. Success will let you savor the sweet taste of victory and live to fight another day.The scenario is highly realistic and is supported by maps and appendices with detailed specifications of the equipment and forces involved. The choices you must make are those that would face a rifle platoon leader in combat. You must win the respect of your troops, ensure the security of your positions, obtain intelligence of the enemy, and accomplish everything else required to survive and win in a hostile environment.Whether you’re a serving infantryman or armchair enthusiast, this is the best crash course in light infantry tactics you will find, short of a rotation through the National Training Center.
Compared to modern standard, the Roman army of the imperial era was surprisingly small. However, when assessed in terms of their various tasks, they by far outstrip modern armies – acting not only as an armed power of the state in external and internal conflicts, but also carrying out functions which nowadays are performed by police, local government, customs and tax authorities, as well as constructing roads, ships, and buildings.With this opulent volume, Thomas Fischer presents a comprehensive and unique exploration of the Roman military of the imperial era. With over 600 illustrations, the costumes, weapons and equipment of the Roman army are explored in detail using archaeological finds dating from the late Republic to Late Antiquity, and from all over the Roman Empire. The buildings and fortifications associated with the Roman army are also discussed. By comparing conflicts, border security, weaponry and artefacts, the development of the army through time is traced.This work is intended for experts as well as to readers with a general interest in Roman history. It is also a treasure-trove for re-enactment groups, as it puts many common perceptions of the weaponry, equipment and dress of the Roman army to the test.
The battle of the Falaise Pocket, in August 1944, was the turning point in the Normandy campaign. By early August the German Army was in turmoil: while it was managing to hold back the Allies, the defense involved resources that could not be replaced, and the Allies ruled the skies above. In late July, American troops broke through the American lines and pushed south and east, while British and Canadian troops pushed south. Although unable to counter these offensives, Hitler refused to permit the commander Army Group B, Field Marshal von Kluge, to withdraw. Instead he was ordered to launch a counteroffensive at Mortain, the result being that the Germans ended up further into the Allied envelopment. On 8 August Montgomery ordered that the Allied armies converge on the Falaise area—by 21 August the Allies had linked up and sealed the pocket, trapping around 50,000 Germans inside. While many soldiers did eventually escape the encirclement, the losses were catastrophic and by the end of the month Army Group B had retreated across the Seine, ending the battle of Normandy. This illustrated account examines the battle from the failed offensive at Mortain, looking at both German and Allied perspectives, using maps, diagrams and profiles to complete the story.
The Sniper Encyclopaedia is an indispensable alphabetical, topic-by-topic guide to a fascinating subject.This is a comprehensive work that covers virtually any aspect of sniping. The work contains personal details of hundreds of snipers, including not only the best-known — world renowned gurus such as Vasiliy Zaytsev and Chris Kyle — but also many crack shots overlooked by history. Among them are some of more than a thousand Red Army snipers — men and a surprising number of women, who amassed sufficient kills to be awarded the Medal for Courage and, later, the Order of Glory. Some of the best-known victims of snipers are identified, and the veracity of the most popular myths is explored.The book pays special attention to the history and development of the many specialist sniper rifles — some more successful than others — that have served the world’s armies since the American Wars of the nineteenth century to today’s technology-based conflicts. Attention, too, is paid to the progress made with ammunition — without which, of course, precision shooting would be impossible. The development of aids and accessories, from camouflage clothing to laser rangefinders, is also considered.Finally, The Sniper Encyclopaedia examines significant locations and specific campaigns — the way marksman have influenced the course of the individual battles and places which have played a crucial part in the history of sniping, from individual sites to sniper schools and training grounds. The book contains authors’ biographies, a critical assessment of the many books and memoirs on the world of the sniper, and a guide to research techniques.
Since the fall of Saigon in 1975 there have been many books published on why (and whether) America lost the war in Vietnam. The senior American commander in charge of prosecuting the war during its buildup and peak of fighting, Admiral U.S.G. Sharp, concluded his memoir, saying: “The real tragedy of Vietnam is that this war was not won by the other side, by Hanoi or Moscow or Peiping. It was lost in Washington, D. C.” This remains an all too common belief. The stark facts, though, are that the Vietnam War was lost before the first American shot was fired. In fact, it was lost before the first French Expeditionary Corps shot, almost two decades earlier, and was finally lost when the South Vietnamese fought partly, then entirely, on their own.Offering an informed and nuanced narrative of the entire 30-year war in Vietnam, this book seeks to explain why. It is written by a combatant not only in six violent, large battles and many smaller firefights, but a leader with a full range of pacification duties, a commander who lost 43 wonderful young men killed and many more wounded, men who were doing what their country asked of them. This story is the result of a quest for answers by one who, after decades of wondering what it was about – what was it all about? – turned to a years-long search of French, American, and Vietnamese sources. It is a story of success on the one hand, defeat on the other, and the ingredients of both, inspirational or sordid as they may be.It is a story mostly lived and revealed by the people inside Vietnam who were directly involved in the war: from leaders in high positions, down to the jungle boots and sandals level of the fighters, and among the Vietnamese people who were living the war. Because of what was happening inside Vietnam itself, no matter what policies and directives came out of Paris or Washington, or the influences in Moscow or Beijing, it is about a Vietnamese idea which would eventually triumph over bullets.
