Friday, November 17, 2017

USS Upshur (DD-144)

USS Upshur (DD-144) was a Wickes class destroyer that served as a convoy escort ship in the Atlantic for most of the Second World War, and then as a plane guard and target ship in 1944-45.

USS Yarnall (DD-143)/ HMS Lincoln

USS Yarnall (DD-143)/ HMS Lincoln was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Neutrality Patrol then joined the Royal Navy for convoy escort duties, before ending up as a source of spare parts for the Soviet Navy.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Johann Joseph Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetz (1766-1858)

Johann Joseph Wenzel Graf Radetzky von Radetz (1766-1858) was one of the most significant Austrian generals of the Napoleonic Wars, and went on to extend the Austrian presence in Italy by two decades after his victory at Novara in 1849.

Friedrich Josias, Graf von Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1737-1815,

Friedrich Josias, Graf von Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, 1737-1815, was the Austrian commander in the early stages of the Revolutionary Wars, but his early victories are often ignored because the campaign ended with the loss of the Austrian Netherlands.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Battle of the Colline Gate (1 November 82 BC)

The battle of the Colline Gate (1 November 82 BC) saw a largely Samnite army come dangerously close to capturing Rome, taking advantage of the distraction caused by Sulla's Second Civil War.

Second battle of Clusium (82 BC)

The second battle of Clusium (82 BC) saw Pompey defeat the remnants of the army of the consul Carbo, after they had been abandoned by their commander (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cccupation of Carlos Island (31 January 1944)

The occupation of Carlos Island (31 January 1944) was part of the preliminary operations before the invasion of Kwajalein, and saw the Americans capture an island that they intended to use as a supply dump to support the artillery on nearby Carlson Island.

Occupation of Carlson Island (31 January 1944)

The occupation of Carlson Island (31 January 1944) was part of the preliminary operations before the invasion of Kwajalein, and saw the Americans capture an island that they intended to use as an artillery base during the main battle (Operation Flintlock).

Monday, November 13, 2017

Bell X-2

The Bell X-2 was an experimental swept-wing rocket plane that was designed to explore the effects of flying at very high speeds above Mach 3, but both aircraft were lost before any significant work had been done

Bell X-1

The Bell X-1 was an experimental rocket powered aircraft that was the first to breach the sound barrier in level flight.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

U-Boats Beyond Biscay - Dönitz Looks to New Horizons, Bernard Edwards

An account of selected exploits of the U-Boats operating away from the normal North Atlantic battle, looking at 1941-January 1943. Starts and ends at somewhat random points, and lacks much context, but within those limits the accounts of individual U-boat battles are good, with interesting material on the previous experiences of both the U-boats and merchant ships
[read full review]

With the German Guns - Four Years on the Western Front, Herbert Sulzbach

The First World War diaries of a German war volunteer who went on to serve in the British Army during the Second World War. Sulzbach served in the artillery on the Western Front from 1914-1918, and took part in the great German offensives of 1918 as well as the final retreat. His diaries are thus an invaluable insight into the views of a reasonable, tolerant member of the German arms forces
[read full review]

Germany Ascendant – The Eastern Front 1915, Prit Buttar

Covers the key year on the Eastern Front of the First World War, a year that saw the Russians briefly threaten to invade Hungary, but ended with them pushed out of Poland, away from East Prussia and out of most of Austrian Galicia, after a series of battles that also established Germany's dominance over Austria. This was also the year in which the Central Powers successfully invaded Serbia, thus achieving Austro-Hungary's original war aim
[read full review]

Friday, November 10, 2017

30.5cm howitzer L/17 in Räderlafette or Beta i.R.

The 30.5cm howitzer L/17 in Räderlafette or Beta i.R. was the first large calibre siege gun mounted on a wheeled carriage to be developed for the Germany army.

28cm Haubitz L/14 in Räderlafette

The 28cm Haubitz L/14 in Räderlafette was a larger version of the earlier 28cm Haubitz L/12, and was another step in the development of the famous 42cm M-Gerät.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

USS Tarbell (DD-142)

USS Tarbell (DD-142) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Neutrality Patrol and then on convoy escort duties in the Atlantic for most of the Second World War.

USS Hamilton (DD-141/ DMS-18/ AG-111)

USS Hamilton (DD-141/ DMS-18/ AG-111) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Neutrality Patrol, took part in Operation Torch, and then carried out dangerous pre-invasion minesweeping operations during many of the key invasions of the Pacific War.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Battle of Placentia (82 BC)

The battle of Placentia (82 BC) saw the Sullan commander Marcus Lucullus defeat a Marian army in the Po Valley, helping to end their command of Cisalpine Gaul.

Battle of Faventia (82 BC)

The battle of Faventia (82 BC) saw the total failure of an attempt by Carbo to launch a surprise attack on Sulla's commander in the north of Italy, Metellus Pius. Soon afterwards Carbo gave up the fight and fled to Africa, leaving the Marian cause almost leaderless in Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Monday, November 06, 2017

Operation Flintlock (31 January-4 February 1944)

Operation Flintlock (31 January-4 February 1944) was the first part of the American invasion of the Marshalls, and saw them conquer Kwajalein Atoll and Majuro, giving them a foothold in the central part of the islands.

Marshall Islands Campaign (31 January-22 February 1944)

The Marshall Islands Campaign (31 January-22 February 1944) was the first time that the Americans captured pre-war Japanese territory, and was made up of two main parts - Operation Flintlock, the conquest of Kwajalein and Operation Catchpole, the conquest of Eniwetok.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Hitler's Forgotten Flotillas - Kriegsmarine Security Forces, Lawrence Paterson

Looks at the role played by smaller warships in the German war effort, covering minesweepers, patrol ships, mine layers, submarine hunters and fleet escort ships - the ships that fell between the fast 'E-boats' and larger destroyers and above.  Combines good background information with a clear narrative framework of their activities and a good selection of accounts of individual engagements
[read full review]

US Navy Light Cruisers 1941-45, Mark Stille

Covers the five classes of US Navy light cruisers that saw service during the Second World War, with sections on their design, weaponry, radar, combat experience. Nicely organised, with the wartime service records separated out from the main text, so that the design history of the light cruisers flows nicely. Interesting to see how new roles had to be found for them, after other technology replaced them as reconnaissance aircraft
[read full review]

Samurai Assassins - 'Dark Murder' and the Meiji restoration, 1853-1868, Romulus Hillsborough

A fascinating study of one of the darker elements of the crisis that eventually led to the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate and the official restoration of Imperial rule, the use of assassination to eliminate the political supporters of the Shogunate, and later by supporters of the Shogun attempting to defend the status-quo. Somewhat ironically the opponents of the Shogunate got their way, only for the newly restored Imperial government to destroy the feudal world and with it the Samurai class
[read full review]

Friday, November 03, 2017

Convair X-6

The Convair X-6 was a design for a version of the massive B-36 that would have been powered by nuclear turbojet engines. It was abandoned at an early stage.

Bell L-39

The Bell L-39 was the designation given to two P-63 Kingcobras when they were given experimental swept wings.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

10.5cm leFH 18/40

The 10.5cm leFH 18/40 was a wartime version of the leFH 18, produced in an attempt to lighten the otherwise satisfactory light field howitzer.

