Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
A thoughtful if often rather melancholy account of one man's experiences of the British Army during the Second World War, encompassing time spent in England, in the Western Desert and in Greece, cooperating with the partisans, focusing more on his views on war and the British at war than on the battles he took part in. [read full review]
The first volume in a monumental account of the 1809 war between France and the Habsburg Empire, Napoleon's last victorious war, looking at the reasons behind the Austrian declaration of war and the early battles that ended the Austrian invasion of Bavaria and paved the war for Napoleon's campaign around Vienna. [read full review]
A look at the impressively large US Army Corps of Engineers - the selection of its men, their training and equipment and the role its combat engineer battalions played in the successful Allied campaigns in North Africa and Europe. [read full review]
A look at the campaigns fought by the German armed forces during 1943, the year that saw the initiative permanently slip from their hands, with the failure of the Kursk offensive, defeat in the Atlantic, Tunisia, Sicily and southern Italy and the collapse of fascist power in Italy. [read full review]
The Military Life and Times of Sir Miles Dempsey, GBE KCB DSO MC - Monty's Army Commander, Peter Rostron
A much needed full-length biography of a commander who led a corps during the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy and the British Second Army on D-Day and during the campaign in Normandy, the break-out from Normandy, the advance across France, at Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine [read full review]
A look at the series of six battles between German commerce raiders and British and Australian cruisers and armed merchants cruisers during 1940 and 1941, a period that saw the converted German warships perform surprisingly well against more powerful opponents while at the same time taking a toll of Allied shipping [read full review]
Friday, August 20, 2010
Today we also add an illustrated look at the uniforms and infantry weapons of the German army during the Second World War
The Grumman TBF/ TBM Avenger was the US Navy's only front line torpedo bomber from the late summer of 1942 until the end of the Second World War, and was a sturdy robust aircraft that accounted for a large part of the Japanese fleet, as well as serving as the British Fleet Air Arm's main torpedo bomber in the later years of the war.
The Grumman TBF/ TBM Avenger was the only torpedo bomber used by the US Navy from the summer of 1942 until the end of the Second World War, although it served as a conventional level bomber more often than as a torpedo bomber
The Grumman Avenger was the most important attack aircraft in use with the Fleet Air Arm during the last eighteen months of the Second World War, making its main contribution to the war effort in the Far East, although it was also used in significant numbers over Home Waters and off Norway
The Grumman TBF-1 Avenger was the first production version of the aircraft, and the only one to be built by Grumman.
The Grumman XTBF-2 Avenger was a single prototype for a version of the aircraft powered by the 1,900hp Wright R-2600-10 engine.
The Eastern TBM-1 Avenger was the first version of that aircraft produced by the Eastern Aircraft Division of General Motors, and was produced in larger numbers than the Grumman TBF-1.
The Eastern TBM-3 Avenger was the second major version of the Avenger torpedo bomber to enter production, and had a more powerful engine than the earlier TBF-1/ TBM-1
The Eastern TBM-3E Avenger was the last major wartime production version of the aircraft, and was significantly lighter than the -3E, giving it the same performance as the original TBF-1.
The Eastern TBM-3S Avenger was an anti-submarine warfare aircraft produced after the Second World War and that was normally paired with the TBM-3W early warning radar aircraft in hunter-killer anti-submarine teams
The Eastern TBM-3W Avenger was an airborne early warning radar aircraft developed during the Second World War but that only entered service in May 1946.
The Eastern XTBM-4 Avenger was the designation given to three prototypes of an improved version of the Avenger that were produced in 1945
The Grumman Tarpon was the designation originally given to the TBF/ TBM Avenger in British service
The Avenger Mk.I was the British designation for the Grumman TBF-1 and Eastern TBM-1 from January 1944, replacing the earlier Tarpon I
The Avenger Mk.II was the British designation for the Grumman TBF-1C and Eastern TBM-1C from January 1944, replacing the earlier Tarpon II.
