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Since the mid-1980s, the American High Mobility Military Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV, or Humvee) has become synonymous with the US military. In service all around the world for decades, it remains-Iraq War controversies notwithstanding-the world standard in light military tactical vehicles. Gradually nearing the end of its frontline service, it has earned a place of honor beside the much-loved Jeep of World War II. This is a concise look at the background, development, and operational history of the Humvee from the 1970s to the present. The author brings a unique perspective and authority as a Bosnia veteran and former Humvee crewman with the United States Army's 1/104th Cavalry. He was granted behind-the-scenes access to 1/104th Cavalry HMMWVs and the Army's collection of rare vehicles at Ft. Benning, Georgia. Also included is the Humvee's service in lesser-known places such as Cold War Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea, and Africa, as well as detail photos of the Humvee's features.
In early 1944, two Allied armies were ready to launch a massive assault against German forces in central Italy so they could then march northwards to Rome. There were three routes available to get there. The fastest one passed through the Liri valley, but the entrance was blocked by the rugged Monte Cassino massif, with its hilltop medieval monastery and the town below. In front of them ran the Gustav Line: the most formidably constructed defensive line the Western Allies would ever come up against. The second possible route would be to outflank the Gustav Line to reach the valley, but they would then also have to capture the innumerable rough peaks and ridges along the massif, on a treacherous terrain that only favoured the defenders. The third and final option would be to breach the Gustav Line directly in front of the town, which would mean engaging in costly house-to-house fighting until they dug out the very last of the stubborn German paratroopers lurking beneath the rubble. They decided to try all three, but none of them were easy, and all proved deadly.
Perhaps the most far-reaching of the many changes wrought on the military by the First World War was the mechanisation of the armed services. After many centuries of use by the Army for patrols and communications, the trusty horse was finally supplanted by the newfangled motorcycle. This process of mechanisation gathered pace during the interwar years and in particular for the military motorcycle between 1925 and 1939. By the outbreak of the Second World War the motorcycle had become an important part of the military inventory and was deemed 'suitable for WD (War Department) requirements'. When it was first published in 1995, this fully illustrated book was unique in looking at all military motorcycles of British origin known to have been tested mainly by the Mechanical Warfare Experimental Establishment (later called the Mechanisation Experimental Establishment). This edition is fully revised and updated and includes three new chapters, covering standard parts, bike markings and paint schemes.
'American Panther Tanks' sounds a strange title for a book, but currently there are five surviving WW2 German Panther tanks in America. It is believed that fourteen captured Panzer V Panther tanks were shipped to the United States after the Second World War. Most were cut up and scrapped after being used for testing and targets on live firing ranges. The Panzer V Ausf.A Panther tank at the American Heritage Museum, Hudson, Massachusetts, near Boston, has been completely restored to a very high standard. The other four Panther tanks are at Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia, under the care of the U.S. Army Armor and Cavalry Collection (U.S. AACC). They are awaiting their turn to be restored. The first four chapters briefly cover the development and production of the Panzer V Panther tank from the first version, the Ausf.D, to the second version the Ausf.A and to the final production version the Ausf.G, using photographs from other surviving Panther tanks around the world. The fifth chapter explores the design history of the Panther II prototype hull. Only one was built. The remaining chapters are dedicated to a photographic walk-around of the surviving Panther tanks in America.