28cm Haubitz L/12 in Räderlafette

The 28cm Haubitz L/12 in Räderlafette was Krupp's first attempt to produce a mobile siege howitzer, and was an early stage in the development of the 42cm M-Gerät.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

USS Claxton (DD-140)/ HMS Salisbury

USS Claxton (DD-140)/ HMS Salisbury was a Wickes class destroyer that briefly served with the Neutrality Patrol in 1940 before joining the Royal Navy, where she was used for a variety of escort duties.

USS Ward (DD-139/ APD-16)

USS Ward (DD-139/ APD-16) was a Wickes class destroyer that fired the first shots of the Pacific War, and served as a fast transport before being sunk by a Kamikaze in 1944.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Prince Friedrich Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1757-1844)

Prince Friedrich Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1757-1844) was an Austrian general who was undefeated in independent command, with a reputation for leading his men from the front.

Johann Conrad (Freidrich), Freiherr von Hotze (1739-99)

Johann Conrad (Freidrich), Freiherr von Hotze (1739-99) was a Swiss officer who served in the Württemburg, Russian and Austrian armies, and who was killed while campaigning in Switzerland in the Austrian service.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Battle and siege of Spoletium (82 BC)

The battle and siege of Spoletium (82 BC) was a partial success for Pompey, then serving under Sulla, against Carrinas, one of the lieutenants of the consul Carbo.

First battle of Clusium (82 BC)

The first battle of Clusium (82 BC) was an inconclusive battle between Sulla and Carbo, fought eighty miles to the north of Rome

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Atlanta 1864 - Sherman Marches South, James Donnell

Covers one of the most important campaigns of the American Civil War, the start of Sherman's devastating march across the heart of the Confederacy, both a crucial military victory and a key element in Lincoln's re-election as President. A good text, supported by a well chosen series of maps, starting with one that covers the opening of the campaign and gives an overview of the entire campaign area, and moving on to maps for each series of battles that give a really good idea of Sherman's fluid movements
[read full review]

merican Knights - The Untold Story of the Men of the Legendary 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion, Victor Failmezger

Tells the story of the first Tank Destroyer battalion to be formed in the US army, from its original creation in the United States, through its wartime service in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany. Heavily based on the recollections of a core group of members of the battalion (all of whom survived), this gives us an insiders view of the use of one of the more controversial weapons in the US armoury during the Second World War
[read full review]

The Gestapo - A History of Hitler's Secret Police, 1933-45, Rupert Butler


 More of a general history of Nazi repression than a focused study of the Gestapo, with a tendency to focus on the major events - the Röhn Purge, the career of Heydrich, the attempts to assassinate Hitler and not on the day-to-day activities of the Gestapo. Good on the areas it covers, and does include a fair amount of material on the Gestapo, but could have been better focused
[read full review]

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Bell P-63 Kingcobra

The Bell P-63 Kingcobra closely resembled the P-39 Airacobra, but was actually a new aircraft and not simply a modified P-39. Very few were used by the US, but a large number did serve in the Soviet Union.

Bell FM-1 Airacuda

The Bell FM-1 Airacuda was a twin engined escort fighter developed to operate with the B-17, but that never entered service due to its poor performance and limited manoeuvrability.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

10.5cm leFH 18M

The 10.5cm leFH 18M was a modified version of the leFH 18 that was given a muzzle brake to reduce the recoil forces.

10.5cm leFH 18

The 10.5cm leFH 18 was the first in a large family of light howitzers that provided the standard divisional artillery guns for the German Army during the Second World War.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

USS Kennison (DD-138/ AG-83)

USS Kennison (DD-138/ AG-83) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated as a coastal escort off Califonia from 1941-44 and then as a target ship for the rest of the war.

USS Kilty (DD-137/ APD-15)

USS Kilty (DD-137/ APD-15) was a Wickes class destroyer that served as a fast transport in the Pacific in 1943-45, serving in the Solomons, along New Guinea and in the Philippines.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 2: Weapons of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

Looks at an impressively wide range of the weapons used by the Japanese military during the Second World War, covering personal weapons such as machine guns or grenades, the full range of artillery and anti-aircraft guns, aircraft detection systems, tanks, mines, chemical weapons (including smoke generators) and even river crossing equipment. A very useful reference work on the equipment of the Japanese armed forces, providing both a narrative account of developments in a particular area and weapon by weapon technical details
[read full review]

Military Technology of the First World War - Development, Use and Consequences, Wolfgang Fleischer

Focuses on the technology used by the German army, with a particular focus on those weapons that played a direct part in the battles on the Western Front - machine guns, flame throwers, gas, artillery, mortars and tanks. Very useful to have a book written from the German point of view. Well illustrated, and the text is supported by a good selection of eyewitness accounts describing the impact of the new technology as seen by those who were using it
[read full review]

The Thinking Man's Soldier - The Life and Career of General Sir Henry Brackenbury, 1837-1914, Christopher Brice

A biography of a Victorian soldier who made his name away from the front line, and in particular as head of the Intelligence Department and the successful head of the Ordnance Department during the Boer War, where the army had to cope with demands on a unprecedented scale. An interesting view of life in the British Army as it changed from the disastrously amateurish force of the Crimean War into the increasingly professional force that fought the First World War
[read full review]

Friday, October 20, 2017

Battle of Saturnia (83 BC)

The battle of Saturnia (83 BC) was a minor victory for Sulla's forces over a detached part of Carbo's army during a period of campaigning in the area around Clusium (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Battle of the Glanis River (83 BC)

The battle of the Glanis River (83 BC) saw Sulla defeat a force of Celtiberian cavalry that had been sent to help the Consuls in their attempt to resist his invasion of Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Consolidated B-36 Peacekeeper

The Consolidated B-36 Peacekeeper was developed in response to the early German victories in 1939-40, but development was slow, and it ended up being Strategic Air Command's main long range bomber during the 1950s.

Consolidated B-32 Dominator

The Consolidated B-32 Dominator was produced to the same specifications as the B-29 Superfortress, but took far longer to develop and was only ever produced in small numbers.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

10.5cm leFH 16 (light field howitzer)

The 10.5cm leFH 16 (light field howitzer) was a Rheinmetall design that became the main German field howitzer during the second half of the First World War, and remained in service until 1945.

10.5cm leFH 98/09 (light field howitzer)

The 10.5cm leFH 98/09 (light field howitzer) was the main German field howitzer at the start of the First World War, and was a modified version of an earlier weapon.

Monday, October 16, 2017

USS Boggs (DD-136/ DMS-3)

USS Boggs (DD-136/ DMS-3) was a Wickes class destroyer that spent most of the interwar years on experimental duties, before serving as a minesweeper in the Pacific from 1940 to 1944.