Bao Chi brings together interviews with 35 combat correspondents who reported on the Vietnam War. They wrote the stories of Vietnam, captured the images and filmed the television coverage of their fellow servicemen on the battlefields from the Mekong Delta in the south to the DMZ in Central Vietnam, from the Tet Offensive in 1968 to the fall of Saigon in 1975.They were men like Dale Dye, who would go on to play an integral role in the making of Platoon, the first film to realistically portray the Vietnam War; marine Steve Stibbens, the first Stars and Stripes reporter in Vietnam in early 1962; Jim Morris, 1st and 5th Special Forces Group, whose works such as War Story and Fighting Men, recount the soldiering of the Green Berets and their Montagnard counterparts in the Central Highlands of Vietnam; John Del Vecchio, whose classic work of nonfiction, The 13th Valley, mirrors his own existence as a combat correspondent with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam; and U.S. Navy Frogman Chip Maury, renowned for his free fall and underwater photography in Vietnam.For years, there has been a well-deserved plethora of work by and about those who covered the war as civilians, with this book dedicating four of its chapters to civilian media. There hasn't been enough about the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who did so while wearing an American uniform. Yablonka's extensive experience as a military journalist brought him into contact with many of these combat correspondents, giving him a unique insight into their professions and lives. This book honors these brave chroniclers in uniform who brought the Vietnam War home to us.
This book tells the story of the various Allied operations and schemes instigated to keep Spain and Portugal out of WWII, which included the widespread bribery of high ranking Spanish officials and the duplicity of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of the Abwehr.Ian Fleming and Alan Hillgarth were the architects of Operation Golden Eye, the sabotage and disruption scheme that would be put in place had Germany invaded Spain. Fleming visited the Iberian Peninsula and Tangiers several times during the war, arguably his greatest achievement in WWII and the closest he came to being a real secret agent. It was these visits which supplied much of the background material for his fiction - Fleming even called his home on Jamaica where he created 007 'Goldeneye.'The book begins with Hitler's dilemma about which way to move and his meeting with Francisco Franco at Hendaye in October 1940, a major turning point in the war when an alliance between Germany and Spain seemed possible. Simmons explores the British reaction to this, with Operation Tracer being created by Admiral Godfrey, head of Naval Intelligence. This was a plan to leave a listening and observation post buried in the Rock of Gibraltar should it have fallen to the Germans. A chapter is also devoted to Portugal – the SIS and SOE operations there and the vital Wolfram wars. Operation Golden Eye was eventually put on standby in 1943 as the risk of the Nazis occupying Spain was much reduced. Simmons consulted Foreign Office, SOE, CIA and OKW files when writing this book.
During World War II the Ninth Air Force comprised air-to-ground aviators, charged with destroying the enemy close to the front and below the clouds, often bringing them face to face with their German opponents.The 362nd Fighter Group, led by two very different leaders – the tough disciplinarian Col. Morton Magoffin and later the beloved motivator Col. Joe Laughlin – had one of the best track records in the Ninth Air Force. It destroyed over 5000 trucks, 350 tanks, 275 artillery pieces, 45 barges, and 600 locomotives. But this score came at a cost, as over the course of 15 months of combat in 1944 and 1945 more than 70 pilots were killed in action and in June 1944 alone 30 of their P-47 Thunderbolts were lost. The other groups jokingly referred to them as the "362nd Suicide Outfit". Thunderbolts Triumphant provides a narrative history of the group and gives a glimpse at the fascinating men who flew these missions and maintained the aircraft as they navigated Europe. Starting with the D-Day invasion, the group was the aerial artillery support for U.S. ground forces, first in Normandy, then in reducing the defenses around Brest, then in supporting the U.S. Third Army as it drove across France and Germany. Special emphasis is given to its most spectacular missions such as the breaching of the Dieuze Dam and its incredible performance during the Battle of the Bulge where it demolished much of the Sixth Panzer Armee as it tried to escape eastward.Illustrated with 150 black and white photographs and 24 color aircraft profiles, this is a fascinating and detailed history of a group that played a significant part in winning the air war.
After the initial successes of Operation Barbarossa, at the end of September 1941 Hitler turned his focus to Moscow, with the unshakable belief that capturing the capital would knock the Soviets out of the war. On the face of it, it was an unequal struggle; Field Marshall Fedor von Bock had at his command disposal 1 million men, 1,700 tanks, 19,500 artillery guns and 950 combat aircraft – 50% of all the German men in Russia, 75% of all the tanks and 33% of all the planes. To defend Moscow, the Russians had under 500,000 men, fewer than 900 tanks and just over 300 combat planes. But the picture was in fact a great deal more complex; the Germans had suffered very significant losses since the invasion of Russia had begun, and had issues with logistics and air support. The Soviets, under the command of General Zhukov, were beginning to be better supplied with reinforcements, and were prepared to defend to the death.Nevertheless Moscow was in a perilous situation. This volume in the Casemate Illustrated series concentrates on the main German assault of October 1941. Guderian’s panzer divisions at first made sweeping gains as they had done so many times before and large parts of the Red Army were encircled at Vyazma and Bryansk. These successes in fact allowed the Soviets time to regroup as the encircled armies did not surrender and had to be dealt with. Then three engagements followed at Mtsensk, Maloyaroslavets and the Mojaisk defense line that proved that the war in the East was not entering its final days as German high command believed.Illustrated with over 150 photographs, plus profile drawings of tanks, vehicles and aircraft, it gives a vivid impression of the situation for both protagonists, and a detailed analysis of the critical days as the fate of Moscow and perhaps the whole war hung in the balance.