The New Kingdom of Egypt marks the apogee of military organisation and preparedness. Beginning the era under foreign occupation, the Egyptians built up an army to challenge the invaders and liberate their land. Using the newest battlefield technologies (bows, chariots and hand weapons) the new pharaohs pushed the frontiers of the New Kingdom into Syria and Ethiopia. This is the era of Set I, Ramses II and Thuthmoses III, the greatest military pharaohs in Egyptian history. This book narrates this incredible rise to power and then describes in detail the way in which the Egyptian war machine was structured, how it was supplied, and how it fought. It considers all aspects, some often neglected, such as campaign tents, logistics and rations, as well as the design of hand weapons and bows. Many pieces of kit have been reconstructed for the book, giving the reader a very immediate sense of what an Egyptian warrior's equipment looked like. --
This is a major new history of the British army during the Great War written by three leading military historians. Ian Beckett, Timothy Bowman and Mark Connelly survey operations on the Western Front and throughout the rest of the world as well as the army's social history, pre-war and wartime planning and strategy, the maintenance of discipline and morale and the lasting legacy of the First World War on the army's development. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of the army between 1914 and 1918, engaging with key debates around the adequacy of British generalship and whether or not there was a significant 'learning curve' in terms of the development of operational art during the course of the war. Their findings show how, despite limitations of initiative and innovation amongst the high command, the British army did succeed in developing the effective combined arms warfare necessary for victory in 1918.
A photo chronicle of the HJ in over 230 b/w and 30 color photos including its late war formation and campaigns throughout Normandy and Austria.
Thousands of British soldiers lie in cemeteries clustered around the battle sites of the First World War. Many of these volunteered for war, not realising trench warfare would be far from a grand adventure, nor that they would never return home. But not all of these were killed by the enemy. Over 3,000 soldiers were sentenced to death by Army Law, for desertion or other petty crimes, and more than 300 of these were blindfolded and shot by their own battalion. Many of the 'men' were still teenagers, and faced judgement in a time where shell shock was seen as an excuse for cowardice. They were branded traitors, their deaths covered up and their names forbidden from memorials. Only in 2006, nearly 100 years later, were they finally pardoned. Robert King was part of the campaign to pardon these forgotten men. Here he touches on the lives of fifteen Welshmen history has tried to ignore, and explores what it really meant to be led out and shot at dawn.
Six historic counterinsurgency (COIN) operations are examined to determine which tactics, techniques, and procedures led to success and which to failure. The Philippines, Algeria, Vietnam, El Salvador, Jammu and Kashmir, and Colombia were chosen for their varied characteristics relating to geography, historical era, outcome, type of insurgency faced, and level of U.S. involvement. Future U.S. COIN operations can learn from these past lessons.
In November 1950 The US 1st Marine Division was trapped in the Chosin Reservoir following the intervention of Red China in the Korean War. Fought during the worst blizzard in a century, the ensuing battle is considered by the United States Marine Corps to be 'the Corps' Finest Hour.' The soldiers who fought there would later become known as the `Frozen Chosen'. Published now in paperback, this incredible story is based on first hand interviews from surviving veterans, telling of heroism and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, as a handful of Marines fought desperately against wave after wave of Chinese forces. Sometimes forced into desperate hand to hand combat, the fighting retreat from Chosin marked one of the darkest moments for Western forces in Korea, but would go on to resonate with generations of Marines as a symbol of the Marine Corps' dogged determination, fighting skill, and never-say-die attitude on the battlefield.
A concisely detailed guide to the Allied tanks that fought from D-Day to the break out from Normandy, their qualities, numbers and performance, and how they were used on the battlefield. When Allied tanks began to roll off the landing craft on D-Day, it marked the start of one of the great periods of tank warfare in World War II. Often outgunned by the German Panzers, and fighting in the close confines of bocage country, they nevertheless managed to break out of Normandy and begin the liberation of Europe. It was a battle that was dominated by the Americans' legendary Sherman, but also saw a wide and complex range of armour committed to battle across the many armies involved, from British Churchills and special-purpose 'Funnies' to the Canadians' Ram tank. This book explains the qualities, strengths and weakness of the major British and US tank types as well as associated Allied units in Normandy including those of the Canadians, Poles and French, and describes how they really fought. It discusses the organization and equipment of the units, providing thumbnail sketches as well as statistical data on the types and categories of AFVs that saw action. This is a handy and concise guide for military historians, wargamers and military modelers interested in tank warfare of World War II.