USS Tillman (DD-135)/ HMS Wells

USS Tillman (DD-135)/ HMS Wells was a Wickes class destroyer that saw active service with the Royal Navy, performing convoy escort duties.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ancient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 2: On the Cusp of Empire - The Romans unify Italy

 Focuses on the period which saw Rome defeat its last enemies in peninsular Italy, the first stage on the road to Empire. An interesting focus on the Greeks of southern Italy, Rome's last major enemies , and a fascinating look at two newly discovered frescos recovered from grave robbers by the Italian police that give us images of some of Rome's enemies in this period.
[see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 6: Ancient Rome in Turmoil - The Year of the Four Emperors

 Looks at one of the more familiar topics in Roman history, the turmoil that ended the reign of Nero and with it the Julio-Claudian dynasty, and ended the period of internal peace first established by Augustus. Mainly focuses on topics that are away from the main events of the civil wars, demonstrating just how widespread an impact the year of crisis had across the Empire.
[see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol IX, Issue 6: A Feast for Dogs & Crows - The Aftermath of Battle

 An unusual theme, focusing on the aftermath of war, looking at the fate of the victors and vanquished, the return home and the celebrations of victory as well as the fate of the dead or the captive. Interesting to follow on from where most accounts of battles end,  . Also looks at the real role of the Praetorian Guard, and the nature of the cuneus in Roman fighting.
[see more]

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Battle of Sena Gallica (82 BC)

The battle of Sena Gallica (82 BC) saw Pompey defeat one of the consul Carbo's armies near a small port on the Adriatic, helping to strengthen Sulla's position in the north of Italy (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Siege of Praeneste (82 BC)

The siege of Praeneste (82 BC) saw the consul Marius the Younger besieged in the city for most of the campaign of 82 BC, from his defeat at the battle of Sacriportus in the spring, to his suicide as the city surrendered to Sulla (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Consolidated C-109

The Consolidated C-109 was a fuel tanker produced from the B-24 Liberator and mainly used on the 'hump' between India and China.

Consolidated XC-99

The Consolidated XC-99 was a transport aircraft based on the massive B-36 bomber, but only a single example was ever completed.The Consolidated XC-99 was a transport aircraft based on the massive B-36 bomber, but only a single example was ever completed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

USS Crowninshield (DD-134)

USS Crowninshield (DD-134) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Neutrality Patrol and then on convoy escort duties with the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

USS Hale (DD-133)

USS Hale (DD-133) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the US Neutrality Patrol before becoming HMS Caldwell and carrying out convoy escort duties for the Royal Navy and Royal Canadian Navy.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Battle of Hanau (30-31 October 1813)

The battle of Hanau (30-31 October 1813) was an  unsuccessful attempt to interfere with the French retreat after Leizpig, carried out by a Austro-Bavarian army that had moved up from southern Germany.

Combat of Kosen (20 October 1813)

The combat of Kosen (20 October 1813) was a rearguard action during the French retreat from Leipzig.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Operation Dragoon - The Invasion of the South of France, 15 August 1944, Andrew Stewart

A reprint of the Naval Staff History of Operation Dragoon, one of a series of studies written during and immediately after the war. Focuses very much on the naval aspects of the campaign, and on the initial battles close to the coast. Gives a clear picture of just how sizable a naval effort was involved in the invasion, both before, during and after the beach landings, including a major minesweeping effort, convoy escorts, the invasion fleet itself, air support and gun support for the coastal battles.
[read full review]

Rikugun - Guide to Japanese Ground Forces 1937-1945 - Volume 1: Tactical Organization of Imperial Japanese Army & Navy Ground Forces, Leland Ness

A valuable reference book that provides a well researched and detailed guide to the often confusing ground forces of the Japanese army and navy, tracing the creation, career and end of every significant unit, as well as their many changes in organisation, and the actual troops allocated to these units (often very different to the official structure). Includes some interesting material on how the army in particular reacted to the changing war situation, but is mainly intended as a reference work
[read full review]

Sumter After the First Shots, Derek Smith

Looks at the famous Confederate siege of Fort Sumter and the much longer, but also less successful Union siege, part of a wider, and equally unsuccessful attack on Charleston. Demonstrates the limits of artillery before the introduction of high explosive shells, and the perils of having a split command, which hamstrung the Union campaign at key moments. A useful account of the longest siege of the American Civil War, which only ended when Sherman's advancing army forced the Confederates were evacuate Charleston
[read full review]

Friday, September 29, 2017

Battle of the River Aesis (82 BC)

The battle of the River Aesis (82 BC) was the first battle in the second year of Sulla's Second Civil War, and probably saw a Sullan army under Metellus Pius defeat part of the consul Carbo's army, under the command of one of his generals, C. Carinas.

Battle of Sacriportus (82 BC) w

The battle of Sacriportus (82 BC) was a key battle of Sulla's Second Civil War, and saw him defeat the army of the consul Marius the Younger. In the aftermath Marius was besieged in Praeneste, while Sulla was able to occupy Rome without a fight.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Consolidated XA-11

The Consolidated XA-11 was a two seat single engined attack aircraft developed from the Detroit/ Lockheed P-24, but only a handful of aircraft were produced.

Consolidated C-87 'Liberator Express'

The Consolidated C-87 'Liberator Express' was a transport version of the B-24 Liberator bomber that was produced in reasonable numbers and saw service with the USAAF, US navy, RAF and RAAF.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

7.7cm Feldkanone 16

The 7.7cm Feldkanone 16 was an improved version of the 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A, with increased range.

7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A

The 7.7cm Feldkanone 96 n/A was the standard German field gun at the outbreak of the First World War, but suffered from a lack of range, and was superseded by the 7.7cm Feldkanone 16 from 1916.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

USS Aaron Ward (DD-132)

USS Aaron Ward (DD-132) was a Wickes class destroyer that took part in the Neutrality Patrol before being transferred to the Royal Navy, where she served as HMS Castleton.
Military History Encylopedia on the Web

USS Buchanan (DD-131)/ HMS Campbeltown

USS Buchanan (DD-131)/ HMS Campbeltown was a Wickes class destroyer most famous for its part in the raid on St. Nazaire in 1942.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fourth day of the battle of Leipzig (19 October 1813)

The fourth day of the battle of Leipzig (19 October 1813) saw the French attempt to carry out a fighting retreat from the city, but their efforts were marred when the only bridge heading west out of the city was destroyed while tens of thousands of French troops were still in the city.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

'Battle' of Teanum (83 BC)

The 'battle' of Teanum (83 BC) saw Sulla win over almost the entire army of the consul Scipio Asiaticus, winning a bloodless victory over the second of the two consular armies that had been sent against him as he advanced towards Rome (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Battle of Mount Tifata or Casilinum (83 BC)

The battle of Mount Tifata or Casilinum (83 BC) was the first major battle during Sulla's invasion of Italy after his return from the east, and saw him defeat the army of the consul Gaius Norbanus (Sulla's Second Civil War).

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Consolidated P-30/ PB-2

The Consolidated P-30/ PB-2 was the only two man single engined fighter to see service with the USAAC between the wars, and was based on the P-25, itself a development of the Detroit/ Lockheed P-24.

Consolidated P-25

The Consolidated P-25 was a two-seat single engined fighter that was produced in prototype form and then ordered into production as the Consolidated P-30.