The Avenger Mk.III was the British designation for the Eastern TBM-3 and TBM-3E from January 1944, replacing the earlier Tarpon III
The Avenger AS Mk.4 was the British designation given a version of the TBM-3S anti-submarine warfare aircraft that served with the Fleet Air Arm from 1953.
The Chance-Vought XTBU-1 Sea Wolf was a torpedo bomber designed as a rival to the Grumman Avenger, and that entered production as the Consolidated TBY-2 Sea Wolf.
The Consolidated TBY-2 Sea Wolf was the production version of the XTBU-1 torpedo bomber developed by Vought at the same time as the Grumman Avenger.
HMS Furious was laid down as a light battlecruiser during the First World War but achieved most fame as an aircraft carrier during the Second World War, spending much of her time operating in the Mediterranean and off the coast of Norway as well as in the Atlantic and on the Arctic convoys.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Looks at the development of both aircraft, their entry in Israeli and Arab service and the actual fighting during the Six Day War, a short enough conflict to allow the author to look at every clash between the Mirage III and MiG 21 [read full review]
A look at the impressive achievements of the Imperial War Graves Commission in building and maintaining tens and thousands of cemeteries and memorials to the dead of the two World Wars and a look at commemoration of the dead in the post-war world, including the National Arboretum [read full review]
Written for the 250th anniversary of this battle, won at night, in a storm, and in a difficult bay on the French coast, Tracy looks at the wider context of a battle that ended a real threat of French invasion, with sections on the strategy of naval warfare in the period, the career of Admiral Hawke as well as on the battle itself [read full review]
A compelling account of the author's time at M.I.9, the section of the British secret service that was dedicated to supporting the networks that helped Allied servicemen escape from occupied Europe while fighting the Gestapo and treacherous double agents [read full review]
An account of the experiences of the British 3rd and American 29th infantry divisions during the fighting in Normandy, looking at their experiences on Omaha and Sword beaches and their roles in the capture of St. Lo and Caen, two early targets that took more than a month to reach [read full review]
A study of the air war over the part of the British coast facing directly towards Germany across the North Sea, looking at the German attacks early in the war, off-shore activities, the few late German raids and the V-1 and V-2 attacks [read full review]
A look at the military career of the Black Prince, focusing on the lessons he could have learnt from his early experiences, especially at Crecy, and how he may have used them to win his great victory at Poitiers. [read full review]
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The autobiography of a pilot in the post-war Fleet Air Arm, recounting his experiences flying a wide range of aircraft from old wartime Avengers to the Fairey Gannet and some alarming early helicopters [read full review]
A detailed but still coherent and readable account of the desperate fighting around and in Berlin in April and May 1945 (and within the two high commands), looking at events from both the Soviet and German sides and supported by some useful maps [read full review]
A lavishly illustrated look at one of the strongest fortresses of its time, the home of the Knights of St. John until its fall to the Turks in 1522, tracing the development of the fortifications as the development of the cannon made the medieval walls dangerously vulnerable to attack. [read full review]
Swift to Battle: No. 72 Fighter Squadron RAF in Action: III 1947 to 1961 Into the Jet Age & Cold War Operations, Tom Docherty.
This third part of a history of No.72 Fighter Squadron takes us from the immediate post-war period to the end of the squadron's existence as a fixed-wing fighter unit, a period that saw its pilots adapt to the new jet age [read full review]
The very readable autobiography of a pre-war RAF volunteer, tracing his progress from the workshops at Cranwell to the cockpit of a Hurricane during the battle of France and the battle of Britain, long patrols over the Irish Sea and finally a career as an instructor. [read full review]
A collection of frontline accounts from a wide range of participants in the two recent wars in Iraq and the current war in Afghanistan that makes a valuable contribution to the literate on the nature of combat, as well as being published for a good cause in Help for Heroes. [read full review]