The Panzer IV programme was started in 1934, forming, alongside the Panzer IIs and IIIs, the schnellen Truppen, the force that was to become the Panzerwaffe. At first, German planners envisioned the tank in a secondary role, but during the invasions of The Low Countries and France, it took on a more central role. When the Panzerwaffe turned east to attack the Soviet Union, the Panzer IV initially fared poorly against the better-armed T-34. However, upgrades to its gun and armour protection saw it perform far better, not only against Soviet armour but also against British and American tanks in North Africa and Italy. In 1944, it was slowly replaced by the Panzer V Panther, but the dire strategic situation meant that it bore the brunt of the Allied D-Day invasion and its aftermath, and it remained in service until the end of the war. Fully illustrated throughout with contemporary photographs, this fascinating study from German armour expert Thomas Anderson tells the complete story of Germany's most widely produced tank of World War II, from its design and development to its many upgrades and variants.
In September 2014, Azad Cudi became one of seventeen snipers deployed when ISIS, trying to shatter the Kurds in a decisive battle, besieged the northern city of Kobani. In LONG SHOT, he tells the inside story of how a group of activists and idealists withstood a ferocious assault and, street by street, house by house, took back their land in a victory that was to prove the turning point in the war against ISIS. By turns devastating, inspiring and lyrical, this is a unique account of modern war and of the incalculable price of victory as a few thousand men and women achieved the impossible and kept their dream of freedom alive.
Historian and collector Michael Green shows in this fascinating and graphically illustrated book that the two wars that engulfed Indochina and North and South Vietnam over 30 years were far more armoured in nature than typically thought of. By skilful use of imagery and descriptive text he describes the many variants deployed and their contribution. The ill-fated French Expeditionary Force was largely US equipped with WW2 M3 and M5 Stuart, M4 Sherman and M24 light tanks as well as armoured cars and half-tracks. Most of these eventually went to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam but were outdated and ineffective due to lack of logistics and training. The US Army and Marine Corps build-up in the 1960s saw vast quantities of M48 Pattons, M113 APCs and many specialist variants and improvised armoured vehicles arrive in theatre. The Australians brought their British Centurion tanks. But it was the Russians, Chinese and North Vietnamese who won the day and their T-38-85 tanks, ZSU anti-aircraft platforms and BTR-40 and -50 swept the Communists to victory. This fine book brings details and images of all these diverse weaponry to the reader in one volume.
The Panzer I and II played a significant part in the blitzkrieg campaigns that brought Germany such extraordinary success in the early years of the Second World War, and this highly illustrated volume in the TankCraft series is the ideal introduction to them. The Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to manufacture tanks so the Panzer I had to be developed in strict secrecy, but by the time of the invasion of Poland the Wehrmacht had over 1400 of these light tanks. The Panzer II was an interim design, bridging the gap between the Panzer I and subsequent, far more viable armoured fighting vehicles like the Panzer III and IV. As well as tracing the history of the Panzer I and II, Robert Jackson's book is an excellent source of reference for the modeller, providing details of available kits, together with artworks showing the colour schemes applied to these tanks. Each section of the book is supported by a wealth of wartime photographs as well as diagrams showing the technical changes that were made to these tanks in the course of their careers.
Originally warriors mounted on horseback, knights became associated with the concept of chivalry as it was popularised in medieval European literature. Knights were expected to fight bravely and honourably and be loyal to their lord until death if necessary. Later chivalry came to encompass activities such as tournaments and hunting, and virtues including justice, charity and faith. The Crusades were instrumental in the development of the code of chivalry, and some crusading orders of knighthood, such as the Knights Templar, have become legend. Boys would begin their knightly training at the age of seven, learning to hunt and studying academic studies before becoming assistants to older knights, training in combat and learning how to care for a knight's essentials: arms, armour, and horses. After fourteen years of training, and when considered master of all the skills of knighthood, a squire was eligible to be knighted. In peacetime knights would take part in tournaments. Tournaments were a major spectator sport, but also an important way for knights to practice their skills - knights were often injured and sometimes killed in melees. Knights figured large in medieval warfare and literature. In the 15th century knights became obsolete due to advances in warfare, but the title of 'knight' has survived as an honorary title granted for services to a monarch or country, and knights remain a strong concept in popular culture. This short history will cover the rise and decline of the medieval knights, including the extensive training, specific arms and armour, tournaments and the important concept of chivalry.