Monday, September 18, 2017

USS Jacob Jones (DD-130)

USS Jacob Jones (DD-130) was a Wickes class destroyer that was sunk by U-578 on 28 February 1942 leaving only 11 survivors.

USS DeLong (DD-129)

USS DeLong (DD-129) was a Wickes class destroyer that was scrapped after she ran aground on 1 December 1921, only two years after being commissioned.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Chindit vs Japanese Infantryman 1943-44, Jon Diamond

Looks at the battles between the Japanese infantryman in Burma and Wingate's Chindits, a deep penetration force that operated deep into Japanese held territory. Covers the training and plans for both sides, one battle from the first Chindit operation in 1943 and two from the larger operations of 1944. Includes some interesting material on the Japanese view of the Chindits
[read full review]

The Italian Folgore Parachute Division – Operations in North Africa 1940-43, Paolo Morisi

A history of an elite Italian paratrooper division that was trained for the invasion of Malta, but used as normal infantry on the El Alamein front and in Tunisia, where it was almost wiped out. Covers the units formation, training, the extensive preparations for the invasion of Malta, and its short combat career at Alam Halfa and 2nd Alamein, where the original division was almost wiped out, and the final days in Tunisia where the survivors fought under a parent division
[read full review]

Guardian Angel: Life and Death Adventures with Pararescue, the World's Most Powerful Commando Rescue Force, William F. Sine, USAF (Ret.)


The autobiography of a member of a parachute rescue unit in the USAF, a special forces unit dedicated to rescue and retrieval missions, capable of operating in just about any environment. A likeable account of life in an extraordinary unit, although one that doesn’t hide some of the grimmer aspects of their work, which also involves recovering the bodies of dead American servicemen as well as the more positive rescue missions.
[read full review]

Friday, September 15, 2017

Third day of the battle of Leipzig (18 October 1813)

The third day of the battle of Leipzig (18 October 1813) was dominated by a general Allied assault on three sides of the city, and by the start of Napoleon's retreat west towards the Rhine.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sulla's Second Civil War (83-82 BC)

Sulla's Second Civil War (83-82 BC) saw Sulla overthrow the Marian establishment of Rome, reform the Roman constitution and then unexpectedly retire into private life, giving up formal power.
Military History Encylopedia on the Web

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Consolidated XB2Y-1

The Consolidated XB2Y-1 was a design for a dive bomber produced for the US Navy, but that didn't get past the prototype stage.

Consolidated PT-6

The Consolidated PT-6 was a training aircraft based on the Fleet 2 civilian biplane.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

A Social History of British Naval Officers 1775-1815, Evan Wilson

 A different take on a familiar topic, uses a database of randomly selected commissioned and warrant officers to examine the overall experiences of the British naval officer during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, and their place in Georgian society - who were they, where did they come from, what was the typical career for the different types of naval officers. Also examines how (and if) they qualified as 'gentlemen', a key element of social status in Georgian Britain
[read full review]

Spies, Scouts and Secrets in the Gettysburg Campaign, Thomas J. Ryan

Looks at the intelligence resources available to the Union and Confederate commanders during the Gettysburg campaign, the information they provided and the impact (or lack of) that that information had on the events of the campaign. A valuable addition to the literature on Gettysburg, looking at a key element of the campaign, and an area in which the Union forces had a clear advantage of their Confederate opponents
[read full review]

Burma Road 1943-44 - Stilwell's assault on Myitkyina, Jon Diamond

Looks at the multinational Allied invasion of northern Burma, which ended with the capture of Myitkyina and the opening of a land route to China. Nice to have a book that looks at this battle in its own right, rather than a preliminary to the reconquest of southern and central Burma or a footnote to the Chindits
[read full review]

Friday, September 08, 2017

USS Babbitt (DD-128)

USS Babbitt (DD-128) was a Wickes class destroyer that operated on escort duties in the Atlantic during the Second World War, including long spells operating from Reykjavik.

USS Twiggs (DD-127)/ HMS Leamington

USS Twiggs (DD-127)/ HMS Leamington was a Wickes class destroyer that served in four different navies - the US Navy, the Royal Navy, the Royal Canadian Navy and the Soviet Navy, and ended her life as a film star.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Second day of the battle of Leipzig (17 October 1813)

The second day of the battle of Leipzig (17 October 1813) was fairly inactive, and is most notable for the arrival of large numbers of Allied reinforcements, and Napoleon's failure to take a chance to escape.

Combat of Dessau (12 October 1813)

The combat of Dessau (12 October 1813) saw an isolated division from Tauenzien's Corps defeated by French troops who were attempting to intercept Blücher and Bernadotte as they moved west down the Elbe.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

siege of Rome (87 BC)

The siege of Rome (87 BC) saw the opponents of Sulla seize control of the city after a prolonged campaign in the vicinity of Rome.

Sulla's attack on Rome or the battle of the Esquiline Forum (88 BC)

Sulla's attack on Rome or the battle of the Esquiline Forum (88 BC) was a key moment in the fall of the Roman Republic, and was the first time in at least 400 years that a Roman commander had led an army against the city (Sulla's First Civil War).

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Rodolfo Graziani (1882-1955)

Rodolfo Graziani (1882-1955) was an Italian general most famous for his humiliating defeat in Libya in 1940-41, which saw a small British force destroy the vast Italian army in Libya.

Giovanni Messe (1883-1968)

Giovanni Messe (1883-1968) was a capable Italian general who fought in the Eastern Front before commanding Rommel's old army in Tunisia during 1943.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Consolidated N2Y

The Consolidated N2Y was a version of the Fleet tandem-two seat trainer that was used for familiarization training for skyhook pilots operating with the airships USS Akron and USS Macon.

Consolidated Y1C-22

The Consolidated Y1C-22 was the designation given to three Model 17 Fleetster transport aircraft ordered after the success of the similar Y1C-11.

Friday, September 01, 2017

PanzerKampfWagen VI Ausf E 'Tiger I'

The PanzerKampfWagen VI Ausf E 'Tiger I' was one of the most famous tanks of the Second World War, and was a heavily armed and armoured tank capable of taking on any of its Allied opponents. However it was produced in relatively small numbers, and was mechanically unreliable, and these combined to reduce its impact on the course of the war.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

First day of the battle of Leipzig (16 October 1813)

The first day of the battle of Leipzig (16 October 1813) was Napoleon's last chance to win a significant victory during the War of Liberation, but he was unable to take his chance, and the day ended as a hard fought draw.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Sulla's First Civil War (88-87 BC)

Sulla's First Civil War (88-87 BC) was triggered by an attempt to strip him of the command against Mithridates and saw Sulla become the first Roman to lead an army against the city for four hundred years.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Ugo Cavallero (1880-1943)

Ugo Cavallero (1880-1943) was chief of the Italian Defence Staff from late in 1940 until the start of 1943, but despite his best efforts he was unable to improve the performance of the Italian army or its logistic support.

Marshal Ettore Bastico (1876-1972)

Marshal Ettore Bastico (1876-1972) was the Italian commander in chief in Libya during most of Rommel's famous campaigns in North Africa.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

USS Ramsay (DD-124/ DM-16)

USS Ramsay (DD-124/ DM-16) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that served as a light minelayer and anti submarine patrol vessel during the Second World War.

USS Gamble (DD-123/ DM-15)

USS Gamble (DD-123/ DM-15) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service too late for the First World War, but that was present at Pearl Harbor and served as a minelayer during the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Siege of Dresden (10 October-11 November 1813)

The siege of Dresden (10 October-11 November 1813) was triggered by Napoleon's decision to leave a garrison in the city in the days before the battle of Leipzig, exposing it to an inevitable attack and leaving it trapped after his defeat.

Combat of Wethau (10 October 1813)

The combat of Wethau (10 October 1813) was part of an unsuccessful attempt by Allied troops to stop Marshal Augereau's IX Corps reaching Leipzig.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Battle of the Teanus River (88 BC)

The battle of the Teanus River (88 BC) was the last major battle of the Italian Social War, and ended with the death of Quintus Poppaedius Silo, one of the most able of the Italian commanders.

Battle of Canusium (89 BC)

The battle of Canusium (89 BC) was a series of conflicts that saw the Romans under Gaius Cosconius defeat the Samnites in Apulia and regain control of much of the area.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Secret Days - Code Breaking in Bletchley Park, Asa Briggs

The wartime memoirs of Lord Asa Briggs, one of post-war Britain's most distinguished historians, recounting his experiences at Bletchley Park, where he worked in Hut Six, playing a part in decoding the Enigma codes. A valuable mix of personal recollections of Bletchley Park and wider explanations of the role and background of Brigg's colleagues, and the links between BP and the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
[read full review]

Heinkel He 111 - The Early Years - Fall of France, Battle of Britain and the Blitz, Chris Goss

 A photographic history of the early career of the Heinkel He 111, tracing its development, early use in Spain, and the first campaigns of the Second World War, to the end of the Blitz. Provides more context to the pictures than is normally the case, often tracing mission that led to the picture, and the fate of each aircraft's crews, and thus greatly increasing the value of the book
[read full review]

The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War, Andrew Wiest & Chris McNab

Somewhat lacking on coverage of the Vietnamese view of the war, but excellent on the American side of the war, explaining not only what the US did, but why, and why so much of it went wrong. Good coverage of the wider war in South East Asia, looking at how the conflict affected Laos and Cambodia as well as the US Home Front. A good selection of pictures, but again almost entirely from the US side
[read full review]

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956)

Pietro Badoglio (1871-1956) was the chief of the Italian defence staff from 1925 to 1940 and Prime Minister of Italy after the fall of Mussolini, playing a major role in moving Italy from the Axis to Allied camps.

Vittorio Ambrosio (1879-1958)

Vittorio Ambrosio (1879-1958) was an Italian general who was the last chief of the general staff before the fall of Mussolini in 1943.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Consolidated PT-12/ BT-7

The Consolidated PT-12/ BT-7 was an improved version of the PT-1/ PT-3/ NY family of trainers, but only ten were ordered.

Consolidated PT-11/ BT-6

The Consolidated PT-11/ BT-6 was an improved version of the PT-3 trainer, but was only produced in small numbers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Tiger (P)/ VK 45.01(P)/ Typ 101

The Tiger (P)/ VK 45.01(P)/ Typ 101 was Porsche's design for the Panzer VI Tiger, but the drive train and suspension were unreliable, and the project was abandoned with only ten at most completed as gun tanks.

VK 30.01 (P) 'Leopard'/ Typ 100

The VK 30.01 (P) 'Leopard'/ Typ 100 was Porsche's first tank design, and was the basis for the later Porsche Tiger.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Combat of Flemmingen (9 October 1813)

The combat of Flemmingen (9 October 1813) was part of a failed Allied attempt to prevent Marshal Augereau's IX Corps from reaching Leipzig.

Siege of Torgau (8 October 1813-10 January 1814)

The siege of Torgau (8 October 1813-10 January 1814) was one of a series of sieges that saw isolated French garrisons across Germany and Poland slowly forced to surrender in the aftermath of Napoleon's defeat at Leipzig (16-19 October 1813).

Monday, August 14, 2017

Siege of Bovianum (89 BC)

The siege of Bovianum (89 BC) was Sulla's last victory during his campaign of 89 BC, and saw him capture a Samnite town that was the site of the common council of the Italian rebels.

Siege of Aeclanum (89 BC)

The siege of Aeclanum (89 BC) saw Sulla force the surrender of the Hirpini after capturing their chief town (Social War)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Instrument of War - The German Army 1914-18, Dennis Showalter

Looks at the nature of the German Army during the First World War, and how that impacted on its ability to fight the sort of war it ended up having to cope with after the initial attempt to knock the French out of the war in the first campaign failed. An interesting examination of the German Army, and also valuable for giving us the German view of the major battles on the Western Front
[read full review]

The Lost Papers of Confederate General John Bell Hood, Stephen M. Hood

A selection of the private papers of General John Bell Hood, notorious as the general who lost Atlanta and then destroyed his army during an invasion of Tennessee. These papers were believed to be lost for many years, but were actually in the hands of some of Hood's descendents. The documents selected here cover a wide range of topics, from Hood's serious injuries to his time in command and on to his post-war life
[read full review]

Panzer Operations: Germany's Panzer Group 3 during the Invasion of Russia, 1941, Hermann Hoth

 Provides us with the views of one of the senior German tank commanders of the crucial fighting in 1941 on the Eastern Front, the commander of the 3rd Panzer Group. Looks at the problems faced by the Germans during this first campaign, and how some of them were overcome. Makes it clear that there were periods of very hard fighting throughout this campaign, although perhaps overstates the German difficulties. Also gives an idea of the problems caused by a lack of a clear campaign aim after the initial battles. A valuable primary source for this campaign, although as with virtually all such accounts the biases of the author have to be taken into account
[read full review]

Thursday, August 10, 2017

VK 36.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI

The VK 36.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI was the direct precursor to the Henschel version of the Tiger I, but was let down by the choice of a weapon that required scarce tungsten.

VK 30.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI

The VK 30.01 (H) Panzerkampfwagen VI was an early stage in the development of the Tiger tank, and the first to use interleaved road wheels.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18)

USS Breese (DD-122/ DM-18) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last week of the First World War and then as a fast minelayer during the Pacific campaigns of the Second World War.

USS Montgomery (DD-121/ DM-17)

USS Montgomery (DD-121/ DM-17) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service as the last few months of the First World War and as a fast mine layer during the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Battle of Wartenburg (3 October 1813)

The battle of Wartenburg (3 October 1813) was a key battle in the campaign that led to Leipzig, and saw Blücher's Army of Silesia gain a firm foothold on the left bank of the Elbe, putting all three of the main Allied armies on the same side of the river.

Treaty of Ried (8 October 1813)

The treaty of Ried (8 October 1813) saw the Kingdom of Bavaria abandon its long-standing support for France and join the Sixth Coalition

Monday, August 07, 2017

Siege of Pompeii (89 BC)

The siege of Pompeii (89 BC) saw a Roman army under Sulla recapture the city, after it fell into the hands of the Italian rebels in the previous year (Social War).