Throughout history, the best marksmen in any military force have been employed as marksmen or sharpshooters, and equipped with the best available weapons. The German states made the first serious use of sharpshooters on the battlefield during the Seven Years' War in the 18th century. Some of these talented riflemen were then employed as mercenaries in America, where the tactical use of the rifle in wooded terrain was valued. By the Revolutionary Wars, American riflemen were formidable, able to blend into the landscape and take out targets at long range. Their potential was noted by the British who began to train rifle units; during the Napoleonic Wars, the Green Jackets were the elite of the British army. The mid-19th century saw the development of optical sights, meaning that the units of sharpshooters raised in the Civil War were even more lethal. The accuracy of German sniper fire in the trenches in World War I provoked the British Army to create sniper schools, manuals, and counter-sniping tactics. However, lessons were not learned and the outbreak of World War II saw almost all major powers unprepared for sniping or counter-sniping, meaning that talented marksmen like Simoe Hayha were able to accrue massive scores. In this accessible introduction packed with firsthand accounts, sniping expert Gary Yee explores the history of the marksman, his weapons and tactics from the flintlock era through to the present day.
A generation raised on the British Empire confronted the unexpected horrors of modern war. Never were a nation's expectations so different from the coming clash of the First World War. Expecting a vigorous romp to victory, soldiers endured a brutal quagmire. Presenting letters & diaries of soldiers themselves, many unseen for nearly a hundred years, Smith allows men from Field Marshall "Douggy" Haig to plain Private Smith to have a clear voice. With enough narrative to recall how the Great War unfolded, a wealth of vivid detail brings the miserable life in the trenches back to life. What began with high hopes and horses ended with disillusion and tanks. From the build up at the beginning of the war until the immediate post-war reduction, Letters from the Front: Letters and Diaries from the BEF in Flanders and France 1914-1918 is enlivened with fascinating details and makes a moving, entertaining and informative read.
Few weapons developed a more deadly reputation than the German '88' in the role of anti-tank gun, its long reach and lethal hitting power making it a significant problem for every type of British and later American armour. Despite its individual potency, it was almost always utilized as part of a comprehensive system of defences that relied on a mix of weapons carefully deployed in anticipation of the enemy's likely avenue and method of attack. Used in this way, the 88 became a particularly deadly part of the Afrika Korps' attempts to shatter British armoured power in the Western Desert. Initially extremely successful over the course of 1941 and 1942 in Operations Battleaxe and Crusader, the Allies' tactics and vehicles (such as the American-made M3 and the Crusader III) eventually evolved to deal with the 88's awesome power. This detailed new book tells the story of that evolution and provides an in-depth treatment of this key weapon of World War II.
As the Allies attempted to break out of Normandy, it quickly became apparent that there would be no easy victory over the Germans, and that every scrap of territory on the way to Berlin would have to be earned through hard fighting. This study concentrates on, the ferocious battles between the German Panzer IV and US Sherman that were at the heart of this decisive phase of World War II. The two types were among the most-produced tanks in US and German service and were old enemies, having clashed repeatedly in the Mediterranean theater. Throughout their long service careers, both had seen a succession of technical developments and modifications, as well as an evolution in their intended roles - but both remained at the forefront of the fighting on the Western Front. Written by an expert on tank warfare, this book invites the reader into the cramped confines of these armoured workhorses, employing vivid technical illustrations alongside archive and contemporary photography to depict the conditions for the crewmen within.
The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), waged between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies, involved some of the most important developments in ancient warfare. A life-and-death struggle between the two most powerful Greek city-states in the wake of their combined successes against the Persian invasion of Xerxes in 480-479 BC, the conflict dragged in communities from all over the Greek world on one side or the other. Ranging from the Black Sea to Sicily, the war saw the first recorded widespread use of light-armed troops, reserves, the deep phalanx, and other ideas important for the development of Western warfare into the 4th century BC, such as strategic thinking. It also revealed lessons (some learned and some not) with respect to the strengths and weaknesses of hoplite warfare and the various states in Greece. Featuring full-color artwork and drawing upon an array of sources, this study of three pivotal clashes between Spartan and Athenian hoplite forces during the Peloponnesian War highlights all of these developments and lessons.