Battle of Nola (Summer, 89 BC)

The battle of Nola (Summer, 89 BC) was a series of encounters in which Sulla defeated a Samnite attempt to raise his sieges of Herculaneum and Pompeii (Social War).

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Defending India: The Foreign Policy of Governor-General Lord Minto, 1807-1813, Amita Das and Aditya Das

Focuses on the period between 1807 and 1813, which began with the British worried about a possible French invasion of India via Persia, and ended with the conquests of Mauritius and Java, largely eliminating European threats to the British position in India. Also looks at how the perceived external threat from the French influenced Lord Minto's policy towards the other Indian powers and Persia
read full review

The Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in France 1917-1921, Samantha Philo-Gill

A history at the WAAC, formed in a successful attempt to use women's labour to release category A men for service at the front line. Traces the development of the corps from the original debates of 1916 to its formation in 1917 and service in 1917-18. Organised by topic, and covers recruitment, daily life, the work itself and the risks of the being in the Corps, as well as the slow post-war disbandment of the corps
[read full review]

Mad for Glory - A Heart of Darkness in the War of 1812, Robert Booth

Looks at the voyage of Captain David Porter of the US Navy into the Pacific, and his eventual defeat at the hands of Captain James Hillyar of the Royal Navy in the battle of Valparaiso, an isolated naval action on the coast of Chile, that came at the end of a remarkable but controversial voyage. Includes fascinating material on the Chilean revolution, Porter's adventurous if rather misguided voyage across the Pacific, the battle itself and its aftermath
[read full review]

Friday, August 04, 2017

Consolidated XN3Y

The Consolidated XN3Y was a single example of the NY training aircraft powered by a 200-220hp Wright R-790-A engine

Consolidated NY

The Consolidated NY was a Naval version of the Consolidated PT-1 trainer, and was produced in significant numbers in the mid 1920s.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Durchbruchswagen 2

The Durchbruchswagen 2 was the second prototype of a 30 ton break-through tank that was an early stage in the development of  the Panzer VI Tiger.

Durchbruchswagen 1

The Durchbruchswagen 1 was the first in a series of heavy tank designs that ended with the Panzer VI Tiger, and was produced after several years of discussion within the German military establishment.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22)

USS Radford (DD-120/ AG-22) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service in the last month of the First World War and that was briefly selected for use as a mobile target vessel before being scrapped under the terms of the London Naval Treaty.

USS Lamberton (DD-119/ AG-21/ DMS-2)

USS Lamberton (DD-119/ AG-21/ DMS-2) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw brief service in the last weeks of the First World War, was used as an auxiliary in the interwar period, and then as a fast minesweeper for most of the Second World War.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Buildup to the battle of Leipzig (25 September-15 October 1813)

The buildup to the battle of Leipzig (25 September-15 October 1813) saw the failure of Napoleon's last attempts to defeat one of his opponents in isolation, and ended with him forced to fight the united armies of his Russian, Prussian, Austrian and other enemies.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Siege of Asculum (90-89 BC)

The siege of Asculum (90-89 BC) was one of the longest sieges of the Social War, and eventually saw Pompeius Strabo capture the city, after a siege that may have lasted for over a year.

Siege of Herculaneum (probably to 11 June 89 BC)

The siege of Herculaneum (probably to 11 June 89 BC) is one of the more obscure incidents of the Social War, and saw a Roman army recapture the town after it fell to the Samnites in 90 BC.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Wellington's Hidden Heroes - The Dutch and Belgians at Waterloo, Veronica Baker-Smith.


Looks at the contribution made by the army of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Wellington's victory in the Waterloo campaign, where it made up one third of his army. Makes good use of Dutch and Belgian sources to produce a useful account of the role that this newly formed army played in Wellington's victory, although sometimes exaggerates the bias against this army in English language histories
[read full review]

Thunder Bird in Bomber Command, Sean Feast.


A biography of Lionel Anderson, the brother of Gerry Anderson, covering his all too brief career in the RAF during the Second World War, and built around the lively letters he sent home while training in the United States, covering his flying training, descriptions of the local area and adventures while on leave. Concludes with a look at his period of active service, which tragically ended on his first mission on the de Havilland Mosquito. The result is a very entertaining biography that covers an unusual area of the RAF experience of the war
[read full review]

Cataphracts - Knights of the Ancient Eastern Empires, Erich B. Anderson

Looks at the heavily armoured horsemen found in armies across the Ancient Middle East, most famously in the armies of Parthia, Persia and the Byzantines. Traces the development of heavily armoured troops, their use in battle, the variants in use with different powers, and their eventual decline during the Byzantine period. A useful single volume history of the heaviest cavalry type of the ancient world.
[read full review]

Friday, July 28, 2017

Operation Strike (5-13 May 1943)

Operation Strike (5-13 May 1943) was the final Allied offensive in North Africa, and ended with the surrender of all Axis troops in Tunisia and the capture of around 275,000 prisoners of war.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Consolidated PT-8

The Consolidated PT-8 was an experimental version of the PT-3/ O-17 family powered by a Packard diesel engine.

Consolidated XPT-5

The Consolidated XPT-5 was a version of the PT-3 that used a Curtiss Challenger engine.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

USS Lea (DD-118)

USS Lea (DD-118) was a Wickes class destroyer that saw service very late in the First World War, before operating on convoy escort damage in the Atlantic for most of the Second World War.

USS Dorsey (DD-117/ DMS-1)

USS Dorsey (DD-117/ DMS-1) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service just in time for service in the last months of the First World War, but that saw more extensive service as a high speed mine sweeper during the First World War before being badly damaged in a typhoon off Okinawa just after the end of the war.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Combat of Bischofswerda (22 September 1813)

The combat of Bischofswerda (22 September 1813) was a minor French success that saw Napoleon push Blücher back from a threatening position between Bautzen and Dresden.

Combat of Dolnitz (17 September 1813)

The combat of Dolnitz (17 September 1813) saw the French briefly descend onto the plains south of Bohemian mountains, but after some limited fighting Napoleon decided to withdraw to Saxony, rather than risk fighting with a mountain range separating his army.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Battle of Lake Fucinus (89 BC)

The battle of Lake Fucinus (89 BC) was a Roman defeat at the hands of the Marsians, which came after the Roman commander Lucius Porcius Cato was killed (Italian Social War).

Siege of Firmum (90 BC)

The siege of Firmum (90 BC) saw Pompey Strabo besieged in the city after suffering a defeat at Mount Falernus, delaying his attempt to besiege Asculum (Italian Social War).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

No Victory in Valhalla: The untold story of Third Battalion 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment from Bastogne to Berchtesgaden, Ian Gardner

The third part of a history of the Third Battalion, 506 PIR, covering the period from the battle of the Bulge to the end of the Second World War and the immediate post-war period. A good example of the genre, with a careful balance between eyewitness accounts and an overall narrative. Also includes interesting sections on the occupation of Berchtesgaden and the fate of the battalion's POWs.
[read full review]

The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England, Hilda Ellis Davidson

One of the first serious studies of the Anglo-Saxon sword, comparing the literary and archaeological records, examining the physical nature of the swords and their accessories in some detail, and including an early example of experimental archaeology, a successful attempt to recreate the pattern welded swords of the period, a lost technique until then. Does a really good job of linking the surviving swords to their literary cousins, suggesting that the language used to describe swords was accurate
[read full review]

'The Devil's to Pay' John Buford at Gettysburg, a History and Walking Tour, Eric J. Wittenberg.


Focuses on the role played by John Buford's cavalry brigade on the first day of the battle of Gettysburg, where it held up the Confederate advance, and allowed the Union infantry to take up the defensive positions that were held on the second and third days of the battle. Includes a wide range of detailed maps and good material on the Confederate side of the battle and the activities of Buford later in the battle
[read full review]

Friday, July 21, 2017

Consolidated XPT-4

The Consolidated XPT-4 was a version of the PT-3 that used an experimental Fairchild-Caminez engine in place of the 220hp Wright J-5 (R-790) Whirlwind nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine.

Consolidated PT-3 'Husky

The Consolidated PT-3 'Husky' was an updated version of the PT-1 trainer that used the same Wright J-5 engine as the Navy's Consolidated NY trainers.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

USS Dent (DD-116/ APD-9)

USS Dent (DD-116/ APD-9) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service just in time to escort one convoy across the Atlantic during the First World War, but that saw more service as a fast transport in the Pacific during the Second World War.

USS Waters (DD-115/ APD-8)

USS Waters (DD-115/ APD-8) was a Wickes class destroyer that entered service just in time to escort three convoys across the Atlantic during the First World War, and that had a much more active career as a fast transport during the Second World War.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Action of Göhrde (16 September 1813)

The action of Göhrde (16 September 1813) saw the Allies intercept a column sent out of Hamburg by Marshal Davout and force it to retreat back into the city after suffering heavy losses.

Combat of Peterswalde (16 September 1813)

The combat of Peterswalde (16 September 1813) was the second step in a French counterattack that forced the Allies back into Bohemia, and briefly gave Napoleon a chance to operate on the southern side of the Bohemian mountains.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Operation Vulcan (22-28 April 1943)

Operation Vulcan (22-28 April 1943) was the first stage of the final Allied attack in Tunisia, and involved a series of attacks all around the Axis bridgehead that pushed the defenders back from most of their best defensive positions, but didn’t quite break through into the open ground around Bizerte and Tunis

Battle of Enfidaville (19-21 April 1943)

The battle of Enfidaville (19-21 April 1943) was the Eighth Army's last significant battle in North Africa, and saw them fail to break through unexpectedly tough Axis resistance in the mountainous terrain around Enfidaville.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Battle of Mount Falernus (90 BC)

The battle of Mount Falernus (90 BC) was a victory for the Italians over a Roman force under Pompey Strabo that was moving to besiege Asculum (Social War).

Battle of Teanum Sidicinum (90 BC)

The battle of Teanum Sidicinum (90 BC) saw the Roman consul Lucius Julius Caesar suffer a defeat at the hands of the Samnite leader Marius Egnatius (Social War), probably during an attempt to lift the siege of either Aesernia or Acerrae.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cherbourg 1944: The first Allied victory in Normandy, Steven J. Zaloga.

Looks at the entire Cotentin campaign, from the first battles to expand the D-Day beach head, through the advance west across the Peninsula, the attack on Cherbourg itself and the final mopping operations west of the port. A good account of this campaign, supported by a series of high quality campaign maps and well illustrated, and telling the story from both sides.
[read full review]

Storming Monte La Difensa: The First Special Service Force at the Winter line, Italy 1943, Bret Werner.


Covers two unusual topics - an attack on an Italian mountain other than Monte Cassino, and a joint US-Canadian Special Forces unit. This was the only time the First Special Service Force was used in a truly Special Forces role, and it performed brilliantly, successfully climbing a cliff behind the German position and attacking them from above, in an attack that resembles many later war movies! [read full review]

Givenchy in the Great War - A Village on the Front Line 1914-1918, Phil Tomaselli

Traces the fighting that took part on the Givenchy sector of the Western Front during the First World War, following the village through the major battles of 1914-15 and 1918 and the quieter spells of 1916-17. Covers the fighting above ground and the massive mining campaign that went on under the front. An interesting idea that gives us a snapshot of the fighting on the Western Front as it affected a single heavily fought over location
[read full review]

Saturday, July 08, 2017

Nachtjagd Defenders of the Reich, Martin W. Bowman.


A series of eyewitness accounts of the battle between German night fighters and British bombers between the start of the bombing campaign in 1940 and the battle of Berlin at the end of 1943. A bit repetitive in places, due to the vast number of accounts included, but as a result a useful source of information on the attitudes and achievements of the German night fighter forces
[read full review]

In Pursuit of the Essex - Heroism and Hubris on the High Seas in the War of 1812, Ben Hughes

Follows two main participants in one of the more unusual naval duals of the War of 1812, the clash between the Essex and the Phoebe at Valparaiso on the coast of Chile. Follows both of the main participants on their long voyages from home ports into the Pacific, their attempts to find each other, the standoff after they met at Valparaiso and the eventual battle, triggered by an unsuccessful attempt by Porter to escape out to sea
[read full review]

Fighters over the Fleet – Naval Air Defence from Biplanes to the Cold War, Norman Friedman.


A history of naval air defence from the First World War to the present day, looking at the systems used to control air defence, and the aircraft and weapons involved. Gets a bit bogged down in post-war aircraft design, but otherwise a detailed but readable account of a remarkably complex topic that has dominated fleet design since the Second World War, covering an impressive wide range of topics over a century of naval aviation.
[read full review]

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Battle of Gabes or Wadi Akarit (6-7 April 1943)

The battle of Gabes or Wadi Akarit (6-7 April 1943) saw the Eighth Army quickly force their way past an improved defensive line occupied by the Axis forces after their retreat from the Mareth Line.

Operation Wop (16-23 March 1943)

Operation Wop (16-23 March 1943) was an American attack carried out in order to help Montgomery's attack on the Mareth Line, the key Axis defensive position in southern Tunisia.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Boulton Paul P.131

The Boulton Paul P.131 was a design for a jet trainer, designed in response to Specification O.R.AIR/37, but that didn’t enter production.

Boulton Paul P.125

The Boulton Paul P.125 was a jet version of the P.108 Balliol, designed to replace the Percival Provost, but that didn't enter production.

Boulton Paul P.124

The Boulton Paul P.124 was a jet trainer designed to replace the Percival Provost, but that didn't enter production.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

USS Talbot (DD-114/APD-7)

USS Talbot (DD-114/APD-7) was a Wickes class destroyer that served briefly towards the end of the First World War, but that was much more active as a fast transport in the Pacific during the Second World War.

USS Rathburne (DD-113/ APD-25)

USS Rathburne (DD-113/ APD-25) was a Wickes class destroyer that performed convoy escort duties during the First World War and served as a fast transport during the Second World War, serving in the Philippines and at Okinawa.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Combat of Berggiesshübel (15 September 1813)

The combat of Berggiesshübel (15 September 1813) was the first step in a French counterattack that restored their position after an Allied attack on 14 September, and ended with some fighting on the southern side of the Bohemian mountains.