A wide-eyed South African conscript relates his small share of the war in Angola and Namibia in the 1980s. This is not the usual military history, written by a commander armed with facts, nor a researched story of a war or campaign. It is a personal experience. Being brutally honest it will resonate not only with readers of all things military but also with a wider literary audience, for its poetic prose and subtle sentiments, and for its entertaining narrative. It may thus be of interest not only to the South African men who were there, but to their women who were left behind, and to all men and women anywhere. It is a book by a non-warrior dumped into a war, which nevertheless provides vivid alternative first-hand accounts whose validity cannot simply be brushed aside by professional historians. Descriptive writing takes readers right into the colourful past, into action and into personal interactions. Notes made at the time preserve intimate details of what it was like to be a White South African during Apartheid, and the surprisingly humane culture within its small but effective White-led Army. Dialogue is remembered verbatim as is the unique jargon and profanity of the time, with English translations where Afrikaans is spoken. After a brief life background the narrative moves chronologically through two years of military training, deployment, combat and demobilisation, with comments on the human effect of these experiences. The result is a compelling time capsule: the South African Defence Force ceased to exist in 1994 when South Africa began its non-racial democracy. Surprisingly, because it was a humane army it was a good one. This is not just a liberal attitude. It meant that when a thing needed doing, it was done conscientiously and thoroughly, with thought for secondary effects. It was a dangerous opponent to have, inflicting maximum casualties where this was necessary, but when the need passed, it switched easily to a humanitarian purpose. There was much lost that being unique (and laudable) in the Old South African culture and in its Army's approach and attitude, is fascinating today.
The armour clashes in May 1940 were the biggest the world had yet seen, as the sweeping German advances of that period came to epitomize Blitzkrieg. The Wehrmacht's Panzer III was well matched by the French Somua S35 tanks, the two representing very different design philosophies and yet both ranking among the best in the world at the time. Fully illustrated with specially commissioned colour artwork, this work draws upon the latest research to provide a definitive analysis of the clash between these two high-quality, cutting-edge tank designs. It describes one of the key duels at the heart of a new type of warfare, in the epic battles at the outset of Hitler's conquest of France and the Low Countries.
In times of war . . . in times of peace . . . in times of sweeping social change . . . a leader for all seasons . . .
Whether scaling the seemingly insurmountable cliffs of Pointe du Hoc with his advance assault troops during the Normandy invasion, restoring integrity to the Texas Land Office, or overseeing transitions in an academic institution with hallowed traditions during a time of contentious cultural change, James Earl Rudder (1910-1970) forged a legacy of wartime gallantry and peacetime leadership that commands continuing respect. "Rudder: From Leader to Legend" pays tribute to a man who exemplified leadership, vision, and courage.
In this first comprehensive biography of James Earl Rudder, Thomas M. Hatfield has gone far beyond the usual focus on Rudder's heroism in World War II to recreate with rich detail exciting events on battlefields and in boardrooms. He has painted a full portrait that permits a wider appreciation for every phase of Rudder's early life, from childhood, to his storied military exploits, to his remarkable postwar achievements and far-reaching public service. Utilizing access to previously unavailable family papers, memoirs, and interviews, Hatfield has crafted an insightful and unsparing view of the man that applauds his accomplishments and reveals his foibles.
Readers who know Rudder primarily through his association with Texas A&M University will be fascinated by his courageous battlefield leadership; those who previously knew only of his military reputation will enjoy learning about his distinguished record of public service. "Rudder" " From Leader to Legend" will captivate a broad general readership, bringing to the fore a well-rounded view of this extraordinary man.
Fall 2011 Military Book Club and History Book Club Selections
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