Combat of Nollemdorf (14 September 1813)

The combat of Nollemdorf (14 September 1813) was an Allied counterattack that forced the French out of their most advanced positions in Bohemia, and triggered a brief French offensive that ended with Napoleon's troops briefly fighting south of the mountains.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Early Iron Age Greek Warrior 1100-700 BC, Raffaele d'Amato and Andrea Salimbeti

Looks at the period between the heroic warriors of Homer and the rise of the Hoplite, a fairly obscure period where the bulk of the evidence comes from contemporary artworks or archaeological remains (and which only contains one certain major war, the First Messenian War). As a result the book focuses largely on reconstructing the changes in military equipment over this 400 year period, which ended with the first evidence of the hoplites
[read full review]

Hitler's Russian & Cossack Allies 1941-1945, Nigel Thomas

Provides an overview of the organisation of six of the nine categories of Russian and Cossack troops who fought for the Germans during the Second World War, a total of around half a million men, who helped make up for some of the huge losses suffered by the Germans and their allies on the Eastern Front. Focuses on the origins, structure and organisation of these units rather than their combat record, which wouldn't fit in a book of this size.
[read full review]

Holding the Home Front - The Women's Land Army in the First World War, Caroline Scott

Looks at the effort that went into getting women accepted on farms during the First World War, starting with a variety of voluntary bodies, leading up to the formation of the Women's Land Army early in 1917. Tells a similar tale to that of the more famous Land Army of the Second World War, but with more emphasis on volunteering and voluntary organisations for most of the war, and as a result a wider variety of experiences
[read full review]

Friday, June 30, 2017

Battle of the Tolenus or Liris River (11 June 90 BC)

The battle of the Tolenus or Liris River (11 June 90 BC) was a victory for the Italian rebels in which they killed the consul Publius Rutilius Lupus, although Marius, who was serving under him, partly restored the situation.

Siege of Acerrae (90 BC)

The siege of Acerrae (90 BC) saw the Italian rebels defeat a series of Roman attempts to lift the siege, but frustratingly we don't actually know how it ended.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Battle of the Mareth Line (20-26 March 1943)

The battle of the Mareth Line (20-26 March 1943) was the Eighth Army's last major setpiece battle in North Africa, and saw Montgomery force the Germans and Italians to retreat from their last significant defensive position in southern Tunisia.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Consolidated PT-2

The Consolidated PT-2 was a single example of a PT-1 that was powered by the same Wright J-5 engine that was used in the Navy's Consolidated NY family.

Consolidated PT-1 'Trusty'

The Consolidated PT-1 'Trusty' was an excellent training aircraft that laid the foundations for the Consolidated Aircraft Company.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Heavy Assault Tank, A39, Tortoise

The Heavy Assault Tank, A39, Tortoise  was one of the largest armoured vehicles produced in Britain during the Second World War, and proved to be surprisingly reliable, but at the same time utterly impractical.

Shelled Area Infantry Tank A20

The Shelled Area Infantry Tank A20 was a heavy tank designed to operate in the muddy no-mans-land that might have developed between the Maginot and Siegfried Lines, but that was cancelled due to a combination of its own poor performance and the German blitzkrieg of 1940.

Monday, June 26, 2017

USS Ludlow (DD-112/ DM-10)

USS Ludlow (DD-112/ DM-10) was a Wickes class destroyer that served with the Atlantic Fleet in 1919-20 and the Pacific Fleet in 1921-29, after being converted into a light mine layer in 1920.

USS Ingraham (DD-111/ DM-9)

USS Ingraham (DD-111/ DM-9) was a Wickes class destroyer that carried out one cruise to Europe and then operated as a mine layer at Pearl Harbor in 1921-22.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Canaris - the Life and Death of Hitler's Spymaster, Michael Mueller

A biography of one of the most intriguing and mysterious figures in the German hierarchy during the Second World War,  at the same time head of Hitler's military intelligence service and an early plotter against the Fuhrer, a man of uncertain loyalties and motives who had a distinguished naval career during the First World War, before getting drawn into the murky world of the far right in post-war Germany. Gives us a good idea of what Canaris actually did, but as the author admits, the why will probably remain a mystery
[read full review]

Warfare in Tenth-Century Germany, David S. Bachrach.


A look at warfare under Henry I and Otto I, two of the most successful of the medieval Kings of Germany, and argues convincingly that warfare during their reign was both more professional and carried out on a larger scale than many historians are willing to admit. Makes an excellent use of a wide range of sources to paint a picture of a sophisticated kingdom, capable of maintaining large armies, and carrying out operations across much of central and southern Europe, including a series of expeditions across the Alps.
[read full review]

Air Raids on South-West Essex in the Great War, Alan Simpson

 Looks at the impact of German air raids on the north-eastern suburbs of London, which at the time into south-west Essex, and on the rural approaches to the city. Despite the sub-title the book covers both the Zeppelin raids and the later aircraft raids. As well as looking at the raids themselves, the author also follows the British response, both on the ground and in the air, to provide a useful snapshot of the 'first blitz'.
[read full review]

Friday, June 23, 2017

Combat of Geiersberg (10 September 1813)

The combat of Geiersberg (10 September 1813) saw Napoleon get into a position from where he could attack the Prussian and Russian contingents of the Army of Bohemia, but then decide not to risk a descent into Bohemia.

Treaty of Teplitz (9 September 1813)

The treaty of Teplitz (9 September 1813) saw Austria formally join the Sixth Coalition, although she had been at war with France since mid-August, and had already fought and lost the major battle of Dresden.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Siege of Aesernia (90 BC)

The siege of Aesernia (90 BC) was a success for the Italian allies, and saw them capture the Latin colony of Aesernia after a lengthy siege (Italian Social War).

Battle near Grumentum (90 BC)

The battle near Grumentum (90 BC) was an setback suffered by the Romans in Lucania early in the Social War.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Battle of Medenine (6 March 1943)

The battle of Medenine (6 March 1943) was Rommel's last offensive in Africa, and was an unsuccessful attempt to disrupt the Eighth Army's preparations for their upcoming attack on the Mareth Line, the main Axis defensive position in southern Tunisia.

Operation Ochenskopf (Oxhead) (26 February-19 March 1943)

Operation Ochenskopf (Oxhead) (26 February-19 March 1943) was a minor German offensive in northern Tunisia, carried out at the expense of Rommel's more promising assault on the Kasserine Pass.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Boulton Paul P.123

The Boulton Paul P.123 was a design for a radio guided surface-to-surface missile, produced to fill a gap between the entry into service of the post-war 'V' bombers.

Boulton Paul P.122

The Boulton Paul P.122 was a design for a rocket powered interceptor, designed in response to Specification F.124T.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Infantry Tank, Valiant, A38

The Infantry Tank, Valiant, A38, was an improved version of the Valentine infantry tank, but by the time the prototypes were ready there was no longer any need to it, and work stopped in 1945.